home | travel

barry hoggard - Rome Trip - May 1996

Most useful book for the trip: Time Out Rome, Second Edition (1996).

** means Favorites.

Albergo del Sole

We stayed here all 9 nights. Good value for a cheap hotel in Rome. Basic and clean, not fancy, but not really tacky either. We had a room on the inner courtyard, so it was quiet, especially for Rome. The clientele is mostly European and young, with many Germans. We had a bit of trouble when we arrived. We had made reservations four months before, but hadn't placed a deposit. When we arrived, they tried to get us to stay at another hotel down the street for the first night. After arguing a bit in English and Italian, they gave us a room, which was remained ours for the entire stay. After that, the staff was pretty good. There's an inner courtyard and rooftop area, with a drink machine, but we didn't spend much time there.

At the end of our stay, a man named Bruno drove us (at high speed) all the way to Fiumicino Airport for the cost of a taxi to one of the train stations. Bruno normally does odd jobs around the hotel, and speaks pretty good English. It's worth asking about him when you're ready to leave.


All restaurant prices are for two people, three courses each, with one bottle of (non-house) wine.

Taverna Angelica

Excellent restaurant, with creative Roman cooking on a quiet street not too far from the Vatican. It's pretty inside, and the seafood was fresh and excellent. There's a very good wine list. Very friendly staff.

Cul de Sac 1

A wine bar with an encyclopedic wine list - including a few notes in Italian on each wine region and DOC. A good place to try wine with cheese, sausage, and warm and cold antipasti.

**Osteria del Gallo

A small, very attractive restaurant located near the antiques district. The food is slightly nouvelle, but not fancy. Simple, but excellently prepared dishes, with plenty of seafood. The fritto misto (mixed lightly fried seafood) was excellent, but not for amateurs at eating fish served whole. We ate there several times, at lunch and dinner. It's a bit more formal at dinner. They had been open five months when we visited.

Hostaria Giulio

A restaurant with outdoor tables on a small street off Via Giulia. It's run by a friendly couple in their 40s and has good pasta and fish.

**Da Lucia

Our favorite restaurant of the trip. The price quoted for two people is for a big meal, with 2 antipasti, 2 primi, 2 secondi, 2 dolci, 2 caffé, and a good bottle of wine. It's located on a small street off Via del Mattonato. We sat at the outdoor tables in the little street every time, with laundry from the street's apartments hanging high above us. It's family run, with simple food like rabbit cooked in white wine and spaghetti alla gricia (with bacon, black pepper and grated parmesan).

Le Maschere

Calabrian restaurant, with many fish dishes. The food is good, but I'm not sure it's really worth the prices charged. The wine list is good, with a lot of southern whites and reds. Sit outside, because the inside is pretty tacky.


A good restaurant with a vaguely southern, heavily seafood-oriented menu. We asked for menus and a wine list, but all of the Italians simply talked to the waiters about what was good and ordered accordingly. Outdoor tables on a small square. The food was quite good, but the service was very disorganized. It was much better than Time Out Rome's description.

**Ristorante Pallaro

Located on a tiny "square" behind the Albergo del Sole. Home cooking, with a single set menu every day and a carafe of the house white wine. We started with antipasti of white beans, olives, tomato salad, a slice of frittata and some fritters. Next came home-made papardelle with a tomato and cheese sauce, then sliced lamb with potatoes. Highly recommended. It's a great choice for your first meal after arriving, because you don't make any decisions.


Basic trattoria with pizza, but the pizzas themselves are excellent. Not bad if you have to eat near the Piazza Navona, but it's an area without a lot of good restaurants at reasonable prices.

Al Pompiere

Well-known Roman Jewish restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto. Service is a bit harried. The food is reasonably good, but not outstanding. We saw more men in suits here than at any other restaurant on this list. The air-conditioning wasn't on the night we visited (in late May), so it was pretty warm inside. I can't really recommend it based on our one visit.

Ristorante Sant'Eustachio

Attractive restaurant with outdoor tables across from the Caffé Sant'Eustachio. It's very comfortable, with friendly staff, so I was surprised when I saw how fancy and beautiful the inside of the restaurant is. Great pastas and seafood, and excellent fiori di zucca (stuffed, fried zucchini flowers).

Vecchia Locanda

Good restaurant with outdoor tables on a small street near the Teatro Argentina. A lot of meat dishes, with very good veal. Friendly staff. Very tiny indoor area, so possibly not a good bet in bad weather.


Libreria Babele

Rome's only gay bookstore. Small, but packed with books and magazines. There are some books in English.

Last Updated 8/10/96