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Rome Off the Beaten Tourist Path

RSS

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This spring I will be in Rome for five days and am hoping some of you will be willing to share your special finds -- great architecture to ice cream stands ... sartorial shrines to worship spaces -- especially those that might be a bit off the beaten tourist path. I'm still composing a list of places to visit and your help will be most appreciated.

As an example I note the Richard Meier designed church posted below:

 

SField

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Whenever I'm in Rome I stay at the Hassler (matt hates it). It's one of my favorite hotels. The concierge, everything... amazing. Every room I've had there is stunning. The location is central and very close to the steps but for some reason when you're in there you feel very isolated. I love the courtyard in the morning and for dinner.

If you need a haircut there's this place on Via Cappuccino where I get at least one hair cut a year, and it's always the best hair cut I get. Using only a scissor this guy is like... I don't even know the superlative. It's just amazing to watch him... you get a shave everything. Classic barber. I don't usually like "pampering" but this is just amazing.

I go to Rome to see a few sights but mainly, like I Paris, I like to just walk around. I'm a big walker/day dreamer and Rome at night is one of my favorite places on earth.

One touristy type thing you might want to do is a tour of the dungeons at the Coliseum. They're apparently closing it soon, and it just opened last summer. Very cool.

Roman food isn't terribly special unfortunately, it isn't exactly the greatest food city, even for Italy.
 

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Stylish Dinosaur
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Originally Posted by SField
Whenever I'm in Rome I stay at the Hassler. It's one of my favorite hotels.
It was the site of a cocktail party held in my honor just prior to my 50th birthday. The setting was an outdoor terrace overlooking the Spanish Steps and the city beyond. Beautiful.

Many thanks for your recommendations.

Originally Posted by SField
Roman food isn't terribly special unfortunately, it isn't exactly the greatest food city, even for Italy.
At this point the only restaurant booking is La Pergola.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by RSS
It was the site of a cocktail party held in my honor just prior to my 50th birthday. The setting was an outdoor terrace overlooking the Spanish Steps and the city beyond. Beautiful.

Many thanks for your recommendations.

At this point the only restaurant booking is La Pergola.


The restaurant at the Hassler is a bit stuffy but serves some delicious classics. Pergola is good. I've stayed at the hotel it's in twice and it's pretty gaudy. I love the Hassler... you feel like it's your place, and I appreciate the people who stay there. Quiet, respectful, and usually fairly interesting. Totally different than when you stay at a Ritz or a Four Seasons.

I've not had much luck with food in Rome. Most of the trattorias I've been to have been kind of disappointing.
 

gomestar

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I'll ask my GF for recommendations, she spent quite a bit of time there and did a whole lot of architecture stuff.
 

RSS

Stylish Dinosaur
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Originally Posted by gomestar
I'll ask my GF for recommendations, she spent quite a bit of time there and did a whole lot of architecture stuff.
Thank you!
 

RSS

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Originally Posted by SField
I've not had much luck with food in Rome. Most of the trattorias I've been to have been kind of disappointing.
That's true for me as well.
 

poorsod

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Originally Posted by SField

Roman food isn't terribly special unfortunately, it isn't exactly the greatest food city, even for Italy.


That's unfortunate. I'm planning to go in Feb and probably with day trips to Florence and Naples.

Any good bang for the buck restaurant recs?
 

SField

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Originally Posted by poorsod
That's unfortunate. I'm planning to go in Feb and probably with day trips to Florence and Naples.

Any good bang for the buck restaurant recs?


In Rome? No.

Honestly I don't see the wisdom in day trips to Naples or Florence. It will eat too much time.
 

kaxixi

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I enjoyed my day trip to Ostia Antica very much. I also enjoyed walking along Appia Antica. Both are well known sites so I don't know if they qualify as "off the beaten path". However, they were empty even at the height of tourist season.

My favorite meal was a white pizza with zucchini I had in Trastevere (in a restaurant recommended by Rick Steve's--but it's the dish that I think is worth recommending).
 

gomestar

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Originally Posted by kaxixi
My favorite meal was a white pizza with zucchini I had in Trastevere (in a restaurant recommended by Rick Steve's--but it's the dish that I think is worth recommending).

pizza ai marmi?

Either way, I'll recommend this place. Great food and great scene. Here is one of their pizzas we brought back to her apartment in Trastevere:
 

Britalian

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Not really OTBP but the new MAXXI (modern art gallery) looks impressive. Zaha Hadid IIRC. Won some big architecture award. last year.
 

Chiro75

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`Your best bet is to just walk. There are millions of things to see and 5 days doesn't even come close. Rather than stressing about what to see, seriously, comb a few guidebooks and see if anything really jumps out at you and hit those, then just spend the rest of the time walking around. Rome can't be beat when approached in this fashion. As for restaurants, there are a lot of tourist traps. You can't go wrong with the little stand-up pizza/lunch places, but they are getting hard to find sometimes. Trastevere is a good bet for most sit down restaurants.

I can give you a special coffee tip. If you're a cappuccino fan, Bar Sant'Eustachio in pza Sant'Eustachio is pretty good. They keep how they do it "secret" with all these barriers up around the machines, and they pre-sweeten it. It's worth the short walk from Pantheon. A better tip, though, is that while all the tourists are flooding Bar Sant'Eustachio, mosey across the piazza to Bar Camilloni, and order a ristretto. Easily the best espresso/ristretto in Rome. I haven't been there since 2003, so things could change, but you get two good coffee experiences with one piazza, so give it a go! :)

I lived in Rome for 7 years, so my advice is based on personal experience.
 

RSS

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Originally Posted by Chiro75
`Your best bet is to just walk. There are millions of things to see and 5 days doesn't even come close.
Having been to Rome on a number of occasions ... I'm looking for insights ... the places that are known mostly to those in the know. I'm not really trying to cover the city in five days. Your coffee tip is more of what I'm seeking to know.

Thanks to all for your posts. If you have the time to share ... please keep them coming.
 

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