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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Via Ludovisi, 49, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
After a 2017 renovation, Rome’s historic Hotel Eden re-emerged with an extensive face-lift. The 128-year-old hotel’s marble and gold lobby hints at the 98 opulent guest rooms that have been refreshed with gold detailing and original...
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Via della Penna, 22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
I tell all my friends to stay here. It’s a great location, right off Piazza del Popolo. The hotel is not part of a chain. It’s family owned, which is charming. 39/06-361-0841. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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Via del Babuino, 81, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
This is one of my favorite boutiques in Rome. The owners handpick and curate designers from all over the world. I also go here for shoes designed by Ernesto Esposito. Made by Neapolitan craftsmen, they look like princess shoes but feel like...
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Piazza dell'Emporio, 28, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Having a famous food writer as a neighbor is a great thing. For example, of one of the great things is phone calls for impromptu lunches in the middle of the week. The next thing you know you are eating fois gras sandwiches and drinking glasses of...
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Via Laurina, 10, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Take a break from shopping or strolling between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo to try some of Rome (therefore the world's) best artisanal gelato made with all-natural ingredients. Many flavors are seasonal, but you will always find a...
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Via del Pigneto, 105, 00176 Roma RM, Italy
This small craft beer pub and shop in the heart of Pigneto specializes in ultra hoppy American and European beers, as well as sour ales. There is a nice selection of whiskeys, as well. You can drink around 6 beers on tap or buy bottles to take...
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Largo della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
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Via Sacra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
On the Via Sacra east of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Titus is a beautiful and imposing triumphal monument, commemorating Titus' victory following the Siege of Jerusalem in the first century, C.E. The south relief panel on the interior of the arch...
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Piazza degli Zingari, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
A 10-minute walk from the Forum, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose free. Spagnuolo’s...
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We stopped for wine and cheese at the end of a bike tour of the Appian Way in Rome. Then, we realized we had company.
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Via Torino, 149, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
The ground floor of the otherwise non-descript Rex Hotel near Stazione Termini is home to this one Michelin star restaurant named for its host and owner Alessandro Pipero. Let this food and wine expert guide you through a romantic meal in his...
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Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Roscioli family, famous for their nearby bakery Antico Forno Roscioli, opened this restaurant/wine bar/gourmet shop in 2005. Book several days in advance for lunch or dinner and be sure to request a ground floor table near the back of the...
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Via del Casaletto, 45, 00151 Roma RM, Italy
Cesare al Casaletto is far off the well-beaten tourist track, but it is easy to get to: just take the 8 tram from Piazza Venezia or Largo Argentina and get off at the very last stop. Fifty yards from the tram tracks sits Rome's best trattoria,...
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Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
In spite of being utterly delicious and in a popular destination for dining, La Torricella manages to fly under the radar. A long-established fixture in Testaccio, this pizzeria-ristorante serves delectable, consistently delicious food in a...
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Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Gabriele Bonci's famous pizza-by-the-slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. The slow-leavened dough is made from organic stoneground flour, and toppings change throughout the day. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and supplì (fried...
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Salita dei Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Armando Al Pantheon is right around the corner from the Pantheon, but it feels a world away. The interior is small, warm and inviting. They have many classic Italian dishes and a few specials of their own. The wine list is reasonable and...
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When it comes to ice cream, there is still only one place in Rome. It has been the best since 1900. I love Giolitti not only for the great gelato, but also because it hasn’t changed since I was a little girl. 39/06-699-1243. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Via degli Orti di Trastevere, 3, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
When in Rome, they say, do as the Romans do. So that's why I made my priority in Rome to EAT. To eat gourmet cheeses, drink fine wines, plenty of pasta and of course gelato. But Rome is a big city so finding the best places to eat on my short trip...
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Via Marmorata, 47, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
We stopped at Volpetti to pick up a few items for a picnic on Aventine Hill in the Garden of Oranges. Problem is, you can't just pick up a few things here. Everything is wonderful. The food combined with the view from the Aventine makes for a...
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Via del Boschetto, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Early fall is the ideal time to visit Rome. Locals return and reclaim the city, bringing a more authentic flavor and energy with them. It encourages a more symbiotic relationship between Romans and travelers.
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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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Via Guido Reni, 4/a, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Maxxi, Rome’s first major contemporary art museum, cost 150 million and took renowned architect Zaha Hadid 10 years to complete. The result—a vast, bold space with exhibits on architecture and art—proves that modern Rome can produce masterpieces,...
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Viale della Marina, 40-42, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM, Italy
According to legend, Rome’s first orange tree—St. Dominic’s gift to the pope—was planted in Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Oranges) in the 13th century. The secluded park provides a panoramic view of the city, from...
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Vicolo Cellini, 30, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At this speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar near Chiesa Nuova, hipster bartenders pour and shake American classics like Manhattans, Sazeracs and Old-Fashioneds in a smoky lounge. To gain admittance, make a booking and come armed with the secret...
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Via del Pellegrino, 87, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
By day, this café serves coffee, tea and snacks, while from 6PM until closing, it is Rome’s premier craft cocktail bar. Choose from the menu of house specialties and cocktail classics or tell bartenders Federico Tomasselli or Patrick Pistolesi...
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Get a handmade leather wallet, purse, or passport holder—without breaking the bank. Since 1949, local secret Armando Rioda (hidden on the 2nd floor of a building near the Spanish Steps) has been turning out top-notch, handcrafted leather goods....
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Vicolo dei Serpenti, 13, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Cristina Venezia's shop in Rome's Monti district is a treasure trove of artisanal objects. Shop for stunning hand-painted ceramics—which she sources from small artisanal studios all over Italy—and be sure to check out her own creations: scarves...
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Via del Governo Vecchio, 128, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
At Nicotra di San Giacomo, artisans blend weaving and metal work, creating wearable tapestries made from gold, silver and silk threads. Their cuff bracelets, braided necklaces and rings are made according to techniques passed down by Renaissance...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
There are so many major sights to see in Rome that it is easy to get caught up in hurrying from tourist option A to Z! We hurried along with the best of them, but the favorite part of our time in the city was walking the neighborhoods in the...
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Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Quietly inhabiting the lovely Via dei Banchi Vecchi, Il Goccetto (not to be confused with the Italian pro-marijuana organization by the same name) is a secret hidden in plain sight: a cozy, wood-paneled wine bar with 18th-century ceiling...
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Via della Reginella, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Walking around the Jewish ghetto in Rome, I asked these gentlemen if they wouldn't mind me taking a picture of them. I was mesmerized by the color of the wall, the old stones and the two of them having a lively discussion. Thankfully, they...
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Via Livorno, 10, 00162 Roma RM, Italy
Fabulous appetizer only available in the neighborhood in Rome that was once the Jewish ghetto. Artichoke is deep fried, but not breaded, so very crispy and light! (Could this be an ancestor of the blooming onion we see at a steakhouse chain in the...
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Via Paganica, 9, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Located on the same street as the uber-famous and completely traditional Boccione-Il Forno del Ghetto, this small cookie shop sells kosher cookies with a modern twist. Look for "Pepita", dark chocolate with pink Himalayan salt, as well as cinnamon...
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For both children and adults, Gladiator School is a unique experience that is an out-of-the-ordinary activity while you're in Rome. But be prepared: it's not for the faint of heart. The warm-up itself is fairly taxing, and the gladiators play...
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Via Appia Antica, 42, 00178 Roma RM, Italy
My favorite excursion near Rome- the Appia Antica. Go back to a slower time...this sleepy trattoria says it all!
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Viale della Stazione di Ostia Antica, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
Hop on the commuter train at Lido Station (next to the Piramide Metro stop) and make the 25-minute trip to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port town and administrative center. The teeming city of up to 100,000 residents is relatively well preserved...
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Vicolo del Bottino, 8, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I love to go to this restaurant and wine bar for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the unique view out over the Spanish Steps and the rest of Rome as the sun sets. 39/06-699-341000. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This...
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Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 2, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Ciampini has all the required three Ps (that's a thing, right?): People-watching, prime piazza location, and perfect cappuccini to make it the most coveted caffè bar in Rome. From 8 a.m. to after dark, Rome's best-dressed flock to Piazza...
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Via Borgognona, 11, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
I often take out-of-town guests here for lunch because it feels—and is—so authentic. Whenever I go in, I have ‘my’ table, as do all the other Roman regulars. One of the restaurant’s specialties is the Francovich soup, which is a delicious Tuscan...
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Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Here is one of Rome’s best restaurants: Al Moro is very traditional and is well known for the quality of its seasonal ingredients, including porcini mushrooms, wild strawberries, artichokes, and asparagus. 39/06-678-3495. By Pepi Marchetti...
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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Like all outdoor markets in Rome, Campo de' Fiori is a bustling social center where locals push past throngs of tourists to complete their errands. Every morning you can find nonni shopping for produce with their grandchildren, feisty butchers...
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Via degli Specchi, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This pub, owned by the Piedmont-based Baladin brewing company and Lazio's own Birra del Borgo, opened in September 2009 and was quickly canonized as the best place to drink Italian beers in Rome. There are over 120 labels to choose from, ranging...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Watching the sun set from one of the bridges that span the Arno in Florence seems to be a popular ritual with both tourists and Florentines. But it's the Ponte San Trinita that seems the bridge that attracts most.
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Via Romana, 70/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
‘The Holy Grail’ offers an innovative take on the local cuisine in a stylish, low-lit brick-vaulted room. While he has his culinary feet planted firmly in his native Tuscany, young chef Simone Cipriani (definitely one to watch) is not afraid of...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 4, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Adjacent to the restaurant is a cheery boutique filled with gourmet products from all over Tuscany. Thanks to the restaurant’s long-standing relationships with many of the region’s top purveyors, you’ll find high-quality olive...
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Via Santa Maria, 21, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
With its shabby-chic look and casual vibe, this ex-iron mongers workshop in the Santo Sprito neighbourhood offers an interesting take on seasonal regional cuisine and reasonable prices, especially at lunchtimes. Menus change monthly and January...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66 r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
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Via dei Girolami, 28R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Armed with only a recommendation, a description, and the general location of the restaurant—but no actual restaurant name—we found Ristorante Buca dell’Orafo, near the Ponte Vecchio. The small restaurant is below street level off an alley-wide...
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Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Buon appetito! We discovered this hole-in-the-wall trattoria 15 years ago, and we were delighted to find everything to be the same and the food as good. Not an upscale gourmet place, but popular with locals, and a place to practice my rusty...
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Piazza de' Pitti, 16, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
With its emphasis on wine and a simple menu, we turned happy hour into a prolonged wine dinner at the Enoteca Pitti Gola E Cantina. It sits across the street from the Pitti Palace, with a commanding view from the covered street-side deck. Three...
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Borgo S. Frediano, 167R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
IO Osteria Personale is a small, elegant, and innovative restaurant in Florence. It's a foodie's delight, with an à la carte menu of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, but no pasta! You can choose three or five dishes plus dessert to create...
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Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
My search for the world's best ice cream took me to Italy, then to Florence, then to a gelateria called La Carraia, in the neighborhood of Santa Trinita across the river. There, I found a blissful, creamy mix of pistachio and chocolate, the same...
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Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Florence: it's one of my favorite cities in Italy and in the world. But, the downside is that it can get ridiculously crowded. In fact, the last time I visited it was so crowded on the 'main side' of Florence, where the Duomo and all of the...