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Rome Home in Rome


10+ Posts
By Liveforhols from UK, Summer 2014
Our eighth visit to Rome armed with a list of things we still haven't seen!

This trip report was originally posted on SlowTrav.com.

Gnocchi Thursday​

Here we are in our 'home in Rome' and, for a fortnight at least, we can pretend that this tiny apartment in Monti is all ours.

After dropping our luggage we went straight out to lunch – pizza at Al Carette, a favourite of Elizabeth Minchilli. This is pizza that you dream about with the characteristic thin Roman crust. Enjoying a long lunch in a shady courtyard it is hard to believe that a few hours ago we were in a rainy UK.

Buy our weekly transport pass and essentials from the supermarket and, after unpacking and settling in, set out for our 'first night walk' – Piazza Quirinale for our first view of St Peters then Trevi fountain to throw in our coins. We pause in the beautifully tranquil cloister of Sant'Andrea delle Fratte and move into the church to see the two original Bernini angels. Then on to Spanish Steps where we enjoy aperitivo that we have brought along with us.

As this is Thursday we have to have gnocchi for dinner. According to Katie Parla the best is to be found at Arcangelo in Prati so we head over the river, pausing to admire Canova's home/studio on the way.

Although we have been to Rome many times we have never eaten supplizio so we choose this as our appetizer. Goodness these rice balls are delicious! The gnocchi are delightfully light – little pillows of heavenly potato in a wonderfully flavoured amatriciana sauce flecked with crunchy guanciale. What a wonderful culinary start to our time in Rome thanks to two amazing apps – Eat Rome and Rome for Foodies.

We walk back across the river, this time over the Ponte Sant'Angelo. I love this bridge and the Bernini angels that line it.

The little electric bus takes us from Via Giulia to Via Nazionale from where it is a short walk back to our apartment and one last glass of wine on the terrace.

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Madonna del Parto​

The day starts in our usual Roman fashion, enjoying strong espresso on the roof terrace whilst watching the swallows swooping over terracotta roof tiles in the morning sunlight. There is a city wide transport strike planned for today so we intend to stay close to home this morning.

First stop is our local neighbourhood bar, Er Baretto, for coffee and cornetti. As the WiFi in our apartment is poor we take advantage of the free WiFi here and enjoy a leisurely cappuccino at the same time.

We walk through the market on Cesare Balbo to our first church – San Paolo inside the Walls. The apse contains stunning mosaics by Burne-Jones including a beautiful set of Pre-Raphaelite archangels. In a nod to the Renaissance tradition portraits of real people of the time are depicted including Garibaldi and Abraham Lincoln.

Next is San Carlo alle Quattro Fontaine. This exquisite church, flooded with light is a masterpiece of the architect Borromini who cleverly made the most of a tiny space.

In total contrast is San Andrea al Qurinale designed by Bernini for Cardinal Pamphilj whose family emblem of a dove can be seen alongside angels, cherubs and the figure of St Andrew.

Three churches equals lunch. Today we are sampling the €13 set lunch at L'Asino D'Oro. For the quality of food and service this has to be the best value in the city.

Afterwards visit to one of our favourite shops in Monti, Podere Vecciano where we stock up on wine & olive oil from their own vineyards.Then back to the apartment where we plan our late afternoon/aperitivo walk.

As yesterday, we cross Piazza Quirinale and head to the Trevi which is mobbed by several cruise tours. Fortunately we threw our coins in yesterday so make our way through the crowds to Piazza Colonna, Piazza Montecitorio and finally Piazza Sant'Agostino. The church here contains a Caravaggio (Madonna of the Pilgrims), a Raphael (Isaiah) and the Madonna del Parto (birth) which is of great significance to us as our daughter is to become a mother in December, making us grandparents for the first time.

Piazza Navona too is very busy but we escape the masses to the underground remains of the Stadium of Domitian which have recently opened to the public. The ruins are made understandable with 3D reconstructions.

We celebrate the results of our daughter's 12 week scan at a favourite bar near the Pantheon with views of ancient columns covered in ivy and the stag of Sant’Eustachio.

We are a little peckish so we pick up fried baccala from Il Filetti and eat it under the brooding gaze of Giordano Bruno in Campo de Fiori accompanied by saxophone music ('Summertime' by Gershwin – perfect)

We have booked tickets to see 'Augustus 2000' in the Forum of Augustus. The presentation turns out to be very good but was marred by the fact there were technical problems and was an hour late.

Fortunately La Carrette are happy to provide a 'pizza to go' at this late hour so we end the day on a happy note.


A Morning in Testaccio​

A short trip on the metro from Cavour to Piramide brings us to the Testaccio area where we intend to spend the morning foodie shopping. First stop is the cute Emporio delle Spezie which seems to stock every spice you can think of plus a selection of teas.

Then on to the area once occupied by the old slaughterhouses which now houses the MACRO art exhibition space as well as BioMercato, an organic supermarket. We know we are heading in the right direction when we see the tip of 'Bambu' - a huge art installation at MACRO. We sit with a coffee and watch families enjoying this sunny Saturday morning. Deck chairs are pulled together in groups, children play & everyone seems to have bulging bags of fresh produce which I imagine they will turn in to delicious dishes.

Next stop is the covered Testaccio market where we are delighted to find friselle - an ingredient needed for a recipe we want to try later in the week.

Lunch today is at Trapizzino and we enjoy their namesake filled sandwich pockets. My Other Half, who has already wolfed down the spicy beef, feels he must try the tripe filling ... when in Rome. Somehow I think this will be the one and only time he opts for this particular Roman delicacy!

We decide to walk back via the Aventine and take in the view from the keyhole then to the Rose Garden. This is such a lovely time of year to visit as the roses are at their very best. This area is very popular for weddings and we see three today.

We planned to visit the Circo Massimo market but the sky had turned very threatening so we decide to head back to the metro and our apartment.

After the storm passes, we do a little shopping on Via Serpenti then head out to our neighbourhood bar for aperitivo.

Dinner tonight is at Urbana 47. As soon as we walk in we know we are going to like this place, especially the mismatched furniture and super friendly staff. We are lucky enough to be seated with a ringside view of the kitchen. All the food and wine served here originates in Lazio. The menu choice isn't huge (another plus in our eyes) but each dish that we ordered was beyond delicious. The bollito deserves a special mention - beautifully tender shreds of beef served with potato & zucchini with a hint of lemon running through.

One last glass of wine on the terrace and the end of another day in the Eternal City.


The Bells, the Bells​

We awake to the sound of church bells greeting this sunny Sunday morning. A perfect day for a picnic.

To begin though we take advantage of the fact that it is the first of the month, which means that the Casina dell'Aurora in Palazzo Rospiglioso will be open. This was a favourite of 19th century travellers on the grand tour who came to see the ceiling painting by Guido Reni. Sadly no photographs are allowed.

From here we head towards the metro at Barberini, pausing to visit the gardens of the Barberini Palace and to admire the newly cleaned Neptune fountain.

The metro takes us to Flaminia from where we cross Piazza del Popolo and walk down Via Margutta - a favourite street of ours.

Our picnic is ready to pick up from GiNa on Via San Sebastionello from where it is a short hike up to Villa Borghese. We choose a shady vantage point from which to watch the world go by and begin to unpack our goodies. Lunch is enjoyed to the sound of trumpet melodies.

After lunch we stroll through the park observing many forms of transport as we walk along.

After returning our picnic hamper, we get the metro back to the apartment to enjoy time on the roof terrace.

Late afternoon seems a good time to visit St Peters so back on the metro we go, this time to Ottaviano. The sight of Bernini's columns never fails to please. On entering the square we are amazed at the length of the queue waiting to go through the security machines - we have never seen it so busy. However it moves very quickly and we are soon inside the basilica paying homage to Michelangelo's Pieta (a 'must' on every trip).

Another 'must do' is aperitivo on Janiculum Hill. Usually we walk up but today we take the easy option and catch the 115 bus from Lungotevere Sassia.

Piazza Garibaldi too is very busy but we find a spot and unpack our drinks to enjoy whilst taking in the panorama before us. Visibility is very good, especially of the distant hills that surround the city like a necklace.

We walk down past the Paolo fountain and take a peek in at the Tempietto through the closed gates. We skirt around the centre of Trastevere to Viale Trastevere where we pick up the number 8 tram to the San Camillo stop. A short walk from here brings us to Osteria di Monteverdi. All we can say is that all Sunday nights should be spent like this. Rustic surroundings, fantastic happy atmosphere and sublime food. Not a word of English to be heard from the surrounding tables.

Sadly I fear that no other pasta dish will ever match up to the cacio e pepe that we shared as a starter. It was gone before we realised we hadn't taken the obligatory photo! The steak that followed was equally delicious and cooked perfectly. This was followed by dessert heaven - tiramisu like no other. We have a friend who makes a wonderful version of this dish. Normally no restaurant version comes close but this is THE tiramisu to end all tiramisu.

Back on the tram to Piazza Venezia from where we end this lovely day with grappa in our neighbourhood bar.


Festa della Republicca​

Out early this morning to pick up pastries from Regoli. Already there is evidence of the huge parade that is to take place later to celebrate Repubblica Day here in Italy. We had planned to be in Rome at this time as the 2nd June is the only day that the Quirinale Palace gardens are open to the public - more of which later.

Luckily for us other places that are normally closed are open too. We choose to go to Palazzo Madama, home of the Italian Senate but also where Caravaggio lodged. Cardinal Del Monte was his patron. We are great Caravaggio fans. The palazzo is very impressive especially the Sala Maccari with scenes from the history of the Roman Senate and main Senate chamber itself. Understandably, no photographs are allowed.

As we walk from the palazzo to Campo de Fiori we see Il passaggio delle Frecce tricolori - they fly past with vapour trails in the Italian flag colours. A quite emotional moment.

Before exploring the stalls in Campo di Fiori we had caffe Latte's at Latteria di Vicolo Gallo. This was like being served coffee by Nonno and Nonna - such a sweet couple. I don't think anything has changed here for decades. The latte's are served in cups the size of soup dishes!

After perusing the stalls (we resisted the urge to purchase penis shaped pasta!) we catch the 116 electric bus to Via Veneto.

You may have noticed that, so far, we have not partaken of gelato. This grave omission is corrected by a visit to Come il Latte. The very friendly server insists on us trying many varieties but eventually we settle on salted caramel and a luscious cream that has orange and cinnamon flavours. How can you not love a place that has dark and white chocolate on tap. Just before we leave, the server insists on us sampling the almond gelato that he has just freshly made - amazing.

On our way back to the apartment, we do a little supermarket shopping for essentials. We notice that the gluten free selection is much improved. Our son in law would be impressed.

After a quick turn around we head back out to join the massive queue for the Quirinale Palace Gardens. It is well worth the wait - the gardens are spectacular and the atmosphere is very jolly. A military band is playing the whole time.

Whilst walking around Monti we have noticed a new apertivo bar, Pucciami, which we decide to sample this evening. The aperitivo board is put together with great care in front of us and everything tastes delicious.

We don't really feel like a huge dinner so opt for caponata at Vino al Vino, accompanied by a bottle of Lazio wine. A glass of grappa rounds of the evening nicely.


Gina and Giovanni​

Today we are doing our Scooteroma foodie tour with Giovanni and the lovely Gina Tringali. Gina is a co-founder of The Rome Digest which is an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to eat well in Rome.

A truly 'Roman Holiday' moment occurs when we catch sight of the Vespas rounding the corner to our apartment - our mode of transport for the morning.

First stop is Panella for caffe macchiato and cornetti. Gina explains that the pastries are all baked on site (a lot of bars buy industrially prepared cornetti) and are delicious. We are amused by the many different bread animals in the window.

Next stop the Esquiline Market. We have visited before but see it with fresh eyes after walking around with Gina. We know where we will be coming to shop for our fruit and vegetables from now on!

On to Pigneto, which is an area we have wanted to visit for a while. We sample traditional gelato flavours at Necci sitting in the sun at wooden tables.

We then walk along the pedestrianized Via del Pigneto amongst the fruit and vegetable stalls. Cherries have just come in to season so, of course, we feel we must sample some. So beautifully sweet - Gina has bought a kilo for the princely sum of ... €3! Amazingly good value.

Next stop is Quarantuno. Without Gina we would not have known about this cozy restaurant with its menu chalked up on a board. Honestly, the breseola that we tasted was the best ever. We are definitely coming back to eat here.

A small forno provides My Other Half's first taste of porchetta this visit. I think it was worth the wait. The porchetta is tucked in a pizza Bianca 'pocket ' which he continues to eat as we zoom along on the vespa - no hands! Finally we visit Les Vignerons, an enoteca natural. Again we would never have found this without Gina.

We sample a local cesanese wine and ask Gina if she will choose the wine for a lunch we are preparing on Thursday. Our friends will be so impressed that two experts chose their wine!

Giovanni was a charming host, full of information about the city. Hands down this was one of the best 'experiences' we have ever had. Zooming along Via Casalina, an ancient Roman road, on the back of a red Vespa - life just doesn't get any better!

We return to the apartment laden down with goodies and have 'chill time' before heading out again.

We enjoy an alfresco aperitivo this evening on the Spanish Steps - fresh peas from the market this morning with pecorino.

We wander down Via Condotti, mentally spending our inevitable lottery win then meander on down to the Pantheon.

Dinner tonight is at Armande al Pantheon, a favourite of ours. Since our last visit they have had a makeover which has revealed the wooden beamed ceiling. The staff are as welcoming and the food as delicious as always.

We walk back to the apartment, admiring the illuminated monuments on our way. Dessert on the terrace & goodnight from Rome.


Fantasy Land​

Today we are going to explore an area of Rome that we haven't been to before - the Coppede Quarter named after the architect Gino Coppede who was responsible for the design. The area is reached through an arch with its own chandelier which leads to the tiny Piazza Mincio complete with frog fountain. The buildings that surround the piazza are right out of a fairy tale.

We move on to another fantasy building, Casa Civette, House of the Owls in the Villa Torlonia. The main house in the park was rented by Mussolini for a while.

We picked up the metro from Bologna to Cavour from where it was a short walk to lunch at Aromaticus - a delicious salad and glass of wine.

Chill time before venturing out once more for alfresco aperitivo on the Spanish Steps. We make our way down to Campo di Fiori where we pick up wild boar salami and pancetta at Norcineria Viola .

Then to Supplizzio on Via Bancha Vecchia for our suppli appetisers, which is followed by slices of pizza from Pizza del Teatro which we eat at the tables in the small courtyard. Back to our local bar for grappa and then we retire to our apartment.


Amici Tours​

Day One​

Today we are welcoming our friends to Rome and looking forward to showing them the sights for the next three days. We need to shop for lunch and, thanks to Gina, we know exactly where to go. First stop the Esquiline Market where we spend all of €3 and come away with a couple of bags full of beautifully fresh produce.

We hop on the metro all the way over to Ottaviano where we get our coffee fix at Sciascia (my absolute favourite place for coffee).

Next stop is Bonci for bread. Gina has told us that the porchetta here is THE best so obviously we just have to sample some - breakfast! We also pick up bread for lunch. Finally to Tradizione - the most amazing deli with fantastic cheeses. They also have Paoli Parisi eggs which I have always wanted to try.

Laden down with goodies we take the metro back to Repubblica then walk back to the apartment to begin preparing the salads for lunch - panzanella, caprese and bresola with rocket and pecorino. We also put together a board of salami. Our treat for all this hard work is café shakerato at our local bar from which we have a good vantage point to watch our friends arrive.

After a leisurely lunch we begin our 'Amici Tour' by walking to the Trevi fountain, taking in the view of St Peters from Piazza Quirinale on the way. The fountain is surrounded by a wire fence as the restoration is about to commence. However you can still get a good view even if it means that the coins need to be thrown a bit further!

On to the Pantheon. This is the first time we have been inside this trip. The emotional impact of the oculus is still as strong as the first time that we saw it and I'm glad to say that our friends feel the same. We slowly strolled back, ending up at Fatamorgana for gelato.

Aperitivo on the terrace tonight as dinner is at Carbonara, which is very close by. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very 'buzzy' as it is most nights - the rear of the restaurant is opposite our apartment. From the happy sounds that we hear you just know that it is a place where you want to eat.

We start by sharing plates of pasta - carbonara, of course , and cacio e pepe. This is followed by straccheti ruccola for the ladies and steak for the men. The meat is beautifully tender. We drink Cesanese wine and then retire to the terrace to crack open another bottle of the same to mull over day one of Amici tours.

Day Two​

We are up early as we are heading to St Peters and hope to avoid the worst of the crowds and also the heat of the day. From the metro we head back again to Sciascia for coffee and cornetti. On the way we notice a huge amount of Carabiniari on the streets. The reason why is revealed once we reach St Peters - there is a huge service to be held in the square to celebrate Bicentenario Carabiniari .

Obviously the basilica is closed so we stay awhile to observe the comings and goings then have a leisurely stroll up the Janiculum. It is very quiet today so we sit and watch the parakeets fly amongst the flat topped pine trees and enjoy the view.

We walk down in to Trastevere and stop at Santa Maria Trastevere. The mosaics in here are amazing and we note the mismatched columns that were recycled from ancient Roman buildings.

We have coffee at Cajo e Gajo in Piazza Cosimata. The café shakerato here is very pretty to look at!

We say hello to Roberto at Antica Carciere and buy ricotta and honey then back along Via Lungeretto to Ponte Sisto and Campo di Fiori. Our friends sample fresh juice from a stall where four pomegranates are squeezed in to one drink - such good value.

Next stop Forno Roscioli for pizza slices, which we take to Il Vinaietto where we ask for a wine recommendation to go with them.

We walk past the turtle fountain back to the apartment for a well earned rest.

Today is my birthday and what better way to celebrate than with good friends and champagne (provided by the aforesaid friends!) on the Spanish Steps. On our walk here our friends prove that they have taken in some information on the way as they point out the eagle and griffin papal symbols on top of the gate in to the Villa Borghese - we had never noticed these before!

We take a passeggiata along Via Margutta as we are eating at Osteria Margutta, another favourite restaurant. I love the décor here as well as the food. The Fillet Margutta deserves a special mention as does the calamari.

There is a huge concert in Piazza del Popolo for the Bicentenario Carabiniari which means the 117 electric bus is not running. A taxi wins over walking and very soon we are enjoying one last glass of wine on the terrace. Entertainment is provided by the lizards on the wall opposite the apartment!

Day Three​

We meet up after breakfast and take the 170 bus to Bocca della Verita to take a peek at the Mouth of Truth before walking up to the Rose Garden. The perfume hits you as you walk in even though some of the roses are slightly past their best.

On to the Orange Garden where we take in the view. This is a popular place for wedding photographs and a couple of brides are here today.

Next to the Keyhole where our friends are happily surprised by the view! Who should we meet here but Giovanni, who introduces us to his wife, Annie. I am beyond pleased to have met Scooter Mavin at last!

We walk down to Testaccio for lunch at Flavia Velavevodetto. It is really hot today so, even though we booked a table on the terrace, we decide to eat inside. A good move as we get to see Monte Testaccio through the glass walls - layer upon layer of broken amphorae that were once used to carry olive oil - a man made mountain.

After lunch we head back on the metro from Piramide.

Aperitivo tonight is suppli and champagne on the terrace before taking in the artists on Piazza Navona. Music is provided by a talented quintet of musicians.

To the Campidoglio for an overview of the Forum which is bathed in late evening sun then down to the Colosseum. Via di Fori Imperiale is one huge river of rubbish after the Gay Parade that took place here today. Not really the last impression of Rome that we would have wanted our friends to take away with them. However all is redeemed by take out pizza from Alle Carette, one last meal together on our terrace.


Rose Shower​

Today the church of St Mary and all Martyrs, otherwise known as the Pantheon, celebrates Pentecost with a Mass that ends in rose petals falling through the oculus. After we have said goodbye to our friends we head there to take our place amongst the crowd that have already gathered. As soon as the mass begins the crowd falls silent and beautiful choral music fills the incense perfumed air. Looking upwards it is strange to see a head peeping over the opening - one of the firemen who are tasked with throwing the petals. The moment when they begin to fall is very special.

Once the mass has finished exuberance replaces solemnity as the children gather up bundles of petals and throw them in to the crowds. People are collecting petals in plastic bags, baseball caps or whatever container they can find. A few of us are pressing them amongst pages in books - a precious memory of an unforgettable moment in our visit to Rome.

Lunch beckons and we make our way to Vivi Bistrot in Palazzo Braschi where our table gives a ring side view of Piazza Navona.

Back to the apartment to chill before going out to our aperitivo spot this evening, a little park opposite Palazzo Quirinale. We call this the Carabinieri park after the monument in the centre. Children's laughter fills the air as an alfresco birthday party is being held in the bunting festooned play area. Occasionally a little one escapes to the water fountain where they delight in soaking the adults around them. A cake is produced to the sounds of 'Happy Birthday'. Before leaving each child gets a balloon model - the boys choose swords with which they immediately begin to fight. The girls choose hearts or poodles!

After this entertainment we move on to dinner at Broccoletti. The décor is modern as is the food, but with traditional roots. The menus are on a couple of blackboards that move from table to table. Our server is amazing, switching from Italian to English to French, depending on who she is serving and extremely pleasant even though very, very busy. All the food was good but the pasta with salty ricotta and asparagus was another dish to dream about once we return home. We drank a local Cesanese wine from Villa Simone.

The evening was rounded off nicely with grappa at our local bar.


True Colours​

After breakfast on the terrace, our first job this morning is to pick up some fresh pasta for dinner. Shopping duly done we take the metro from Cavour to Cinecitta. No map needed here as the film studios are right by the metro exit.

While waiting for the guided tour in English at 11:30 we take in the exhibitions of the history of Cinecitta as well as one dedicated to Federico Fellini including costumes from his films such as 'Dolce Vita'.

The tour guide meets us in the bookshop, the walls of which are covered in scripts. 'The Talented Mr Ripley' is featured - one of our favourite films. The backlot tour starts with the set of 'Gangs of New York' and moves on to the HBO series 'Rome'. It is amazing to see the Forum recreated, especially the buildings decorated in full blown colour as they would have been in Imperial Rome. The Suburra is also recreated which happens to be modern day Monti. The tour ends at lot number 5 used by Fellini for all of his films. The Via Veneto was recreated here for 'Dolce Vita'. After his death Fellini lay in state here.

We return on the metro to our apartment for lunch on the terrace where we also spend the afternoon relaxing.

Our aperitivo spot this evening is in the Botanical Gardens in Trastevere. What a delightful hidden treasure they are. Difficult to choose where to sit as there are so many idyllic places amongst palms, bamboos, roses - even a Japanese garden. From the top of the garden the views are spectacular. Our entertainment this evening is of the aerial variety - butterflies dancing in the breeze ... and military aircraft flying in display formation. As we leave the gardens we glance up to see the Paolo Fountain & Garibaldi looking down upon us.

We then wander through Trastevere, picking up potato pizza from Forno Renella then biscotti from Innocenti.

Back to the apartment on the tram and 117 electric bus to prepare dinner which turns out not to be traditional but delicious all the same. Pasta Puttanesca (so far, so good) is served with potato pizza. The mandorla (almond) cookies were bought for a friend but prove too much a temptation and end up as dessert (sorry, sorry!)



We begin our day with eggs and bacon on the terrace. Not any old eggs but those of Paolo Parisi and the bacon is from Norcineria Viola on Campo de Fiori.

Today we are visiting the Military Cemetery in Testaccio for two reasons. First we know that there is a piece of Hadrian's wall there and as we live 'On the edge of Empire' it is significant to us and, secondly, we feel we should remember those who died for our freedom both in Italy and the UK.

It is a sobering experience to see the grave stones, especially of the young soldiers, but hopefully their families gain some consolation that their resting place is in such a peaceful corner of Rome. The entrance cupola refers to the friendship between Britain and Italy.

On to Testaccio market where we enjoy browsing. We buy some dried lavender to mix with the rose petals from the Pantheon (we dried them on the terrace) as gifts to take home.

Lunch today consists of leftovers - caponata from yesterday, rocket & red onions. It tastes delicious, especially as it is accompanied by a bottle of Frascati. Dessert is the last of the cherries.

We have a relaxing afternoon on the terrace before venturing out to Cola di Rienzo in Prati for shopping. The Coin department store has an amazing household section including a Nespresso area!

The number 19 tram takes us all the way from Prati to Pigneto and CoSo. This cocktail bar was opened by two friends, Massimo and Giorgia who worked together at the Stravinsky Bar in the De Russe Hotel. From the cocktail shaker door handle to the bubble wrap coasters, this bar has a quirky vibe. The menus arrive in a jiffy bag. All very light hearted but the cocktails themselves are serious - beautifully crafted using premium ingredients. As if that wasn't enough the food that is provided is top notch. Beautiful green olives are followed by a freshly made caponata, then bruschetta. Tortilla chips with guacamole, salsa and cheese are next and finally (for us but I think if we had stayed more would have followed), mini crudités.

We planned on eating in Pigneto but, not surprisingly, we are not ready for dinner yet. We make our way back to Monti by tram then metro and head to Barrique where we enjoy a bottle of local cesanese with our food.

The full moon hangs over Monti like a silver orb - a perfect end to the day.


Still So Much to Do...​

It is our last day in Rome and we intend to pack as much in as possible. Seven in the morning sees us in Piazza Navona - just us and dog walkers plus those who use the piazza as an outdoor exercise area. It is particularly satisfying to see the latter as Domitian's stadium, on which the piazza was built, was used for athletic displays.

Back to Er Baretto for coffee and cornetti then out once more. We walk down Via Baccina, one of my favourite spots in the city, not least because you glimpse columns from the Forum of Augustus at the end of the street.

Basilica San Marco is first on the list where we search out the funerary inscription to Vannozza Cattanei, mistress of the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI, and mother of his children who are all mentioned in it.

We catch the number 70 bus to Piazza Cavour for wine shopping at Constantini. We buy bottles from Villa Simone, their own vineyard. The 70 bus drops us back at Rinascimento from where we walk to Palazzo Cancelleria for a peek in to the sublime courtyard.

On to the ghetto where lunch beckons but not before buying chocolate cookies with Himalayan salt at Mondo di Laura and drooling over the gorgeous china and glassware piled high in Limentani.

Lunch today is at Beppe where we order a sampler plate of cheeses and a Piedmont white wine to compliment them. Who should arrive at the next table but Gina with an American couple for whom she is doing a tour. We greet each other like long lost friends and agree to keep in touch. We choose three of the cheeses to take home with us, along with Beppe's butter, all of which are vacuum packed for convenience.

Back on the tram to Piazza Venezia and a well earned rest on the terrace.

Our aperitivo spot tonight is the Borghese Gardens. From here we walk to Piazza Fiume to see a copy of the small statue to Sulpicius Maximus. He died (from hard work!) aged 11 but in his short life he had taken part in a poetry competition - he holds a poetry scroll in his hand. The memorial was erected by his grieving parents. The original is in the Capitoline Museums.

From here it is a short walk to Marzpane where we have a dinner reservation. The chef here, Alba Esteve Ruiz, is from Spain. The white tiled dining room overlooks the open kitchen. The staff are extremely friendly & knowledgeable. We opt for the tasting menu - it is amazing! My 'star' dish amongst all the 'star'dishes is the roulade with rabbit. We drink a Sicilian red with the above but order a glass of sweet red wine to go with dessert, which is a cheeky take on a Ferrer Roche chocolate! A palate cleansing sorbet precedes this.

This was a stunning end to our eating our way around Rome and considering the tasting menu was only €35, staggeringly good value.

We walk back along the Via Veneto, imagining what it would have been like in the Dolce Vita era.

We end the evening with an 'Old Fashioned' at 2 Periodico back in Monti. It is good ... but not a patch on 'Zot!' at CoSo.

Thus ends our eighth sojourn in Rome. The 'still to do list' is already taking shape for our next visit. After all, we did throw those coins in the fountain!


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