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Feb 14, 2008 02:43 PM

Restaurants in Rome near Mecenate Palace

Traveling to Rome with my parents the last week of March -- any suggestions near to our hotel, Mecenate Palace, especially ones where my folks can eat earlier than the Rome crowd -- like 7pm ??

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  1. I don't know about 7 pm (I'm part of the Rome crowd, and usually only tourist restaurants are open that early), but Trattoria Monti is very good and very near your hotel. Agata e Romeo, Michelin star, is also very close. But you're pretty well located for anything around Santa Maria Maggiore, via Nazionale, and the station.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbfant

      We have stayed at the Mecenate Palace several times and like its location. There are bus stops in multiple directions, including one directly across from the hotel's front door that goes to the Termini bus station (from which you can travel all over Rome). Another on Via Merulana goes to San Giovanni in Laterano, and still others on Via Cavour go to the Coliseum, or clear across the city.

      As for restaurants, mbfant is correct that it will be hard to find many open restaurants at 7 PM, but 7:45 is not too hard. I am not in the habit of recommending Agata e Romeo (just down the block from Mecenate) due to price or Trattoria Monti because we had a difficult time on 3 trips to find the place open at either lunch or dinner, then found our lunch there to be a great disappointment. There are plenty of other restaurants in the neighborhood, but none you will find highly recommended on this board. Suggest you change your eating habits a bit by having lunch at 1 PM or later and dinner at 8 PM or later. Mecenate has a good buffet breakfast so you can stoke up on that in the morning.

    2. Some restaurants which are "always" open and where you can dine early are Vitti, Dune, Pasquino, have a look on

      1. Thanks -- my folks are in their 70s, which is not old, but with all the walking and touring, I was afraid that my mother -- who will be recovering from her last round of chemo -- will not stay up till 10. Therefore, I have planned what I think sounds like a really nice 5 days, with a day trip to Florence for them. I am thinking about the following:

        First day -- arrive early in am, lunch near hotel at Trattoria Monti and if it is not open, go to Enoteco Corsi, stop by Santa Maria Maggiorre, early evening -- night tour of Rome via car
        Second day -- Afternoon tour of Vatican Museum, St. Peter's & dinner at La Fiametta -- (I'm not a huge eggplant fan, but all of RomeAddict's exhortations makes one NEED to go give it a try!! I can't wait!!)
        Third day -- Wednesday morning Papal Audience (trip of a lifetime for my very Catholic MOM!!) and lunch at Cacio e Pepe near the Vatican, afternoon & evening undecided
        Fourth day -- Borghese gallery & shopping, followed by dinner at Armando al Pantheon
        Fifth day -- Day trip to Florence -- no restaurants selected, but day tour arranged
        Last day in Rome -- Shopping, sites, followed by drinks at the Hassler courtyard, and dinner at the Pierluigi

        How does all that sound???? (If this doesn't make me daughter of the year, I give up!)

        5 Replies
        1. re: PeggyD

          You have Daughter of the Year wrapped up!!! Send Enrico Cammerucci (Mama's in the kichen,he & brother Danieli are in the dining room) at Trattoria Monti a note for your luncheon reservation..they usually open at 1-1:15. Absolutely order the parmesan flan but split it because it's so rich...but heavenly. You must drink their house white Verdicchio...fabulous. See my attached photo of Danieli & my friend, Mary. He's on my cell talking to her cousin in Isernia she had never met telling them to meet her at the train station. He's so much fun! Ask him what pasta to order.
          Ristorante Fiammetta remains my favorite trattoria for outstanding food..everything is delicious! I don't care for eggplant EXCEPT here! Their's is grilled without all the breading & smothered in a mouth-watering red sauce. I bet you go back again before you leave!
          Enoteca Corsi is casual & fun & ask for the beautiful Claudia (her parents own it). She's delightful & she'll allow you to order 1/2 portions of pasta so that you may order 2. Ask her about her boyfriend Emillio who's so gorgeous my sister knocked over her glass of wine. These 2 out-gorgeous Brangelina!
          Make sure you get reservations at Accademia (david) & Ufuzzi in Florence so your Mom doesn't have to wait in what can be lengthy lines. You can do this on-line.
          On your first day, after SSM, make sure you take in Santa Prassede with its San Zeno Chapel. Your Mom will love it, it's like stepping into a mosaic jewelbox. Have change for the light box. Then just go a few streets to Trat Monti. You'll also be in Rome's Chinatown...yes they have one.
          Also order from Amazon Rough Guides map of Rome; it will be invaluable. All the taxi stands are marked with a black "T" in a circle. Order it now!
          Please post after your return, I'll be looking forward to reading about your trip.

          1. re: RomeAddict

            If you're arriving early in the morning & can't check in your hotel, you might want to see the morning market sights at Piazza Navona...beautiful vegetables, glorious flowers. Navona's my favorite piazza. Forgot my picture of the beautiful Claudia at Enoteca Corsi..notice the wide grin on my husband's face!
            The other shot is me in Capri--it's my 2nd favorite city after Rome. See, you'll just have to go back!

            1. re: RomeAddict

              My guess is you will not have a problem getting your room at Mecenate Palace in March in very late morning or early afternoon unless they have a group tour staying there (not common). Across the street on the corner is a department store which has a supermarket in its basement. You will find this very handy for bottled water, cheeses, meats, breads, warm pizzas, low prices on wines, and assorted sundries you and your parents may need.

              Piazza Navona is a good distance from Meceante Palace, so you would need to take a bus or taxi to get there. A better place for flowers, vegetables, and fruits in the morning is the Campo di Fiori, which is a short distance from Piazza Navona. The Campo is much more intimate and picturesque and there are multiple wine bars and dining places in it or on the streets that run off the square.

              1. re: RomeAddict

                Scusi!!! Brain-Fog! I meant Campo dei Fiori NOT Navona. Other than the incomparable 4 Rivers Fountain, try to steer clear of Navona...ticky-tack.

                1. re: RomeAddict

                  When I read your first post, I thought maybe you had made the mistake you agree to. Navona is a great disappointment every time we pass through it: too many carnivals, junk markets, dirty. When we were there in December 2006, the 3 rivers fountain was in the midst of a major re-construction and repair. Is that done yet? I also note the there have been favorable review of restaurants in or near Navona, but the piazza itself can be a turn-off.

          2. Don't forget than one alternative to eating at 7 pm with all the tourists is to have a good lunch and skip dinner altogether. If you have a primo and secondo at lunch, you're not going to want dinner anyway. You can have something light at a wine bar, a thin-crusted pizza, or gelato in the evening pretty much any time you want.

            1. Peggy,

              We're planning our 2nd trip to Rome in October and will be staying at Mecenate Palace and wanted to find out the restaurants and enotecas you liked?

              4 Replies
              1. re: lobsterlover

                Since I wrote that original post, I have been to Rome four times and stayed at Mecenate Palace each time. I love Rome, needless to say. One thing I learned is that you can taxi EVERYWHERE in Rome from Mecenate Palace for about 8euros or so, and we went all over for restaurants -- some great some average. We loved La Piazzetta (not far from St. Peter in Chains) on vicolo del Buon Consiglio for dinners of lamb, veal, pasta, Enoteca Corsi (on via del Gesu, serving lunch only, pastas, salads, great wine), we like La Fiammetta on Zanardelli (near Piazza Navona) for pizza and salad and eggplant parm., Cul de Sac is a fun wine bar but we enjoyed it mostly for late night snacks & wine (food is plain, but wine selection plentiful and the place you have to see to believe), we really liked Trattoria Monti ... just down the street from the hotel, as the food is very inventive. I have not tried Agata & Romeo, which is literally just a couple doors down the street from the hotel because it is not the type of place you take 9 year old boys, but for a special anniversary or birthday dinner, it is on my list to try. By the way, I am a great cappucino lover, and I think Vito at Mecenate Palace makes the best ... I had at least 3 every morning !! Enjoy!!

                1. re: PeggyD

                  Agreed, breakfast cappucino at Mecenate is worth having a second or third cup each morning. They serve a nice buffet breakfast included in the room price. As for traveling from there, we always use the bus system: directly across the street from Mecenate main door is a bus stop where you can board an go in a few minutes to the Termini bus station. From there, you can board buses going all over the city. On Via Merulana, around the corner from Mecenate, you can catch a bus which goes to San Giovanni in Laterano (worth a visit) in about 8 minutes.
                  As for restaurants in the area, you have to do some walking. Trattoria Monti is a few short blocks away (we have not gone there again since we had a less than satisfactory lunch experience). Agata e Romeo is just a few doors from the hotel, but portions are small and prices are high. We ate twice in Robertino (on Panisperna, just off Via Cavour) and greatly enjoyed their seafood appetizer plate.
                  We most frequently had a full lunch wherever we were visiting in Rome, so at dinner, we often went to Arte del Pane bakery a short distance down Merulana from the hotel; they have good foccaccia and other hot foods to take out when you don't want a full meal (their chocolates are wonderful but quite pricey - but do splurge at least once). I mentioned in an earlier post above that there is a handy supermarket in the basement of the department store across the street from Mecenate. We got some good porchetta there and could always find hot things to eat. Their wine bottle prices were also lower than in most wine stores.

                  1. re: PeggyD

                    Thanks for all the info. We will definitely taxi to some areas because it was tiring the last time we went, we walked to all the sights. The hotel guy gave us very good suggestions for dinner, but we couldn't remember the seafood place off of La Nationalize not far from Mecenante. You could get a whole plate of baby clams, very reasonable.

                    1. re: PeggyD

                      Peggy- Add to your list Armando al Pantheon, 31 salita de' crescenzi, face the Pantheon at the steps & turn right & it's down on the right. Claudio, chef/owner, daughter Fabiano waits tables w/husband, Mario; Fabrizio runs dining room, very small, reserve & use their names--you'll get great food/service. Love their saltimbocca.
                      Hope your Mother's doing great!