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Anyone want to weigh in on our Rome restaurant options/itinerary?

Anyone want to weigh in on our Rome restaurant options/itinerary?

Sep 12th, 2013, 01:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
Anyone want to weigh in on our Rome restaurant options/itinerary?

I'll be in Rome in a few weeks with my parents who are in their mid-70s. We have three days together and I intend to eat! I'm a little worried about wearing my folks out with my obsessive and perhaps excessive scheduling, so I would love a reality check and/or suggestions. We're staying near the Spanish Steps, so I'm also conscious of travel times (we are likely to take taxis unless it's really close). What do you think? Am I trying to pack too much in? Should we skip Cesare al Casaletto and just grab slices of pizza at Pizzarium?

Also, I will be in Rome for one more day without them, so if anyone has any ideas about good places for solo diners, let me know. I'd love to try something in Testaccio . . . .

Day 1 -
lunch at L'Asino D'Oro at 1 p.m.
(3 p.m. tour that starts near the Colosseo)
dinner at Armando al Pantheon at 8:30 p.m.

Day 2 -
(Vatican tour in the morning)
lunch at Cesare al Casaletto at 1:30 p.m.
(early evening architecture tour that ends near Trevi Fountain)
dinner at Nino at 9 p.m.

Day 3 -
morning food tour & lunch
dinner at La Gensola at 9 p.m.
txtree is offline  
Sep 12th, 2013, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,121
Our entire family is foodies, and we've been to Rome a number of times, so I can understand your desire to get in lots of good eats.

However, your restaurants seem to be a bit spread out from your activities your hotel. Even with taking taxis, you'll be spending quite a bit of time shuttling around Rome. And the streets are generally pretty backed up with traffic, so anywhere you go could take more time than you expect. Add in two folks who are in their mid-70s, and just seems like a bigger drain of time and energy than those restaurants might be worth.

When we travel, we do go to restaurants that are not real close by, but they are almost always closer to where we will be than your restaurants are. And we like to walk, so we can control our travel time (possibly not an option for you on this trip).

And re Pizzarium, note that it's not a sit-down place, so you'll buy your slices and find somewhere on the street to eat them. (both DH and I prefer Naples-style pizza, so this was not our favorite).
Lexma90 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,143
I can give La Gensola a thumbs up!

If you want to take a look at restaurants by neighborhood, Eat Rome app will let you sort by hood and it s very helpful. The author/designer does food tours in Rome which are great and her app is also top notch.
denisea is offline  
Sep 12th, 2013, 05:26 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,525
That would be too much eating for me, and I am pretty food-focused when I visit Rome. AbouT five years ago I spent Christmas/New Year's in Rome with my mom and aunt; they are late 60s/early 70s. We taxi'd to and from restaurants that were far from our apartment. Luckily there was a taxi rank quite near where we were staying.

Really enjoyed Asino d'Oro in 2011 and Armado del Pantheon in 2005 and 2007, but haven't visited either more recently. As for your solo night, I think anywhere would be good but I always make a revelation whn I'm dining alone. I have liked Checchino dal 1887 (specifically the carciofi, the oxtail and the cheese cart) for traditional Roman fare in a calm environment, but it has been a few years.

There is pleasant little wine shop/resto on via Ripetta with good food. That's not too far from the Spanish Steps but I cannot recall the name. Maybe someone here remembers. It's more of a wine shop.
Leely2 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2013, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Have you discussed this with your parents.

70s can be very different - but this seems like a lot to me - a lot of eating (do they normally eat 2 large meals per day) and a lot of sightseeing - and not much cafe sitting or just relaxing and enjoying Rome.
I would ask them a lot of questions and determine their current level of activity to be sure you aren;t exhausing them
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 12th, 2013, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,113
Buca di Ripetta?

Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
I concur this may be too much eating, particularly for older people. My spouse and I have learned that one large lunch around 2 or so and then a treat at tea time or later works better for us. Otherwise, we just feel stuffed all the time.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 07:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
Thanks, everyone. I talked to my parents last night - they are excited for it, although we'll obviously have to keep an eye on energy levels. They aren't really caffe sitters or wanderers, which is why we're chock-a-block with tours. I have found when traveling with them that it's really good to have a plan. I went to Barcelona with them two years ago and I made reservations for only a few meals and activities, but that was tough because we fell apart during the unscheduled periods; lots of indecision and "we'll do whatever you want". The same when I'm traveling with my kids - a (flexible) schedule definitely helps (though with the kids, they need much more down time).

I used the Eat Rome app to help plan the above. The two restaurants that are far away from our tours/hotel are Cesare al Casaletto and La Gensola. The first is actually not too far from the Vatican, which is where our morning tour is, and it's close to where I lived when I was in college. But it will be a haul to get back to our hotel so if I were going to cut any restaurant, that would be the one (although it's the restaurant I really want to try - maybe I save it for Saturday). I'm less concerned about the shlep to Trastevere for La Gensola, although for that I wonder if we'll be hungry after the food tour.

Buca di Ripetta could be a good option. It's definitely close to our hotel. The wine shop/restaurant near the SS could be Palatium (it's not on via Ripetta though)?

Maybe revised itinerary is:

Day 1 -
lunch at L'Asino D'Oro at 1 p.m.
(3 p.m. tour that starts near the Colosseo)
dinner at Armando al Pantheon at 8:30 p.m.

Day 2 -
(Vatican tour in the morning)
lunch at Buca di Ripetta or Pizzarium or Palatium?
(early evening architecture tour that ends near Trevi Fountain)
dinner at La Gensola at 9 p.m.

Day 3 -
morning food tour & lunch

Day 4 (solo)
dinner at Cesare al Casaletto?
txtree is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 07:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
p.s., the two meals a day worked out pretty well for us in Barcelona. Coffee for breakfast, proper lunch, dinner mostly of shared plates. We were full but not stuffed. Well, not stuffed until that giant lunch at Cinc Sentits; I regretted that although they were remarkably fine.
txtree is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478

To me, your plan looks pretty good. I've been to all the restaurants you have mentioned above and I was with my mom, who is also in her (early) 70's. Although we tend to go light on our lunches and then enjoy aperitivo and a fairly substantial dinner.

My only comment is regarding Pizzarium (which we love BTW). If you go after the Vatican, yes it is "close" but you may want to view Google maps & street view, because what I thought was a cross street we could take from the Vatican entrance/exit to get to the parallel street we needed to be on to walk to Pizzarium, was a "street" of 80+ stairs. I know the number because my mom was not thrilled with having to walk down all those stairs (she has knee issues).

So, you may want to find an alternate (read: flatter) route if you plan to walk there, or take a taxi which solves the problem. And as mentioned up-thread, there is no sitting area inside Pizzarium. There are some benches outside, but they do fill-up quickly if the place is busy.

And...for Palatium, we had a wonderful dinner there, but do make a reservation, the host who greeted us on the ground floor level was a bit "snooty" but once we were seated in the upstairs dining room the staff could not have been nicer. I've heard mixed reviews of this place from Roman friends who say the host can sometimes be difficult to deal with there. Just a "heads-up" for you and not a deterrent, because the food was wonderful.
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 02:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 515
LowCountry, I just read your trip report. Bologna is on my list big time. Hopefully next year! And your dinner at Palatium sounds great. I think we will give it a try. Thanks!
txtree is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Heads up that L'Asino d'Oro still has a fixed lunch menu so far as I know. No problem for some people, but (just for instance) I don't like veal, tripe or rabbit, all of which I know have appeared on their lunch menus, so if your hotel is nearby, maybe you would prefer to go to dinner there and have choices.
aussieprenzlers is offline  
Sep 13th, 2013, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,478
txtree....we really enjoyed Bologna. Hope my trip reports are helpful to you. My November 2012 Rome trip report has a lot of restaurant information, including the 2 dinners we had at Cesare al Caseletto, in case you want to read about our experience.
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Sep 14th, 2013, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 43
Agree with LowCountryIslander (why not - my guru!!)Trying to find Pizzarium was not that easy from the Vatican but much easier from Ciprio Metro. However you decide to get there, do go - pizza is amazing! Love your choices of L'Asino D'Oro, Armando al Pantheon and Cesare al Casaletto
Caenis is offline  

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