Rome backwards?

Old Feb 29th, 2012, 10:17 PM
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Rome backwards?

I am finishing up a long "post-cancer/mental health" trip with just a few days in Rome, mid-April. At a younger age I scoured the city for every possible piece of art and architecture that I could find (about all I could afford on a student budget). This time, however, I'm more into the heart of the city, the bustle, the noise, and of course, the food!! I want to eat well -- I'd like one very good meal, but otherwise just fresh good, non-tourist food.

So the reason I say backwards is that I would like to pick the things to do and places to eat first -- and then I will find a small friendly hotel in that general area.

It sounds like some of you are real pro's at Italy, so I would greatly appreciate any ideas and input you might have, as to food and shopping and also food tours. I'm not rich (especially after cancer treatments!), but this will be the bang-up end to a once in a lifetime trip so your ideas are greatly appreciated!

TF
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Old Feb 29th, 2012, 11:49 PM
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A few things that may be useful, whilst also helping keep the costs down....

Perhaps get a used copy of the first edition of this lovely book of personal favourites, collected mostly from the city's foreign residents - rather than its more thorough, but much larger recent update...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/189...F8&me=&seller=

But, for more up-to-date opening times and current what's-on information, then pair that with the handy free magazine given away in hotels etc, "A guest in Rome". They've a website from where you can download a version in PDF format: start here, and click on the picture of its cover, over to the right of the screen:

http://www.unospitearoma.it/en.html

(New editions usually arrive within a day or two of the start of each month!)

There's an interesting selection of 50 or so restaurants specialising in Rome's traditional cuisine (but, as it's from 2004, and covers all price ranges, do crosscheck!) in this leaflet...

http://www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/71.pdf

And maybe these, for our visits, will trigger a few memories - or introduce you to some new places...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/lazio

Peter
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 07:46 PM
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Thank you so much! Can any of these be broken down to an area for choosing a hotel?

One big splurge $125 pp or so, is doable -- where would you go? (In France I go for lunch at half the price -- does that work in Rome too?)

Many thanks!

TF
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:24 PM
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I heartily endorse your idea of picking restaurants first and lodgings second.

You might find it useful to peruse the Chowhound message board for Italy and read the various (very strong) opinions about which neighborhoods are best for finding a welcoming every-day place to eat.

It will really be worth your while to learn to use Rome's bus and metro system.

I think for myself, for food and atmosphere, I would pick the area around Teatro Marcello/Portico d'Ottavia/the old Jewish Quarter, but others might pick Monti, or other areas of the city. If you are thinking of something less antique than upscale, around the via Margutta/via del Corso might work for you if you can get some good advice about restaurants over there.

David Downie's books on Rome might intrigue you. They are available from Amazon.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 08:36 PM
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Both of my best meals in Rome were off of Piazza Barberini at Colline Emiliane and Tullio.

Enjoy your trip and congrats on your well deserved trip!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 01:14 AM
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On a re-read, this may be an egg-sucking lesson, but....

Most restaurants in that leaflet offer a brief "where we are" - (Colosseo area), (Tiburtina area), (Pantheon area) etc - which match how hotels are classified on one site or another?

But it could be simpler just to look them up on TripAdvisor, where many entries have a zoomable location map. For example: Hostaria da Nerone, Via delle terme di Tito 96 - 00184 (Colosseo area)

and...

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaur...ome_Lazio.html

Do watch for mispostings - in this instance a pizzeria with a similar name sometimes gets their comments, and vice versa!

Peter
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Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 02:22 AM
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One other thing to consider is regionality (if that's a word?).... since it's not simply "Italian food" - instead the cuisine varies from place to place: mostly profoundly by region, but right down to individual village and suburb.

You'll find that most of the regions represented in Rome, with restaurants where chefs sticking fiercely to the ingredients, recipes and perhaps wines of their "home" area - as, it seems, Emilia–Romagna and Tuscany are, at two of those named in an earlier post!

It's a good way to explore foodwise, without the need to do all the travelling - and doubtless also appreciated by the 30+% of the city's population whose families moved there from further afield.

I've searched without any great success for a good piece on the food traditions of the city or province of Rome - and you might try the tourism website's offering:

http://www.turismoroma.it/cosa-fare-...ngiare?lang=en

.... although you may get more of an idea of the local variations from this leaflet produced by Latina - the province immediately to the south, also part of the Lazio region:

http://www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/180.pdf

However I couldn't but save myself a copy of this - from Rome's Chamber of Commerce. Not in English, but sometimes menus aren't either...
http://www.interzona.it/pdf/ilgustodiroma.pdf

So choosing quite where to eat the food of will perhaps be another aspect of your decisions?

...........................................

We like to do our own wanderings, but there are various food and shopping tours - here's what one rather upmarket apartment suggests:

http://www.casamanni.com/cms/assets/downloads/food.pdf

The area around the Campo de' Fiori, as mentioned in that, is where we've been staying for several years now; good selection of restaurants immediately to hand, only a short walk to the Ghetto or - across the Ponte Sisto bridge - parts of Trastevere.... plus of course the lively market itself:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/fiori_11_11

We've used the first three of these nearby hotels, but I'd be equally OK recommending the others...

http://www.smeraldoroma.com/

http://www.hotelteatrodipompeo.it/

http://www.hotelpontesisto.it/

http://www.hotelcampodefiori.com/

http://www.hotel-centre-rome.com/

Not quite in price order, but close!

If $125 is 95 Euro, that's out of our league but - at a more affordable level - here's somewhere we like...

http://www.lapollarola.it/

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaur...ome_Lazio.html

... and a fairly typical bill from our winter visits, with my favourite pick of their seasonal dishes....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/141854932

Peter
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