When in Rome

When in Rome expect to eat the most delicious food, pass by the coliseum, see the coolest frescoes in almost every church you walk in. If you ever get the chance to visit Rome, hopefully, you will have time to get to visit the Vatican. It is pretty amazing and a must see in my opinion. Below are some restaurant recommendations.

Trattoria di Monti / If there's one restaurant you can't miss, it's this one. Fabulous very high quality Roman food, every bite delicious--get the single big raviolo pasta filled with liquid egg yolk and herbs, and the ricotta pudding. Great wines. Upscale but lively. Lunch or dinner. Reservations a must.

Agustarello a Testaccio / A wonderful rustic spot in Testaccio, the neighborhood where all the butcher shops and meat markets used to be, and thus the restaurants there are famous for meat dishes and especially offal, lights, sweetbreads, oxtail, and less well known cuts of meat. Oddly enough I loved the fresh vegetables there--puntarelle, a bitter green in anchovy dressing was delicious. And fresh fava beans in the spring. It gets crazy later in the evening.

Flavio al Velavevodetto / Another great find in Testaccio. Their caponata is the best I've ever tasted. Pasta is their specialty. New York Times wrote about them in the last couple years.

Caminetto / I've never found this place listed in a guidebook. It's very much tucked away from any tourist foot traffic, in a quiet (i.e. very boring) residential neighborhood. We found it from a recommendation by a taxi driver. It serves wonderful traditional Roman food, big plates of pasta, veal, squash blossoms, simple vegetable side dishes, bowl of fruit for dessert. We went for Sunday lunch and were surrounded by Roman families with young children and groups of older Roman people and their friends, everyone still dressed up from church.

Checco er Cherittiere / One of the most famous, oldest, and beloved neighborhood restaurants in the city. In Trastevere. The waiters are old and have seen everything. Go for a long lunch in the middle of your day walking through the neighborhood. Everything's tasty and simply prepared.

Tazza d'Oro / famous old espresso bar right off the Pantheon. Amazing art-deco design and it's completely packed. Very Roman experience, stand at the bar and quickly down an espresso.

My favorite gelato shops are San Crispino and especially Gelateria del Teatro; they both have wonderful light gelato with clear flavors. Others worth trying are Fior di Luna, Fata Morgana, Gracchi, Ti Amo, and Vitti.

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travellauren schugar