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Feb 26, 2008 07:19 AM

Rome Lineup this weekend - what do you think?

Hi Everyone. I am taking my husband to Rome for 4 days this upcoming weekend for his birthday. After looking through all the helpful comments (here and elsewhere), I have come up with a tentative list of places to eat and savor our time in the Eternal City.

I am looking for a nice mix of traditional, enoteche, and tasty pizza places. Please could you let me know what you think of these places, whether you have been recently, whether they are worth going, any other places. Oh, and whatever you find delizioso at any of the places on my list!

- Snack and food browsing: Volpetti or Cipriani (does anyone have opening hours of either?)

- Dinner: Enoteca Cavour 313, followed by San Crispino Ice Cream

- Lunch: La Taverna dei Fiori Imperialli

- Dinner: Armando al Pantheon

- Lunch…….not sure…. Perhaps Pizzeria Ai Marmi (do they do lunch?) or Antico Forno Campo de’ Fiori
or Da Francesco?

- Dinner: Roscioli Restaurant for my husband’s birthday. I am hoping this is a ‘nice’ place – good food, wine and service with a pleasant atmosphere without being over the top. Would this do the trick? Also, I have heard that the area near Campo de’ Fiori is overrun by drunken teenagers at night, so perhaps this is not the ideal spot for a romantic dinner?

- Lunch: Sora Margherita in the Ghetto

I will be staying on Via Capo d’Africa near the Colosseum. Can anyone recommend a place for espresso/coffee that opens EARLY in the morning. I have an event to attend at 7am on both Saturday and Sunday, so anyplace nearby that opens from 6:30 or onwards would be a lifesaver!

Thanks so much for all your help.

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  1. I think you could get a little more exciting with some of your choices. Pizzeria Ai Marmi, better known as l'Obitorio, is not open for lunch. No serious traditional pizzeria does lunch. For lunch you get stand-up pizza al taglio. There's a very good one on the corner of Largo Argentina and via Florida. I never go out that early, but there is a small market on via SS. Quattro, so the bar on the corner there might be open early, corner of via Celimontana. Otherwise there are several bars on via Celimontana down towards the hospital and also on via S. Giovanni in Laterano, all spitting distance from your hotel. Volpetti closes from 2 pm to 4.30 or 5, but the tavola calda, Volpetti Più is open from late morning through dinner but not too late. I don't think it closes in the afternoon but I'm not sure.
    Campo de' Fiori is not overrun with drunken teenagers, but it certainly ain't what it used to be. Roscioli is a little international for my taste. It's a nice place but it's not strictly what you might call a "nice restaurant." I wouldn't want to go there for my birthday, but I live here, so my needs are different. I also hate Sora Margherita, but I'm definitely a minority.

    1. Well, I managed to answer my own question as to when Volpetti is open, in case you are interested!

      Monday - Saturday: 8am - 2pm and 5pm - 8:15pm. Closed Sundays.

      If anyone can help with the restaurants I have picked out above, that would be great.

      1 Reply
      1. re: unagi11

        My wife and I( just returned home from 5 days in Rome, 2/22 through 2/26. Roscioli rings the bell because we went there for wine and cheese (they call it aperitif) at 6:30 p.m. and they seated us with the proviso that we would be out by 8 because the place was fully booked for dinner. No argument with that, just FYI. Now, that aforesaid wine/cheese/salumi was spectacular and recommended highly if you want to start the evening there and move on elsewhere for dinner.

        Other good ones we had were the Rist. Asinocotto in Transtevere, a tiny place we saw by walking around and managed to get in on Sunday night. It's marvelous, a little chef-owned place with like 10 tables. Yes, it's expensive, but why are you making this trip? Look up their web site to see what I'm talking about. It is open only from 8 to 11 p.m. In theory you could do the openers at Roscioli and walk 15 minutes over the Ponte Garibaldi to Asinocotto.

        We also enjoyed the Rist. Sardegna off the Via Veneto, a Sardinian place that was elegant, expensive and exquisite. In all these places by the way you can get a very good wine for 20 euros and that will offset some of what you pay for appetizers,s ervice, etc.

        One other thing, since you mentioned the V. de Capo d'Africa: of all things, we discovered a British beer pub on that street after we left the Colosseum. It was a nice place to hang out for an hour and was a change of pace from the wine we otherwise had all the time. Enjoy!

      2. i'll go through your choices..
        -volpetti is really fun-they are so nice there and give you lots of free tastes and are friendly if you try to speak a few words of italian
        -entoca cavour is cool and tasty, but not traditional food-mostly antipasto type food and a few main course specials
        -haven't been to taverna dei fiori imperiali or armando al pantheon. i would recommend ditorombo for very delicious and informal dinner-italian and simple ingredients but not typical pastas and pizzas. also paris in trastevere for could be good for lunch-always a lot of people and good food, in a piazza behind piazza santa maria.
        -i wouldnt do roscioli for dinner-the restaurant is kind of in the store which doesnt seem like a good birthday feel to me. for "nice" i liked pierluigi a lot, especially for fish. more expensive/gourmet-il pagliaccio is very good and not really formal but great food and wine and on a nice street.
        -also for lunch i like da francesco-big antipasto bar and really good pastas. i don't think you can sit outside though, which you may want to do if they weather is nice, and it has been. good pizzeria for lunch is ivo (trastevere). antico forno campo is not a sit down place, so could be good to get pizza and walk, but they have a smaller selection. i love la renella for pizza to go on via del moro but it's thicker crust.
        -love sora margherita-its good food and a fun experience-make sure to reserve for lunch sunday.

        1. mbfant and hungry1234 - thanks very much for your comments and insight, especially on my choice of Roscioli for a birthday dinner. All very helpful.

          I am thinking perhaps I will try lunch at Roscioli on Saturday (instead of dinner).

          Which leaves me with the tempting suggestions of Pierluigi and Ditorombo for the birthday dinner, both sound great.

          Hungry1234, if possible, could you elaborate on Ditorombo a bit? I know you mentioned it offers 'not typical pastas', but I would like to try to visit at least one place that does offer traditional roman dishes done well (although perhaps Armando or Fiori Imperialli will cater for this).

          Worryingly, the weather report indicates rain for this weekend however, so we may not be sitting outside anywhere!

          2 Replies
          1. re: unagi11

            Been to Ditirambo twice and enjoyed their homemade pastas. Had pumpkin raviolis once and cacio e pepe the other time. I know they make their own because we arrived 30 minutes before they opened for lunch and a lady with vry muscular arms was right in the front of the room making the pumpkin raviolis.

            1. re: CJT

              I think Ditirambo has the best cacio e pepe in Rome! And my favorite appetizer anywhere, pear/gorgonzola souffle. Go to and view their menu.

          2. There are 2 great restaurants on Via dei Genovesi in Trastevere: Le Mani in Pasta at # 37, and Spirito DiVino at # 31--who features pork in the style of Matias (son of Cicero's friend) and a favorite dish of Julius Caesar & Augustus.
            Il Pagliaccio (weeping clown) is fabulous & special at Via dei Banchi Vecchi 129 near Piazza Farnese, owned by chef Antonio Genovese from Palazzo Sasso in Ravello.
            Lo Zozzone (dirty old man) Via del Teatro Pace 32, for Take-Away pizza 9-9 closed Sun., pay 1st, then order 3-4 toppings.
            Buon Appetito-