Three nights in Rome-How to Choose?!
I've read and re-read and searched and have some plans, but really want your thoughts. I don't suppose I have many perameters, we aren't planning on upscale this trip and would like to stay in a reasonable price range for dinner. Typically we would share a few plates, have a bottle of wine, and share dessert and reasonable would be under $100. We also prefer the large meal in the evening as I just can't eat much when its hot in hte middle of the day. So lunches will be fairly light and on the go.
We arrive on a Monday AM, staying in the Monti neighborhood, with a Context Tour of the Forum from 3-7PM. We planned on Vino Al Vino for a few glasses and some shared plates.
Tuesday is our Vatican Day followed by an afternoon nap! That evening we plan to stroll from Campo to Navona to Trevi and back to the hotel. Dinner choices (I need help here...) might be Osteria Dell’Anima or Tavernetta 48 (after reading a great review here). However, I'm very open to suggestion.
Wednesday we plan to visit Campo again, for the market and maybe walk over to Trastevere and/or head to the Capitoline Museums. I'm considering Borghese late too, 5-7PM tickets. Either way, we'll probably metro to Piazza Del Popolo and walk down Via Corso, sidetracking to Spanish Steps and Ara Pacis. This is where it all come apart...do we go back to the hotel and Tratorria Monti? People have mentioned some great places like L'angoletta and Matricianella. And I keep hearing about Taverna dei Fori and wonder if I should make that fit in somewhere.
See, I need help.
I think you need to identify several possibilities for dinner Tuesday. That way, you have options depending on where you are en route when you get hungry. Here are some suggestions:
o north of Piazza Navona -- Fiammetta
o Piazza Rotonda -- L'Angoletto, Sangallo, Casa Bleve
o near the Trevi Fountain -- Ristorante al Presidente
From the Trevi Fountain, you could follow the pedestrian walk towards Via IV Novembre on your way to Taverna dei Fori Imperiale or to Cavour 313, the first Roman enoteca.
I don't think the market in the Campo is very authentic anymore. I wouldn't plan my day around a visit there. If you want to visit a fabulous market, the one in Testacchio is real and vibrant and wonderful.
The Borghese Gallery is wonderful and would put you close to lots of restaurants.
We thought the food at Colline Emiliane was so wonderful that I'd make sure to plan a stroll to pass through the Piazza Barberini area in time for a meal there.
I don't think Via del Corso offers a particularly wonderful stroll; it's simply a retail street and not even filled with the great names of Italian design or couture.
You haven't mentioned strolling along the Via dei Coronari, but I think this is one of the prettiest strolling streets in Rome. It's also the location of two good restaurant possibilities: Cantina del Vecchio and Sangallo ai Coronari.
I agree that your itinerary is still a work in progress.
re: Indy 67
La Piazzetta is worth a thought. They have a wonderful antipasto - all you can eat - lunch buffett with lots of vegatable dishes plus seating outside. About fifty yards away from Cavour 313. I was less impressed with the pasta at L.P. but the lunch set up is impressive and reasonably priced.
Casa Bleve is a beautiful room but you may want something more informal. Our reaction to Al Presidente was decidely mixed. There are interesting items but it is a small menu with hits and misses. At least they are trying to do something upscale and creative with traditional Roman fare and it offers refuge from the bizzbuzzing throngs going to/from the Trevi neighborhood.
Why not consider identifying a lunch spot in Trastevere? Since you are staying in Monti, you will likely not get over to that neighborhood again. We had a lovely lunch at La Gensola and heard positive comments about Le Mani in Pasta along with glowing comments about the garden setting of Romolo (so so food, near Porta Settimana).
Personally, I would steer clear of the Campo area for dinner. Lots of partying and drinking and noise. Pleasanter settings and food choices elsewhere in the vicinity.
Since you are staying in Monti, Indy's suggestion of Taverna dei Fori Imperiale is a very good one. I have only heard glowing comments about the food and family that operate the taverna. Plus, the nearby Piazza Grillo/via Grillo area is a pretty strolling area. Read the Georgina Masson walk which offers fascinating details.
Don't underestimate how much your feet will be aching with considerable walking on Rome's cobblestone streets. It has an impact on the most sturdiest feet!
Not about food, but something to consider is to use Georgina Masson or another walk book when you are taking your strolls. The way will not be as direct but it will keep you off the main commercial/tourist drags be infinitely richer for you to step into the neighborhoods, the wonderful art-filled churches, etc.. Via Coronari, mentioned above is a nice street for a stroll of this sort.
Thank you so much for the replies.
Monday: Context Tour, Lunch at Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali (realizing we'll be pretty hungry by the time we get there from our long Ireland layover...) and dinner at Vino Al Vino
Tuesday: Vatican, Dinner at either Cantina Del Vecchio or Tavernetta 48 (Sangallo ai Coronari sound wonderful, but slightly more expensive than we were looking for). I'm still thinking about Osteria Dell'Anima, as the Context people recommended it, but I'm certainly including Via Dei Coronari in our walk
Wednesday: Testaccio market (thanks for this, I think it was what I was thinking of, but had Campo on the brain), Capitoline and San Clemente, maybe and Borghese Gallery 5-7PM tickets with dinner at Colline Emiliane.
I'm ditching the Corso walk (it was a Rick Steves walk but I'll take your word for it).
I've looked for a recent copy of the Masson book and the best I can find is one that is 10 years old or a wait list for the 2009 version which will come too late. Any thoughts on using an old version?
The streets and the buildings on them will not have changed in 10 years.
I'm a huge fan of Georgina Masson, and I've used the original edition that came out in 1965, but I think her book might be overkill for a three-day visit. I have no personal experience of it, but Amazon.com lists a Frommer's Walks in Rome that might serve your purpose,
We have used both old and new books - our oldest copy, picked up in Rome in 1978, was used until it fell apart in 2002. they key is to get a lightweight edition, or, if you are only going to take a few walks, xerox the relevant pages. Her book is comprehensive enought to recommend a walk in whatever route you plan to take. - the updates thave been relatively peripheral and minor in my experience (tho thre are areas like the Ara Pacis where things are changing)
re: jen kalb
Zippo difference in the Masson books. The new edition clarifies opening times and rearranges the pagination but the material and walks remain the same.
I agree it would make sense to xerox certain walks rather than bringing the book for only several days. The new edition is available now (I know b/c I bought it from Amazon earlier this year) and is smaller and considerably lighter than the earlier editions.
Another lighter weight guide book is Cadogan's Rome. Better than Fodors IMHO on local neighborhood details + Cadogan restaurant/cafe recommendations are far more reliable than the goofy ones in Fodors.