Rome dining on a piazza
Random request....am planning trip to rome w my family....for a dinner I would love to sit outside on a piazza, where my two boys can maybe play near the fountain...have some freedom to run around while my husband and I can enjoy a leisurely meal of traditional roman or any italian regional cuisine and wine.
Has anyone gone to such a restaurant? anything jump out at you that cld offer us this experience?
Cul de Sac is a nice wine bar with outdoor seating on a small piazza. There's no fountain, but when I was there a few years ago, there was a mime entertaining people.
Pierluigi on piazza de Ricci, seafood, reasonable take on classic dishes like spaghetti vongole, beautiful intimate square with limited vehicle traffic (missing a fountain though). Suggest asking your hotel to request an outside table at the time of booking - this resto has a lot of local regulars who are likely to get priority on the outside tables in nice weather.
Pierluigi will fit the bill, since it's on a gorgeous pedestrian piazza. It's a bit pricey though.
A lively piazza with lots of kids playing is in Monti, Piazza Madonna dei Monti. The bar on the Piazza serves food all day long, and while it's not on anyone's top list of restaurants in Rome, the food is actually ok. It does get crowded though, with many people just stopping by for drinks in the early evening onwards.
Im not really sure what you are imagining or how old your boys are. Rome is a major crowded city with lots of people and also vehicles moving through - Id be hesitant allowing young kids to freely wander other than in a very contained and quiet cul de sac. Also note the Rome fountains are not for playing.
re: jen kalb
You know, sometimes I just don't recognize Italy from what I read on the internet. I get up and look out my window to double check the reality. Or dig up pictures I've taken of kids playing in piazze and pedestrianized areas all over Rome while their parents sat nearby eating. I know I didn't dream it.
There are eateries all over Rome just like you describe but no one recommends them on Chowhound. Outdoor seating in pedestrianized areas and piazze with fountains in the center of Rome can be such a popular location for eateries of all sorts it comes at the risk of not getting great quality food for the price (not a risk of having the next generation run over by motor vehicles or swept away in the crowds).
I would probably head to piazza Farnese or nose around Trastevere (no fountain) and Portico d'Ottavia (no fountain) or near abouts, but if you are not on that side of town, then look around the neighborhoods most convenient to your family for dinner. You can check the posted menus for inflated prices. You will probably find it easier to locate an affordable appealing restaurants on a pedestrianized street rather than a piazza. Eating pizza is a low "price point" risk as the jargoneers would say if you are risk averse. But I think it is close to inhuman to walk through the piazze with fountains and the pedestrian alleyways of Rome and see all those tables lined up full of people eating and drinking and talking and not want to join them.
You can do google searches for "dining outdoors in Rome" and see what you come up with. You can search the names of restaurants you come up with and that look appealing to you using the search feature on Chowhound and learn if anyone has died eating there or broken out in spots or foamed at the mouth. (Some do.)
However, in Rome it can be amazing how much a little Vespa exhaust and a 2,000 year old building adds immeasurably to the flavor of a would-be forgettable meal, not to mention watching your family enjoy themselves in an incomparable city for families. Have a great time and good luck with the food wherever you eat in Rome. (This board's recommendations for specific restaurants don't always make everybody happy either. You are taking a chance there too. Might as well take a chance on your own vision for just one night.)
Thank you all so much for these wonderful suggestions...Pierluigi sounds perfect and it was already on my list. Happy it fits that scenario I am trying to find. I knew I could find something that wld fit the bill - we are familiar w Rome and aware of its traffic etc etc and I didn't really expect my kids to play IN fountain while we had dinner ;) but thank you the information re fountain regulations in the city. Who knows, after some good wine it cld be my husband and I trying to frolic in it rather than my better behaved children!