Two months in Roma

Have you tried the Collestefano VdM? I really liked the 2019, quite a wine (I put a TN on CellarTracker if you want more info).

Enjoying your posts!

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What a spectacular church!

I had kind of decided I’ve been to Rome enough, and with so many other places to try, or return to, might never go back. But you’re making me rethink that lol. Always had trouble finding restaurants that weren’t tourist traps, so much great info here, thanks!

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Not yet but will be on the lookout thanks for the recommendation. We are headed to Le Marché in November for a few days and plan to visit a bunch of winemakers so I am trying as many as possible.

Thanks Alan - we are trying to get the vibe of how it might be to live here. So our first week we hit the restaurants pretty hard alla vacation mode but we are settling into a rhythm now. Also noticing that by mid September the tourist throngs have started to thin out a bit. We usually come in late October/ November where tourism seems to be very light. It is just a spectacular city though just to stroll the neighborhoods and let the day take you where it will!

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Thanks Daniele, Josh and Barry for your suggestions - we are already planning a day trip to Tivoli next week and will look into your other ideas as well. The good news is the heat finally broke last week and we are into 70 degree fall wether now.

Cool! Really enjoying your posts & photos. Italy can be such fun.

Speaking of whites, have you had Roero Arneis? My fave is Giacosa. Not cheap-at least not over here-but a real treat.

Regards,

Peter

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FLIGHT 7 - SUNDAY LUNCH AT LIFE (3 NOTES)

Another morning walk through the Borghese Gardens - today we saw that one of the statues in the formal garden behind the Villa had been vandalized over night. It was toppled and smashed in pieces - so sad.

So we have been told that Sunday in Rome is about family and lunch. So we have decided to lean in to the tradition and make reservations for what I like to call a “proper lunch “, multiple courses and a bottle of wine. We have enjoyed our meals at LIFE Ristorante on previous trips and this was no exception. While their outside space is lovely we opted for inside due to air conditioning - another humid day. Great service, we started with appetizers of the fish tartare plate for me and fish carpaccio plate for him. Way too much food but it was fresh and delicious. For a main I had the gnocchi with sausage and black summer truffle and he had the Sole Meuniere with black summer truffle with a side of asparagus with sesame seeds. Desert was panna cotta with frutti di bosci. For wine we had the Livio Felluga Friulano followed by a glass of Sergio Mottura Poggio Della Costa Grechetto. A great place - highly recommended for a beautiful refined lunch with great service.

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No dinner tonight - we were still full from lunch - so just some sparkling water on the terrace and an early night.

Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Friuli Colli Orientali

(9/11/2022)

From the wine list at LIFE Ristorante Rome. Super young so more fresh and less complex than this might be in a few years. Bright fruit, minerals and some nutty flavors. Lovely with trio of fish tartare and gnocchi with salsiccia and black truffles.

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Italy, Latium, Civitella d’Agliano IGT

(9/11/2022)

From the glass list at LIFE Ristorante Rome. Compared to the Latour di Civitella which we had a few days earlier, this wine is not as special. Perfectly quaffable but I would rather drink the Latour which isn’t that much more expensive.

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FLIGHT 8 - STADIO MARMEI, BUCCONE AND DINNER ON THE TERRACE (2 NOTES)

Another hot/humid day - bit of a later start today so no power walk in the park but rather a long exploratory city walk. Today we decided to follow the Tiber north up towards the Flaminia neighborhood as we had never made it that way on previous trips. The banks of the Tiber are pretty well lined with beautiful trees so even in mid day sun you get some good shade. Ultimately we happened upon the old Olympic grounds ( Foro Italic), so we wandered over to look at the Stadio dei Marmi built in 1932 to celebrate Fascist accomplishments, it was used to host some events in the 1960 Olympics. Despite it origins it is a pretty spectacular stadium surrounded by marble statues. We continued our walk down to Via Flaminia and stopped for a quick lunch at a the busy Love Cafe. Then continued across the ancient Milvian bridge (pedestrian only) to continue the walk on Via Flaminia back towards home. This part of the walk was less scenic and a bit dreary as the road flanked a tram track and was quite busy with auto traffic. When you go wandering you never know where you’ll end up and this wasn’t our most interesting ramble but it is all part of the fun.

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To reward ourselves after our 7 mile urban trek we stopped in at Buccone, a great wine shop and bar in our neighborhood for a nice glass of chilled white wine. Then back home to relax and have a big salad and bottle of wine on the terrace. After dinner we took our 3 mile passeggiata over to Della Palma by the Pantheon for a little gelato. Another great day!

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Italy, Campania, Paestum IGT

(9/12/2022)

From the glass list at Buccone Rome. First time with this producer and I really enjoyed this wine. 100% fiano - this has a mouth coating texture with tropical fruit and bright acids.

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Italy, Umbria/Lazio, Orvieto, Orvieto Classico Superiore

(9/12/2022)

Recommended by the local Roman wine shop. First time with this producer. Tropical fruit and melon, nice mouthfeel, decent finish. Enjoyable with a large green salad.

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I hope you have several good pairs of shoes! You sure are covering a lot of territory on your walks.

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We enjoyed Life on our visits to Roma. Great to see you liked it too!

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May I give a shotout toTrecca (a restaurant)

It’s traditional roman cusine (but for real, as in "there are 12 items of the menu and all of them are roman cusine and not just Carbonara + seared tuna fillet with cherry tomatoes that’s not roman at all but you might want it anyway). In fact I don’t believe there are many tourist at all, not even Italian tourist. And they have an intresting wine list, not grail wines mind you.

Once you’re there in the area you have San Paolo fuori le mura which is one of the very best churches in Rome, on the other side you have the Appia area with catacombs and some other stuff.

Are you also into bars?

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Love Cul de Sac, but their AC could use a tune up. Hot AF inside when we were there.

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I just found this thread and look forward to reading about your year of adventuring. You guys look really young for retiree’s! Congratulations.

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FLIGHT 9 - WALKING, LUNCH AND DINNER ON THE TERRACE (2 NOTES)

Started the day with a six mile power walk in the Borghese gardens. Stopped into San Trinita dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps on our way home. This church is much plainer and more simple in design than many of the others in Rome. After a quick coffee/tea break at home we headed over to Piazza Barberini to find the Danilo Barberini gym. With two months in Rome this will be helpful to keep the fitness levels up. For today we just did a day pass, but the next visit we ended up getting a monthly membership- much cheaper. The place was pretty empty, with lots of equipment it not as sleek or fresh as we are used to at home - oh well they have everything we need. After an hour at the gym we were quite hungry so stopped off at a place on Via Lombardia, off Via Veneto that looked popular. We sat outside with all the local office workers ( seemed like young bankers) and enjoyed a lunch of pizza and salad and roast chicken for the husband. Washed that down with some Greco di Tufo. A good morning of exercise and eating!

Temple of Aesculapius
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Sallustiano Obelisk
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San Trinità dei Monti
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This afternoon we just relaxed at home and caught up with tasting notes, journaling and reading. So nice to be able to have time to unwind and process which you never really get on shorter trips! Dinner at home tonight with provisions we bought at this great store on Via Lombardia - great selection of prepared foods, meats and cheese. Bresaola, prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted eggplant and peppers, tomato salad with a Marziano Abbonia Cinerino on the terrace. Just shy of 10 miles today!

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Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG

(9/13/2022)

From the very brief wine list at Tempio di Bacco Rome. This was well chilled and refreshing but a bit too tart leaning for my preference. I prefer a bit more body and texture in my Greco and this was tasting lean.

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Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC

(9/13/2022)

Recommended by the local Roman wine shop, drank on the balcony with a light dinner of caprese salad with roasted eggplant. Quite a mouthful - this is a big textured wine, I enjoyed it but was definitely more of a sipper.

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FLIGHT 10 - VILLA FARNESINA AND DINNER AT LA BUVETTE (1 NOTE)

Tasting Story 9/15

Early start today with a 7:30 walk over to Trastevere - love the city at this hour everything is so much quieter. First stop was into the Basilica dei Santiago Ambrogio e Carlo Corso on Via Corso. This church has a fabulous dome you can see from the top of the Spanish Steps and the Pincio overlook, but you don’t notice as much while walking by. We are glad we did as the interior was pretty spectacular - particularly the ceiling.

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Next we made the climb up Capotoline Hill for our favorite view of the Forum - great when you have it to yourself but bad time of day for pictures.

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Then a stroll through the Jewish ghetto and past Piazza Matteo with the lovely Fontana Della Tarrarughe (turtle fountain). This is one of favorite little squares in Rome.

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Then over the Ponte Cestio into Trastevere. Wow the difference in this neighborhood between night and morning is incredible. Raucous and rowdy at night - the morning was quiet and delightful! We stopped at one of the few open cafés- Long Island Night Cafe (ha of all the places)and had a quick breakfast before continuing our wander. Ultimately we happened upon the Villa Farnesina and decided to pop in for a visit. This place was a wonderful visit - what a gem and we basically had it to ourselves. The frescos by Raphael and the loggia where legen says Michelangelo came in and painted the one colorless head in order to play a prank on Raphael. Highly recommend a visit here.

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Stopped at Enoteca Constantini on our way back home to stock up as we have a friend coming for a week long visit tomorrow. Love this wine store in Piazza Cavour great selection.

Game time decision for a neighborhood dinner tonight at La Buvette. Food was okay not great - I would stop here for a drink and a snack but would not repeat for dinner. Pasta amatriciana and roast chicken with a bottle of Cutizzi Greco.

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Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG

(9/14/2022)

From the wine list at La Buvette, Rome. Offered as an alternative to the Pietracupa which was out of stock. Not particularly distinctive in character, lots of lean acids, fine with the food, but probably not a repeat for me.

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Hmm…two Greco di Tufo in a row. You might enjoy this one White ### 2016 Le Ormere Greco di Tufo

Greco di Tufo DOCG

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This thread is already better than any Rome guidebook I’ve owned!

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@Maire_ONeill - Oh my goodness, just stumbled on your journal and it is AMAZING, thank you so much!

Our retirement trip will be a month on France, with 1.5 weeks in Paris and 2.5 in Lyon, but hmmm, do we make the wrong choice? :grinning:

Anyway, keep having a fantastic time, and if you get a chance, you may want to visit Pietro Valentini Ristorante at 19 Via Dei Pianellari.

We have eaten their many times during our trips to Rome, and just love Simone (her husband is the chef) and her brother Francesco (he dubbed me “his big American friend”). Certainly known to the American crowd, but we had our table towards the back and always dined later so we could see Simone’s sister’s come in and sit at the back table and discuss the day with Simone and Francesco.

Here’s a pic of Simone and Francesco from 2016, I think they are still around and having fun!

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@Maire_ONeill Love these posts and the great photos. Really looking forward to more!!! What a dream stay for a great amount of time, good for you both!

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FLIGHT 11 - LUNCH AT COLLINE EMILIANE AND DINNER AT DILLA (3 NOTES)

Our dear friend, who lives in Houston TX, arrives this morning for a week long visit. It’s so good to be traveling with friends again after COVID. She got in around 10:30am and hit the ground running after a quick shower. We headed out for a city walk on another hot/humid day. We walked down past the Pantheon and Piazza Navona then over to Piazza Mattei in the Jewish ghetto. Thinking we’d stop for a mid morning coffee - our friend surprised us with a desire for a drink! Well three glasses might as well get a bottle:). Despite having about 10 wines listed on he menu we had a choice of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio - so Chardonnay it was! Beautiful square overlooking the turtle fountain and great catching up with our old friend we only get to see a few times a year.

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After drinks we continued walking stopping in at San Luigi dei Francesci church to see the Caravaggio paintings.

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Then made the long walk over to Colline Emiliane for our 2:15 reservation - a terrific small restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna. We shared the mixed antipasto plate (not to be missed) and then each had a different version of their stuffed pasta. (Tortellini in brodo, tortellini di ricotta e spinaci, tortellini di zucchini). Shared a desert of lemon meringue - yum! With a bottle of Cruno del Lago Falanghina to wash it all down. A great meal!

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Walked back home to rest and chill out for a bit. Then made a game time decision to head out to a nearby spot, Dilla for dinner. Started with the delicious Carciofi alla guidia? And various Roman pastas. Then home to bed. Covered 7 miles today not bad for someone who flew overnight from Texas to Rome!

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Italy, Campania, Campi Flegrei

(9/15/2022)

From the wine list at Colline Emiliane, Rome. Another enjoyable bottle of this delightful Falanghina with lunch of mixed antipasto and tortelloni di ricotta e spinach con burro e salvia. Great balance of fruit and acid. Very enjoyable!

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Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT

(9/15/2022)

From the very basic wine list of the cafe in Piazza Mattei overlooking the Fontana Tartarughe, Rome. Such a beautiful square and fountain- celebrating the arrival of our good friend. This was the only option available despite the much longer list. A crisp dry Chardonnay well chilled for a warm day. Totally quaffable if not particularly memorable.

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Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Friuli Aquileia

(9/15/2022)

From the wine list at Dilla, Rome. First time with this producer and it was enjoyable. 100% friulano, 80% in steel with 20% in barrique. Full and round mouthfeel with golden fruit and mineral notes. Paired with carciofo alla giudia and pasta amatriciana.

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FLIGHT 12 - LUNCH AT MERCATO CENTRALE AND DINNER AT ROMA SPARITA (1 NOTE)

Started the day with breakfast and coffee/tea on the terrace followed by a 6 mile power walk through the Borghese Gardens - by now we feel like locals here and are happy to share the treasures of the park with our friend. Back home for shower and change then onto today’s agenda.

Our destination for lunch is the Mercato Centrale, an idea I start to regret as we make our way over to the Roma Termini train station where it is located. In a city full of beauty, this has to be one of the most unpleasant walks, gritty and full of car fumes with lots of refuse on the streets. The Mercato is at the far back end of the train station so we got a full does before stepping inside to the beautiful modern Mercato. Very sleek with all types of prepared foods - pizza, Salumeria, sandwiches, salads, pasta, roasted meats etc…. There is something here for everyone including a wine bar. You get a tray, order what you want from each station, including wine and then make your way over to an empty table. This is not a market to buy produce and meats, which is more of what I was expecting but the food was good and it was an experience.

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After lunch we walk up through Monti and stop in the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore.

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A little refreshment is in order so we make our way back to Ai Tre Scalini and snag an outdoor table with some nice glasses of vino bianco. Didn’t get any pictures of the labels here so no notes. Great little wine bar with a young, hip Brooklyn kind of vibe. Then back home for some downtime before dinner.

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Dinner is at Roma Sparita in Trastevere and we decide to take a taxi there which was a bit tricky as the Ubers kept dropping us and there was a line at the nearby taxi stand but eventually we got a ride and arrived on time. What a cool place with a large outdoor dining area in a quiet piazza. We sat outdoors and the service was terrific. Started with shared appetizer of mussels marinara which was excellent. Then we shared an order of bucatini amatriciana which was also great. I had the veal scallopine al limone which was quite tough and not particularly good, but everything else was excellent so I think I just ordered poorly. We all really enjoyed the Illuminati Pecorino so much we ordered a second bottle. After dinner we wandered the hopping night life scene in Trastevere and stopped for a drink at a little bar. Then we began the walk home. It was a beautiful night so we detoured to Capitoline Hill to see the view of the Forum at night. It was awesome! So we called the moms on WhatsApp video chat and shared the view with them! They loved it! Then we tipsily meandered back home passing all the key monuments along the way. - a very fun night! Epic walking day 13.8 miles.

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Italy, Abruzzi, Controguerra

(9/16/2022)

From the wine list at Roma Sparita. So enjoyable we ordered a second bottle. First time with this producer and we found this to be great value for the price. Floral nose, pear and citrus well balanced. Worked well with mussels marinara, spaghetti amatriciana and vitello Al limone.

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Good luck here. After 3-4 months of posting photos and experiences of living in Paris, my “dear friend” visits went from an anticipated 4-5 to over 30 in two years. I guess the core difference for you is that you’re retired; we had people landing on our heads, ready for tour guide/vacation time and I was off to work or travelling every day!

If you return to Roma Sparita, make sure you get the cacio e pepe. They do a fantastic rendition of it, on a parmesan crisp. I don’t know that I appreciated it at Anthony Bourdain’s “single greatest dish I’ve ever had” level, but it was definitely delicious.

Loving the thread, as I expected, even more so after visiting Rome 2x in the last 4 months! Gives me an excuse to plan for trip #3!

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