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Jan 20, 2011 09:32 AM

Foodie's !st visit to Rome.. apt between Pontes Umberto and Cavour on the south bank.

We chose an apartment based on very pretty pictures, not food advice, and are now trying to get together a food agenda for the nine days in May.

Yes, i'm searching and reading the threads and find lots and lots of info, but I can't locate things. People name neighborhoods that aren't on maps. Not even sure which neighborhood we're in...think it's Piazza Navona. Also, much is really old...2006/7ish.

Are there any special places close by or do i need to get down and over to Trastevere?

Help would be appreciated.

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  1. A 10-second Google search found this guide to Rome neighborhoods:

    3 Replies
    1. re: zerlina

      Thanks. That site puts us in Centro Storico. That's a start.

      However, chowhound commentors refer to several neighborhoods within this Centro Storico. Campo d' Fiori is trendy and expensive...Trevi is shadey. Food in Navona is touristy and overpriced...I never recommend places in Colosium...I'm paraphrasing here from several threads. on this board. These places have no boundries that I can find.

      And, to my point, are these generalities correct in every case or are there good places within walking distance of where we will be staying?

      1. re: hychka

        I gave you some advice below, but really you need to get a map and get yourself oriented about where your apartment is vis a vis major landmarks like Campo Fiori, Piazza Navona and the Colosseum. Those are not defined neighborhoods with lines around them - they are just indicators of general areas. getting a sense of Rome geography will be helpful in getting around as well as locating restaurants.

        1. re: hychka

          No, those places have no boundaries, but I think it stands to reason that restaurants described as in the Campo dei Fiori area are closer to Campo dei Fiori than they are to Trevi, Piazza Navona or Colosseum.

          And no generalization is ever correct. Campo dei Fiori *market* is trendy and expensive (compared to other markets); restaurants *on* Piazza Trevi, Piazza del Colosseo or Piazza Navona are shady, touristy or overpriced.

          Many restaurants recommended here are within walking distance: La Campana is probably within 100-200 yards, Trattoria Lilli within five minutes on foot, Pantheon restaurants within 10, Campo dei Fiori within 15, Trastevere within 20-25.

      2. I suggest you put your apartment street address (including Rome,IT) into the CHOW Restaurant search box and you should get a map with some results. Here are SOME restaurants in that general area you identified.

        Googlemaps can also help you. Or better give this group an address and locals can give you some more assistance.

        this is a very nice area of Rome and you will have a lot of options

        4 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          Our address is Lungotevere Marzio 10 . Any advice about good places within, say, two miles, Would be helpful.

          I have been Google Earthing the address and clicking on pictures, grocery stores and restaurants. The orientation thing is coming along, but needs serious work. And, most of what i know about Rome came from high school Latin in the '60s.

          1. re: hychka

            look at the link I sent you and Zerlina's advice above. A two mile radius is just ridiculous for Rome - you will be able to walk easily to many good restaurants - its just a question of deciding. Also, you will likely be wanting to eat some meals in areas where you are touring, farther away from your apartment. My advice is to identify a few nearby places for dinner and then do some more generalized research on this site and elsewhere to target some special places or those convenient to your daily itineraries. When we rent an apartment, we often have our main meal at lunch away from home and come back to the apartment for bread, cheese etc l at night, or maybe a visit to a pizzeria (an evening thing in rome) or winebar .

            A little more info about the type of dining you are looking for would help the Chowhounds give you better advice.

          2. re: jen kalb

            You asked about our preferences...

            My wife and I like good food. But, without belaboring the pros and cons, we have issues with spending vaste sums on dining out. (We'd rather give our money away.) And, spending four hours to eat a meal wastes too much of our time. We love finding places that offer exceptional values run by people who are comfortable with just serving the best with no pretentions. We also love to eat as if we lived in the city everyday as opposed to methodically checking off as many Michlins as possible during our stay. And we love long walks (5 to 15 miles per day) with picnics and dining at home on the balcony. My wife is a wizard with food and enjoys trying new ingredients and modifying new recipes to her way of doing things and what's available fresh from the best local markets. I'm not big on organs or oily fish, but have been once or twice surprised by good tripe and well cooked mackrel. Wwe like good wine and good pizza.

            1. re: hychka

              I think your way of eating and travel is aligned with a lot of Chowhounds - there are many good recommendations on this site that fit your parameters very well. a lot of your eating is probably going to be away from your home neighborhood and if you search this site under say Colosseum, Testaccio, Monti, Appian Way, Vatican, Testaccio, Trastevere etc. you will find some of them. The restaurant database can be searched using these type of terms too. Also, if you look at Slowfood (some people here dont think its great for Rome), David Downie's Rome book and Katie Parla's site (already recommended, I think) you will get lots of ideas for meals, markets, etc. that are characteristic and neither expensive nor pretentious .

              I agree with the La Campana recommendation btw - it was one of the first restaurants we visited in Rome (staying in YOUR neighborhood 30 years ago) and has wavered a bit ove rthe years but these days it is on. Also Armando al Pantheon, but for lunch not for dinner. There have also bee recent recommendations in Prati, which is right across the river from you and might be good but less obvious choices. I have found the Lungotevere disappointing for strolling given all the traffic, but there are so many fascinating wanders in that neighborhood that (with a map) you should really enjoy it.

          3. Here's my trip report from my visit to Rome last November. I would highly recommend Fiametta, located near Piazza Navona, close to your apartment.


            2 Replies
            1. re: jla1960

              Thanks.. Your post has given us several possibilities.

              and, it reminded me to a sk about how to order water at the table while in Rome.

              1. re: hychka

                You don't need to order or drink expensive water in plastic bottles. The Romans have always and still do drink tap water coming from the Sabine hills and you just ask for acqua del rubinetto. You can also fill your own plastic bottle when you walk around with any of the water gushing out of the street fountains. This is the Roman way! Enjoy!

            2. We are eight days and counting down to plane time! Our eighteen year old grand daughter is joining us for three days including a Vatican tour...we're thrilled she wants to spend time with us. Anything of special interest for her close by?