We meet at La Fiorentina, a 1940s bakery filled with every brilliant idea Roman bakers have ever had, from bomboloni (cream-filled donuts) to sturdy little biscotti. I'm going full Parla, so I order her usual: a doppio macchiato and a danese, an Italian Danish, both knocked back quickly at the bar. It's all to fortify us for a trip through the nearby Mercato Trionfale, one of Rome's classic farmers' markets, and somewhat of a conservation project for Katie, who shops here frequently.
As we zigzag past boxes of chicory curls and fat sardines on ice, I think it's everything you dream of an Italian market being, and yet "the markets aren't thriving," she says. "They're only open from 9 to 1, and most young people can't shop then, so I spotlight great vendors on my blog and on my tours to help lead people to their stalls."
10:45 a.m., La Tradizione, Cipro station
Next it's off to Panificio Bonci, Gabriele's bread-and-pastry outpost. It's where Romans flock daily to buy loaves of his naturally leavened bread, and where I begin to doubt my ability to consume more carbs. We order pizza con la porchetta, a sandwich of flatbread, roasted pork, and crispy pork skin, and a paper bag of ciambelline, sugar-dusted cookies to dip in wine sold by the cup.
4:55 p.m., Birra+, Pigneto neighborhood
Thirsty, we Uber out to Pigneto, a neighborhood of artists. "This is where, when all is said and done, I go to get a beer," Katie says. There are robot murals, and graphic posters for counterculture block parties. We're the first to arrive at Birra+, a garage-like space serving a global beer list with plenty of local options. Over Italian wheat beers from craft brewery Pontino, I ask the obvious: How does she do this every day? It's a juggling act, she says, one that she manages by eating at home at least twice a week and accepting that "sometimes I just don't want gelato."