1° avoid restaurants where the waiters are soliciting tourists onto their terrace. Now it is necessary to distinguish between soliciting the tourist and a pleasant welcome to the traveller looking at the menu.
2° avoid the restaurants with large terraces with too well set tables and well dressed quadrilingual waiters.
3° check that they serve wine "vino de la casa" by the carafe what avoids paying table wine at 20 € the bottle.
4° look if the customers are locals or only tourists. Here the question is how to distinguish them from each other; it is simple, Italians don't wear shorts for dining in the town centre.
Comment éviter les "restaurants à touristes".
1° éviter les restos où les garçons font du racolage à leur terrasse. Maintenant il faut savoir distinguer entre racolage du touriste pigeon et un accueil aimable du voyageur qui s'intéresse à la carte.
2° éviter les restos avec grandes terrasses aux tables trop bien mises et garçons en livrée et quadrilingues.
3° vérifier que l'on sert du vin de la casa en carafon ce qui évite de payer du vin de table à 20 € la bouteille.
4° regarder si la clientèle est autochtone ou uniquement composée de touristes. Ici la question est comment distinguer les uns des autres: c'est simple les Italiens ne vont pas dîner en short au centre ville.
Walking round Rome can be thirsty work, especially in the Summer. Near to all the major attractions you'll find stalls selling food & drink. A half litre bottle of water costing 2 Euros.
However, also near to the attractions & throughout the city, you'll find fountains & water taps. These will give you an endless supply of free drinking water. So by a bottle for your 1st drink, don't throw it away & keep topping it up for free.
Favorite thing: Before our trip to Rome we were pretty nervous about finding good places to eat at that serve good food at decent prices. You really do not need to worry about this at all. All the restaurants in Rome offer a special menu for tourists. You will see the menu displayed in front of the restaurant or in the restaurant window. The prices start at about 6 Euros per person. For 15 Euros per person, for example, you will get a lot of food and also a glass of wine. All you really need to do decide which restaurant to go to.
Gelaterias are all over Rome, but to really enjoy a taste of heavenly ice cream you have to eat it at the places Italians eat. There are few old and well know gelaterias in Rome, but the best one is Giolitti. You can eat your ice cream at the table (in a very nice and elegant setting) or you can just get one "to go" (as we did). The taste is amazing and you have to try it to believe it! We stopped by one evening, after 8pm and we tried several flavors (all very good and really hard to pick a favorite one). All the flavors are natural and there are no artificial flavors or chemicals into any of their ice cream, so what else can you really ask for?
You can find Giolitti on Via Uffici del Vicario 40, really close to Piazza Colonna.
There are many good ice cream places in central Rome but these 3 stand out in my opinion:
San Crispino (the best in the World!!)
Via della Panetteria 42
(near Trevi Fountain – closed Tuesday)
Via della Rotonda 22
(next to the Pantheon)
Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina
(Close to Spanish Steps with tables outside)
Many people including locals do fancy the following too:
Via Uffici del Vicario 40
(not far from Pantheon)
(near the Vatican)
Via della Maddalena 20
(near the Pantheon)
A special one is "Il Palazzo del Freddo - Fassi" (open since 1880) but it is not that central being located in the Esquilino area just behind the Termini train station:
Palazzo del Freddo - Fassi
Via Principe Eugenio 65
We were on a cruise and were only in Rome for a day. We spent it round the Colloseum, Vatican and the Vatican Museums which were brilliant.
Out of all the places we visited, Rome was the cheapest for food and drink. There are loads of fountains with gorgeous crystal clear ice cold water to fill up your bottles with so we didnt need to keep buying drinks. There are also public toilets at the Vatican which are very well kept.
Also round the walk to the Vatican Museums there are loads of people handing out flyers with advertisments of restaurants nearby. We went to one and got two pizzas, 2 cokes and 2 ice creams for €16! They were the nicest pizzas i have ever tasted (and to think that we spent €16 on just 2 ice creams in Florence!).
The area round the Vatican is lovely - if you have just a day in Rome i would spend it here (hopefully if we go back we'l go to the shopping bit). There are lovely places to sit, St Peters is amazing and the Vatican Museums go on forever ending with the Sistine Chapel. It only costs €8 and you could literally spend all day there.
At the Colloseum there are a lot of quite pushy street vendors selling postcards and parasols - try not to make eye contact as they really try the hard sell and are hard to get rid of.
If you are eating out in Rome, you should try the Frascati wines, which are coming form the vineyards next to Rome (Castelli Romani). Frascati is a small village next to Rome, its wines are considererd to be excellent, still there is much more wine sold under the name Frascati than it could be produced on the hills of Frascati, so be careful!
One of the most famous wines of this region is called "Est!Est!Est!" from Montefiascone. According to the legends, Johannes Fugger, a german priest, who was found of the great vines, was travelling around Rome. His servant always traveled ahead of him, tried the next village`s vine and if he tasted and liked it, he wrote a short note for his master on the wall of the pub "Est!" meaning "there is" (good vine). When he tried the vine in Montefiascone, he liked it so much that he wrote that 3 times on teh wall: "Est!Est!Est!". In the end, the priest liked the vine so much that he stayed in the village for ever. His grave is is the dome of Montefiascone.
In Rome, people who are eating Gelato are often seen on the street.
Italy is birthplace of ice cream, I seem that it is everybody favorite.
There are also many Geleterias, most stores are equipped with 20 or more kinds of ices, and there are many homemade things using abundant fruits in plenty.
Gelato is a rare object of eat in sweet taste with a sufficient degree.
Fondest memory: The small size that I ate is 2.5Euro.
The double size is 2.9 euro and the triple size is 3.2 euros.In Tetmini Station's Gelateria.
Favorite thing: Simple but yet important reminder- Buy bottled water for consumption. Do take note that water (aqua) comes in two forms- gas and non-gas. Pls ensure you read th label carefully, esp for non- Italian readers. You don't want to end up with 4 bottles of fizzy water and a stomach full of air all the time!
Il Gelato di San Crispino, Via della Panetteria 42, near Trevi Fountain.
When you are walking towards the fountain, you will very likely miss this place amidst all those shops that have huge boards selling everything from espresso to gelato. It is a minute walk from the fountain. This is gelato only place, and the best gelato I had.
We thoroughly enjoyed the discovery of Marinara pizza, which is pizza without cheese - so crusty & light = yummy - add the Gelatos in every nook & cranny & it's good fun!
Fondest memory: We had several family dinners at a resto (Paloma I think?)down the road from our Hotel Modigliani, near the Spanish Steps, which was run by 2 brothers who seemed to be constantly quarrelling with each other when serving - they were so amusing - it was hard to tell if they were really at odds with each other or were putting on a show for customers as they were extremely polite with customers always! The food was all excellent!
Favorite thing: You'll eventually be totally saturated with art and history, and you'll have to stop once in a while to simply reflect on what you've been looking at. So much to take in all at once. Maybe that's why there are so many cappuccino bars and gellato stands along the streets. You should take a break now and then...relax... get ready for the next amazing and fantastic sight you are about to see.
Favorite thing: The first sight I enjoyed in the early freezing February mornings, walking from my centrally located hotel towards the cultural sights. The fruit vendors must have had a hard time standing there all day in the middle of winter, but the tempting fruit filled the cobbled streets with colour and gave life to the piazza.
Rome is heavily visited by tourists on the one hand, and on the other hand, is refreshingly uncommercialised.
Here is a sign for a shop, where you can get all yoru miscellaneous needs.. from fruit to bread, loo paper to cleaning liquid.
The insides of these shops are like little mini-mazes themselves too... so unlike the huge, glossy wide aisles in England and South Africa (the two countries I have lived in so can compare with).
Something I didn't know and was interested to find out was that Marco Polo apparently observed the practice of making ice cream in China (who were making it from about 3000 BC) and brought it home to Italy in the thirteenth century!
So the Italians were not the first to make icecream! (You learn somehting new every day)
I nabbed this interesting recipe of the net, let me know if you make it, and how it turns out! :)
Fondest memory: Renowned for it's ice cream, we were not let down!
We tried a few different types, the only one I didnt like, as it was too strong for me, was a mango ice cream flavour.
Chocolate won hands down of course! :)
These ice cream shops are dotted all over Rome, so you wont have to look too hard to find one when you need one :)