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Italy Holiday Reports

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Just a shout out to all who have asked for Christmas and New Year holiday recommendations for Italy this year to POST BACK about your experiences when you return! Will be a great help to the folks next year.

Have a lovely and delicious holiday season.

ps - for those in Rome, the very expensive pannetone at Pannelle L'Arte del Pane on Via Merulana 54/55 is also very delicious and beautifully wrapped -a great gift when you are homeward bound.

Some other sources for delicious food gifts, in just one nabe, Testaccio - Volpetti, on Via Marmorata in Testaccio, also with some great pannetone, wonderful Sardinian torrone and many other fancy foods (watch out for USDA import restrictions in making your meat and cheese choices, though), a little store across the street from Volpetti Piu (on the side street adjacent to the Vopetti store) sells liqueurs, including the elusive red alchermes - I was taken with how beautifully the clerks were wrapping their merchandise, a very nice wine store around the corner from there and facing the Testaccio Market - great selection (if you get there early enough) of spumantes for your celebration). I will post later the name of the unpretentios bakery nearby which sells a great selection of marzipan as well as regional breads from the castelli and the rare pan giallo and panpepato (primative fruitcakes of the region)

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  1. @jen kalb - thanks for these recommendations, I'm leaving for Rome tomorrow. Do you have a reco for a good bakery in the Pantheon area for cornetto or other morning fare? Thanks.

    5 Replies
    1. re: livetotravel

      Id bet you can get them at St. Eustachio or Tazza d'Oro with some of their coffee, but Ive never been around there in the am. Have a wonderful trip!

      There is also a Sardinian store on one of the streets behind the pantheon which looked interesting and I wanted to check out - will try to find that reference too when I check the Testaccio bakery recc.

      1. re: jen kalb

        Thank you - both are near our hotel.

      2. re: livetotravel

        Today's NY Times online has a 36 hours in Rome article.

        1. re: lissy

          Thanks for the heads-up on this article. I had Bruni's restaurant reco's from his trip to Rome a couple of months ago (he blogged about them in Diner's Journal) - but I missed this completely!

        2. re: livetotravel

          cornetto et al. Camillioni di Sant’Eustachio. ✉Piazza di S. Eustachio 54 (also ice cream and pastries)across the street from Caffe Sant’Eustachio, bigger, less crowded, and cheaper, and for regular espresso, just as good.

        3. The name of the bakery in Testaccio is Passi located at Via Maestro Giorgio 87, a block or two toward the river from the covered market.

          1. A block away on Via Ginori is pasticceria del Nista, run by a family I know. Nothing pretentious, just good traditional Roman desserts. While not a Christmas specialty, their torta mimosa is fantastic. Jen is the wine shop you mentioned "Palombi" or the other one on the corner, whose name I can't remember?

            3 Replies
            1. re: bropaul

              It could be Palombi - its mid-block, not on a corner, a fairly long storefront. Has fancy stuff other than wine in there too. From looking on a map, think its on Via Luca Della Robbia. the Passi bakery I mentioned (now that Ive pulled a map) is on the corner of Via Mastro Giorgio and Via Vanvitelli. Neither worth traipsing all over Rome to visit, but very nice in a cluster with Volpetti (which IS worth a special trip)and the market area. I would warn about Volpetti - it is a madhouse during the holidays - try not to go in there on a holiday eve like I did on my last visit, or you will be extremely frustrated.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Must be Palombi, which is mid-block, right across from the market. It also has a lot of specialty items, including international foods. I loved going to Passi - what a madhouse in the mornings!

                1. re: bropaul

                  Definitely a madhouse but they were always friendly and patient.
                  Thanks for confirming my recollections.The last time I was in Testaccio, a couple of years ago now, I had a funny experience in the market - I was looking for Roman mint, which i had seen before but never cooked with, and finally after looking all around, I found a lady who had a bunch. Well, she asked me what I was using it for (I said with zucchini) and wouldnt sell it to me!!!

            2. Hi - see this thread for our recent trip report
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/321832

              Also - the best cappuccino and cornetto we had was at Tazza d'Oro - thanks for the tips!