Near Vatican city there is a very cool neighborhood with trendy restaurants and bars. I’m talking about the quartiere Prati. This district is full of law offices. In the evening, young lowyers, when end up working, meet each other nearby to drink or dine.
I usually go to La Zanzara bistrot. But even the restaurants that are in via Properzio are at the same level: Calabascio, Il Sorpasso, Sogno autarchico. They serve the typical dishes of italian cuisine revisited in contemporary style. A little further forward there is Porto, specializing in fish dishes. I also recommend taking a look at Borgo Pio, a very characteristic street of Rome, also full of bistrots and restaurants. I know this place very well because my University was right there. But if you want to see the neighborhood from above, go on the terrace of the Hotel Atlante Star at the aperitif time (7PM). The view over roman roofs is imperdibile, unmistakable!
Are you greedy? At Piazza Risorgimento I recommend two places. The first is Old Bridge ice cream parlor. You recognize it because there is always a long waiting line! Another place is Pompi, where someone says they make the better Tiramisu in the city. Try and let me know what you think about!
If you ask me about Trastevere, I’ll tell you attenzione, look out! You must be furbo, smart, to avoid le sòle, the scum. The neighborhood is full of bars and restaurants, but not all are worthy of the Italian tradition. I just love some places, here’s the list.
First of all Taverna Trilussa, a typical Roman restaurant famous for its giant portions, serves the pasta directly nella padella, in the pan, not in the dish! Many romans love the restaurant Antica Pesa, famous for hosting celebrities and politicians. Mai coperto, I’ve never been there, I know it’s expensive, but everyone says it’s worth it!
Ti piange la tasca? Your wallet weeping? If you are looking for something economical and typical, choose Augusto a Trastevere, a basic trattoria loved for this characteristic. Do not expect to pay with your credit card! At the end of the meal, the owner comes and writes the bill sulla tovaglia di carta, on the paper tablecloth! Only accept cash.
If you like fusion cooking, I suggest you Coffee Pot, Jap-Mex restaurant, a very fashionable place loved by the locals. If you are looking for a cocktail bar, my tip is Freni e Frizioni, vintage ambience and good cocktails. Or Akbar and, only in summer, Terrazza San Pancrazio. In summer, if you go down to the river quay, there are plenty of places where drink or dine. There are also many on the Isola Tiberina, a small island in the middle of the river.
Spending the summer in Rome is not just about to visit the most famous monuments. I suggest two or three ideas to enjoy your time in the Eternal City, especially if you have children with you. There is the new LUNEUR, a playground in the southside of Rome. It has just been reopened. In addition to classical excursions, summer attractions are the cannons that sprinkle water. Divertente e rinfrescante, fun and refreshing! HOW TO GET: Metro line B (blue one) stop Eur-Magliana, continue for 8 minutes on foot. HOW MUCH: From 2,50 euros per person. Once you are in Eur District, I suggest you take a look at the neighborhood architecture “razionalista” and visit the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, also known as the Colosseo quadrato.
In the countryside there are two water parks: Zoomarine and Rainbow Magic Land. HOW MUCH: about 25 euros per person with family discounts. Also Cinecittà World is a brand new park, a kind of Italian Studios. Between rowing rafts and roller coaster, there are the summer trails like the battle between ancient sailing ships. HOW MUCH: About 24 euros for adults and 19 euros for children. Near the Cinecittà world, there is Castel Romano Mall, a shopping village with fantastic sales on major brands: Moschino, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Michael Kors and othes. HOW TO GET: If you are interested in visiting one of these places i can arrange a private transfer. If you do not want to get away from the center of Rome, there is the Bio Parco, a zoo where have house lions, chimpanzees, giraffes, bears and reptiles. HOW MUCH: 16 euros for adults, 13 for children.
Spend a day on the ROMAN COAST
Spend a day on the Roman coast. This is another advice I give you. I love Fregene, a small fishing village half an hour drive from Rome. Today Fregene has become a very elegant and appreciated tourist spot for the locals. There are a lot of beach clubs where sunbathing, having a fish meal or an aperitif while you are waiting for the sunset at house music rhythm.
I lived in Campo de’ Fiori for four years. It is the typical neighborhood of the old town: small streets with Sampietrini (stone paved), ancient palaces owned by the ecclesiastical nobility, restaurants with outdoor tables set with tovaglie a quadri (checkered tablecloths). But in some cases, it is an artificial reality created just to attract tourists. So be careful to the sòle (cheats!). Every day in Campo de’ Fiori square there is an open air market. You can buy fresh fruit, vegetable and spices. Not clothes (often are fake) or souvenir (too expensive).
If you can say NO! to the buttadentro (promoters) of the square bars and restaurants, I suggest to move nearby for eating and drinking. In five minutes you’ll arrive at Salumeria Roscioli. Ham, salami, mozzarella, but also raw fish and ostiche. Good? Locals love this place. Very close there is the bakery Antico Forno Roscioli. Same surname, same owner. A piece of their hot pizza margherita is always a good idea for a morning or afternoon snack. It fights against the Forno of Campo de’ Fiori for who makes the best pizza in the district. I know who is the winner, but tell me you’re opinion about! Another street fooder is Supplizio. Here you can taste the Supplì, a sicilian rice ball cooked in several ways.
Other sights nearby are Piazza Farnese (with Palazzo Farnese where is hosted the French Ambassy) and the bellissima Via Giulia. Aperitiviamo?! Funny way of locals to say: lets have a drink! Nearby I usually go at Barnum cafè, good cocktails made by a bartender with vintage moustache 🙂
At late night I have a secret to share with you. There is a small and hidden bar nearby, where can enter only people who know the password: The Jerry Thomas Project. I like the atmosphere and the cocktails they serve. Excellent vermouth distilled from themself and nice preparation. It is the only place where, after three Negroni, I’m still shiny! 🙂 Do you want to know the password?!
Read also my tips about Monti, Piazza Navona, Vatican district and Trastevere.
Piazza Navona in imperial ages was a stadium. Its baroque layout was commissioned by the Pamphili family. Take same pics with the famous Bernini fountains. Did it? Ok, lets go in via di Tor Millina, searching for Chiostro del Bramante. Here there are always belle mostre, nice exhibitions. Take a look to their dates here. Is it l’ora dell’aperitivo (time to drink)? A Campari Spritz (Campari, sparkling wine and soda) is always a good idea! My tip is Bar del Fico, where locals have aperitivo before dinner. Another place that I recommend is Salotto 42. I often go there in the afternoon for a cup of tea or in the evening for a Moscow mule.
Now you are in Piazza di Pietra, for me one of the best place in Rome. Take a selfie with Adriano temple. Vuoi un caffè? Need an italian espresso? Walk towards Piazza del Pantheon (another pic, clic!). Behind the monument there is a small square, Piazza Sant’Eustachio, where you may found the homonym bar, Caffè Sant’Eustachio. Someone thinks that they make the best espresso in the town. For me is un po’ troppo dolce, sweet a little too much. Try it and then tell me your thoughts.
If you ask me for a typical italian restaurant nearby, I answer Maccheroni. Good pasta and good prices. What else?! Finally, even if you are not interested politics, go through via del Plebiscito. There is Palazzo Grazioli, the house of mister Silvio Berlusconi. Look at the windows of the second floor: one of those is the bedroom where is located the famous lettone di Putin, the canopy bed given by russian president 🙂
Brenda, a guest of mine hosted in my Vatican’s place, arrived in Rome with a desiderio particolare, a particular desire. She wanted the pasta served not in a ordinary dish, but in a wheel of cheese, una forma di formaggio.
Sometimes I had seen such stuff, especially in typical restaurants, but I did not remember where. I normally do not eat too much carbohydrates and, hey, the pasta inside a cheese wheel is the “world championship of carbohydrates”!! 🙂 Doing research I found two restaurants that do this kind of preparation. If you have the same “perversion” as Brenda, mark these two names: “Trattoria da Danilo” and “Vecchia Roma”. Unfortunately for my guest both restaurants were closed for the holidays of August, so could not satiate her super hunger! Mannaggia! What a pity!