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Bells, Balls and a Basilica – Cooking in Abruzzo; Eating & Drinking In Rome

Bells, Balls and a Basilica – Cooking in Abruzzo; Eating & Drinking In Rome

Old Dec 13th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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Weekender...

It will be money well spent! ;-)

Have a wonderful time, April should be a delightful time to be in Rome.
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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LCI - Thanks so much for your response. I agree - I love the Paris bus system website. I printed out all of my routes in advance and it made moving around Paris very easy. I always stress when using Rome buses because I'm never confident of where I am, or where to get off. That's part of the adventure, I guess. Thanks again for your insight!
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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bab....My pleasure, I hope my experience can help you a little bit! I did the same thing in Paris, I must have had 8 or 10 routes we used alot and always carried the route map with me, they were so dog-eared by the end our one week! ;-)
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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If anyone is interested in seeing some photos from this trip here is a link to my Shutterfly share website. This link should take you right to the album for this trip. There are 182 photos, the first 100 are from our time in Abruzzo the remainder from Rome.

https://marcysviewoftheworld.shutter.../pictures/1209
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Great trip report! I also did a wine tasting at Roscholi's. The apt I rented was very close by.

If you're interested in 3.0, let me know. I'm coordinating it.
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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johnny...would love to hear your impressions of your Roscioli tasting. Have you done a tasting at VinoRoma?

What are the dates for Abruzzo 3.0? I've already got some other trips "in the works", so would need to figure out logistics.
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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I have done a tasting at Vino Roma, We were at the very last Sparkling Saturday. I enjoyed Handes' style and learned some things about wine tasting. I found her very approachable. I will do another tasting with her.

The tasting at Roscholi's was more of a one man show. I thought he was entertaining, but I really did not learn much. Plus my tasting was dominated by people who were experts (in their own minds) in Italian wines.

No definite date yet, But we talked about the fall for the olive harvest.
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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johnny...

Sounds like we had a very similar Roscioli experience. It was not my favorite activity of our trip. I agree with you about Hande's approachability. If you are on twitter she (Hande) is very active under the @VinoRoma twitter handle. She posts very interesting wine-related articles among other things, that is one of the ways I continue to keep in touch with her.

I'll keep the fall in mind for Abruzzo 3.0, I'm also considering Torino in fall 2014 but that isn't a firm plan, just mulling it over at this point. I'm heading to Sicily in Feb/March 2014, so my vacation days are dwindling!
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Alessandro was amusing with his stories, but I can't say I really learned anything. I thought a lot of the experience was lost in the busy-ness of the group.

I know what you mean about vacation days, I'm looking at the Almalfi Coast in May with my Italian teacher. And then back to Rome and Abruzzo in the fall
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Old Dec 13th, 2013, 04:47 PM
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Weekender, you are making me so jealous. Dying to throw back a little Prosecco from the roof top bar at Albergo del Senato!
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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Question about Frascati -- are you able to walk easily from the train into town?
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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Loved the photos, LCI. Sighing for Italy, TDu.
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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jmct714...

Very good question, one I should have asked when I booked the vineyard tour. Not necessarily for me, but my mom.

The station is not far at all from the center of town, but there is a fairly long set of stairs you have to climb up to get to the main part of town. At the train station there are stairs from the platform into the station (there may be a ramp for that, I don't remember) but there is no way getting around walking up the stairs from the front of the station to the center of town. My mom was able to walk both up and down the stairs, but we took it slowly, if I had to guess, there are probably 50 (or so) stairs. An alternative could be to arrange a taxi, if stairs would be a problem. If not, you could easily get from the station to the center of town in 10 minutes (maybe less if you are quick, we are not always quick!) ;-)

TDudette...thanks! Fortunately we won't have Italy "withdrawal" for very long...we're hitting the road again at the end of February for 2 weeks in Sicily!
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for that info, very helpful.

Your mom is a trooper!
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Old Dec 16th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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jmct....yes, she is and she always reminds me of that! ;-)
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Old Dec 18th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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LCI - I really enjoyed this report and your photos! While I stayed at the del Senato on my 2011 trip to Rome, in April 2014, I'm trying Trastevere (Hotel Santa Maria) to get a different flavor of Rome (though I will truly miss the rooftop lounge at the del Senato!). I hope to try your two new restaurants in Prati - Romeo and Sorpasso! One question, for dinner reservations - did you make the reservations in advance before your travel, or just a few days beforehand?

I found my local small wine shop in western NC could special order wine, and today I picked up some bottles of Franciacorta Ferghettina Brut! Definitely looking forward to sampling with some friends over the holidays!

Also, past reports mentioned Gabs Bags ... were you tempted on this trip? Do you recall if there is a specific store selling the bags in Rome?

Again, great TR! Janet
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Old Dec 18th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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Hi Janet...

We loved Romeo & Sorpasso and hope you do to! I've done restaurant bookings both ways (prior to arrival and while there). For this trip I asked the staff at the del Senato to make the dinner reservations for me, I sent the request email to them about 2 weeks prior to our arrival. Either way has worked for me. If I have certain activities on our agenda for a specific day and I know of a restaurant in that area that we want to try I will usually book that prior to arriving. If we have a few days with a looser agenda I tend to play things by ear.

I am thrilled you found a Franciacorta supplier! Have you had it before? If you enjoy sparkling wines I think you will enjoy this!

Yes, I couldn't resist my urge to purchase another Gabs Bag (this was #3 for me!) This one is lovely shades of dark green, perfect for winter time use! We have seen them at a few stores in Rome, but sometimes you have to really be on the look-out. I have purchased all of mine at a shop called Flacco (they have other brands there too). I don't have the shop address, but it is on Via dei Due Macelli between Via di Capo le Case and Via del Tritone. If you use the #117 or #119 electric buses there is a stop right in front of this shop on Via dei Due Macelli.
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Old Dec 20th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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LCI -Thanks for the information on restaurant dinner reservations! Think I'll test my hotel a few weeks before arrival to see if they'll make mine. Some places I'd like to try will be for a late lunch. I assume reservations aren't needed then, right? Also, thanks for the store name for the bags - I've got Flacco on my itinerary! Janet
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Old Dec 20th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Janet,

I'm not much help when it comes to lunch reservation knowledge. Typically we don't do a "big" sit down lunch, many times we just grab a drink or something quick. Romeo was an exception, since we decided to go there on the spur of the moment and we did not have a reservation there, just walked in at about 1:30pm on a weekday and we had our pick of seats. In Frascati we did have a reservation (made by Dominique from the Old Minardi Farmhouse winery) but probably would have been fine walking in off the street on our own without a reservation. Weekends may be different.

I'd say if it's a busy time of year when you are there (Easter week or other holiday when Rome will be "busting" with tourists) it's better to go with booking a reservation, even at lunch. It's my opinion the restaurant appreciates knowing in advance how many diners to expect. But I have family in the food & beverage business, so I may feel differently about that than others do.
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Old Dec 20th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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LCI - I do plan on meeting friends for a few dinners (their first visit to Rome), so will make advance reservations for those meals. The balance of my visit will be solo, and I'm used to having my main meal at a late lunch seating. As I will leave Rome the week before Easter, I'm hoping the timing means I'm safe in having that meal at some of the trattorias/tavernas ... hopefully without a reservation. Though I will have a mobile phone with me (fingers crossed it works with the TIM card I bought!) so I can call a few hours ahead to be sure. Of course, if I find the city mobbed, I'll be on the mobile making the lunch reservations! Janet
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