ROME - Dining at Ristorante Pizzeria "Il Ponetino"


Welcome to Rome!  Are you ready to eat yet?  Well, when you are,  there are many reasonably priced, wonderful mom and pop Italian restaurants worth a visit in the Trastevere area of Rome.  Look at your map. It's the area right across the river past the Tiber Island.  From the Spanish steps, it should be no more than a brisk twenty minute walk.

I you decide to venture into this neighborhood for an authentic Italian dinner, keep Il Ponetino Restaurant in your thoughts.  It's a  picturesque, small sized "ristorante-pizzeria"that has indoor and outdoor seating areas located near the Tiber river.  The restaurant is owned by Anna, a friendly Italian mama with a soft spot for United crews.  When you go, be sure to tell her you're from United airlines and she will take good care of you.  Her manner will be friendly, her food, fresh and her portions generous.  She's also easy on the wallet.

Il Ponetino is a small family restaurant, so please, no raucous behavior or extra large groups.

Also, Il Ponetino does not require a reservation for dinner or lunch. It's first come, first serve.  However, if you feel more comfortable calling before you go, here's their phone number and address:

Piazza del Drago 10
Trastevere, Rome

Bon appetite!

DUBAI - Breakfast at HEDIARD


For a tasty and hearty breakfast in Dubai, visit Hediard in the Festival City Mall (the IKEA mall).  It's a really nice French cafe with welcoming friendly service and reasonable prices. 

During my visit, I ordered scrambled eggs with salmon and a cappuccino (photo enclosed).

When my order arrived,  I was surprised to receive along with the eggs a glass of fresh orange juice, a bowl of cereal,  two slices of toasted bread, jam and some fruit.  All this was included in the price of the scrambled eggs. It was enough food to feed two adults.  

Hediard is a French import to Dubai.  It's an old Tea Importer that specializes in gourmet teas, delicious coffees and European pastries.  They also offer free wifi to their customers.  So bring your iPad or smart phone to catch up on any news and/or email from home while dining in peace and comfort.

Here are more pictures from my visit to Hediard in Dubai.


ROME - Sunday Flea Market at Porta Portesa


If you're ever in Rome on a Sunday, when most businesses are closed for the day, don't despair, take a cab from your hotel and head for the Porta Portese Flea Market in Trastevere.  Supposedly, this is the biggest flea market in Europe!

Take a city map with you. You will need it to find your way back to your hotel.  Be careful with your valuables. The market has a reputation for pick-pocketers. Take cash if you intend to shop. Wear a hat and bring some water.  It get's crowded and very hot in the summer months. Go early. There will be less people in the market.  Don't get discouraged by the junk at the start of the market. The best stuff will be further in.

Here are some photos of what I found:

By the way, a one way taxi to Porta Portesa in Trastevere from the area of The Spanish Steps and/Piazza Barberini will run you about 8 Euros.

Enjoy and don't forget the sunscreen!

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