Roma, bella Roma – Part III

Barbara Klein food, Italy, market, restaurant, Roma, travel 26 Comments

A Date, a Visit to a Museum and Some Roman Tips

I am really nervous tonight: I have a date. I am very exited to get to know Fabrizio Faraco in real life, we have met online through a professional group on Facebook. Those of you who have made friends online and got to meet them in real life as well, know what I am talking about.

on the way

On the way to Trastevere

We go to Trastevere and walk the short distance to Freni e Frizioni, a lovely place orinally set up as a mechanical workshop. They serve small dishes of cold and hot food, the price is included in the drinks (€ 6 – 8).

Fabrizio Faraco describes himself as “a marketer who lived in many worlds“. Above all he has a very engaging and generous personality and after five minutes it is as if we had known each other for a long time. We share many common interests, amongst others un passione per la Toscana. And he knows so much about Rome, its history and he provides us with a list of restaurants which you will find at the end of this post.

Picture courtesy of Fabrizio

Thank you Fabrizio and I look forward to next time!

Dinner tonight is at Ferrara, a short walking distance from the bar. This is one of the IT places in Rome and we are very much taken with the open spaced interior.

When you order wine they will bring you two large volumes, it is about as difficult to navigate as is their website. I am not very enthusiastic about Ferrara, it is rather expensive and I shall leave it at that. But it might be a nice idea to go there for an aperitivo and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Trastevere.

The next day we take the Ciao Roma Bus (good thing those tickets are valid 24 hours!) to the Jewish Quarter.

The Great Synagogue in Rome

We walk past the pasticceria and cannot resist enjoying another dolce. And I find the most enchanting marchpane lamb to take home:

sweet lamb

We head towards the Campo di Fiori and its rather touristy food market, rather steep prices and hardly any Romans will do their weekend food shopping here (I mean: I would not).

The end of the season for Puntarelle

I am intrigued by the Puntarelle until I see someone prepare them in a mercato rionale (local market), what a lot of work goes into making them and what pleasure it is to eat them!

Today we plan to visit the MAXXI Museum Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, a spectaculur museum built by the awesome Zaha Hadid.

Hadid museum

The museum building is the main attraction

For all of you who would like to visit the museum by public transport and do not wish for a long walk along the other side of the river Tiber (hint hint): take the subway to the station Flaminio and change to tram no. 2 which will take you to the station Apollodoro. Alternatives are bus no. 53, 217, 280, 910.

Tickets for public transport can be bought at any Tabaccheria (the tobacco shops are marked with a big T) for € 1 and are valid for 75 minutes on either subway, bus or tram.

We see their current exhibition by Pieter Hugo: Permanent Error, showing through 27 disturbing photographic portraits an immense, apocalyptical high-tech dump in Ghana. Very intense.

Enough culture for today and we try to find our way back by public transport via Piazza del Popolo, all the way along the Via del Corso, to the Pantheon.



We have some late lunch next to my favourite Rococo church, la Santa Maddalena in Campo Marzio and this is the only time during our Rome trip that it rains. We are lucky to sit well protected under some huge umbrellas. It is only a short shower and we continue our window shopping tour, regale ourselves with a wonderful gelato (dark chocolate and caramelised crème brûlée) from Il Gelato San Crispino.

It is Saturday and the historic Rome is packed with people, we gladly return to our hotel for some quiet relaxing time.

Tonight we plan to go to Testaccio, unfortunately we have messed up the restaurants and their addresses and the nice woman taxi driver finally takes us to Il Capo de Fero (yes, in Trastevere again!) , a very authentic Roman restaurant. I am pleased with my choice of carciofi alla guidia (deep fried artichokes) and a paillard di vitello (thinly cut veal scaloppine, shortly grilled). Excellent coffee to finish the meal.

We go back to the hotel by taxi (our feet are not up to any more walking) and have a nightcap outside before we retire.

Valerio (remember: he drove us into town on Thursday, only three days ago) comes to pick us up at the hotel in the late morning and we say a sad farewell to beautiful Rome. But I will be back!

He is the most ingenious driver: what normally takes about 40 minutes he manages to do in half the time, he knows amazing shortcuts!

BTW the taxi fares from the airports to the center of town and vice versa are fixed. To be more precise, the fare is fixed from the airport to anywhere within the Aurelian walls which covers the majority of the hotels in Rome.

The fare from Fiumicino is € 40, from Ciampino it is € 30. The first luggage is free and after that it is €1 each. Here are more details from the Comune di Roma.

Some valuable tips for eating out in Rome
(and this is another reason to come back to Rome, to savour all the food, I am always looking for the near perfect dinner and I cannot say I have been to any restaurants I would really like to recommend)

Big thanks to Fabrizio Faraco for his great list:

Il Tiepolo
In zona Flaminio, could well be combined with a visit to Maxxi.

Il Spirito DiVino
Rather highly priced

Ristorante Mezzo
Same price level

Il Ducati
moderately priced between € 15 – 25

located on Piazza Augusto Imperatore
Interesting concept, this is definitely on my wish list for next time!
Gust restaurant € 25 – 40
Pizzeria / Brunch € 10 -20
Osteria € 20 – 35
Tati / aperitivi / fusion € 15 – 30

Restaurant Bar with fusion food

The Perfect Bun
Lovely restaurant with American dishes and Italian ingredients frequented by young people (watch out, guys: Tuesday evenings are Fabrizio’s tip for beautiful single girls)

And finally, in Testaccio, Rome’s 20th rione, do read the story in the link about how it came to existence, there is the restaurant Felic

Daniele Buzzuro has kindly offered the following list of restaurants:

Da Baffetto
Go there for pizza

where you have a choice between pizza and Chinese food

Cantina Tirolese

Taverna Parione

Da Tonino

Antico Falcone

I would also like to recommend following Diana Simon on her blog Browsing Rome, she has been living in Rome for several years and she always finds interesting new places to see and go to and has valuable advice to offer.


Comments 26

      1.  @Late_Bloomers Yup! I remember my dad telling me he was up at 3am every day and I thought he was nuts! Guess that’s where I learned it. No better time of day for me. But I’m starting to burn the candle at both ends because nighttime id beautiful, too.

    1.  @bdorman264 Hunger (for anything) is a good feeling, thanks Bill. And one of my friends had a dish of spaghetti vongole and was heavenly sick afterwards, good thing is he lost 5 kilos, the bad thing … well, you might know how this feels!

  1. When we were in Rome for our honeymoon, the Synagogue had barbed wire around it – still left over from WW2. I loved our visits and your post has brought back happy memories. We arrived during a bus strike and the taxi that took us to the hotel ripped us off! It made me more determined to only use public transport or hire a car 🙂

    1.  @tandysinclair Hi, Tandy, how lovely that my post brings back these memories. The synagogue was heavily guarded due to the Toulouse ambush and there were many wreaths by the Italian government and other public institutions in front of it, gave me the gossebumps.
      I think ripping off tourists is a national sport, we paid far too much for the taxi fare from the airport. Wiser next time! And I would not want to drive a car in Rome …

  2. What I love about coming here Barbara is the descriptions you give of so many intriguing places and how you immerse yourself in the culture and ” regale” yourself there! You make me want to go to Rome!
    Happy Monday!

    1.  @Lori Thank you, Lori, this means an awful lot to me. Just yesterday I mentioned to Fabrizio how long it has taken me to write (and collate) this post, rather envious of people who hack them out in 1 hour or less, as I have read at Nancy’s.
      Come to Rome and I will join you for some partying (and walking)!
      Have a wonderful week! Barbara

  3. Great Post Barbara. Thanks for mention. Hope to have you all again in Rome so we can write together another series of blog post about my loved city.

    1.  @ffab Ah, Fabrizio, grazie a te! Honestly, your awesome list makes all the difference! And YES to coming back and seeing Roma through your eyes again!
      Did you mention that you are coming to Basel Art this year? Antonio mentioned something, this would be fabulous and we could get together for some more food and wine and lovely conversation.
      Una bella settimana per te ed a presto! Bacio Barbara

  4. What a lovely post! But Barbara, I can’t believe that you only wrote lists with Fabrizio…He sounded charming and all you share are his list of restaurants. Are you hiding something?

  5. I need to come to Rome just to check out the wine offerings 😉 Thank you for a detailed written visual of what your trip was like. It made me feel like I was there alongside you.

    1.  @JoeCheray Joe, you make my day, this is exactly what my best friend says about my travel journals – thank you so much! Loved your post on twitter chats, my, you are a busy lady. But we all are, are we not?

    1.  @kittiewalker Maybe we could do some walking, eating and drinking next month! Thanks, Kittie, this is a lovely compliment. Busily preparing for England, done all the bookings – uff what a relief: a burden off my shoulders, a hole in my pocket!
      Very much looking forward to seeing you in London, another three weeks to go!

  6. What a nice post… but I don’t see any photos of you & Fabrizio in here while in Rome?  Thanks for sharing your trip with us Barbara! 🙂

    1.  @knikkolette Thank you, Knikkolette, and I apologize for the late reply. Haha, there is one photo which Fabrizio took (second from top), I am somewhat shy … Preparing my next trip to England in May, when I will meet with Kittie in London and attend a workshop from Plate2Page in Somerset, organised by four formidable foodie/phtographers, I am very excited! 

  7. Ah the life… travels, great food, great company!  I think I would feel terrified about meeting someone in person after knowing them online (I feel funny typing that considering my ex-bf is someone I met online and we’re still great friends, haha!)  My anxiety stems not from fearing the other person but fearing how I’d be.  I think ppl have the tendency to assume I’m ‘social’ and have a lot of things to say about a lot of things but in reality, I’m extremely reserved.  At least I’m telling you this now, in case we meet in the future  :-)))

    1.  @jpage.manuel Ah the life: it is all relative, take this short holiday to Rome: it represents about 1 % of a whole year, haha!
      Joy,  thank you for sharing your story, we are of the same mold, I am always worrying whether I will meet people’s expectations (probably because I do not think too highly of myself and my accomplishments), and of course, we will meet in the future and I can already see ourselves together, we could share some silence! But this is not how I envisage our get together, we will have so much to talk and laugh about.
      Have a lovely weekend with your family,
      big hugs, Barbara

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