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Sep 27, 2010 08:39 AM

Rome recommendations with a snoozing or wandering toddler?

I have been in Rome for the past two weeks alone with my two year old and so far our dining experiences have been less than exciting, which is fine and maybe to be expected given that my priorities are different than they used to be. Six years ago I lived in Rome for 7 months and I had my share of wonderful meals then. Now, we have visited a few of my old favorites and had disappointing meals at them. I have avoided others because I thought they would be too difficult to manage with a toddler. Anyway, Da Gigetto, Da Sergio, Al Galletto. All have been mediocre meals. Possibly they have gone downhill in the many years past, possibly they had a bad night and possibly we have been eating too early and are getting lunch leftovers (soggy fiori di zuchinni at Da Gigetto?)? I don't know. Random bars & caffeterias and pizzerias have been better. And we have been cooking at home, which is always good:) parents & husband are arriving this week for a few days and I would like us to have better sit down meals so I am looking for recommendations. I have read many of the posts, but I could use help finding some places that will work with our toddler. That means one of two things. If he is sleeping in his stroller, a terrace works well, because it is not as loud as indoors, or a not too raucously noisy & cramped indoor location would be fine. If he is not sleeping, a terrace still works well but especially when it is in a piazza or on a street with restricted traffic. He tends to want to wander and although I will watch him, I can't relax if there is a lot of traffic and I worry that he will be run over if I take my eyes off him for a few seconds. Budget is not so important, we can splurge or be frugal. We are staying near Campo dei Fiori.

Also, on a side note, my husband & I will have one night out without the baby. (Thanks nana & papa!) We had wanted to go to Hosteria Del Pesce which we used to love, but it seems to be closed. Can you recommend a good alternative?


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  1. There are two trattorias with terraces on Piazza Sforza Cesarini that give through some threadbare bushes onto the somewhat threadbare park in the square. Trattoria Polese was not notably inferior to some of the places frequently mentioned here; I have not eaten at Da Luigi.

    2 Replies
    1. re: zerlina

      I used to go to both eons ago, but mainly Luigi. We had a meal, pre-organized with a gang of Italian engineers, at Polese about a year ago. It was pretty bad. Luigi still looks OK and I'd probably try it again if the occasion came up.

      1. re: mbfant

        Sorry to hear it; I ate there three-four years ago. I think I was put off Da Luigi by seeing a largish tour group arrive.

    2. our experiences with dining with our children on foreign vacations when they were in this age group were pretty poor - I remember a quick end to our meal on the Campo in Siena, with the kids (4 and 20 mo) losing interest in their food wandering off and my daughter trying to eat the bread people put out for pigeons, and stressed out indoor meals as well. I concur with the idea of enclosed terrace areas, outdoor dining areas, etc. With a 2 yr old, you also cant be sure they will be asleep or stay asleep when you need them too!

      Have you considered this kind of alternative? We used babysitting services quite a lot in England and Tuscany, and lodged our kids at a "nido" for a few days in Rome, which allowed us to have nice lunches and otherwise enjoy ourselves during the day.

      1. An excellent upscale seafood restaurant in the Campo dè Fiori area is Il Sanlorenzo on via dei Chiavari Great crudo and fine selection of wines combined with attentive service. For seafood around Campo you also have Il Drappo, Quinzi e Gabrielli, La rosetta ($$$) and Riccioli caffè. For modern and expensive Italian fusion you can try Il Pagliaccio (not a fan) or the nice traditional trattoria Renato e Luisa on Via dei Barbieri 25.
        Hope this helps.
        Nancy Aiello