It might surprise you if I told you you could get a heaping bowl of fresh-made pasta, plus as much water and house wine as you want, for 4 measly euros.
It might surprise you even more if I told you where you could get it: in the overpriced and often-touristy Spanish Steps neighborhood.
But that's where the pastificio is.
From 1pm-2pm (that means "1pm" Italian time, so if you get there at 1pm sharp, be prepared to wait a few minutes for the first batch of pasta!), the pastificio has a "tasting." Its pasta of the day (there are usually two options, but if you come too late, you might be stuck with just one choice), wine and water cost, yep, just €4.
If you're looking for fancy ambience, this is not the place. As the price range, of €4 to €4, should tell you already. Forks, cups and bowls are plastic. Elbow-room is impossible, seating scarce. And don't dilly-dally over your choice between the gnocchi or the spaghetti alla carbonara: Rushed Italians, from schoolkids to businessmen, are lined up behind you, anxious to get one of those bowls before it all runs out.
But for a fun, big, quick, and, yes, yummy pasta lunch, the unnamed panificio is your best bet in the Spanish Steps. Or, probably, anywhere in the center.
Just don't tell anyone. Because as soon as you do, that €4 price tag is sure to vanish. So, shhhh. Keep your mouth closed. Unless you're shoveling steaming amatriciana inside.
This guy agrees.
Unnamed pastificio. Via della Croce 8. I'm not giving you a map, because you should have to sing at least a tiny bit for your supper. Or lunch. Whatever.
Want to find out about Rome's other hidden gems? Check out The Revealed Rome Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Exploring the Eternal City, available for purchase on Amazon, below, or through my site here!