Traveling Low Carb In Rome

When traveling you always need to find your best weight loss strategy and Rome is the perfect place to do it. In fact, it is one of the best places to do it, because of the availability of a lot of low carbohydrate foods in the city.

If you are a low carb eater, you can drastically cut your travel costs by taking advantage of coupons for the local grocery store. Many grocery stores in Rome will let you use their own coupons, even if the store itself has a loyalty program. If you can’t get your hands on a coupon, you can still use the store’s loyalty card to get a discount.  And of course, a low carb diet is a great way to travel and save money.

Most people who are traveling are dieting or trying to lose weight, and this often means that they must travel low carb. However, when you travel low carb, it is possible to stay fit and healthy, and avoid the pitfalls that can plague low-carb dieters. If you are traveling to Rome, Italy, on the other hand, there are many options to choose from. Many low-carb restaurants are located there, and you do not have to travel far to find a delicious low-carb meal.

“Is it really possible to appreciate Rome to the fullest without indulging in all of the delicious pizza, pasta, and gelato?” I wondered upon my arrival in Rome. Sure enough, I soon discovered that traveling low carb in Rome was not only feasible, but it also enhanced my whole Roman experience.

We stayed in a fantastic small apartment only a few blocks from the Colosseum! If you can get your hands on this Air BnB, I strongly advise you to take advantage of it. It’s within walking distance of a 24-hour market, the finest meats and cheeses, and, of course, lovely city views!

The streets of rome are beautiful, this airbnb in rome that we stayed at was a perfect location that we highly recommend. We will tell you how to stay low carb, even in rome!

When comparing all of the cheeses, meats, and veggies you’ll consume in Rome to meals in the United States, never underestimate the life-changing variations in taste and texture you’ll discover. Everywhere I went, I had to have caprese salad. Tomatoes are juicier, sweeter, and richer, and I can’t begin to describe the subtle but strong taste that fresh mozzarella contributes. Nothing can compare to the tomatoes and mozzarella from Rome.

Let’s begin with the most enjoyable aspect: the cuisine. We had a lot of inquiries before we left for Rome, wondering whether we were going to “cheat” and eat some of the high-carb cuisine Rome has to offer, and to be honest, we had intended to try some pizza. We knew it wouldn’t be our first meal since we didn’t want to risk any possible bad side effects, so we kept it low carb, as you can see below. We never got around to trying the pizza!

First dish: a delectable cheese and meat board (sorry in advance; you’ll see this a lot throughout the article), two glasses of dry white wine, and, of course, a caprese salad!

Divin Ostilia Enoteca (very recommended!) is the location.

Total Carbohydrates: Just glancing at the image, this meal has around 15-20 grams of total carbs. It may seem excessive, but we walked anywhere from five to seven kilometers each day, and wine and tomatoes provided the bulk of our carbohydrates!

It was the ideal way to begin our vacation in Rome, and we knew we’d be eating a lot more meat and cheese boards for the rest of our stay. (Spoiler alert: we succeeded!) On this vacation, we didn’t monitor any of our meals or macros. We ate where our stomachs led us and drank the whole bottle of wine!

Tour of a Wine Bar

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Using Yelp and food blog suggestions, we spent two of our five days on our own mini wine bar tour. At each location, we had a different wine and snack, and it was one of the highlights of our trip to Rome. 

Masto is a town in Italy. Trebbiano is a white wine made from the grape Trebbiano. Beef wrapped in sautéed radish leaves with spinach as an appetizer. 9 out of 10

We arrived 20 minutes early and decided to wander around while we waited. This was an excellent choice and an excellent start to the wine bar tour! The interior seemed very genuine, and the head chef (who can be seen in the background of the photo below) came over to talk to us about each dish. You could tell he cared about his cuisine, even though his English wasn’t great. At the conclusion, they offered us a free shot of sherry, which we pretended to drink because it was just sugar!

The wine tour that we took while in roam was one of the best parts of rome. We were given a new wine and appetizer at each stop!

Ai Tre Scalini is a location in Ai Tre Scalini. Buffalo mozzarella with arugula and tomatoes as an appetizer 7 out of 10

The restaurant had a strangely Irish pub feel to it, which threw me off, but it was a nice place to visit, was in a great location, and was close to a lot of other food and walking options!

Vino Olio is a winery in the town of Vino Olio. Appetizer: Carpaccio with arugula and Parmesan flakes marinated in wine Rating: ten out of ten (must try!)

This was perhaps our favorite location of the day, if not the whole trip! Inside, it was extremely small and seemed like a hidden neighborhood hangout. The server was really kind, and the meal was delicious.

Appetizer: Beef tartare with a quail egg on top of it Rating: 5/10

I had the impression that I was on a ranch. The furniture was all constructed of wood and was very uncomfortable. Inside, everything seemed ancient and dingy, and we were the only ones there. Having said that, we took a risk on the tartare, and it turned out to be very tasty (albeit Matt disagreed). In my view, the journey is not worthwhile.

Most of rome had great food, this place wasn't our favorite due to being uncomfortable but the food was good. We would not recommend it!

Il Pentagrappolo is where you’ll find Il Pentagrappolo. Bacon-wrapped brie with grilled artichokes as an appetizer Rating: 6.5/10

This restaurant was close to our AirBnB, making it a handy final visit, however the service was lacking and the cuisine was unremarkable. However, if you are in the neighborhood, it is a fantastic wine choice with a wonderful environment!

II PentaGrappolo didn't have the greatest service, or the greatest food, but it was a good option for wine and other keto options while in rome and had a wonderful atmosphere!

More Insightful Cuisine And Wine

We savored every opportunity to eat delicious cuisine and sip fine wine. We didn’t get weary or lethargic from eating pizza, spaghetti, or gelato since we remained keto during our vacation in Rome, which allowed us more time to explore the wonderful city and sample all of the foods!

The pictures above are from a restaurant that we happened across and had the pleasure of trying some of the finest grilled octopus we’ve ever had! We just removed the fried leeks off the top and ate the keto-friendly octopus. When dining out, ask for everything that is fried to be cooked differently, such as grilled or boiled, or to be omitted entirely! We even requested sauces and salad dressings to be served separately! 

Staying on keto while on vacation caused us to not be tired or sluggish from anything! We had more time to experience the incredible city of roam and try all of the amazing food!

Our final visit in Rome (shown above) was fantastic! We ate every last piece of the meat and cheese board, which was by far the largest we’d ever seen. Some boards arrive with bland cheese or oddly textured meat, but this one was flawless. The two balls in the middle were fresh ricotta, because you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten fresh ricotta (one or two days old).  

The Beverages

Drinks are equally as essential as interesting as meals while traveling. Given the heat (80 degrees Fahrenheit) and the amount of walking, we drank water nonstop. More importantly, we drank (probably too much) espresso, wine, whiskey, and my all-time favorite drink, Lemon Soda Zero (shown below)!

Staying on keto while on vacation caused us to not be tired or sluggish from anything! We had more time to experience the incredible city of roam and try all of the amazing food!

The Espresso: It was practically a rule that we have at least three espressos a day, from three different places. You were given a limit of three sips of a very hot, strong drink for one euro. Each location had its unique taste profile, and each espresso was well worth the money. Don’t miss out on Rome’s espresso culture!

The Wine: Everything we ate went best with white wine, therefore we always went with white, with the exception of one time when we went with whiskey. When ordering wine, we always requested the driest white wine they had and let them choose for us. It was made a bit more enjoyable by the surprise!

WINE TIP: Trebbiano was my favorite wine from the trip, which we drank on many times! It was a little on the dry side, but it had some fruity flavors and went well with everything we ate.

My greatest piece of advice to you while visiting a new location with unique possibilities is to live a bit. Extra carbohydrates from wine or luscious tomatoes will not throw you off track or cause you to revert to old habits! Above are two instances of wines we loved without having to monitor all of the macros, and I wouldn’t have it any other way as I write this article.

We were on the lookout for zero-calorie beverages wherever we went. Matt enjoys a nice zero-calorie carbonated beverage, particularly before night. Except for one branch of a prominent shop named Coop, we had no success at any of Rome’s food stores. It’s a co-op-style store with a fantastic meat and cheese variety! We were looking for Sprite Zero and were pleasantly pleased when we stumbled across Lemon Soda Zero!

We looked all over for zero calorie drinks while in rome. We found this lemon soda zero at a store called coop! Perfect for keto!

Experiences

We booked a few walking tours and AirBnb sampling experiences, and these really elevated our vacation. Walking tours, in my opinion, are a must. We got a three-hour guided tour of historic buildings for $150 for two individuals, which we may not have had the opportunity to visit on our own. 

We used walks of italy to book our tour of the colosseum and roman forum. We would suggest using a different company if planning to tour rome!

We utilized Walks Of Italy to arrange our tour of the Colosseum (above) and Roman Forum. The tour guide wasn’t the greatest, despite the fact that everything we saw was beautiful and full of fascinating history. If you’re going on a walking tour in Rome, I’d recommend choosing a different organization. We counted at least three more!

My favorite of the two tours was the Catacombs (seen below). We had a fantastic tour guide, and it was all inside, so there was no sweating in the heat. Plus, I’ve always been intrigued with catacombs! We hired Walks Of Italy for this trip once again, although it’s possible that we just got a fantastic tour guide. Read reviews and make plans ahead of time!

The catacombs tour was our favorite part of the rome tour. Make sure to read reviews of different touring companies to ensure you have the best experience!

We performed two AirBnb cheese and wine tastings, which you can find in the app’s Experiences area, and we strongly suggest you do the same! From tasting the wonderful cheeses and meats to learning how to smell and match cheese with wine, and how to identify fresh olive oil, these were two of the greatest things we did in Rome!

Our favorite experience (below on the left) was called the Wild & organic Roman Food: Eat & Learn and it’s everything you could hope for and then some!

The cost is $17 per person. ten out of ten Five cheeses, five meats, one free glass of wine, and a taste of olive oil

The second event was a cheese tasting, but this time we learnt how to match it with excellent wine and how to handle and identify fresh cheese instead of combining it with foods. It was a personal experience, and the host was very knowledgeable!

The experience (above on the right) was called Best Cheese & Wine Tasting In Rome. We tried nine different cheeses (only three shown) paired with three different wines! 

The cost is $42 per person. 9.5 out of 10 Nine cheeses and three glasses of wine are included in this package.

Low-Carb Traveling Tips

Here are some of my greatest lessons from low-carb travel, as well as some suggestions on how to make the most of your trip, in no particular order!

  1. Take a break from keeping track of everything. Counting everything may make your experiences less enjoyable and unpleasant. 
  2. Recognize that it’s OK to go a little overboard on carbohydrates (or even a lot at one point). It won’t send you back to the beginning. You’ve laid a foundation of keto knowledge that you can build on after you’ve returned home from your vacation.
  3. Inquire about how items are cooked (grilled, fried, boiled, steamed), and don’t be hesitant to request additional sides or alternatives. We request dressings on the side so that we may sample them first, and then a side of olive oil in case the dressing is too sweet. 
  4. When it comes to drinking, stick to bourbon, dry wines, and the odd low-carb beer. 
    • Make sure to drink plenty of water in between each sip. This allows us to maintain a healthy pace and prevent hangovers!
    • Diet sodas and zero-calorie beverages are excellent mixers. Zevia even offers a range of mixers, with the ginger beer being our personal favorite. We like scotch on the rocks most of the time.
    • On evenings when we drink, we prefer to take a supplement like Vega Hydrator before going to bed. Drinking causes dehydration, thus electrolyte replacement aids recovery. 
  5. Every day, do something active, even if it’s only walking. We walked five kilometers every day on average in Rome, which made us feel better about all the drinking and eating! It’s also a fantastic alternative if your hotel or AirBnB offers a gym.
  6. Know who you are. If preparing ahead helps you feel more at ease, look up restaurants and menus ahead of time, as well as any cheats you wish to indulge in.
  7. If you want to cheat, go ahead, but don’t overthink it. If a situation occurs where you feel compelled to try something that isn’t keto, take advantage of it and don’t worry about it afterwards. If you know you’ll regret it or it’ll be a slippery slope, it’s probably better to stay on the straight and narrow.
  8. When you return home, get back to your regular routine. Make no irrational efforts to “return to ketosis quickly.” Your body will take its own path! 

Traveling low carb can be a breeze if you follow the simple tips outlined here!

Rome is one of my favorite cities to visit. I have been there a few times, and I have never been disappointed. From the food to the people and the history, it is truly one of a kind. Since I am trying to lose weight as well, I was hoping to find some low carb friendly options to indulge in. However, the food options in Rome are fairly limited. Surprisingly though, the Italian people are very carb friendly!. Read more about keto italian restaurant and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I eat low-carb in Italy?

In Italy, you can eat low-carb by doing the following: 1. Eat a lot of vegetables and fruit. 2. Avoid breads, pasta, rice, and other grains. 3. Limit your intake of dairy products to low-fat or fat-free options such as yogurt, milk, cheese, and hard cheeses like Parmesan. 4. Eat eggs in moderation (one egg per day is considered safe).

Are Roma tomatoes Keto-friendly?

Roma tomatoes are not keto-friendly.

Are Wings okay on a low-carb diet?

Yes, wings are a low-carb food.

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