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Why am I so worried about our Rome trip??

Why am I so worried about our Rome trip??

Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 129
Why am I so worried about our Rome trip??

Please tell me it will be ok!
My husband and I only have 9 more days until we leave for Rome...first time to Italy for both of us, but my first time to Europe!
I have made an itinerary of top picks, etc., and have listened to many of the recommendations on here.
I am most worried about restaurant choices! I know everything we go to will probably be wonderful, but I don't want us to get stuck at an overpriced tourist place..and reading recommendations on here seems overwhwelming since we're unfamiliar with where things are!
I'm also worried that we won't see everything we wanted to..since I've seen Rome itineraries on here and we don't have some things listed as others do.
I know Rome wasn't built in a day...lol...maybe this is all just exciting nerves?
We do have the Scavi tour set, and have also requested one through the Vatican, as well as a winery tour in the Chianti region... is that enough?
Oy vey! 9 more days!
Sammygrll is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
I know it all seems very worrisome, but just think of the worst case scenario. You won't go to any restaurant without looking at the menu outside first, so you'll know if its price range is acceptable beforehand.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 195
Trust me, relax. You're going to a foreign land and it's all unknown to you. Rome is one of the coolest, most friendly and overwhelmingly amazing cities in the world. You step out of your hotel, see breathtaking architecture and ruins, you sit and have an espresso or glass of wineas you people watch, you shop or window shop in the chicest stores and on top of that, you get a historical perspective of early European culture and the incredible influence of Rome on modern society . Like Willtravel said, you can always see the menus before you go in. We had some great meals in Rome but as much of a foodie as I am, what I remember the most is sitting in a piazza last June at an outdoor cafe and the bar next to us was playing World Cup on TV - Italy vs. the U.S. and even the most sophisticated diners got up and cheered for Italy and joked with us about the game.

You'll LOVE the Scavi tour, and you won't be able to see everything you want. And when you get back, you'll wonder why you even spent one moment worrying about it and you'll start thinking about when you can go back again. Believe me, I am!

Have a great time!
italy06 is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 376
First, you should always have a map of a city like Rome. Its essential. If you have a good map, it will have a street dictionary, which will tell you where on the map your restaurant address is. Mark the restaurant on the map if you need to.
ps the rough guide maps have restaurant recommendations on them.
If your biggest worry is finding restaurants near where you are, the best guides are those which show their recommendations ON maps.
Sandra Gustafson's is very good for this - she will have quite good recommendations wherever you are in the city of Rome. Her book used to be called Cheap Eats Italy - its now called Good Eats or something else.
The red Michelin Italia also maps its restaurants, but there are too few to be useful.
Ill try to get back on with some specific recommendations by area, but surely you can accumulate some from this site and other like Chowhound, Slowtrav, egullet etc yourself. This site in the city guide part also lists restaurants by area and the recommendations are good and not touristy. Remember, Rome is a big city and mostly NOT a tourist attraction. Most successful restaurants need local patronage and they need good food to get that.
Just stay away from the places near the station with the touts trying to get you to come in and the multi-language menus - they tend to be bad.
jjkbrook is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 36
You will do great. I have all my guide books loaned out, but had one that had top 25 sites to visit in rome is a noble goal and doable in 4 or 5 days. Would also get Rick's book as well as Fodors for eating.

Trattoria der Pallaro is our favorite place. is on a little square in Campo de Fiori area. Is a block south of Corso Vittorio Emanuele down Largo del Chiavari to Largo del Pallaro 15. Is family owned. Reason we like it is no decisions to be made. Is fixed menu. Good basic food at great price. Mama Paola Fazi's picture was in the 2004 or 05 Rick's Italy book. My 2006 is loaned out. We eat there when we can't make another decision of where or what to eat. closed on Monday. opens at 12 and 7:30.

If you get tired of pasta, there is a good chinese place on right side of the Pantheon.

Enjoy your trip. Never pass up a WC and take taxi's to save you feet and get a cheap thrill at the same time.
Cgibson is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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As far as restaurants are concerned - food in Italy (with the exception of Venice ) is almost universally good. Not great (it is in some places) but always good.

It is important to avoid restaurants adjacent to tourist attractions that post gigantic menus in multiple languages (prices too high - and sometimes strange food).

Assuming you want mostly modest meals simply find a place nearby when you're hungry. We always do that for lunch - and often pick dinner places that way (looking at menus posted outside and then going back later). You can get very good food at reasonable prices at family places (the wine comes from uncle X's place and the fresh strawberries from anut Y). Make sure you have a good menu translator - although much Italian food is obvious, since the names are the same as at home.

If you want to sit in Piazza Navonna in the evening DO NOT eat dinner there - but one of the cute places in the sidestreets. Then go for an outdoor table in the piazza for a drink or a gelato.

As for seeing everything - no you won;t. Don;t try - and realize that you can always go back. Be sure to take time for La Dolce Vita. One of our favorites is to sit at one of the cafes across from the Pantheon - which used to - and may still - serve little snacks with their drinks when you relax at 4 to 6pm. Also - there's a church somewhre in the area that does choral reshearsals - we;ve heard several times sitting there. So - a drink, a snack, music and people waching - enjoy and don;t feel you must to rush to EVERY sight.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,134
I say just pick on a few places you must see and let the rest fall into place. I have been to Rome many times and still have only scratched the surface. Don't make yourself such a wreck that you won't enjoy yourself!

Check out some of the restaurants you pick on mappy.com and you will see where they are located. You may have a couple of bad meals but it won't ruin your trip.

Sometimes I think we can overplan. The places you miss this time can be visited on another trip! You will probably travel again in the future! Have fun.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 35,248
I had some less than amazing food in Rome but none of it was lousy. It's not your last meal so just don't worry about it. You can't see it all..why do you think that people keep returning..not only to revisit their favorites but to see the things they couldn't work in the trip before. You are blessed to be able to go, there are people who wish all their lives for a trip to Europe and somehow it never works out for them, so good heaven, stop stressing and just enjoy the heck out of it.
crefloors is online now  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,069
It can be overwhelming if you've read a lot of recommendations, but I'm sure you'll do fine. It sounds like you have some nice things planned, and are leaving time to wander. Which is what you want!

You say that you don't know where all the restaurants are. It would be helpful to divinde the city into smaller areas (Vatican area, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Colliseum) and then write down some of your restaurant choices, their addresses (maybe mark them on a little pocket map?) and their hours. Then if you know you'll be, say, touring the Vatican Museums in the morning and want to have lunch before seeing St. Peter's, you'll know somewhere nearby to go.

Evening special meals can be planned out and reserved a day or more ahead.

Have fun!
Iwan2go is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 129
Thanks for the wonderful tips! My husband and I concider ourselves foodies as well...and that is why I'm so worried...lol
People watching is one of our favorite thinigs to do as well! We love that! Thanks for the tip! I'm sure we'll come across places to just "hang out".
We would like a romantic dinner one night at least..maybe ask our hotel? Any recommendations?
Sammygrll is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 36
sorry forgot to include that the only bad meals we have had in Italy are the expensive ones. Little small places particularly trattoria's are the best places.

Be sure and call you credit cards and tell them you are going to Italy. ATM's work great, but call you bank and tell them where and when and make sure you have 4 digit, ie number, pin code. Don't bother with exchanging money or travelers checks.

Train from airport is easiest way. airport stop in Rome is at what looks like an abandoned station, just walk away from it to find main part and taxis. (is it still that way. We have skipped rome last two trips and haven't used train)
Cgibson is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 129
CGibson...we already have a car picking us up from adn to hotel...yay!
Called banks and CC's...all set!
Also have Euro already!
Planning on packing light as well!
We are staing near the Termini though, so we'll probably take a cab or train to our main destination on each day and wander around!
Thanks for all the info...we are lucky AND blessed to do such a wonderful trip!
Sammygrll is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:27 PM
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Read the new trip report from 'iamq'. It will reassure (and amuse) you. Titled something about surviving Rome w/out a moneybelt!!
suze is online now  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:58 PM
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annhig is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:10 PM
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some of the bad meals I have had are the result of frozen food, there usually (or always) an asterisk * designating the food is not fresh but frozen.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 45
Sammygrll, I am so excited also...we leave for our first trip to Rome in about a month!!
I was just thinking today what fun it will be to submit my very first trip report when we return .
We have our confirmation of the Scavi tour (have you read Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons"?? - like a suspensful, well and bloody, Scavi tour) and have requested the Vatican tour but have had no confirmation.
Do you have the Vatican confirmation? When did you receive it?
Have a great time - and don't forget to write a trip report!
nona50 is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Think of it as 'A trip' not 'THE' trip. You don't HAVE do and eat perfectly every time. If you get a bum meal, there is always the next one to look forward to.
Danna is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 122
Like everyone else said - just relax - you'll have a great time. We went to Italy two years ago - the food and wine were great everywhere. We relied on our hotels and tour guides for recommendations and in a few cases, reservations. Be sure to eat your share of gelato - if you see a Blue Ice gelato shop in Rome - you must buy some - it's the best!
SomewhereOutThere is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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"Please tell me it will be ok!"

It will be more than o.k. It is Rome. It will be great. Not perfect but great and full of wonderful things you didn't even plan.
Vttraveler is online now  
Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 02:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,057
hi, sammygrll,

I diagnose a bad case of PTS - perfect trip syndome!

like danna says, you can't expect all your meals to be perfect - even in a great place you may choose things it turns out you don't like and the samllest place may turn up a gem.

I actually thought that the best food I had last year out of florence, Venice and Rome was in Rome. we didn't make any bookings, and the only bad meal we had was in a restaurant recommended in a guide. the rest varied between good and great. you may find their names under my now ancient trip report.[click on my name and go to the beginning as that was when I started posting here]

look for places without menu translations into japanese, and romans eating there. iamj has some great recommendations in the centre - our apartment was in Monti so we tended to eat round there.

do try to relax - you'll have a much better time!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

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