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Et Tu, Tom? The Maitais Take a Stab At Rome For Christmas

Et Tu, Tom? The Maitais Take a Stab At Rome For Christmas

Old Jun 20th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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If you can, spend a night or two in Orvieto. It is very special.It's just an hour train ride from Rome.

We've been to Rome several times in December and it is lovely then- all the Nativity scenes in every church and store, the streets decorated with white lights, and lots of special music performances.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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" Any restaurant recommendations for Christmas Eve, Christmas and the night after Christmas would be helpful. I am scouring the Internet..."

Almost every restaurant on my Christmas/New Year's list is mentioned somewhere on the internet. Some sources are particularly trustworthy. Depending on your taste and budget, I'm sure you will find plenty to please you and the family. Hotel restaurants tend to be open and Rome offers a few goodies. Many ethnic restaurants are open, including popular ones in Rome's Jewish center. Some Italian families like to eat out on holidays and a few traditional spots are open. Some specific holiday choices require reservations quite far in advance simply because the choices are much fewer and tourism remains high at Christmas. New Year's in Rome and Venice also requires advance planning and a cash deposit is not out of the ordinary.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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I can't offer much Tom since I've only been in Roma a week or two before Christmas and not on the day... but I will say, even though it's months away, I'll look forward to one of your always colorful trip reports! We're driving a lot of Italy in less than two weeks and your tips about the car you killed are ingrained in my mind!
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Dayle, if the weather cooperates, we'll give it a try.

Saraho, Orvieto is looking like a go for a day trip.

NYCTS - thanks for your insight. I will look into getting early reservations on the holiday evenings.

Michael, just repeat, "Put the correct petrol in the car. Pull up on the ring for reverse." Have a great time.

In Trastevere, I was wondering about a few restaurants; Checco er Carettiere, Antica Pesa and Ristorante Paris as nice places to dine. I will look back through posts on "Restaurants in Rome" threads, too.

Thanks.

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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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Tom, I don't know for Christmas, but last New Year's Eve, the woman who owns/runs (?) Ristorante Montevecchio told us she's open New Year's Eve. We were going to Assisi that night, so couldn't have made it.

I wanted very much to try Le Mani in Pasta in Trastevere last year but again, too many places, to little time.

Have a great trip! I love Rome during the holidays. You will get to see La Befana and all the presepi.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Leely, the miracle of youtube now takes you to Le Mani in Pasta for a couple of minutes. Thanks for the suggestion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOdjP3skHuQ
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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Tom is it just you and Tracy or are you bringing your usual entourage? Are you staying in an apartment?
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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Well now I'm hungry. Cool, thanks.

For upscale but not outrageous, we enjoyed Antico Arco (take a cab). Also loved Checchino dal 1887 (cab). Again, I don't know what the holiday closings are. These were open but we didn't arrive until the 27th.

I can't corral my family into a Roman Christmas unless I pay for them all. So I suppose I have to hit the jackpot soon. Or just live vicariously via trip reports here.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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"Tom is it just you and Tracy or are you bringing your usual entourage? Are you staying in an apartment?"

Looks like just the two of us on this trip, but you never know with us who might show up. We are staying at a little hotel called San Francesco in Trastevere that I just read about the other night. We loved Paris at Christmas, so we really are looking forward to witnessing Rome during the holiday season. I have already stocked up on my Magic Cream.

The sad part of it all is that today I am still working on completing the photo portion to my blog from last year's trip to Central Europe (then make a video of it) and have yet to write my Washington DC trip report from last month. A few Limoncello martinis should spur me on. I am lucky. Life is good!

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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Ristorante Paris (http://www.ristoranteparis.com/) is one of my favorites. They're closed Sunday/Monday/August so you might get lucky. I love the ambiance and the cucina. I like their website, too.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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Tom, I'm currently postmg installments to my trip report (btw, you are quoted a few times as I was somewhat following your steps) where I describe my experience of Hadrian's Villa under the opprsive heat of May (over 35ºC) so Christmastime might be the only really good time to visit.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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We'll be back again this year, we missed last Christmas, but it looked like the weather was pretty bad.

The restaurant at Montevecchio is very good, we normally stay in an apartment next to it, but not this year.

If you are looking for something great to do on Christmas Eve, go to the midnight mass at the Pantheon. We'll be there.

If you are there for New Years Eve, go up to Piazza Campidoglio and go behind Palazzo Senatorio for a great view. If you get there around 10 or maybe 10:30 you can usually get a seat on the wall or next to the fence. I would advise against going down into the mass of bodies on Imperiali. A couple of years ago they set off the fireworks from the top of Trajan's Market. I've got some amazing photos.

dave
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Ristorante Paris looks terrific. The Gnocchi with Fontina Valdostana cheese is calling my name.

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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:22 PM
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Hi maitaitom
I stayed at the Hotel San Francesco several years ago for three nights. I was returning to Rome at the end of a trip, and we couldn't get rooms in our original hotel (Nicolas Inns) so we stayed in Trastevere at the San Francesco.

It was nice! It was June, so the rooftop bar, with its great views, was open (you would have liked it, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding a drink somewhere else!). The breakfast buffet was immense. A little garden is off the breakfast room. The lobby and public areas were bright, but our room was a bit dark. Huge bright bathroom, however.

There is a monastery next door (San Francesco, fancy that!), and it's just a block or so to lots of restaurants. We found a little print shop down the street with a young artist we liked, and had fun shopping there.

The last couple of nights I was there by myself, and felt perfectly comfortable. (My reason for this last comment: From reading your remarks, sounds as if you may end up getting deported for some transgression, so if your wife wants to stay on to finish the trip, she'll be quite happy at the San Francesco!)

Enjoy.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Here is the website of the San Francesco in case anyone is interested in joining the maitais:
http://www.hotelsanfrancesco.net/
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Tom, for "out of the ordinary" tourist experiences, I can highly recommend Sancto Spririto and Ospitel Oftalmico.

Of course, the fact that they are Roman hospitals might not make them your choice.

Those were my only two "discoveries" on my last trip (no pun intended), when I tumbled face first onto the cobblestones in Vatican City.

I have been thinking of doing Rome for Christmas, also. But I think it's going to end up being April now.

Have a wonderful time! I am already looking forward to your trip report (not to mention still anxiously awaiting the DC one!)

Buon viaggio!

Paula
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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annabelle, thanks for the info on the San Francesco. Hopefully we will both make it all the way through.

sarge, I read about your plight and will make proper precautions to stay away from those two places.

If anyone has any other favorite restaurants or sights we should see, they are all appreciated.

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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 08:23 PM
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Tom, where all did you go in terms of sights the last few trips to Rome? I have been several times as well and each trip manage to discover new favorites--only to find out that every person on Fodor's has been visiting them since she/he was 9 years old.

In any case, last winter I finally made it to Palazzo Barberini and the Doria Pamphilj. I loved them both. Hit many, many churches I had missed on past visits, including Gesu and Santa Maria del Popolo. Went to some smaller exhibits, including a photography show about Italian immigrants going through Ellis Island--this was in Trastevere (just happened to wander by and so ducked in). Also a painting and photography exhibit in the little gallery in San Salvatore in Lauro. Just having time to hit the smaller spots was a joy.

Search for Mademoiselle Fifi's recent trip report on Rome and Milan. She always seeks out a few idiosyncratic spots.

I still have a long, long list of places I want to visit in Rome. I'm sure even at Maitai pace you won't get through half of what you'd like to see. After all, one needs time to relax, sip wine and dine well.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 09:16 PM
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The Villa Farnesina for frescoes by Raphael and others. (It's conveniently located in Trastevere.)

Palazzo Farnese for architecture by Michelangelo and others and frescoes by the Caracci. It's the French Embassy, and tours are given in French or Italian. You have to reserve well in advance:
http://www.ambafrance-it.org/spip.php?article414

Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura. It includes an early Christian church, a catacomb and the round mausoleum of Santa Costanza, decorated with "Christian" mosaics that look quite pagan.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 09:40 PM
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Maitaitom, As fellow Protestants we will keep a look out for you in Rome at Christmas. The girls and I arrive from several days in Orvieto on Christmas eve, with DH arriving on Christmas morning (from Australia via Hong Kong and Zurich). We too are looking for places to eat for those couple of days - following all advice carefully myself. (We were last in Rome fopr Christmas in 1980.... and this is our first trip back since then!)
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