ROME - Coffee, Pasta or ..?

In Rome for a day? Here are some of my faves. Enjoy!!

- For the "best coffee" in Rome try Cafe San't Eustachio or Tazza d'Oro - both, near the Pantheon and Piazza de la Rotonda - and ask for a "caffe doppio" or a "granita de caffe" (iced coffee) yum, yum!

-For the "best gelatto", try Old Bridge gelateria - Via Bastioni de Michel Angelo 5, near the entrance of the Vatican or San Crispino - Via de la Panetteria 42 (near the Fontana de Trevi). And for an "weird and wonderful" ice cream, head for Gelateria Fata Morgana (via Ostiense 36e; Via Lago di Lesina 9/11)- they have odd flavors like celery and lime, tobacco, etc...so, sample away before buying!

-For a memorable view of Rome at sunset, head for the top of Castle St. Angelo (fee) or to the top of the Capitoline Hill (free). Also, you can climb to the top of the Spanish Steps and then, turn left on Viale Trinita Dei Monti - a street that hugs the hill and overlooks the city - continue walking to the left, until you reach the view of the Piazza del Poppolo from above - this view is magic at sunset, and best of all, it's free.

-Quaint, charming Roman streets? , try strolling through Via Margutta (left of the Spanish Steps); Via Giulia (lined with palaces and elegant shops) and Via Del Governo Vechio (lined with tiny trattorias, fashionable boutiques, bars, bookstores, etc).

- Ferragamo, Gucci, Cartier and Bulgari Shops? head for Via Condotti- right at the base of the Spanish Steps. Don't forget the parallel streets, like Via della Croce, Via Borgognona, and Via Fratina for more $$$$ window shopping.

-For the best trattorias, try Hostaria Romana (for an awesome antipasto) near Piazza Barberini - Via Baccaccio 1 - 25Euros/person; DaI2 Ciccionni - Vicolo delCedra 3 in Trastevere (order rigattoni all'a mattriciana - a specialty of Rome) for 20 Euros/person and Osteria Qui Se Magna for Sicilian fare at Via del Pigneto 307A - 20Euros/person. In addition, there is Antica Birreria Peroni near the Fontana di Trevi - Via San Marcello 19- for northern Italian dishes for about 19Euros/person.

-On Sundays? do as the Romans do, and head for The Pincio (one of Rome's large, city parks) for an afternoon stroll. In the park, you can rent bikes, tricycles or just walk. You can also head to the Piazzale Napoleone or to the Casina Valadier Restaurant & Cafe , right at the edge of the park where you can have a cup of coffee and take in the sunset over Rome, in their outdoor cafe.

Interested in some late night, live music venues? Like Jazz, Blues, folk and alternative music? try Big Mama in Trastevere - (Vicolo di San Francesco a Ripa 18) - and check the schedule of events on their website www.bigmama.it - entrance fee is approximately 8 to 13 Euros for a "membership card" valid for a month.

-FYI - Some Roman specialties you may want to sample : Pasta a La Carbonara, Pasta all'a Matricciana and artichokes.

Enjoy!! and let me know if you like these places and if you have some others to recommend!


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