11 Oct Rome Food Tour – A Progressive Meal Through The Jewish Quarter With Bitemojo
We’re excited to tell you about a new and exciting way to enjoy a food tour in Rome. With the help of your smartphone, you can experience a progressive meal through secret corners of Rome, at your own pace. You get the benefits of a curated experience with local insights, without the cost or time restrictions of a guided tour.
In this post, we’ll tell you more about how these food tours work with the Bitemojo app, and we’ll review our experience using Bitemojo through the Jewish Quarter of Rome.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in partnership with Bitemojo. We were treated to complimentary self-guided food tours in Rome, Italy from their food tour app in exchange for an honest review on our blog. Our reviews are entirely our own opinions.
About The Bitemojo Food Tour App
Bitemojo is a smartphone app that offers self-guided food tours through select cities like Rome, Barcelona, and Jerusalem. Each tour includes 6 curated “bites” from local restaurants and vendors, plus info about the shop owners and other sites you’ll see along the way.
1. Install the Bitemojo app on your smartphone.
2. Select a tour and pay for it through the app (typically 30-35 euros per person). You can purchase for multiple people on one account, so you only need one phone on your tour.
3. Download the tour data onto your phone while you have wifi.
4. Check the tour hours and note that some tours are not available on certain days of the week. When you’re ready, follow the instructions and the map within the app to get yourself to the tour starting point.
5. Follow the route that’s mapped out for you, using your phone’s GPS. Along the way, you can click on points of interest to read about them. Bites are represented on the map with numbered markers.
6. When you come to one of the six vendors who is offering a Bite, show them the app on your phone and click “Claim this Bite” while they are looking at it with you (this does use a small bit of phone data). Your app will show that the bite is claimed and the owner will get an e-mail confirmation as well.
7. Take your time enjoying your Bite and read more about the vendor in the app. When you’re finished, move on to the next stop of the tour. No need to pay (unless you ordered something additional) – it’s already included!
Bonus: You can interrupt your tour and continue on a different day. Also, if one Bite stop is closed or you want to skip it, you can convert an unused Bite into credit, to be used later at another Bitemojo location. Tours are valid for 6 months after purchase.
Bitemojo’s Campo de’ Fiori to Jewish Quarter Food Tour
Bitemojo currently has two different food tours in the lesser-known parts of Rome. The tour we did covers Campo de’ Fiori market and the Jewish Quarter. The other one is across the river in the Trastavere neighborhood.
At the time of this writing, the Jewish Quarter tour is 35 euros, which includes six bites.
Plan at least 2 hours, walking about 1.5 miles. The tour is available between 10:30am and 8pm Monday through Saturday. We did our tour around lunch time on Saturday (starting around 11:45am and ending around 2pm) at the end of September, and we never had to wait in any lines.
The Bites and Sights
This tour begins at the famous Campo de’ Fiori, a vibrant local market. Our first Bite was from a local butcher off the Campo de’ Fiori piazza. Their family-run business has been making salami in Rome for several generations. After showing our claimed bite on the app, we received a bamboo cup filled with slices of three different kinds of salami – one spicy, another with an unctuous black truffle flavor, and a third infused with red wine that just melted in our mouths. We enjoyed our samples at the next point of interest on the map, a piazza in front of the French Embassy.
A few blocks away, we found our next stop: a carefully curated wine shop. The owner – whom we recognized from his bio in Bitemojo – served us a glass of wine and snacks to go with it. Being early in the afternoon, the shop was very quiet and we took our time soaking up the atmosphere of the place.
On our way to the third Bite, we paused at a couple points of interest suggested by the app. It was nice to have some insight into the neighborhood we were exploring and to notice little landmarks we would have otherwise missed.
With salami, wine, and snacks as our appetizers, the next couple Bites were like our main course. A brother and sister team served us pizza bianca sandwiches – a blend of traditional Italian pizza dough, toasted with a New York-inspired twist: pastrami.
The fourth restaurant on our tour had temporarily changed their hours, due to observance of Yom Kippur. We were given the option to come back at a later time or to trade in that particular Bite for credit to be used elsewhere. Because of our limited time, we opted to get the credit, which we actually used in Barcelona the following week. In case you’re curious, the Bite we skipped was a Judean artichoke.
So the next Bite we got was torta rustica – a savory pie with a flaky crust and fillings like spinach or ham inside. We loved the feel of the small but stylish cafe, though we would probably never have come across it if it weren’t for the tour.
Our finale was a classic Italian dessert, tiramisu, made with fresh ingredients in front of our eyes. The bright and hip cafe, located very close to our original starting point, was also next to a little hidden passageway that once inspired an old Italian proverb. On this final stop, Jedd ordered a coffee with his dessert, so it was the only place on the tour where we ever exchanged money.
Bitemojo Review: Our Thoughts
We thought Bitemojo Rome was a really fun way to discover new, off-the-beaten-path parts of the city. Being a curated tour that we could do independently, on our own time, was perfect for our travel style.
Despite the major tourist attractions in Rome being completed swarmed with crowds, this felt more off-the-beaten-path. The only busy area on our itinerary was the Campo de’ Fiori market. The rest of the route was refreshingly quiet. The wine bar was completely empty while the other shops had customers trickling in and out, but nothing overwhelming.
Every single Bite was delicious and made with quality ingredients. The portions were small but substantial enough to keep us satiated throughout the 2+ hours. Actually, I was getting full by the end with just the 5 Bites we had, so I was glad that the tiramisu was a small portion! Of course, any of the vendors would be happy to get the additional business if you wanted to order more from their menu, but we never felt any pressure from them.
We really liked that the app told us the story behind each place and the family who runs it, so we could recognize the owners and family members who were serving us. The vendors we met all seemed kind and welcoming. Had we felt more outgoing, I’m sure we could have struck up more conversations with the owners, using their story in the app as an icebreaker, though I did get the sense that not too many of them were super confident in their English.
A couple things to be aware of
One of the six eateries on our tour was closed until 7:30pm on the day we went, so we opted to get credit for that bite to use elsewhere. The local rep for Bitemojo did contact us about this change in hours, though we didn’t read the e-mail until we were back at our Airbnb. Nevertheless, it was pretty easy to figure out our options through the app, and that worked out fine for us. We could have used the credit to repeat one of Bites we already had, or to try a new Bite from the other tour available in Rome, but we ended up going to Barcelona the following week, so we used our credit in a completely different city.
There were also a couple times where an employee of the eatery we visited wasn’t familiar with the Bitemojo Tour. When we showed them the app, they saw a picture of their menu item and got it for us, but it wasn’t until the owner came in, that they understood we were doing the tour. Granted, Bitemojo is still relatively new in Rome, so just be aware of that and try to confirm that they understand it’s a prepaid transaction.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed this new self-guided food tour concept from Bitemojo. We think it has a lot of potential and hope to see it expand to even more cities. Let us know if you give it a try, and stay tuned for our review of Bitemojo in Barcelona!
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