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Apr 6, 2014 10:32 PM

Rome - four days to feed

My wife and I will be spending 4 days in Rome beginning of July. Neither of us have been to Rome, or indeed Italy, before. We will be staying at a hotel not far from the the Colosseum (the Lancelot, at Via Capo d'Africa 47) . We are not "foodies", in that we are not interested in high end "E Bulli" kind of food - molecular foam, etc.. (Nor could we afford it.) But we do like good well prepared food, especially Italian food, since we will be in Italy, after all. We are prepared to walk, or do the public transit thing. We intend to actually stray from or hotel (e.g. Vatican, etc.. Looking for suggestions for real, good, homey, traditional food, that does not require us to sell our first born (not actually a bad idea - the wife will probably object). Checked Trip Adviser but too many restaurants makes it a daunting task. Hoping to take advantage of others experiences.

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    1. re: carolinadawg

      Thanks, I have looked at that. Helpful, but getting to some of these places might pose a problem (or not) . i have saved some of these recommendations.

    2. You'll find lots of good help here. Right near your hotel is La Taverna dei Quaranta, an unassuming Roman trattoria.
      Just walk in any direction away from the Colosseum! that's where all the tourist traps are.

      9 Replies
      1. re: bropaul

        This note relates to a few places near your hotel - there are lots of recommendations around the prominent touristic destinations, like Piazza Navona and the Vatican, if you review earlier posts. Also, if you read up some on the classic roman dishes you may find, you will have a better experience than if you choose randomly.If you have questions about what dishes to look for in Rome, just ask

        You are staying in a very pretty, quiet neighborhood, and if you like classical ruins and amazing historic churches there will be a lot to see right around where you are staying.

        Nerone is a good typical trattoria located up the hill from the Colosseo metro station (which is across the main Via Labicana from the Colosseum itself). In the Celio neighborhood, just downhill from your hotel, we have enjoyed Il Bocconcino, a slowfood place on Via Ostilia We had good fresh tonnarelli cacio e pepe, and other items there. There is a Celio neighborhood pizzeria - Li Rioni - near Via Dei Santi Quattro 24 serving Roman style pizza which has been recommended before here- we have not visited staying in the neighborhood but it looks warm and cozy.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Thank you,
          I have been looking at places recommended and/or reviewed by Elizabeth Minchilli. She has a lot of stuff on classic Roman dishes. Some of her recommendations are either too difficult to get to, or too pricey. Il Boncconcino, and Li Rioni are very much what we are looking for.Paul

        2. re: bropaul

          Thanks, Bropaul;
          This is exactly the kind of place I was interested in. Notwithstanding the odd negative review on Trip Adviser, It looks very good. It always amazes me that no matter how good a restaurant is, there are always some negative review. Many times because the waiter or other staff was rude. Personally, I can't recall the last time I encountered a rude waiter. Since I am working my way through Trip Adviser reviews, it would take a while (like never) before I reached a restaurant that is rated #3,066 of 7,922. I think i got up to about 65.

          1. re: solo40

            I wouldn't trust a TripAdvisor restaurant rating if they paid me.

            I do trust and use the apps of Elizabeth Minchilli and Katie Parla when in Rome.

            1. re: ekc

              I have been looking at Trip Adviser and just this morning discovered the reviews on Yelp. I wouldn't necessarily trust these reviews individually, but I think if you look at a number of reviews for a given restaurant you could get a reasonably good feel for the food and service. I was thinking about downloading Elizabeth Minchilli's app, Would want to know first what the WiFi will be like in Rome. Would not want to end up with a huge data bill.

              1. re: solo40

                yelp exists in Italy but it really has not got much of a foothold.and it would be about my last source for valuable info there. The Minchilli and Parla apps work and give you lots of valuable info without the data connection, but minus the mapping function.. Assuming your phone is unlocked you can get an Italian sim card for about 20E in Rome, but that might not be worth it for such a short visit.

                I usually start out looking at the Italian language reviews on Tripadvisor on the assumption that they would be more savvy, but of course there are many Italian tourists as well.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I too look at the Italian language reviews on Trip Adviser, and if the poster is a resident or native Roman then the review would generally be expected to have more credibility, but experience leads me to believe that is not necessarily so. For instance I have seen the same Italian (or Roman, or any restaurant anywhere) given both great and mediocre reviews from locals. Which is why I like to see a cross-section of reviews.
                  I would spend the 20E for a sim card as we will be going on a cruise and then spending a week in Umbria - so it might be otherwise useful, but unfortunately my phone is locked.

                  1. re: solo40

                    No need for wifi or unlocked phone for Katie Parla's app, if you buy it at home and download once, it works without roaming - even the map. You would just be missing eventual updates during the time you don't have wifi.

        3. I live near your hotel and can tell you is is not a strong restaurant area, but you can do all right on a short trip. Hostaria Nerone is far and away the best trattoria in the area. Li Rioni is the best pizzeria. There are many new wine bars we haven't tried. Taverna dei Quaranta has declined, but is probably still a good fallback. I like Caffè (Café?) Propaganda, but have only been for lunch. It's a bit precious, but in comparison with most places in Rome, they get points for making an effort. Papa Giò, near your hotel, specializes in fish and is a bit pricey, but our discriminating neighbors love it. We don't love it, but it's certainly not a tourist trap. We have never warmed to Il Bocconcino.

          6 Replies
          1. re: mbfant

            I imagine the dishes we liked at Il Bocconcino were ones that you could do better at home! (:-))

            1. re: mbfant

              Don't mind "a bit pricey". We are after all on vacation in one of the great cities of the world, and expect that we will have to pay a premium. Just don't want to spend a lot o money for mediocre (or worse) food.
              I like to cook and aside from the very high end kind of restaurant food, most of the meals I prepare at home are better (IMHO) than what i get in a lot of (decent) restaurants.

              1. re: solo40

                How are you coming along with this list? Do you still need help?
                A suggestion I can add: Trattoria Epiro. They get their ingredients from the farmer's market in front of the restaurant EVERYDAY. Tiny place with only 6-7 tables so you HAVE to reserve. Beautiful outside space also.

                1. re: RomanPabulum

                  Thank you for the suggestion. The list is going well with many great tips. This will certainly be near the top. Sadly, we will not be able to visit anywhere near all the suggestions, and it will be difficult to choose. I think we will just play it by ear from the list we have and decide mainly on the basis of proximity to the location we plan to be at or near at each mealtime. the response to our request has been terrific. I wouldn't say we still NEED help, but further suggestions would not be unwelcome - although it is not getting easier.

                  1. re: solo40

                    We're looking forward to hearing back about your experience!

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      And we are looking forward to the experience.