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Apr 17, 2011 08:01 AM

Rome in May on a budget

I'm going to Italy for the first time in May for seven days. Rome will be my base as I am planning to visit friends there. I appreciate a good meal but do have somewhat of a budget for the trip. I tend to prefer vegetable, seafood and poultry-based meals. Wine, desserts and coffee are a must every day for this trip. I've seen a lot of fine-dining restaurant suggestions for Rome but am looking for the more everyday amazing type restaurants, places locals know about (if these kind of places still exist). I would prefer great food over white linen tablecloths. Any suggestions for restaurants I might check out? As a second question, I'd also love to check out some outdoor markets - places where I can buy fresh produce to then cook at friends' houses. Thanks in advance for any and all ideas!


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  1. Hi Erin,
    I will think something to add to the many suggestions you've already read on CH. In which area are your friends' houses?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tavoleromane

      I'll be staying with friends in Trastevere...good question and thanks in advance for your suggestions!

      1. re: erinmargaret

        From Trastevere you can easily go to two Farmer's Markets that usually are open on Saturday and Sunday: Circo Massimo (via S. Teodoro) or Testaccio (ex Mattatoio area). I often go at the one in Testaccio that is a bit less crowded.
        Always in Testaccio within a few walking distance from the FM there is one of my favourite traditional markets, where you can buy fish, vegetables and other fresh food. It is open in the morning from Monday to Saturday.
        Another traditional and larger open-air market is in S. Giovanni di Dio square in Monteverde district. From Trastevere just take tram number 8 that stops in front of the market after a 15 mins ride. This market is outside from touristic paths and I'd recommend it especially if you want to experience a true Roman food shopping.

        Concerning your first question I've not understood completely what kind of restaurants you are looking for, in particular mixing budget and "white linen tablecloths". Sorry, my English is not so good.
        For example in Trastevere you could like Paris, but price is about 40-50 euros pp and I guess it is over your budget.

        Piazza di San Calisto, 7/A, Rome 00153, IT

    2. Hi Erin,
      My favorite eveyday places are:
      Da Benito (Via dei Falegname)
      Enoteca Corsi (Via del Gesu)
      Sora Margherita (Ghetto)
      Tonino (Via del Governo Vecchio)
      L'Asino D'Oro, while expensive at night, has a great 12 euro lunch. 3 courses. (but meat oriented usually)
      Pizzarium is best for slices of pizza (much written on these boards.)
      Tre Scalini (Monti)
      Il Vinaietto (Via del Monte della Farina)
      Both of these are great for getting a glass of wine, then going outside to hang out in the street. They both have excellent by the glass choices.
      Hope this helps!\

      Sora Margherita
      Piazza della Cinque Scole, 30, Rome, Lazio 00100, IT

      Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

      Enoteca Corsi
      Via del Gesù, 87, Rome, Lazio , IT

      Tre Scalini
      Piazza Navona, Roma, Lazio 00186, IT

      1. Two inexpensive places that I enjoyed:
        da Gildo, Via della Scala, 31 in Trastevere; Tuscan & Roman mixed menu
        Da Franco ar Vicoletto, Via dei Falisci 1/b in San Lorenzo; seafood, very local

        If you want to really eat on the cheap, you can sometimes make a meal out of a generous aperitivo buffet; there is a bookstore that sells film-related books in Trastevere (sorry... name escapes me at the moment) that puts on a very good spread.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sinjawns

          The place in Trastevere should be Libreria del Cinema:

          In the same street there is Bibli, another nice bookstore (not only film-related) serving food (brunch and aperitivo) and coffee/tea. I've added it to the CH DB. Actually it sounds strange it was not already there.

          Via dei Fienaroli, Roma, Lazio 00153, IT