This was our first time visiting Italy and so we wanted to visit popular, known cities, and then unwind on the island of Capri. Our trip was 15 days (if you include time it took to fly to Rome). I originally thought I could post as I traveled from each city, but there were too many things to do and I was strapped for time! Hopefully this report will be helpful to those interested. I have pictures for most of the meals, but unfortunately, not all of them.
Thank you to this community for replying to some questions I had over the past few months. I have quite a bit to say and will add on in the comments section. I found Walker 42's post to be really enlightening and to the point. I don't think I've thought out as clearly as he has about the trip as a whole, so I will just write as our trip progressed.
Day 1: Rome
Lunch - Ciampini
Our first meal was lunch and we decided to eat at Ciampini since it was near our hotel. I ordered the pizza with speck and funghi and my husband the spaghetti with octopus in a marinara sauce. The meal came with this beige-colored bread and these small rectangular crackers that were quite tasty. The pizza was wonderful: the crust was crispy and light, the speck intensely flavorful (I think I like it more than prosciutto!) and just the right amount of mozzarella cheese so the pizza was not greasy or soggy. The spaghetti was cooked al dente and the octopus was quite tasty. Overall, a good first meal in Rome. The restaurant also has several counters downstairs for gelato, pastries, and cigarettes.
Dinner - Il Pagliaccio
For dinner, we had a reservation at Il Pagliaccio. Regretfully, I did not take photos of all the courses we ate and they do not print what they offer for each of their courses. They offer either 10 courses or 8 courses and we chose the 8 course option. Though I don't remember all of the details, what I can say is that it really is great value for the price they charge. Memorable dishes were a number of the amuse bouches (I thought some of them were courses), the sea bream dish (crisp skin, perfectly cooked), and the strawberry dessert. Of all the meals I've had in Italy, this was one of my favorite desserts. It achieved the perfect balance of sweet and tart. Attached is a photo.
A chowhounder posted previously that the service was "unique." I found the service to be quite professional and somewhat serious. The restaurant is very modern in design. I found it interesting that they placed medium-sized rocks on each of the tables. We asked what was the purpose of these rocks and the waiter told us they were from France. We did not ask further.
We are not big wine drinkers, but they did have a nice water menu of domestic waters with varying amounts of minerals. We chose one that was a little lighter.
Day 2 - Rome
Lunch - Velavevodetto Ai Quiriti
After visiting the Vatican, we decided to eat at Velavevodetto Ai Quiriti since it was in the area. I’ve read good things about the other location in Testaccio (Flavio al Velavevodetto) and decided to try this one. For appetizer, my husband ordered the prosciutto platter and I had the anchovy/buffalo mozzarella toast. For main course, we had the rigatoni carbonara and the tonnarelli cacio e pepe. The mozzarella was the creamiest and smoothest mozzarella I’ve ever had. I can only eat so much ham, but the ham was good quality. The pastas were very rich and flavorful. The noodles for the cacio e pepe looked like they were made from scratch and had a wonderful chewiness to them. For dessert, we ordered the coffee semifreddo and that was wonderfully light and refreshing.
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