The best part of staying in an apartment when traveling is to be able to cook at home. One of the most expensive parts of travel for us, is food. We love to eat well and can never bring ourselves to jump in for a quick bite at the stand up bar or grab a sandwich to go.

We love eating well but we can’t afford to pay for gourmet meals night after night. So how does one solve this problem?

We rent an apartment of course!


What an amazing apartment thanks to HouseTrip!

We had the pleasure of staying in the most magnificent of apartments you could ever imagine during our time in Rome with House Trip. Directly overlooking the Colosseum, this 4 bedroom beauty had an opulent dining room, functional kitchen, dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, jacuzzi and three toilets! Oh and the most unbelievable view.

Our master bedroom looked directly onto the crowds of the Colosseum and had a birds eye view of this magnificent monument.


The view from out bedroom window…The Colosseum

But Let’s Talk Cooking….


Context Travel has a tour where participants walk to the local market to shop for their meals. Whatever is in season is what we eat in Rome and at this time of the year it’s artichokes! We spent the morning learning about vegetables, meats and cheeses of the region and the local delacacies. My mouth was salivating all morning and I couldn’t wait to get back to our Colosseo apartment to start preparing.

We are not experts at all so our job was to slice and dice.

We learned how to peel an artichoke and cut into its stem, how much water to use to boil spagetti, how long to cook thick and juicy asparagus and how to make pecorino and black pepper sauce for our spagetti. Did you know that Italians don’t eat bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar? They use bread to eat with their meals and soak up the sauce when they are done.


When in Rome…

We followed suit and put the bread on the table sans butter or olive oil and waited patiently for our meals to arrive before digging into the fresh doughy goodness. OK, I’m lying. I didn’t wait patiently for anything. One of the benefits of helping in the Kitchen is that I get to eat everything as we prepare. I kept sneaking a piece of cheese, a chunk of artichoke, a squeeze of lemon and continued to munch on any raw vegetable that I could get my hands on. Needless to say, by the time lunch was served, I was pretty full.

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Food Fun and Sneaking a Bite

But that didn’t stop me from piling food on my plate.

Dave Hates Artichokes.

Did I tell you that Dave hates artichokes? I’ve been trying to get him to eat artichokes for years and all I ever get from him is a look of disgust and anger that I could possibly have the gaul to suggest it to his face. Well, here in Rome he didn’t have a choice. It seemed that every restaurant or tratorria we went to had fresh artichokes on the menu. If I couldn’t make him eat an artichoke, surely Rome could!

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Fear of the Artichoke Salad

Indeed, he ate it and “Hey Mikey, He Liked it!”

I can count three times that Dave ate artichokes during our 6 days in Rome and for the most part, he seemed pleased with the results. I don’t think we converted him to full fledged artichoke lover, but at least now I won’t be getting a look of disgust and anguish at the mention of the name.

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Not Bad, but definitely not Converted

We had so much fun cooking in the Apartment. I highly recommend taking a tour like this, especially if you Rent an Apartment in Rome, and do it near the beginning of your trip. You’ll know what to buy for your meals ahead, you’ll be able to identify and use those strange vegetables that you’ve never seen before and you’ll be able to turn on the stove in your kitchen because you had an expert enter your apartment for a day to show you how everything works!


Ready for a nap? You won’t want to get out of this bed!!

I can’t wait to go back to Rome, but for now, we must move on to Florence and Venice. Ah, it’s a hard life, but somebody’s gotta do it!


For more information on Apartments in Rome visit
Visit here or more information on the Colosseo Apartment in Rome – Rome
For Cooking Courses or Walking Tours of Rome, visit

A big thanks to both HouseTrip and Context Travel for making our time in Rome a trip to remember.

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  1. Roy Marvelous

    Wow, nice digs! Actually I prefer cooking myself a meal than eating out daily, when traveling. I find local markets and grocery stores super interesting. And it makes me feel like a local!

    1. debndave Post author

      Well said. It’s a great way to get a feel for the community and an authentic local experience. One of our favorite things is to visit a market when traveling. Also great photo opportunities there too:)

  2. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    Yep! That’s why I’m not a hostel traveler/backpacker. I practice immersion travel instead; long-term living for 1-2 years in destinations, using an apartment or house as a central hub for explorations into the surrounding regions. It saves me SOOO much money. I live an upper middle-class lifestyle in every place I travel and yet I rarely go above 600 or 800 USD per month.

    I just had this conversation with a friend of mine here in Cancun last night, ironically. He was complaining that he spent almost three thousand dollars last month here in Cancun, and I literally called him on Skype and used my WTF voice to ask “You spent HOW MUCH!?!?!” He then told me that 2k of that 3k was spent on one thing: food out. He hates cooking and stays primarily in hotels, and while the hotel cost him 1k (my rent for a fully-furnished and kitted-out apartment is only about $400-$425 a month depending on exchange rates), the food was the major part of his 3k tab.

    I follow The Mediterranean Diet, and I have for the past close to 5 years since picking it up in Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and other parts of the region when I was living in Bulgaria. I eat well…and I rarely spend more than $200 a month on my total grocery bill. But I cook 2-3 times a day, and I rarely eat out; once or twice a week at most.

    Saves a ton of money, it’s far healthier for you, and frankly…I find cooking to be therapeutic :)

    In any case…yep…cooking is the only way to go in my book.

    1. debndave Post author

      That is excellent. Your friend is right, eating out is a killer on the wallet. You can eat healthier and cheaper when you have your own kitchen to prepare meals. And it is just as much fun as eating out. You can eat the type of meals that you could never afford to buy in the restaurant. And you can drink a bottle of wine for a couple of bucks rather than several Euros for a small glass and listen to your favorite music at the same time. Plus, you are free and clear from all the cigarette smoke that you get in restaurants here in Europe.

    2. debndave Post author

      Oh PS. You must fill us in on the Mediterranean diet that you use. Is it easy to find ingredients all over the world?

  3. Wandergirl

    Augh…jealous! We rented a hostel with a kitchen in Rome, excited to cook our own meals. Turns out we were only allowed to use it to boil tea! So disappointing. Guess I have to go back! ;)

    Looove Florence. Have fun!

    1. debndave Post author

      Aw bummer. I love bent able to cook my own meals. I find eat g out to be the most expensive part of traveling. Dave and I aren’t good at just grabbing food from a stand or vendor. We like the experience of a good sit down meal, so if we can cook at our apartment, it is much better and cheaper.

  4. Carolina

    Amazing! Just the view to the Colisseum is jaw-dropping. Fantastic picture of it, by the way! I’m soooo jealous! There’s a small supermarket near the Colisseum, on Via di San Guovanni in Laterano. They have a fantastic selection of cheeses!

  5. Laurel

    Love staying in apartments, especially this one with the fabulous view of the Coliseum. Also, love the fact that you can prepare your own meals, which saves a ton of money.

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