Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rome, 1st Installation.

Hi friends, I am a bit intimidated to recap our trip to Italy. I had ambitious plans to lock myself in the house during Memorial Day weekend and edit all of my photos to make a blurb coffee table book, but it remains on my to do list.

Since eating is one of my favorite things in life, let me share a few Rome dining recommendations. On our walk from the train station to our hotel, we passed a modern/French decor inspired restaurant. I mentally noted the location, but thought we're in Italy, let's just eat at the mom and pop, red-checkered-table-cloth-with-garlic-cloves-hanging-from-the-ceiling restaurant. BUT atmosphere is almost as important to me as flavor and I would be pleased if they just served me wine and bread! Take a look...

The food wasn't too shabby either
Before our trip, I emailed an Art History professor who has been traveling back and forth to Italy for 20+ years. I asked him for dining recommendations that I will gladly share if you are planning an upcoming trip. Read below.

The sights are endless, as you know. There is a saying among the Romans, even a lifetime is not enough (to see everything). Since you have the Vatican covered (the Museums, then Saint Peter's) you'll need some antiquities to balance things out. the Pantheon, Colosseum, and if you have time, the Roman Forum and Palatine hill. (Bring a hat since the sun can be very strong.) Both the Piazza Navona and nearby the Piazza of the Pantheon are good places to sit and get some refreshment. If you are interested in Baroque churches and decoration, there is a very nice one in Piazza Navona (Sant'Agnese) and both Sant'Ignazio (near the Pantheon) and the Gesù (see below) are not to be missed for their illusionistic painted ceilings. Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is a bit out of the way in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (not far from the train station). Then there's shopping. Make a point of going to the Spanish Steps and roam around the nearby streets, including the Via Condotti (shopping heaven).

Here are some restaurants you will find interesting. I have also noted their general locations in terms of nearby monuments. I hope this helps.

Vecchia Roma
Piazza Campitelli
This is in the historic Jewish Ghetto in the same piazza as the Baroque church of Santa Maria in Campitelli (very nice). You can sit outside under umbrellas and the food is very good, pricey though depending on what you order.
Via Borgognona, 11
Telephone: 06.6795676
I think they are closed on Sunday; very good Tuscan food; only indoors
Near the Spanish Steps and the Via Condotti where you will find Prada, Bulgari, etc.
Ristorante Archimede
Piazza Caprettari, 63
Telephone: 06.6861616
Near the Pantehon; sit outdoors
I don't know which day they are closed, if any

Piazza dei Ricci
sit outdoors

For lunch you might want to explore the joys of Neapolitan pizza at
Rosso Pomodoro
Largo di Torre Argentina, 1 located in an area with lots of ancient ruins, not far from the Pantehon. (The main street that passes the Largo Argentina leads in one direction to the Vatican and in the other to Piazza Venezia. The big church you see in that direction from Largo Argentina is the Gesù. At Piazza Venezia you see the monument to united Italy, dedicated to the first king, Victor Emmanuel (called by the Romans the Wedding Cake) and behind it the historical Capitoline hill on Michelangelo's design and with two museums full of antiquities. From Piazza Venezia the Via del Corso branches out in one direction (north) and in the other the broad road leading to the Colosseum, skirting the Wedding Cake to the left.

Another lunch place which is very cute and inexpensive (12 Euro fixed price for lunch, but for dinner the prices are normal). I think they are closed on Sunday.
La TavernettaVia degli Spagnoli, 48
Telephone: 06.68192591
This place is tucked away on a quiet street not far from the Pantheon. With your back to the Pantheon walk into the next piazza with the Church of the Maddalena (very elaborate late Baroque facade and decoration on the inside); continue past the piazza and turn left on the Via delle Coppelle, then second right. You will pass two restaurants as you enter another piazza (they are popular and you may want to stop there), but the Via degli Spagnoli is straight ahead.

From his list of recommendations, we ate lunch at Rosso Pomodoro. At the end of our trip we decided it was our favorite pizza and caprese salad (I ordered this salad about 12 times during our 13 day trip because mozzarella actually has flavor in Italia. If you're curious, I gained 4 pounds on this trip)

I hope this post is helpful. If you have Rome recommendations, share below. Who knows when we'll be going back!


jennifer little said...

mouth is watering.

Gabby said...

My husband and I just got back from a trip to Rome/Pompei/Capri/Amalfi - we spent the longest time in Rome though. We stayed at the Sofitel Borghese near the Spanish Steps. I loved the Steps but Piazza Navona was our favorite place - we kept going back there for the people-watching! We packed our days full with the Coliseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, Villa Bhorgese and the Vatican and we walked EVERYWHERE. We even walked from Spanish Steps over to train station, then down to Coliseum and up through the Jewish Ghetto to Castel St. Angelo. We were INSANE. But I didn't gain any weight so I guess I should take my blisters and not complain;) I would highly recommend that anyone who comes to Rome for their first time NOT over schedule themselves! I had a mini meltdown on the 4th day after we fell behind on our itinerary by an hour (I chalk it up to the fact that Roman cafe lattes do not come in a venti!) Anyway, I love your blog and was excited to see you would be going to Italy around the same time as me. We will definitely go back!

Jenna said...

The pizza looks SO good - it's making me drool just looking at it! Haven't made it to Rome yet, but am hoping to get their in the next year or two!



My Rome recommendation is watch where you sit. I fell through a chair in a restaurant. This was right after I almost got arrested at the Pantheon.

The table and ceiling at the restaurant in your pictures up top make me drool.

Emily said...

I could live in Rome, I loved it every time I went! And that dollop of mozzarella looks delicious...

Heidi said...

I found your blog thru some barn door photos that came from here that are pinned on pinterest ~ enjoyed your photos of Rome. We were in Spain last summer and am aching to go back to Europe. 14 days and only 4 lbs. that is actually good ~ I am sure all the walking kept it at bay! That is the European diet really, walking up and down hundreds of stairs everyday!