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Rome Before A Cruise

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My husband and I will be leaving from Rome on a cruise this coming summer. We will have 2 1/2 days--3 nights there before the cruise. We have arranged for a 1/2 day tour on a Friday afternoon, a full day tour on Saturday and a morning tour on Sunday. We have three evenings to fill (with a nice dinner) and maybe a walk etc before we transfer to the ship on Monday. My travel agent told me of a restaurant called La Cisterna, raving about it. We want a true experience, not just a tourist trap. Any feedback on this restaurant, and any suggestions on where to eat each night? We are good walkers, doesn't have to be fancy, although one evening a "nice restaurant" would be fine. We love to browse food markets, if there are any around. Any must see/eat places to go? We will be staying at the Cicerone Hotel. Don't know much about it or it's location. Thanks for your help.

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  1. La Cisterna, in Trastevere, is probably a tourist trap. It's very old, and the premises I think are interesting, but they have singing. They have a web site t doesn’t promise well for the gastronomic side of the evening. I'd give it a pass. Your hotel is near Piazza Cavour. You could walk easily to Fiammetta, for a trattoria open on Sunday evening, or Arcangelo, more upscale but not fancy, and Il Convivio, fancy and creative. There's a nice market to visit on via Cola di Rienzo. It seems to me I remember a very good pizza al taglio behind that market, but across from its entrance (corner of via Terenzio) is Franchi, my favorite tavola calda.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I know that our hotel is kinda out of the way, but that is the hotel that Princess uses. I will look up the places you suggested. Is our hotel so far that we can't walk to the central area where there might be things to see and food to eat as well? We are good walkers, keeping in mind that August will be hot, we are willing to try anything, what about taking their metro to go there, is there a stop near our hotel? We/I am really unfamiliar with Rome and its neighborhoods and am not really sure where/what etc, if you know what I mean. I welcome all input. We leave the beginning of August, so now is the time for me to research possibilities. Should I make reservations at places before we go or can you just walk in? Thanks again.

      1. re: Hilary

        Your hotel is quite central, just across the Tiber. Look at a map. First you said summer, now you say August. That could make a difference. You should always reserve, but at most places it's not necessary very far ahead.

        1. re: mbfant

          I am sorry if I have confused you. To me, August is summer. Anyway, we are both good walkers, willing to take local transportation and very excited about spending some time in Rome. I did look at a map and found my hotel. Without measuring the actual distance, by the eye it looks quite far from the main area of attractions. I am sure once there I will see how easy it must be to walk everywhere. Thank you for your help.

          1. re: Hilary

            August is special in Rome and throughout Italy; it's when many Italians go on vacation, and small shops and restaurants close for about two weeks. There will always be some that are open, and all the attractions remain open.

            Central Rome is probably smaller than you think. On foot from your hotel, it's about 15 minutes to Fiammetta, another 15 to Largo Argentina, the hub of the historic center, about 10 more to Piazza Venezia, considered the center of the city. From Piazza Venezia, it's another 10 minutes to the Roman Forum and about 15 more to the Colosseum, likely the furthest place you will want to go. And, of course, there are buses.

            1. re: zerlina

              Thank you for the information. I didn't know so much would be closed. I am sure we will find something to look at, buy and eat. We ARE good walkers, and if the city is as small as you say, it shouldn't be a problem. Do you have any suggestions for places to eat. We will have Friday/Saturday/Sunday for dinner and Friday and Sunday for lunch as well. We love little local/type places to experience new things. Don't want anything touristy if we can help it. Thanks again.

              1. re: Hilary

                Any restaurant in central Rome will have a mix of locals and tourists. In August, tourists might outnumber locals, particularly at dinner.

                If you look at the (somewhat contentious) thread called "Good authentic food in Rome", you'll understand the problems about looking for "local" restaurants in Rome. But within that thread, you'll also find the names of many of the places that offer reliable local food, to tourists as well as locals.