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Feb 10, 2012 10:51 AM

Itinerary finalization/help Rome

After a couple months of searches and ample reading, I think I have an idea of my itinerary for Rome. I do have a few questions though and welcome suggestions. Thanks for all the help....

-Arrive mid afternoon, staying in Trastevere
-dinner: Checchino

-Testaccio Market
-lunch: La Campana (I am considering deleting this one, and going on the cheap this day with a visit to Volpetti Piu instead)
-afternoon at Vatican
-late beer/snack: Bir e Fud (is this the type of place we can spend the evening? perhaps Enoteca choice?)

-bike tour AM
-Lunch: L'asino D'oro
-dinner: Dar Poeta

-Lunch: Pirilli
-dinner: Giggetto or Nonna Betta? (focus is fried artichokes)

I am not sure where to fit in an Enoteca for the evening? I was thinking of one near Trevi fountain.
How long should we plan for lunches?
I am not used to big meal at lunch, it makes sense, but I am not sure exactly how to spend our evenings then.

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  1. Cleo,
    Just a couple notes since we just got back - though I am no expert. I think I remember reading that the Vatican museum is only open in the mornings, so if you're planning to visit the museum please check to make sure it's open in the afternoon. Also, I'm not sure Pizzarium is an evening type of place. I'm sure one of the regular hounds can tell you. I don't think L'Asino d'oro has its famous prix fixe lunch on Saturdays, if that's what you were expecting. I'd go anyway if it were me - we were very disappointed not to have made it there. Lastly, based on our lunch at Perilli, and we only ordered two pastas and one main course to split, you will be very, very full afterwards. I can't imagine eating another big meal that night. What about a pizzeria? I think a few of the ones often recommended on this board are open on Sunday night. Good luck. You will have such a great time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tlubow

      Last entrance to Vatican is at 3;30 with closing at 6pm. We do not plan on hitting the museums, just Sistine Chapel and possibly Scavi tour.

      Could do Giggetto on Friday night (if we skip La Campara) if they are open, Nonna Betta is not. Then just beer at Bir e Fud. Would a smaller meal at these places be possible, as a followup to Pirilli.

      was not aware of Prix fix menu at L'Asino d'oro, is this something I should consider?

      I also have to fit in Gelato and Espresso somewhere! LOL!

    2. Have your meal at Checchino after touring the Testaccio market. Much as I love Testaccio, it really doesn’t make sense to go there three times in a short trip. Likewise, wherever you go Sunday for lunch (and I wouldn’t go to Perilli, note spelling, if you have already been to Testaccio), don't plan a Sunday evening dinner. Think lighter. You could go to La Campana either the first evening or for Sunday lunch. Or, if you think you'll be tired your first day, make that evening pizza in Trastevere. Bir e Fud seems a bit too hectic for spending an evening, but my tolerance for hectic is low. We stay long enough to eat and that's all. There are other places to have a beer evening.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        thanks Mbfant, perhaps I am going about this the wrong way. I was thinking of places that were interesting AND close to our B&B (Checchino is only a 10 min walk). Now I realize perhaps it will be more exciting walking into the going out there. I will think on this.

        1. re: cleopatra999

          If you are staying in Trastevere, I doubt that Checchino is a ten-minute walk. In any case, Testaccio is mainly interesting for the food. There is the contemporary art museum in the Mattatoio open only afternoons and evenings (grrr), so that would be the only reason to go twice (market only in morning). Or the after-dark club scene (not on my radar).

          1. re: mbfant

            funny, just did double check and it is 20 min. Not sure what I typed into google maps to get 10mins.

          2. re: cleopatra999

            Rome is not all that large that able-bodied people should organize all their eating around where they're staying. Choose your places, then work on the logistics.

        2. checchino is very good for some dishes (oxtail and tripe, in particular) but i have not been satisfied with their first courses on the last few visits. not sure what is up. why is checchino on the list and might another restaurant be filed in there to take its place? perhaps another part of town? antico arco is a better all around choice (they do everything well) and it is on the janiculum hill above trastevere.

          la campana has gotten some bad reviews on this board and if you are only in rome for a few days, it isnt really worth the visit anyhow. why not grab a cheap meal of trapizzini at 00100 after the testaccio market. volpetti piu' is not really all that cheap anyhow; you can easily end up spending €20 a person. trapizzini cost €5. an alternative would be to go to pizzarium for lunch before the vatican museums. do book tickets to the museums. this can be done on their website

          if you are over in the vatican area, sorpasso and passaguai are fun wine bar type places and since im not at all a fan of bir & fud, you are better off at either of those places IMO. if you want a wine bar in trastevere instead, il bacocco is great.

          i dont think the €12 prix fixe menu at l'asino d'oro applies on saturdays. im pretty sure you are obliged to order from the a la carte menu, which is moderately priced.

          if you want great pizza, i would steer clear of dar poeta and try tonda, sforno or la gatta mangiona instead. the latter is easily accessible by tram from viale di trastevere. if you are just looking for something good in trastevere, there is la gensola. glass is even better.

          i agree with maureen that testaccio isnt worth 3 visits. what about sunday lunch at piperno for fried artichokes. they do some of the best in town. gigetto is at the top of my "avoid" list and nonna betta is right up there on sundays (they way over seat and can't handle the volume) if artichokes are the priority you can't go wrong at piperno. that leaves dinner with many more options. lots of excellent places are open sunday nights: la gatta mangiona, glass, antico arco, flavio al velavevodetto, il sanlorenzo, tuna...


          6 Replies
          1. re: katieparla

            would the price of the places you list be on par with Checchino? I was considering this our most expensive meal.

            We are particularly interested in trying cacio e pepe, carbonara and amatriciana.

            I will definitely head back to the drawing board.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              antico arco is on par pricewise with checchino. glass, san lorenzo and tuna are expensive. piperno is also on the expensive side but if it is the best artichokes you are after i dont see a rival in the ghetto. the others (sorpasso, passaguai, flavio, la gatta mangiona, l'asino d'oro tonda, sforno) are all moderately priced places.

              i think the best cacio e pepe and carbonara in rome are found at da danilo and roscioli. i think they cost around €12 at danilo and the carbonara costs €15 at roscioli. i think the C&P does too. worth evey penny. im not a huge amatriciana eater (carbonara, cacio e pepe and gricia are my holy trinity) so maybe someone else can weigh in.

              1. re: katieparla

                I think Antico Arco is at least a notch or two more expensive than Checchino, and they are totally different experiences, the former being contemporary and creative, the latter anchored in tradition.

                Franco and I finally tried Danilo not long ago and were underwhelmed, except by the price, which we thought too high. Given the location, I really wanted to like it too, but it offered no incentive to abandon Nerone, our benchmark neighborhood trattoria.

                I had lunch at Checchino the other day and found the primi (sugo di coda and gricia) same as ever. A new item on the menu (shock!), pesto of rughetta and noci, was less interesting. I have still never managed to try Roscioli (except one annoying lunch some years ago). The only dishes I ever see recommended are burrata and carbonara, neither of which is sufficient incentive. If I want burrata, which I don't, I buy it at Volpetti and eat it at home. I had great carbonara at Nerone the other evening.

                Surely Roman civilization has not declined to the point that someone staying in Trastevere has to go to Tuscolano, or even Monteverde Nuovo, for pizza. Isn't there any place you like? Since the demise of the Pasquino, I haven't been keeping up.

              2. re: cleopatra999

                I think the pilgrimage for the "best" carbonara etc in rome is probably pointless. We have had excellent carbonara, (or gricia or cacio e pepe) all over the map over the years, so just have it when it feels right to you for your meal. There is not going to be one version of this dish that is definitely better on every occasion than all other versions - its a standard dish..

                the oxtail, on the other hand is a roman specialty for which the best version is worth seeking out. - the meat quality is key. Weve had several renditions that we enjoyed very much but are still waiting to try Checchino's. next trip for sure..

                I think if you concentrate on enjoying the Italian way of dining and dont expect to get your socks knocked off by every dish you will have the best time.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I've only had the oxtail at Cadorna - I went there instead of Checchino as it was easier to get to for me and I had presumed not as expensive. On the latter count I was wrong since they have a surcharge/ service charge which lifts the prices. How does the oxtail there compare to Checchino, for someone who has had the pleasure of both places?

                  1. re: mikey8811

                    I am having a challenge finding information in my guide books or online of the more interesting neighborhoods to visit/wander in the evenings. This is impacting my decision making for meals. Can anyone make suggestions for which neighborhood/area to visit each each evening for me?