I've posted previously about the Venice restaurants I'm considering for my family's trip to Italy this summer. Now I'm honing down my Rome list. There are five of us - two parents and three kids ages 9, 14 and 16. The two youngest are pretty picky, but as long as I can get basic pasta dishes, pizza or even a meat and cheese board for them they'll be okay.
My husband and I spent just one day in Rome last year, but the kids have never been. Regardless, I have a general sense of where things are, etc, so I've tried to make our plans around that memory and using Google Maps.
We will be in Rome for two full days and two half days. We will arrive from the US on a Sunday and it will be around 2:30 pm that we arrive at our hotel near Vatican City. We will be hungry, having only had breakfast in the Paris airport, but it will be that weird jet lag thing where it's still only 8:30 am back home, so I'm thinking perhaps a casual pizza or sandwich place would work best. We will only be 15 minutes from Bonci, walking time, and it's open until 4 pm on Sundays, so I'm thinking that might be our best option. But then everyone will be too full for a real dinner, so perhaps gelato as we do a little self-guided tour around the Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain, perhaps. It's the first Sunday in the month, so any of the museums will be crazy busy since entrance is free on that day. We'll be keeping our sightseeing to always-free sites that afternoon.
Anyway, here's my general plan. As for pricing, I'd like to limit lunch to about 25 euros a person and dinner to about 50 euros a person. With only two adults and one bottle of wine, I'm hoping we can manage that. Our youngest barely eats, practically could eat some of our food and be full. He's a grazer. But I always order him his own plate. Perhaps a half-order of pasta. That would be twice what he normally eats at a meal.
Day 1, Sunday - Arrive at 2 pm, drop off bags at hotel, head out by 2:30-3 pm for pizza at Bonci (15 min. walk from hotel). Snacks/gelato later on if hungry, no real dinner planned unless the mood strikes us. Early bedtime.
Day 2, Monday - Breakfast provided at hotel. Early entry Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour, ends at 11 am. Head into heart of city for lunch at Roscioli (confirmed). Dinner is at a pasta-making class booked through Walks of Italy.
Day 3, Tuesday - Breakfast provided at hotel. Morning tour of Colosseum and Forum. Lunch at L'Archeologia (good reviews, nice patio, close to our mid-afternoon gladiator school lesson on Via Appia Antica). Dinner at Armando al Pantheon (confirmed).
Day 12 (return to Rome), Wednesday - Arrive by train at 1 pm. Drop off bags, get late lunch at 2 pm at Pizza Emma (11 minute walk from new hotel). Dinner will be part of our 4-hour Nighttime Travestere food tour with Eating Italy where we visit 10 different Travestere restaurants and see the sights as we walk.
Does all of this sound reasonable to you guys? I'd like to get any suggestions that you might have for the best gelato and coffee. Or other pizza options if Pizza Emma isn't that great for a late-ish lunch on a Wednesday. And if Bonci is really our only viable choice at 3 pm on a Sunday near Vatican City. I checked the other nearby restaurants (our hotel is at Via Aurelia, 145) and that seems to be by far the best one, and I know everyone here raves about it. The alternative would be to get snacks and gelato first, after we arrive at the hotel, and then go out to get real food for a very early dinner. But I'm afraid waiting until 7 pm might be too late for everyone for a real meal, since all they will have had was breakfast at the Paris airport.
As for gelato, I've seen Il Gelato Bistro, Fatamorgana, Gelateria Valentino and Carapina Gelateria all mentioned, and coffee at Eustachio. But not sure what really works with our schedule, etc. In between the tours I mention above, we'll be sightseeing around the city, mostly in the heart of the city since there is so much to see there. We might head to the bone crypt as well.