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Jan 20, 2009 02:01 AM

Overwhelmed by Rome...

Hi. I have been trawling the Rome posts but am so overwhelmed about where to go eat...there seems to be a lot of opinions and ideas. I think I need at least a month there to get through everything! It will be my first time in Rome and I'm going for a long weekend.

I suppose I just want to cover the basics on this trip...but just don't know where to start! a pizza meal, carbonara, gelato, lunches, dinners, wine bars etc. do you have any reccomendations for a 3 day itinerary? i am willing to travel all over the city, spend whatever is needed...
Are there other posts that have itineraries for this short a time? It seems most are for 7-14 days...

Thank you :)

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  1. OK, just cutting to the chase, here are the basics for a short first trip:

    Dinners or full-meal lunches:

    Checchino dal 1887 (I haven't had their carbonara but it should be correctly made) for traditional meat-based menu (including offal, but only if you want). Have coda alla vaccinara, saltimbocca, or abbacchio alla cacciatora or scottadito.

    Paris, for the Roman Jewish fritti. Have the fritto misto with filetto di baccalà and also the boiled arzilla (skate), bresaola, and marinated anchovies, all three antipasti.

    Lightish lunch or normal dinner:

    Palatium, near Piazza di Spagna. If you go in the evening, have the matriciana. If at lunch, whatever you like. The tiella di Gaeta is great if you like octopus.

    Pizza (Rome has day pizza and evening pizza):
    Remo, Baffetto, Monte Carlo, Nuovo Mondo, Li Rioni, for thin-crusted Roman pizza, only in the evening.
    During the day: pizza bianca or pizza al taglio, at Roscioli, Antico Forno Campo de' Fiori, Frontoni in Trastevere, Pizzarium near metro Cipro (Vat Museum), Florida on Largo Argentina

    Light lunch:
    Volpetti Più, in Testaccio
    Divinare wine bar, also in Testaccio (good carbonara in the evening only)
    Any of the daytime pizza places above.
    Any number of attractive bars in the center, such as Ciampini on piazza S. Lorenzo in Lucina.

    Wine bars:
    The big three, as opposed to all the newcomes, are Trimani, Cavour 313, and Cul de Sac. There are a lot of new and useless ones as well as a few quite good ones, but in three days, how many wine bars will you visit? Probably none. It's a new thing in Rome, not traditional.

    Obviously there are many, many other places to go in each category, but in my (considerable) experience, these are probably a good start for you. Next time, you'll visit some more.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      thank you, thank you, thank you!

      1. re: fifi

        Ok ... just so you know, you just had your trip planned by a professional ... that is like a $3000 consulting job in one post. Good for you! I was in Rome twice last year, and am already planning my return for this summer ... MBFant gives the BEST recommendations and I now have a few new spots to add to my itinerary for this year. Having said that, let me add my two cents: make sure you go to a Roman wine bar ... they are so unique ... really something to see (unless you have been before, you will really enjoy!) We went to several, but Cul de Sac was our favorite -- mostly because of the atmosphere and the great wine and location -- just a block or two from Piazza Navona. Get yourself a good map -- I used Rough Guide, I think -- and I circled all the sites I wanted to see ... then I circled all the restaurants and bars we had on our list ... then you can plan your visit and not waste time crossing town many times for lunch, good coffees, etc. Many of the restaurants may not look like they are close to the sights you will be visiting, but you will be surprised how walkable Rome is ... several blocks can be a short distance and lead you to a whole new neighborhood that you will want to see. Also, make reservations for evening meals ... you only have a short time there, and then have a couple backups in mind. Most restaurants in the evening will call you a taxi if you find yourself far from your hotel later in the evening. Don't be afraid to go out of your way for a good dinner in the evening ... Rome is not that big, and taxi rides are plentiful to and from the spots on your list! Have a great time! Ciao!!