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Rome visit over the Holidays

jen kalb | Feb 22, 201508:26 PM

Perhaps I have delayed too long and will suffer memory lapses, but I wanted to share an account of our impromptu trip with two adult children to Rome over week between Christmas and New Year. this was our third visit to Rome at this season. There were minor inconveniences and disadvantages due to holiday food shop and restaurant closings (in addition to the short days which truncated touring somewhat) but we surmounted these as well as the exceptionally cold weather. Thanks to those here that posted info about holiday openings and closings We were reminded of one disappointment every day since our apartment on via Carlo Alberto in the Esquilino neighborhood was cater-corner to Trattoria Monti – their gate was down for the full duration of our stay. Our pattern was to eat breakfast and dinner at the apartment with a restaurant lunch in the middle of the day.

We arrived on the evening of Santo Stefano (Friday December 26) and immediately set out to stock the apartment. The local supermercati were all closed as was the nearby Pietro Roscioli shop. Amazingly bread was not to be had except for packaged dark bread in a corner shop and pita in a south Asian shop across the street. We decided to set out and look for a meal in the dark Monti streets. There were very few Romans about and precious few restaurants open just a few to my eyes forlorn tourists. We wandered over to Celio after more closed gates and unnaturally quiet streets we and came to OSTERIA DEI QUARANTA. There we had an acceptable light meal: a good pasta with coda alla vaccinara sauce, an ok spaghetti alla scoglio (light seafood sauce) and a plate of tonnarelli cacio e pepe which I did not care for (rather too soupy and suprisingly not very tasty.. Son liked his rigatoni with ragu. No local patrons to distract us from an unbelievely boorish tourist table nearby. I would not be likely to return there are better choices in this area.

Saturday after some local shopping and church visits we headed out for some serious walking and touring. After a few hours of this, we hauled ourselves into LA CAMPANA for a relaxing lunch. They came through for us as usual, our choices included primi of fettucini with porcini ,a risotto also with funghi porcini, another ragu for son and a pleasing ravioli with sage and butter, Followed by fritti of brains and artichoke, lamb chops, a plate of lentils with cotechino for son While I liked the brains The fried artichoke bits were underseasoned and could not hold a candle to the lovely carciofi alla romana , tender, herbaceaous and bathed in very nice olive oil the best of many artichoke dishes on this visit. Their puntarelle salad was also very enjoyable.

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