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Jan 22, 2013 04:16 PM

When in Rome...

My husband and I have been planning our honeymoon for April and thanks to much chowhound advise we have learned a lot about the Bologna and Parma areas as well as a few others. We are still nailing down the first part of the trip, but realize I also need to concentrate on when we are in Rome. We will be in Rome for 4 nights with a possible day trip or overnight to Naples. What I want to know from all of you Italy expects is what neighborhood do you find to be the best to stay in Rome for proximity to good eats? We don't mind walking 15-25mins to go to an attraction or hopping on a bus etc, but for grabbing a bite to eat, a good coffee and pastry, or a few drinks, we would prefer to be close by for most evenings. We are hoping to dine at places that are not all tourists and are not necessarily looking for anything too upscale (no jacket requirements). We both really enjoy food. As far as our tastes, I have posted them in another thread, but we pretty much like most things. I am sure that we will find great food in every neighborhood in Rome, but just wanted to know where you would consider the best...

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  1. That's not actually a simple question. The foodie favorite neighborhood, Testaccio, does not actually have such a great concentration of eateries, though of course it has plenty. The centro storico, around Campo de’ Fiori or the Pantheon, has more places but more tourists. But this is Rome, and eating places and tourists are present in large numbers, so there is no use doing acrobatics to find the former or to avoid the latter. The Piazza di Spagna area also has numerous places to eat. Trastevere could be a compromise, as could Prati. I always think that the bourgeois, more modern neighborhoods (the ones outside the center with huge post-war buildings) have the greatest concentration of convenient bars and trattorias, but they are otherwise pretty boring. My own neighborhood, near the Colosseum, is somewhat pathetic food-wise, with relatively little to choose from. I go to Testaccio to shop, and have restaurants there I like, but wouldn't choose to stay there on a visit to Rome.

    1. I stayed near Campo di Fiori last September (especially at the northern end of Via Giulia)

      Close enough to walk to everything, and close enough to Corso Vittorio Emmanuel to catch a bus to everywhere else.

      There are a few more "local" restaurants in the area, but like mbfan said, it is Rome and there are tourists everywhere.

      Do not let that stop you to go sit on a terrasse for an Aperitivo at Campo Di Fiori or better, Piazza Farnese, or any other piazza ...

      1. There are quite a number of nice places in the Monti neighborhood, which is central, but still has a lot of Romans living there so some local life..but is convenient on foot and via bus and Metro to main attractions..

        Id stay away from lodgings on the Pantheon Square (Piazza della Rotonda) which is mobbed with tourists day and night. Camp d'Fiori and Piazza Navona are also mobbed but if you are staying a few blocks away, or even well around a corner, the hubbub subsides.There are many lodgings and restaurants in this section of Rome, and you are well situated for walks to all areas of interest (or to catch a bus)

        3 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          I would second the Monti neighborhood as a good place to stay. It has a great neighborhood vibe, is away from the mobs of tourists, and has easy access to places you'll want to visit. Testaccio is good for dining, easy to reach on the Metro, but not somewhere I would choose for accommodations.

          1. re: lisaonthecape

            We stayed in Testaccio once (in a rented apt), would stay there again given the right apartment, and have visited several times subsequently to shop. Its excellent for food shopping - perhaps in a less appealing way since the market moved farther out which gutted the central shopping area - with a number of good restaurants, pizzerie, etc and maybe the best food store in Rome (Volpetti), and it has perfectly fine access to the center, walking, by bus, tram or metro - but what it doesnt have - its a recently built quarter- is the romance of Rome, which Id want for a honeymoon, and where there is a lovely surprise around every corner.. .

          2. re: jen kalb

            Thank you for the suggestions so far. We are aware that there will be tourist everywhere, including ourselves but have found that we don't prefer to be in the thick of them if we can help it. For example I love to visit New York City, but will never stay or dine in Times Square.
            I have read a couple of great articles on Monti today and definitely think this could be a good option for us. Would you recommend this over Trastevere? I have read a little regarding that neighborhood as well although it seems like Monti may be more centrally located. I haven't ruled out being a few blocks away from Camp d'Fiori, that may be appealing as well, I just haven't gotten to researching that yet!

            It sounds like Testaccio may be worth a visit for dining, but maybe not the best place for our stay.

          3. My wife and I have been renting an apartment on the Via Giulia every March/April for many years now. We like the neighborhood, shops, restaurants and markets. It's near the Campo but not on it so things are quite upscale and placid. It's an easy walk to most major attractions (Vatican, Campo, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Forum, etc.).

            14 Replies
            1. re: steve h.

              This is a good recommendation - lovely and atmospheric streets and squares (piazza Farnese, via di Monserrato, Pellegrino and Giulia) just steps away from Campo di Fiori.

              For food and drink, Roscioli, Pierluigi and il Pagliacco are in the neighbourhood and often get mentioned on CH, as does the pizza bianca on the corner of Campo de Fiori. We also like Sergio for a simple feed, il Goccetto (wine bar) and the cafe on piazza Farnese. For other food, the Ghetto and Trastevere are 5 - 10 min away on foot and there's an easy and frequent bus to Testaccio by the river side.

              If you do decide to stay around here, do have a search for Steve h's post of maybe a year ago, which has a comprehensive and thoughtful series of tips for the neighbourhood.

              1. re: shakti2

                Thank you for the recommendations! Do you know what Steve h's post was titled? I did do a search, but am still slightly new to this board and didn't have much luck narrowing it down. I didn't realize that Trastevere was so close as well. We were thinking of Monti for awhile, but now i am liking the idea of this area close to Camp di Fiori as well. Seems like we would have many great choices readily available.

                1. re: Dee74

                  if you click on steve h's name in his post above, it will take you to his profile with a list of all his posts, many on Rome. I think if you do that you should find what you are looking for.

                    1. re: steve h.

                      Steve - Please give me your advice on Ad Hoc, Culinary Loft, L'Asino D'Oro, 00100, and Taverna Fori. thanks!

                      1. re: steve h.

                        smilingal Feb 9, 2013 03:43 PM

                        Steve - Please give me your advice on Ad Hoc, Culinary Loft, L'Asino D'Oro, 00100, and Taverna Fori. thanks!

                        1. re: smilingal

                          Hi smilingal,
                          I'm a total fail on your picks. I've never been to any of them. Having said that, I really need to expand horizons so I'll check one or two out next month. Give me some feedback on your experiences if you get a chance.

                          1. re: steve h.

                            ok - sorry - I thought that perhaps because you were a part-time local you might have had the experiences. I will let you know if we get to them!

                      2. re: Dee74

                        'Two weeks in Rome (lots of short takes)' posted in April 2011. Trying to link below but not sure what will load up.

                        Trastevere is across the river from the area we're talking about and is easily accessible by a pedestrian bridge (ponte Sisto).


                        1. re: shakti2

                          Thank you Steve and shakti2 for the recommendations and insight. We are now researching apartments, so far haven't found one exactly right there, but I keep cross referencing on a map to restaurants so I am sure we will get there. If not, i am Still looking at Monti as well. I read a NY times article and a travel st from a paper in the UK that named a couple of restaurants and bars that sounded good as well and wouldn't be as touristy. I will keep you posted and keep any suggestions coming.

                          We finally just booked our flights and our nights in Bologna and Parma so now have time to work on Rome. And then where the best Pizza will be when we do our day trip to Naples!

                          We are thinking food tour in a bologna but does anyone feel they are worth it in Rome?

                          1. re: Dee74

                            If you haven't already done so, I would recommend both Katie Parla's and Elizabeth Minchilli's apps, which will give you great info regarding food tours and much more. If you like to cook, you might enjoy a cooking class; I did one with Andrea Consoli at, which was both affordable and fun.

                            1. re: lisaonthecape

                              Lisa, thank you, I have downloaded Elizabeth's app so far and am finding it useful.

                              After much debate and not being able to find an apartment i liked available in Via Giulia we have settled on Monti and doing a B&B or hotel instead. Some recommendations near by are welcome and I do know that we will be using some of the recommendations for the other areas as well!

                              1. re: Dee74

                                I live in Monti and joke that I rarely leave the neighborhood :)You will find much discussion on chowhound on almost all of these places.

                                Taverna Fori Imperiale is my favorite neighborhood spot for lunch or dinner.

                                L'Asino D'oro has the best lunch deal in town. Make sure you book.

                                Fafiuche ( Vino al Vino on via Serpenti are where I go for a light dinner or a quick glass of wine with friends.

                                The groovy new 2periodico cafe on via Leonina has lots of comfortable places to sit.

                                Gaudeo on via Boschetto has fantastic gourmet sandwich for a quick meal on the run.


                                1. re: gmcguireinrome


                                  Thank you for the recommendations. These are great. I have been reading through your blog as well. Since you live in Monti, maybe you can assist us. We are looking at 2 B&Bs there. One is a new one that just opened Domus Liberius. It's located at Via Liberiana 17. Next to Santa Maria Maggiore. The other Locanda Colosseo On Via Cavour 275. Is there one that would be more convenient to the places you have recommended? They seem pretty close to each other on the map so I am guessing either would be fine for location. We can't wait to explore the area!