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Cinque Terre (2 days) and Rome (3 days)

graceface Apr 21, 2009 02:28 PM

Visiting Italy for the first time from San Francisco with my husband in early May. We're starting in the Cinque Terre. Our home base will be an apartment in Riomaggiore and we plan on preparing a few of our own meals. From there we're headed to Rome, where we'll be staying near Villa Borghese/Piazza di Spagna.

- mostly interested in reasonably priced trattorie and osterie as opposed to formal haute cuisine
- memorable interior (whether homey or modern)
- street food
- regional specialties
- gracious service (I think "I would like __" is one of the few things I can say in Italian, but of course I'll be practicing a little more before the trip)

- Groceries/picnicking in Riomaggiore: what are your recs for most delicious foccacia, charcuterie, cheeses, olives? Are there any "one-stop shops"?
- If you had to pick between La Lanterna and La Lampara (both in Riomaggiore), which would you pick and why?
- Would you pick Marina Piccola or Aristide (both in Manarola) over either La Lanterna or La Lampara?
- Ristorante Santuario di Montenero (Riomaggiore) and Gli Ulivi (Volastra) -- both of these are talked up in Slow Foodesque conversations (hence my interest) but a bit out of the way.... are either of these a worthwhile stop?
- Te La Do Io La Merenda -- any good? Alternative café/pizzeria recommendations in Riomaggiore are welcome.
- Favorite place to go for pesto pizza/foccacia?
- Is it necessary to make restaurant reservations?

+++ ROME +++
This is merely a shortlist to refer to when we feel hungry, not a checklist for completists -- I don't have the $$ nor the extra stomachs for that (well, at least I'm sure I don't have the former :p). Just call out if you feel that any list items should be removed, suggest alternatives or what to order, etc.

+++ Drinks/People-Watching +++
- La Terrazza at the Eden
- Bar Stravinskij at the Hotel de Russie
- Buccone

+++ Trattorie +++
- Armando al Pantheon (better for lunch or for dinner?)
- Il Matriciano (is this place busy during lunch? are certain days less busy than others?)

+++ Something Different +++
- Obika (any experiences?)
- Il Palazzetto (love the new interior, how is the food?)
- Piccolo Abruzzo (very intrigued by the sound of this place)

+++ Pizza, Bread, and "Fast" Food +++
- Da Baffetto (pizza alternatives?)
- Formula Uno (it's near Termini and we like F1... admittedly that's its appeal for us)
- Forno Campo de' Fiori (saw the Serious Eats post about pizza bianca and was sold)
- AristoCampo (I really want to try a panini con porchetta)
- Acchiappafantasmi
- Il Leoncino (near our hotel, open for lunch)
- Panefformaggio

+++ Groceries/Picnicking Supplies +++
- Campo de' Fiori
- GiNA (near Villa Borghese)
- Volpetti (a bit out of the way for us, but it sounds very interesting)

+++ Sweets +++
- Giolotti
- La Gelateria San Crispino
- any Roman desserts to try aside from tartufo? Recommended Sicilian dessert places?

Thanks in advance!