Two months in Roma

Hi all - frequent lurker here, but rarely post. Just kicked off our epic year long retirement trip with a full two months in Rome. Thought it would be helpful to share the story of our journey here along with the sights, restaurants and wines we are experiencing along the way. Also sharing on Cellar Tracker as Two Months in Roma - CellarTracker
and Instagram as @retired_and_roving. Please let me know if you have any questions/suggestions.

For the past decade we have talked about spending our first year of retirement traveling the world. Having time to linger and getting to know the places we have loved visiting on vacation over the years. Well 2022 was the year and after a summer of relaxing at home we headed out on 9/5 to begin our great adventure. Aside from NYC, Rome has always been our favorite city in the world, so we decided to begin here with a two month stay. Two different AirBnBs both with balconies to enjoy different neighborhoods.

We used our Chase UR points for two business class seats on the JFK- MXP flight. Great airline and points value, but requires hopping on the Malpensa Express and connecting to the FrecciaRossa train for a 3 hour journey to Rome. All pretty seamless as we packed in a carry on for our year of travel! Made it to our home for the next month by 6pm.
Our first stay is a two bedroom loft, fifth floor walk up in a beautiful old palazzo between Piazza de Popolo and the Spanish Steps. The view from our terrace looks out to the Pincio Terrace overlook, Villa Medici and TrinitĂ  dei Monti. A lovely vantage point to enjoy delicious Italian wine and food! Our gracious host welcomed us with a bottle of the sparkling Muller-Thurgau below and an assortment of apertivi snacks. A great way to kick off the adventure.

Packed and heading to the airport!
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Got to love Emirates business class
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Home for the month of September
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Appertivi on the terrace!
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Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT

(9/6/2022)

Don’t think I have ever had sparkling Muller- Thurgau before but this was quite enjoyable. Welcome bottle at our Roman AirBnB whicjh we enjoyed on the balcony after a long day of travel. Crisp and light and perfectly dry - refreshing.

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Looks like you are doing it right! Rome is our favorite city too!

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Please keep posting your travels! :slight_smile: :wine_glass:

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Gonna enjoy this thread. Will be disappointed if you don’t journal at least daily :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Fun stuff. Congratulations on your retirements.

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Thanks, brings back memories. Enjoy yourselves, and do keep us posted!

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What everybody else said. Was just in Rome on Friday… and I’d rather have your itinerary, by far :slight_smile:

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FLIGHT 2 - DINNER AT DILLA (2 NOTES)

We made an 8pm reservation at Dilla, a local restaurant that we alway enjoy when visiting Rome. No provisions in the house yet so we need to eat out. Started with the tasty Grechetto from Sergio Mottura. Appetizers of carciofi alla romana and caprese salad followed by cacio e Pepe and meatballs all shared. We wanted one more glass so ordered a bottle that we could take home with us. A great first night except for the very hot and humid weather!

Dinner at Dilla
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Italy, Latium, Civitella d’Agliano IGT

(9/6/2022)

Discovered this producer on our last trip to Rome so was happy to try again. From the wine list at Dilla Rome. Color of golden honey, fragrant nose of summer stone fruit. Rich mouthfeel with good lift and a nice finish. Paired with caprese salad, carciofi Romano, cacio e pepe and polpette.

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Italy, Latium, Lazio

(9/6/2022)

From the wine list at Dilla Rome. Wanted an extra glass so we ordered the bottle and took the rest home. Definitely tasted better on night 1 than 2. More in the fatter style of viognier, with a heavier mouthfeel and a touch of oxidation starting to develop. At five years this is seeming a bit long in the tooth

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FLIGHT 3 - PROVISIONING, LUNCH AT SANTOVINO AND DINNER ON THE TERRACE (2 NOTES)

We began our first full day with a four mile power walk in the gorgeous Villa Borghese gardens - a wonderful way to start the day. After a quick stop for breakfast we hit the shops to buy provisions for our stay.

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Quite an experience learning to navigate the tight Roman grocery store and figuring out to arrange for delivery. Once our groceries were delivered and stored we headed out for a wonder, didn’t get to far before the heat defeated us so we stopped in for lunch at Santovino and had some great fresh salads with a bottle of Marco Felluga.

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After lunch we stopped in at the local wine shop Buccone to stock up on Italian white wine for enjoying at home. Later we made a light dinner and popped open our bottle of Les Cretes from the grocery store.

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Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Collio

(9/7/2022)

From the wine list at Santovino Rome. This was pretty tasty with stone fruit, minerals and brightness. Paired great with salads on a warm afternoon in Rome.

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Italy, Valle d’Aosta

(9/7/2022)

Simple, easy quaffer but this is inexpensive grocery store wine in Italy less than 10 euro. Bright and fresh for dinner on the balcony with burrata, tomatoes and salumi. Great value for a daily drinker

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FLIGHT 4 - VILLA BORGHESE MORNING WALK AND DINNER AT AL MORO (2 NOTES)

Our second day we were up early and after a quick breakfast at home we headed out for a seven mile walk around the Borghese Gardens, down Via Veneto and over to the Monti neighborhood. Stopped on Via Urbana at Urbana 47 for a mid morning coffee/tea break then continued on home.

Lunch of caprese salad on the terrace and some downtime along with laundry - the downside of packing light is laundry every other day. Also driers are pretty rare here so laundry has to be done and hung out to dry in the sun.

Our dinner tonight was at Al Moro, a long time favorite for us but tonight it disappointed a bit. We had a 7:30 reservation which is when the restaurant opens so we queued with the other diners until the doors were opened, learning on the Queen’s death from the British group behind us - so sad. We were seated in the back room with what seemed to be all Americans and were treated to the notoriously surly service from our grumpy waiter. Not our usual experience here but I know it is not uncommon - takes the pleasure out of it though. Started with a great bottle of Friulano and followed withe Fiorano bianco which seemed off. Caprese salad to share - the tomatoes were not super ripe. Then veal scallopine with artichokes for me and Dover sole Al Moro for my husband. The fish was not served hot which was less than ideal but the veal was delicious. So the first time we had a less than stellar visit here.

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Walked home with the obligatory trip past the Trevi (just around the corner) packed with summer tourists with the lower level blocked off.

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Lots of walking today - 13 miles!! Good thing as we are enjoying the food and wine.

Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Collio

(9/8/2022)

This was rocking tonight! From the wine list at Al Moro Rome and paired with caprese salad and vitello con carciofi. Beautiful golden straw color, fragrant nose of florals and summer, this tasted of peach and honey just lovely!

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Italy, Latium, Vino da Tavola

(9/8/2022)

From the wine list at Al Moro Rome. Normally one of my favorites, but tonight I think this bottle was off although my husband disagreed. To me it seemed a bit musty on the nose and lacking in the rich flavors it usually delivers.

We’ve eaten there! Good food.

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With all that walking and a fifth floor walkup, you won’t gain any weight!

Are you happy with your choice of accommodations? Looks lovely, but not sure my knees could handle a 5th floor duplex walkup.

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Hi Barry - that is the plan - lots of walking to offset the eating and drinking. So far so good - we also joined a local gym - to keep up with the strength training. Our joints are still pretty good - so after a few days we got pretty used to the stairs. Lots of stairs in Rome and also many hills so staying fit is key.

Thanks Brian, Alan and R_M - if it is not too much I plan to keep posting here and on Cellar Tracker. Journaling and photos helps me keep track of what we did and it is nice to go back and look for memories.

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Flight 5 - Wandering and Dinner at Ai Tre Scalini
Morning dawned with another hot humid day in Rome - thank god for air conditioning! Today’s morning walk took us out out into the city with a stroll through the Pantheon and a quick stop at the small and lovely Sant’Antonio deli Portughese church. We walked past and the baroque exterior drew us inside and it was just stunning. When in Rome we like to pop in random churches for a quick browse. No heavy touristing just charming little discoveries.

Sant’Antonio dei Portughese
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Continued our walk down through to Campo di Fiori and Piazza Farnese. The heat started taking its toll so we opted for a lunch stop at Roscioli Cafe. Got the last outdoor table in a nice shady spot - great people watching. Caesar salads with chicken and a glass of Ribolla Gialla (no tasting note as I did not get a picture of the label).

Lunch at Roscioli Cafe
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After lunch we proceeded to stroll out along Via Guila - which we think is one of the prettiest streets in Rome. Continued wandering for a while and eventually headed back home.

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Early dinner 6PM tonight at Ai Tre Scalini, a wine bar in Monti with a hip youthful vibe. The building covered in ivy, is totally picturesque. We opted for the Garofoli Verdicchio another new producer for us. We will be visiting Le Marche later on our trip so we are trying out as many producers as we can - to figure out where to visit. We started with a shared appetizer of Prosciutto and Ricotta with Truffled Honey. For the meal my husband opted for the Chicken with Red Peppers which has become his go to dish now in Rome. I took a flyer on something called Caccio al Coccio, which was a pot of melted scamorza cheese with speck ham and eggplant - a bit too heavy for a hot day.

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From Monti we took the long walk over to Piazza Farnese to try the wine bar Camponeschi that had been recommended to us by our landlord. He said it was a place that Romans enjoyed, although noted that it was pricy. So definitely a popular place, that spills out into the piazza when the tables are full. The most expensive glass of wine we have seen in Rome - 20 euro for a nameless Vermentino. We tried to order off the glass list where everything was 7-8euro, but were told they didn’t have any of those and given the choice of Chardonnay or Vermentino. Oh well - we loved the vibe and standing around the piazza surrounded by fashionable Romans drinking vino!!

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Then we headed back home and had a glass of the Donna Rosa Passerina to cap the night. Another great walking day with 9 miles - despite the heat!

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Italy, Marche, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

(9/9/2022)

From the wine list at Ai Tre Scalini Rome. Bright, tangy and fresh paired with Salumi and Ricotta with truffle honey. Another new producer for me in wines from this region. Would like to explore more of their wines.

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Italy, Latium, Frusinate IGT

(9/9/2022)

Another new producer recommended at the local wine shop in Rome. Pretty nose of summer peach, lovely rich stone fruit but with a core of acid. Tasty summer sipping on our terrace.

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**FLIGHT 6: Villa Borghese Gardens, Galleria Nazionale and Dinner at Cul de Sac
6 mile morning walk up the Spanish Steps and into the Villa Borghese Gardens, starting to get a feel for the layout and sections. Such a beautiful natural landscape, with many architectural details and sculptures dotted throughout. Clearly a place where the Romans take their exercise, walk their dogs and meet up for morning coffee with friends. Such a civilized and peaceful way to start the day. We are amazed by the bright green parrots that fly in the wild throughout the park - a strange sight for two New Yorkers. The weather today is particularly humid - so the shady park is very welcome.

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Lunch back at home today and given the heat, we decided to head to the Galleria Nazionale this afternoon to take in the modern art and escape the heat. We walk back up the hill through the park to reach the museum with its striking entrance- a blend of classical architecture and modern art. An interesting if not extensive collection with a large focus on modern Italian artists. I really enjoyed the Giacometti sculptures and these paintings by Felice Casorati (1934) and Cagnaccio di San Pietro (1932), as well as the table top full of small sculptures.

Entrance to the Galleria Nazionale with Lions by Davide Rivalta
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Leopard by Rivalta
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Ritratti by Felice Casorati 1934
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La Ragaaza e lo specchi by Cagnaccio di San Pietro
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Giacometti
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Dinner tonight at Cul de Sac - we were unable to catch a cab so arrived very warm as. The humidity had not let up. The restaurant was very warm inside as well, so a bit uncomfortable for hot food. We started with a glass of white wine while working on the salumi plate then switched to a big bruising bottle of red wine from Campagna, a mistake given the warm weather. Pasta amatriciana for me and Chicken with peppers for the husband, with a side of sautéed chicory. Food was good, wine was a miss ( bad ordering) and the service was brusque, which has not been our experience here in the past. Finished the evening with a pass by the Pantheon always my favorite spot. Racked up another 12 miles of walking today despite the heat!

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Italy, Campania, Falerno del Massico

(9/10/2022)

From the wine list at Cul de Sac Rome. A bit of a miscalculation for a very warm September evening. This was big with heavy dark fruit and tannin - too much for the heat. I would also want to give this another 5 years before I took another crack at it. Definitely not my bag tonight. Served with pasta amatriciana.

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Italy, Marche, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

(9/10/2022)

From the glass list at Cul de Sac Rome. Bright and refreshing with that great balance of fruit, acid and salty mineralogy that I love in this region. Another tact new producer.

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With the heat, a trip out to Tivoli gardens may be rewarding!

Although Hadrian’s palace gets way hot, it’s pretty awesome too.

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With 2 months you really have the time to dig deep into the countryside.

Consider Santa Scolastica in Subiaco

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Close to Rome, Tivoli is hard to beat

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If you stay 10-12 days only, Tivoli would be as far as you’d like to go. But with 2 months available you can go farther.
Subiaco, Montecassino, Gaeta and many more.

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