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Rome advice please.

Robin Joy Jan 19, 2011 01:55 AM

We are a family group (4 adults and 3 teenagers, fairly omnivorous) arriving from the UK quite late on a Tuesday in Feb. We are staying in Piazza S. Maria alle Fornaci, about 5 minutes walk south of St. Peter's, but we are unlikely to check in before 10 p.m. Any suggestions please for where we can have a not too expensive dinner within a short walk, and where 10:30/11:00 would be an OK arrival time?

Many thanks.

  1. mbfant Jan 24, 2011 12:59 AM

    That looks quite a bit more than 5 minutes south of St. Peter's on the map and even more from the entrance to St. Peter's. In any case, even though the area is full of B&Bs, it's not an area people on CH are likely to know well unless they've stayed there. There should be places to eat, because it is densely populated, but you really should ask the place you're staying what the options are. That is quite late for Rome, but there is every chance there's a nearby pizzeria still bustling at that hour. My local pizzeria (nowhere near you) is closed on Tuesdays, but most are open.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mbfant
      Robin Joy Jan 24, 2011 01:26 AM

      Thanks for your reply, and yes you are right, it probably is a bit off the normal CH piste. I was just hoping! Our flight is due to land at 8:25 (CIA) but I would not be at all surprised to be late, so supper may be academic!

      Google Earth puts us 550m from the centre of St Peter's Square, and the www makes good noises about the nearby I Quattro Mori, so maybe we'll go there.

      1. re: Robin Joy
        zerlina Jan 24, 2011 04:45 AM

        550 m as the bird flies, perhaps, but most people have to go a longer way around.

        The Italian Yellow Pages list two pizzerias on Via delle Fornaci and one on Via della Stazione San Pietro.

        I Quattro Mori is a Sardinian and predominantly fish restaurant, and fish is never inexpensive. Most Rome kitchens close at 10:30 or 11 pm.

        1. re: zerlina
          Robin Joy Jan 24, 2011 06:28 AM

          Thank you.

          1. re: Robin Joy
            Longing for Italy Jan 28, 2011 07:24 PM

            I stayed a week (first week of January) about another 500 m South of you. I agree with the other posts: most of the restaurants are on other side of the river--and most close earlier in the Winter months. Your best bet, as one other post said, is to contact someone at where you're staying for suggestions.

            1. re: Longing for Italy
              Robin Joy Jan 30, 2011 10:41 AM


              Yes, I'm pretty up on central/Trastevere places, but 22 Feb. might find us looking at mbfant and zerlina's helpful suggestions. Can we hit the low end of Sabatini's menu without going bankrupt, do you know (a maybe for evening of Thursday 24 Feb.)?

              1. re: Robin Joy
                zerlina Jan 30, 2011 12:58 PM

                If you're looking for fish in Trastevere, consider La Gensola instead: less expensive and probably better. You'll have to go the long way around to either, since the Gianicolo is in between: No. 64 bus to Largo Argentina, No. 8 tram to Trastevere.

                1. re: Robin Joy
                  vinoroma Jan 30, 2011 10:39 PM

                  Although I don't think you will make it anywhere accept something really closeby on that first evening, if you want to go to la Gensola (which is really good), there is a less roundabout way. Just walk down to the Lungotevere and catch the 280 bus, it will take you to La Gensola.

      2. Robin Joy Feb 3, 2011 06:10 AM

        Thanks all, I'll report back in a few weeks.

        1. d
          DirtyD11 Feb 3, 2011 06:42 PM

          This quality restaurant sits on Via Fabio Massimo 101, it's sunken below street level a bit so it could be overlooked. It puts a modern spin on the term "Italian food." They use fresh ingredients and the menu seemed to change frequently, as you read it off a chalkboard when you walk in the door and walk down the stairs. Know what you want to order before you sit cause they don't use table menus. It was just my boyfriend and I eating lunch and we like to eat well. We are from San Francisco and I was staying at my cousin's agriturismo in Tuscany for three months, I know and love my Italian food. In Rome it's easy to wind up eating mediocre food for a pretty penny. This restaurant may be a little more money but it's worth a great meal in Rome. Do as the Romans, eat well. They are all eating lunch at Osteria Centuno, you should too!

          1 Reply
          1. re: DirtyD11
            Robin Joy Feb 3, 2011 09:22 PM

            I was last in Via Fabio Massimo on a school trip in 1974, staying in Pensione San Michelle (spelling?). I wonder if it's still there? It would amuse me to return!


          2. 2friends Feb 14, 2011 12:29 AM

            I live in the area and if you go towards Piazza Risorgimento and the top area around there you will find endless little inexpensive trattorias and pizzerias.Just leave your luggage and go out. Enjoy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: 2friends
              Robin Joy Feb 14, 2011 07:58 PM

              Many thanks.

            2. i
              ian_pink Feb 16, 2011 04:23 PM

              I'd reiterate that a lot of places will indeed be closed by that time, that's what makes this a tough question. The closest place I can think of (5 mins by cab) that is usually open that late in Feb is in Trastevere--a cute trat called Da Gildo. It's on Via Della Scala. But I would call ahead to make sure.

              Da Gildo
              Via della Scala, 31/A, Rome , IT

              2 Replies
              1. re: ian_pink
                jen kalb Feb 17, 2011 06:34 AM

                Not a bad recommendation.

                We went to Da Gildo on our last visit to Rome. Popular friendly place - they kindly squeezed us in on a Sat night. , decent food Id say not toutstanding but fills that spot. at a very good price pizzas (my husband had one with pear on it that he liked - they do not have the artichoke pizza that Downie talks abt in his book) otherwise offer standard Roman fare.

                Da Gildo
                Via della Scala, 31/A, Rome , IT

                1. re: ian_pink
                  ian_pink Feb 17, 2011 07:49 AM

                  If Gildo is closed, you can walk down the street to Bir & Fud. They're almost always open late.

                2. Robin Joy Feb 28, 2011 01:17 AM

                  Well, we arrived a little earlier than I feared we might, and went to I Santo Pietri on Via delle Fornaci for pizzas and pasta which was fine. Other places visited: Dolce Vita in Piazza Navona (lunch), perfectly ok for a nice lunch, and I understand the location comes at a premium, but EUR 10 for a coffee was a bit of a surprise. A cheap lunch at the tourist canteen Sico Moro at the river end of Via della Conciliazione was also good. Our best lunch by far was at the lovely Roma Sparita in Trastevere. What a nice place. Their famous Cacio e Pepe went down well, and I (kind of) accept them pricing it above some much more elaborate dishes. One dinner was at Sabatini (only because my wife stumbled and wrecked her ankle right outside) where lamb braised in tomatoes, Danish sourced steak, grilled Dorade and the ice pack all drew praise. A slight row ensued when they told us it was cash only after we had eaten, so we insisted they try the card machine which amazingly worked. Sabatini no longer seems the swishy place I remember from my last visit in 1992. Two dinners were had at I Quattro Mori, as the 100m from our rooms was all my wife could hobble, but what a terrific place. The menu outside implied that they no longer just took a “meat or fish? then leave it up to us” approach as mentioned on various sites, but the menu is just for show to satisfy some regulation or other. The avalanche of food which follows is too much, and was perhaps a little vulgar, but was so good and delivered with such charm and friendliness that they are forgiven. The marinated sliced salmon, octopus with potato and grilled meat platter all stood out. Beware the liqueurs!

                  I know that restaurant staff are in the business of keeping customers happy, but I’ve never had such consistently good, polite, helpful and enthusiastic service as over those seven meals last week. Even the hiccup at Sabatini now seems minor. We never had a bad mouthful of food.

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