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May 4, 2010 01:01 PM

Solo Trip to Rome/Naples - Aug 2010

Ciao Chowhounds!

For my birthday in early August I'm treating myself to a week in Rome and Naples and I'm looking for dining recommendations for either/both cities.

I'm going to be by myself, so I'd like to dine in cafes, bars, restaurants etc where I'll feel comfortable dining alone. I'll probably be in Rome for 4 days and nights and Naples for two, and seeing as I'll be eating every meal out my budget for most of my meals will most likely be on the good-value - moderate - to - cheap side for the most part. I would like to have a couple of nice meals...not super-expensive-fine-dining-nice, but a-bit-special-kind-of-nice.

Apart from that I dont really have any other requirements - I'll eat anything, but I'd really like to sample some real-Roman and real-Neapolitan food (i.e. not too touristy, or International - I'm after a real taste of Italy...when in Rome afterall...), and any further advice you could give me about Rome and Naples will be gratefully received.


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  1. In Naples, I think you could have a nice special meal at Il Stanzo del Gusto. They are friendly and their food is creative-regional with the locally sourced ingredients. Its a Slowfood place. I have eaten in their cheesebar space not in the upstairs dining room which is a slice more elegant, and think they are pretty cool. Europeo is a different kind of place, traditional in style, that might suit too. Its really hard to miss with eating in Naples from pizza to little places like Cantina della Sapienza (for a fairly quick lunch) or Osteria Toledo serving the wonderful homestyle cooking. of the region. For Pizza, I enjoyed Sorbillo at Via dei Tribunali, 32 as a solo, sitting at a table and taking in the scene. there is a whole string of good pizzerie on that very atmosphericl street. We had a nice lunch too, at a little pricier, fadedly-elegant place Ciro a Santa Brigida (near the Galleria) - the food was excellent from the contorni to the pasta to the fish, They have some small tables that look out over the street from the second story dining room which could be perfect for a single. Service is a little eccentric.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Jen Kalb - Thank-you so much! I know how excellent Chowhounders are on these things, but even so I wasnt expecting such a high-quality response so quickly! Your recommendations are just what I'm looking for I think - local, atmospheric, interesting...and of course, great food! I cant wait to try some (or all) of your suggestions out! If you have any other general tips or advice about how to spend a couple of days in Naples I'd love it if you could let me know! Thanks again.

      1. re: Kaihlin

        I have one major caveat and that is that you are heading to Rome/Naples in August, which is typically both really hot and vacation time for Italians. This will probably mean that a fair number of places in the towns will be closed - although obviously the towns arent deserted and normal life (one of the charms of naples) goes on. A rational thing might be to get on one of the boats that does out to one of the islands or even down the Amalfi coast from naples for a day. There are parks up on the Vomero hill, cafes for pastriy, gelato and ices: you can also catch a bus up to the wonderful Capodimonte art museum and park. The street markets near the Montesanto station and even down Via Tribunali are wonderful to explore as are the great gothic churches of the town in the historic center (hopefully, cool caves on a hot day). I didnt much care for the Santa Lucia area and the tourist scene/cafes and the Castel de Ovo is much less interesting than Castel Nuovo, the hulking angevin castle overlooking the harbor.

        1. re: jen kalb

          In Naples: take a bus or cab to Posillipo, the scenic wealthy nabe overlooking Mergellina--and find a way down from there to the seafront from there to the old section of Marechiare, for great views and some seaside dining (maybe Jen can suggest places). You can also grab a metro for a short hop to the old and a little ragged but still colorful fishing town of Pozzuoli, birthplace of Sophia Loren. Or a ferry to the closest in island, Procida, for a great day trip. Buon soggiorno.

    2. My husband and I were in Italy last November.

      In Rome, we really enjoyed Pizzeria Monte Carlo (near Piazza Navona). Great pizza and pasta...and much cheaper than Da Baffetta down the street. We also enjoyed Ristorante Maccheroni. The osso buco is to die for! Both places were filled with locals and at Maccheroni we were the only tourists. Cul de Sac, a wine bar in the area is also worth a stop.

      We only stopped in Napoli for the afternoon. Had lunch at Da Michele. Hubby says it was the best meal he had in all of Italy....but his favorite food is pizza.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yehfromthebay

        Hello again, thanks so much for all your kind suggestions! I've actually taken Jen Kalb's advice on board, and I didnt go to Italy in August as previously planned, I've rebooked it and I go in three weeks. I'm ridiculously excited about it, and I've made a note of all the recommendations that have been made. I now know that when in Naples I'll be staying in a hostel very close to the Castel Nuova, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for somewhere fairly nearby that I can go for a reasonably cheap dinner? I don't want to be walking too far on my own after dark, so if anyone knows of somewhere close by that serves nice food at a decent price (beyond that, I'm not fussy...I'll eat anything...but I would like somewhere where I'll not feel uncomfortable dining alone), I would really love to hear about it.
        Thanks again Chowhounds!

        1. re: Kaihlin

          Oh and also - if any one has any recs for late lunch/early dinner on a Sunday in Naples I'd love to hear it...apparently Il Stanzo del Gusto isnt open on a Sunday at the moment. Maybe somewhere near the Marina/Port?