Rome 2010

For those of you who might find yourself passing through Rome, here are a few notes and photos related to my recent stay there.

Rome 2010

I've visited Rome a number of times, and I think I've finally nailed the time of year to visit. It took a few tries. Shoot for anytime between late September and mid-October. The weather is nice, but not hot. You might get the occasional afternoon rain, but not much beyond that. As far as where to stay? I still don't have a great recommendation for apartment rentals. Both times I've rented apartments, they've been perfectly o.k. - clean, great locations, completely livable, reasonable value for the money. I'd recommend the apartment we rented in Testaccio if it weren't for the noise. The mind-numbing noise. Even with earplugs. This particular apartment was on a busy, highly trafficked street, and even with the two layers of shutters closed, it was like living next to a freeway.

What to do in Rome 2010

To reduce Rome to a list of places I enjoyed on this particular visit feels a bit strange. In part because it's all the little moments getting from place to place that I love. To be able to pop into the Pantheon on your way to a coffee date, or buy mushrooms at market that has been in the same place for hundreds of years feels so different to me than what I experience in my regular day to day routine. And the way ancient architecture and iconography is woven into urban life there never gets dull.

Here are a list of the places and experiences I enjoyed, organized somewhat by location. If you happen to visit Rome, try to seek at least a few of them out. I've also included some other links and resources at the bottom of the list. -h

What to do in Rome 2010


00100 Pizza: Pizza al taglio, the best of its kind. I couldn't get enough of it. Their pizza would have been enough of a draw, but they also have a refrigerator filled with artisan beer. Grab one and a slice then sit on one of the nearby park benches. My favorites were the aged balsamic-drizzled stilton, and the margherita.
Via Giovanni Branca 88, Testaccio
phone: 0643419624

Nuovo Mondo: great Roman-style pizza
Via Amerigo Vespucci, 9-17, Testaccio

MACRO Testaccio: Rome's international festival of photography was taking place at MACRO while we were visiting. You can check the website for current exhibitions.
Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4

Bar Paticceria Lunari: Old school atmosphere, good espresso, locals of all ages, and chocolate/hazelnut-filled Italian doughnuts.

Pizzeria Remo: More great Roman-style pizzas.
Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44

Volpetti: The ultimate Italian deli. It's where I would stock up on sheep ricotta, pecorino, grains, beans, lentils, and bread. You can have prepared lunch just around the corner as well at Volpetti Più.
Via Mormorata 47

Canestro Natural Foods: A well-stocked natural food store in Testaccio. They stock whole grains, whole grain flours, natural sweeteners, tofu, seitan, and a range of pastas. Much of what you would find in a U.S. natural foods shop.
Via Luca della Robbia 42

What to do in Rome 2010


American Academy in Rome: Friends of the American Academy in Rome have the ability to have lunch at the academy with up to ten friends, by reservation. For more information email Tina Cancemi.

Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa: A hole in the wall beer bar focused on craft beers. I love this place, BUT in an instant it can turn into a raging dude-packed football bar, which isn't really my thing. So I developed a bit of a strategy. I would go late in the afternoons, or early in the evenings, and pray there was no game being broadcast. If I lucked out, I could grab one of the five barstools, relax, and talk to the bartender about what they had on tap, and try a bunch of stuff.
Via Benedetta 25

Biscottificio Artigiano: The little almond macaroon cookies dunked in chocolate.
Via della Luce, 21, Trastevere


Il Gelato di San Crispino: Consistently my favorite place to order gelato in Rome -I kept going back for the chocolate-rum, and any of the ones with meringue chunks.
Piazza della Maddalena 3

Gelateria del Teatro: A close second for the gelato prize. I love the nut gelatos here.
Via di San Simone 70, Navona

Open Baladin: More artisan beer, much of it Italian. Huge number on tap. And on the food front, I had a particularly satisfying Insalata Farro for lunch here one day. Kid-friendly.
Via degli Specchi 6

Mia: Cute, cute shop
Via di Ripetta 224
39 06 97841892

What to do in Rome 2010


ars-imago: I took some of my b/w film here for development. I was a bit nervous, but it worked out great. You need a week for turn-around though, and make note of the shop hours. They also stock hard to find films including Impossible Project instant film.
Via degli Scipioni 24/26
phone: 3382300648


Gusto: Part of the Gusto mini-empire, this is, hands-down, my favorite lunch-time buffet in Rome. Choose from a spread of twenty-some platters of salads, antipasti, and cheeses. Sit outside & people watch under the massive awning.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9
phone: 39 06 3226273

We also enjoyed Gusto Osteria Formaggeria, for dinner, just around the corner.
Via della Frezza 23
phone: 39 06 32111482

Banchetti Sport: If you're in the market for a nice ski parka or vest, this is the place to go.
Via Campo Marzio 38
phone: 06 6871420

Vino Roma: One evening before dinner, I squeezed in a wine class taught by Hande Leimer. And I'm so happy I did. We tasted a wide range of Italian wines, and I met a table of people all with different reasons for being in Rome. If you're interested in learning about Italian wines while in Rome, have a look at Hande's wine tasting calendar. She gives you the option of choosing from a number of different formats, including a wine & cheese lunch. The location is central, between the Vatican and the del Popolo, which makes it easy to work a class into your overall plans for the day.
Vino Roma blog

Museo Maxxi: The just-opened contemporary art museum built by Zaha Hadid. Bought a David Hockney photography volume at the bookstore. One I've never seen before. Hop the subway at Piazza del Popola a couple stops to Appolodoro.
Via Guido Reni 4, Villa Borghese
phone: 06 3201829


Birra+: Neighborhood artisan beer shop. Bottles to-go for the most part, and although there wasn't a tasting the night we were there, apparently they regularly host tastings.
Via del Pigneto 105
phone: 06 70613106

Tiger Tandori: I had a pretty darn good spinach dosa here one night.
Via del Pigneto 193
phone: 06 97610172

What to do in Rome 2010


- I visited Rome in 2007, here is a list of some of the places I visited, and things I saw on that trip. Twenty things I encountered in Rome.

- Kristina Gill is the Rome-based editor of one of my favorite cooking series - the in the kitchen with section on Design*Sponge. Here's her round-up of Vintage Furniture Shops in Rome. Related, the Design*Sponge Rome Design Guide.

- Photographer Penny de los Santos spent time photographing neighborhoods in Rome for the April 2010 issue of Saveur Magazine. You can see a number of her shots here.

- I ran into Rachel a couple times while in Testaccio, a total fluke. She was nice enough to introduce herself and say hi to me on the street. Her Rome-centric food blog has lots of appealing recipes and lovely photos to match.

- New York Times: 36 Hours in Rome by Rachel Donadio

- Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome: favorite places. I also wish I'd seen this sooner: Elizabeth's Rome.

I'm sure many of you have favorite places that I missed, or never got to on this trip. Please feel free to post them in the comments. -h

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p.s.: i didn’t see that you even put of the two owner is my cousin…well actually he just quit.but well thw actual owner is a good friend..I’m really IMPRESSED.


wow..I’m surprised by your list..I know the most of the places you noticed..and i thought it was unbelivable that you know Biscottificio artigiano (INNOCENTI) in via della of my best friend is the nice of the owner.. i’m simply in love with their “Baci di Dama” and “pizzette rosse” (the little rounded pizza made with puff pastry an tomato).
i just want to suggest youanother place
PIZZARIUM is a little pizzeria “to go” (we use to say “al taglio”) but they use just natural yeast and biological wheat..the vegetables often comes from the garden of the owner, and everything is particularly good. You MUST get ther the next time you’ll be in rome. It is located just in front of the metro station CIPRO. it’s a littlebit more expensive than other pizzeria al taglio, but it definitely deserves a visit. (i’m not a parent nor friend of the owner…it is just good!!)


Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

computer services

We live in Testaccio, but rented many apartments before moving here and wanted to respond to the apartment quandary.
Here’s our favorite:
It belongs to an architect, is utterly comfortable, is on the 5th floor and offers a gorgeous terrace that overlooks the rooftops of Rome. It’s utterly silent and is on the Via Balestrari between Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Farnese. We’ve stayed with friends and family and it’s been wonderful. Enjoy!
HS: That looks beautiful Katherine, thanks for the tip.

Katherine Young

This is such a comprehensive and thoughtful list. I would have loved to read this before I went to Rome. If only I was so lucky. Your photographs are beautiful as well. I stumbled on this blog thanks to and I will keep coming back!


I was in Rome for the first time in fall 2009 (for our luna di miele, or honeymoon!) and your 2007 picks were a fabulous field guide. I need to go back again with your most recent recommendations.
I also LOVED that you bumped into Rachel from racheleats on the street – you two are my favorite food bloggers! Not only are both of your recipes always delicious and different, but you both write beautifully and take photos that just sing.
Thanks for sharing!

kb from to

What did we do to deserve you?


Brilliant. I have been to Rome three times (lucky me) and there is still so much more to see. I only discovered Trastevere on my most recent trip, can you believe it. I cannot wait to return. I will hit up these recommendations for sure. The eternal city 🙂
Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

I once visited in November and thought the timing was just perfect- a blend of lovely weather with no tourists!


I too just returned home from Rome and I concur with your thoughts on the weather this time of year: it was absolutely ideal. I was so happy to reminisce about my travels while reading through your post…oh how the time goes by so quickly! We returned just a short month ago, and I already know I want to return someday. We visited many beautiful destination points while in Italy including Tuscany, Florence, Venice and The Cinque Terre. If you have not been to The Cinque Terre, I highly recommend it. I would love to share some photographs with you if you’re interested. My boyfriend has a great love for photography as well. In any event, gratzie for all of the wonderful recipes you create and share up here. I have tried several of them and love them all! Ciao ~ Kristi


The way you write makes me feel like I was there with you. I love the pictures. I get to see places through your cameras eye. I think that you sharing this is lovely and I will try to visit some of those places when I go. Maybe I will be able to share my visit with you.


Heidi such personal insights and travel tips are a gift to the would-be traveler. Here’s to the day I can personally run through this list as visitor to the Eternal City. Thank you.

Tall Clover

Great images, i was in Rome recently and its a food lovers heaven. It was only a long weekend but i must have put on 10 lbs!


Great post! Love the photographs!

Rick Barbata

What a great blog! Thanks for the list. We are off to see my family in Florence in March. This time I have promised to take my wife to Rome. We always stay around Tuscany or go over to Venice. This time it will be different, thanks.

Seb@ Palm Tree Decor

Great round up; I love travel posts! You must keep going away, so I can live your adventures through your words and pictures!


your pictures look as ancient as Rome! great!!!
and they bring back memories too


I believe that I am going to Rome in May. I was undecided but this post has helped to make my decision. Thank you, the timing could not have been more perfect. I think it was a sign.


What a great collection of suggestions for Rome – and your photos are absolutely stunning! I actually really appreciate your saying that you like Rome in the fall best – I have to completely agree. The weather is just lovely and there aren’t too many tourists around.
Have to just chime in that if anyone’s going, they should also check out Dar Poeta in the Trastevere neighborhood for some incredible pizza. And anyone looking for apartment rentals should check out Leisure in Rome. I’ve written all this up on the Jauntsetter site, if anyone’s interested…


i’d also like to hear more about apartment rentals in rome. what’s a reliable source to find available rentals and what is the price range that one should be willing to pay? i’d be looking for a distinctly old (historic sounds better), culturally accurate place that takes me back in time, not something super modern that you’d find in the states.
does that even exist?


My husband and I were in Rome in september 09. We had wonderful time.
An advice to anyone planning to travel to Italy, try to avoid going in August. Most Italians take their holiday in August so most of the places are pretty much shut down.
We were there early September and the weather was perfect. I would consider early spring as well, March, April and May are also good in my opinion.
When we were at the Pantheon we found this great restaurant called “Armando al Pantheon”, we had a great lunch there:
A place not to miss in my opinion is “Villa Borghese museum”. for anyone who like arts museums, and is into Italian painters from the Renaissance period, the Villa Borghese is a must see.
We had to walk right next to the museum every morning in order to get to Piazza del Popolo metro station. The museum looks beautiful from the outside as much as it does from the inside.


Do you have a favorites list for Venice? Loved your insights on Rome!
HS: Sorry, Gloria, not yet. Maybe someday. It has been a looong time since I’ve been there and most of my recommendations would be terribly outdated.


Love, love, love your observations. We travel a lot like you do – just fitting in with the culture we are in and hanging out where the locals are. Italy is one of my favourite destinations and I have bookmarked your article and a lot of the links you listed in this piece. Thank you.
Ciao, B.

Barbara Lang

completely stunning photographs. rome is definitely on my must-visit-someday list.

laura @ alittlebarefoot

I love, love Rome, and it was great to travel back there with your wonderful photos. We took our kids to Rome for first time this past Spring and I did a write up of our favorites from the trip for anyone who is interested. Our favorite gelateria — and we tried many — was also San Crispino.


i love the list, heidi – but these photographs! timeless, beautiful.


Thanks for this article and the links to your 2007 visit. Rome is one of my favorite places on earth and its so nice to see it through your lens.
We’re heading back there in April and as a new vegetarian your suggestions and articles have me fortified to find great food without meat.


Curious to know which camera you were using for the B&W shots…they are breathtaking! So much gratitude for you and your blog…been following for almost two years now and have had countless amazing meals inspired by 101cookbooks. Thank you, Heidi!


Thanks for all your suggestions. Next year, when in Rome, I will certainly visit some of them.

Bogna@Pots and Frills

Ah-hooray! Your travelogues make me just want to book a ticket, Heidi. Over the summer my fiance and I followed your trail in Paris–I would have never tasted Gianduia (spelling, anyone?) gelato at Pozzetto’s without your prompting…but then I had it every. single. day. Thank god for your palate and your blog. Not only do you make cooking during the week fun and sane, but your also make vacation a culinary delight!
HS: You’re welcome Linsey! Happy to help. 🙂


Hopefully will be there on my honeymoon next .. October! Glad to see your post said it was a good time, awesome awesome list!


Oh I loved the Campo dei Fiori, and we found a fantastic bakery around the corner from there that made the best jam crostini I have ever eaten!


I too adore Roma. Not least because my now very Australian husband migrated from there when he was 9 years old. His 90 y.o. aunt still lives in a beautiful apartment close to il centro. Thank you so much for your special place list and I agree it’s often the adventure you have on the way to a place that makes it even more special. My tip for rental accommodation is This site is for private appt owners who rent directly to holiday makers. As for a place in Rome; I am tempted to try an appt in the Campo dei Fiori but I take your point about noise – it may be worth the risk though to wake up to that fabulous market.

Annette Ferrero

HI Heidi!
Thanks for linking to my vintage shops post. Some of those shops (like Lamps60) have moved (Lamps60 has moved to Monti), or closed! I should update it and move the post somewhere else, since my blog in its previous incarnation is for all purposes and intents defunct!! k
HS: Hi K! Let me know if/when you update your list, and I’ll update the link on this end!


*sigh . . .

A Teenage Gourmet

I have been to Europe but did not stay and visit Italy yet, I should do one of these days, sounds wonderful.

Pam @ Kitchen Cookware

The first time I visited Rome was in October. I thought it was warm and lovely meanwhile, the Italians were dressed for winter.

Carmie of the Single Nester

Thanks! I’ve been following your blog for years and enjoy your culinary excursions vicariously!
This is so timely. I was engaged 2 days ago and we are planning a month-long vacation in Rome next summer and hope to marry there too. I’ve been to Rome 12 years ago but I’m looking forward to sharing it with my fiance and 2 kids! I would love to hear more about your apartment rentals. Clean & safe is pretty much my only concern! 🙂


Sounds amazing.

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

WOW! Heidi, these are such beutiful pictures!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)

This is perfect, as I will be in Rome next year. Thanks!!
(As a sidenote, last time I was in Rome I went to an amazing restaurant near the Pantheon in a quaint, amazingly non-touristy hole-in-the-wall place called La Sagrestia. Probably the BEST food I had in Italy let alone Rome.


Ahhhhh – such a wonderful dilemma – what to do and see when in Rome. Rome is a “feast” to be explored, touched and tasted. I find if you stay off of the “tourist” path and mingle with the natives you will be moved, touched and inspired by a very modern people living in a very ancient city. The paradox of the “new” juxtaposed against the “old” is always inviting.
Viva Roma!

Don Roberto

Beautiful, beautiful pictures…brings back great memories…thank you Heidi!

The Healthy Apple

This is fantastic! I leave for Rome on Thursday. Can’t wait to try some new spots based on your recommendations. Thanks Heidi!


Thanks Heidi for the shout out about my blog and the Academy. Your list is great, and I love the photographs (as always).
HS: It was great meeting you Elizabeth. Can’t wait to visit again.


I was in Rome at almost the same time as you. It was my first trip, but I look forward to going back! The urban and the ancient woven so closely together and the people all fascinated and enchanted me. For a city of 3.8 million, it felt almost cozy!
Thanks for sharing your images and thoughts. I will add some of your sites to my list for next time!


Loved that you mentioned artisanal beers. Not enough said about local brews in countries known for their wine.
Wine tastings are a great way to learn about wines because they teach you so much about wine characteristics and what you like. A month in Rome sounds like an awesome trip.
HS: Agreed! We had fun tasting good beer on tap around Rome! It took us to some offbeat places we might not have found otherwise.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

Thank you! I’ve been to Rome a couple of times, and on both trips I found the food to be incredibly disappointing (and I’m not usually that picky!). I’m keeping this list to guide me the next time I travel.


I haven’t been to Rome in years but thanks for the links. I love when people post recommendations for places to stay, eat and see. I rather have that from a trusted source than some guide or online. I try to do restaurants reviews as i go. I was recently in Thailand for the 10th time or so. Love it there. So if you are ever going to Thailand let me know and i will give you the good places to stay. I haven’t posted it on my blog yet, will some day.


Note to self: Get to Rome!
Thanks for the tips. Cheers:)

the french

i’ve been reading your blog for a while, tried and loved so many of your recipes. you are so inspiring and creative.
being from roma i would feel extremely happy to return you a favor and suggest you a few favourites of mine:
Via Marcantonio Colonna, 34
(near lepanto metro station)
it’s a sicilian handmade delicious place, whipped cream is amazing, they have tons of different flavours, pistacchio is true heaven, also lots of soja ones, typical sicilian sweets like cannoli and maritozzi a kind of sweet bread you can fill with icecream.
it used to be quite local and not so popular, but i’ve seen crouds going more and more lately and sure they deserve, for it’s the best icecream ever tried in my life.
another summer time must is grattachecca, you can find many chiosks along the sidewalks in rome, but nowhere you’ll get a more delicious one like here:
grattachecca la sora maria
via trionfale
(nearest metro station is ottaviano)
it’s open from 1 june to last day of september and i can swear me and my sister no matter how chilly is the weather on 30 september we’d be queuing (together with dozens of people) each year to get our last grattachecca of the year. this place is local and well known and appreciated among romans, that’s why we’d queue for even half an hour to get smashed ice mixed with fruit syrups and pieces of fresh lemons, berries and coconut. it’s the best summer refreshness.
again, thanx a lot for your healthy delicious blog. i’ll keep reading. maybe i ll see you in roma once 😉
have a lovely week,
cheers from italy
HS: Wow Valeria, thanks for the recommendations. It sounds like a bunch of people are heading to Rome, and I’m sure they’ll be much appreciated.


looks like you had a great trip! thanks for sharing!

the blissful baker

I’ve been to Rome several times now and it never gets old. I love your b&w photos. Thanks for sharing your list of recommendations as well. Those will come in handy for next time 🙂


Thank you! We are actually leaving for Rome in two days, so this comes in very handy. Can’t wait to try the meringue gelato!


I’ve been to Rome a while ago (to be exact 20 years ago) and I remember the food being delicious, evn in the most common and unsuspectable places.


I also have been in Rome several times and love this city. It is so amazing to stroll around a corner and suddenly standing in front of an old monument which is already there for many centuries.
Thank you for the nice pictures and the great tips.

Eva (1 big bite)

Thanks! I will keep this in mind when I take a tour of Europe next year!

Alex (Spoonful of Sugar Free)

I’m so jealous. Rome (Italy in general) is next on my list of oversea places to visit.

Tabitha (from single to married)

I spent several weeks in Rome when I was 19 on my solo European adventure. I remember clearly the museums, the vatican, the food, the men, and the food- but most of all, I too recall the very loud nights of traffic outside my window.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

Lucky!! I’ve been to Rome as a teenager so this is bringing back lovely memories. Great tips.


Wow, thanks for the tips! I was in Italy this summer, but didn’t make it to Rome (crazy eh?). Anyway, I’m going back this summer and will definitely be making a trip back!


Beautiful! Your trip looks incredible.

Jessica @ How Sweet

Excellent. Your blog, your pics, your recipes! Love it1 thanks a lot for sharing!


Thank you Heidi for such a thorough and thought out list – it is always so much nicer to hear of people’s personal recommendations and suggestions. I love the photo of the little car too – was it decorated like that as part of a wedding perhaps?
HS: It was Kate! This was, by far, the cutest one I saw. The baby’s breath was adorable, and it was parked just outside a church waiting for the bride and groom. My only regret is not having color film for this particular shot :/…


Your trip to Rome looks fantastic! I will definitely keep the restaurants you’ve listed in mind when I visit this summer.


thank you! thank you! thank you!


Beautiful pictures. I especially like the first one. Cheers, Joe

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

Thank you Heidi for the virtual adventure to Roma. The pictures and recommendations are perfect, if I could I would jump on a plane for some pizza and gelato pronto!

The Bounty Hunter

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