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Sep 13, 2010 03:47 PM

Rome - quick lunch near Westin Excelsior Rome

Any suggestions for a quick, cheap lunch near Westin Excelsior Rome? We have a 3 pm appointment at the Vatican museums so we need to just grab a quick bite to eat around 130 pm. Thanks!

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  1. You are never going to make it to the Vatican in that time frame. A 1:30 sit-down lunch will likely be ninety minutes and the commute from Via Veneto by cab at that hour requires considerable patience.

    Either eat much earlier at one of the tourist traps near the Westin or get a bite to eat (tramezzini will curb your appetite) standing at a nearby bar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wristband

      or eat a relatively quick lunch over near the Vatican Museums - there are recommendations on the Board for this. including Pizzarium and Osteria del Angelo, latter about 10 min walk away - you should be able to lunch there in an hour..

        1. re: jen kalb

          Thanks, we will probably check out Pizzarium. Looks pretty good.

      1. Just pop into a decent looking cafe and have a panino al banco with a glass of wine. That's what we do mostly for lunch when in Rome and on the go.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          I think we must be the only ones who appreciate sitting down at lunchtime. 10 mi a day maybe pounding the pavement and standing on marble floors touring a city like Rome makes a seated lunch much enjoyed.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Actually, although the Italian word "banco" may mean bench in English, I was using the phrase "al banco" to mean "at the bar." I like standing and having's much faster than sitting and waiting all day for the it's usually less expensive! lol

            1. re: ttoommyy

              to each his or her own. I was commenting precisely because I prefer sitting down to standing at a bar, for the reasons stated. I dont remember waiting all day at angelo or any place else, really on my Italian trips. then, we dont generally try to rush our lunches since we usually choose to have our main meal then. but like I said, an hour should be plenty for a simple place like angelo.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Jen - I totally agree with your sentiment. My great personal preference is to plan the day touring with a considerable and pleasant pre-selected stop for lunch. Then off on another touring tangent ending at apt/hotel for the evening. Wine bars are fine for a pit stop late in the afternoon but a relaxing sit down lunch provides time to reflect on the morning effort and gas up for the afternoon slog.

        2. Krystle, several suggestions. Suck it up and lunch at the Westin Doney, pay the premium and have the necessary time to taxi from the Westin to the Vatican. If your time in Rome is limited, this has the advantage of soaking up some street atmosphere albeit at an inflated cost and at a chain hotel. Or knosh on a slice of pizza (no sit down) at Pizzarium near, but not at, the Vatican. Their slices are reportedly stellar but it may not be what you are seeking.

          You should consider wandering down Via Sardegna, alongside the Marriott Flora, up two blocks from the Westin on the Via Veneto, to San Marco (down roughly three blocks). San Marco is open "early" for lunch, offers outside seating and decent food for area residents and curious tourists from Veneto Hotels - wood oven pizzas, salads, pastas, seafood and reasonable prices. I have been there many times upon arrival in Rome and it is perfectly comfortable - no tourist trap or dive. The key selling point of San Marco are the hours of operation (unusually early for Rome), food is decent, service friendly and you should have a good lunch in the relatively short time you describe. If at all possible, plan for a 12:45 lunch wherever you go to allow sufficient time to make what appears to be a definitive 3 pm appointment at the Vatican. A consideration is where are you headed - St. Peters, Vatican Museums or elsewhere - all of which will affect your travel time for planning purposes.

          From San Marco, you can quickly get back to the Marriot or Westin to easily obtain taxis without any delay.

          If you have flexibility in your planning, Colline Emiliane is not far from the Westin, opens at 12:45 and is excellent. If you reserved at their opening time and skip desert, that might be a nice solution.