Where to Stay
|Photo courtesy Althea Inn|
How to arrive
Take the FL1 train from Fiumicino airport to Ostiense station which takes 30 minutes and costs €8. The Althea Inn is a five minute walk from the station on Via dei Conciatori, 9. Once inside the building you need to take the lift to the fifth floor. I'm assuming you will be quite hungry by now but luckily Enoteca Giansanti is just around the corner from the Inn, on Via Ostiense (opens 4.30pm) Here you can enjoy a glass of local wine or artisan beer and share a platter of salami or cheeses supplied by La Tradizione, an amazing deli near the Vatican.
In order to work up an appetite for dinner I suggest a stroll along to the Aventine, easy enough to reach from Althea Inn. At the end of Via Conciatori cross Piazza V.Bottego & Viale Campo Boario to head down Via N Zabaglia. Turn right on Via Galvani, cross Via Marmorata & up V A Pollone. Continue across Piazza d Servili and take Via di Porta Lavemale. Turn right on Via di Sabina and then in to the Orange Garden where you can enjoy a sunset view of the city.
When you reach Via Marmorata turn right and continue along until you reach Via Giovanni Branca on your left. This street will bring you to Piazza Santa Maria Liberatice. At number 44 is Da Remo - you can't miss it as undoubtedly there will be a queue outside. You will agree that it is worth the wait as soon as you take your first bite of the thin and crispy Roman style pizza. I would recommend starting with fritti and sticking to simple pizza toppings such as margherita. You tick what you would like on an order form provided by the waiter.
Walk back along Via N Zabaglia and end the evening on your terrace.
Your day begins with a wonderful breakfast, again enjoyed on the terrace.
Across the piazza, at number 38-41 is Enoteca Palombi where you could pick up a bottle of Franciacorta for your pre-dinner drink this evening and may be a local Lazio wine, Cesanese, for example .
Spend the rest of the morning in the market - it is not only food that is sold here but also shoes, clothes and household items. Hopefully you will also find something delicious for a simple supper on the terrace tomorrow evening.
Enzio and Lina (box 89) are the sweetest old couple who also happen to sell first rate prosciutto and mozzarella.
Da Artenio (Box 90) sells baked goods from the Lazio area including sourdough but you really should try the pizzette rosse which are baked on site . He also stocks natural wines from all over Italy.
Giancarlo (box 32) for fresh produce including tomatoes and figs in season
Chicchi e Letterre (box 43) for coffee beans
Accompany your mid morning coffee in the middle of the market with a freshly filled cannoli from Dess'Art (Box 66)
Lunch is a stand up affair at Mordi e Vai (Box 15) - panini filled with Roman family recipes such as tripe or slow cooked beef served by an ex butcher. Street food does not get any better.
Take your purchases back to Althea Inn & make sure to put the Franciacorta in the fridge in your room before heading out again to Piazza Porta San Paolo.
Even though you have been to Rome several times, I'm sure that you will enjoy a stroll around some of the major sights plus gelato tasting along the way.
Pick up 24 hour travel tickets for €7 and take tram number 3 for one stop. Cross the road and walk for a couple of minutes to Il Gelato at Viale Aventino 59.
Claudio Torce is a master gelato maker who uses all natural ingredients. If you decide on chocolate you will have several varieties to choose from including chocolate with chilli. My flavour of choice here is salted peanut but you may want to try some of the savoury flavours for which Torce is renowned.
Retrace your steps and pick up the number 3 tram which will take you to the Colosseum (third stop). Walk around the back of the Colosseum and past the Arch of Constantine to Via del Fori Imperiali
Stroll amongst the emperors until you reach the 87 (Giulio Cesare/Lepanto) bus stop - there are 2 stops on Via del Fori Imperiali, depending on how far you wish to walk!
Take the bus 3 or 4 stops to Rinascimento and cross the road in to Piazza Navona where you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the fountains.
Exit to the right of the church and head towards Via Coronari. At number 65 is Gelateria del Teatro for your second gelato tasting of the day. Take a ticket and wait for your number to be called. The flavours with herbs are amazing - I love the raspberry and sage but the dark chocolate and Nero d'Avola is pretty special too.
Take Via del Banco di Santo Spirito to Corso Vittorio Emanuele and pick up bus 62 (Staz.Tiburtina) for 7 stops to Corso/Minghetti. Walk down Via Muratte to the newly restored Trevi fountain.
Continue along to Via del Tritone, turn right and walk up to Piazza Barberini. Take metro A to Termini, then metro B to Piramide and the short walk back to Althea Inn.
Time to relax on your terrace with a chilled glass of Franciacorta in hand before heading out to dinner. Agustarello (Via Giovanni Branca, 100), a traditional family run trattoria that is named after the owner but now managed by his son & daughter-in-law, Alessandro & Antonella. Start with pasta ( we always share a portion in order to fully enjoy the rest of the meal!) Roman classics such as bucatoni carbonara and tonarelli alla gricia are wonderful here.
Make sure you leave room for Antonella's home made dessert. In the summer we sampled lovingly prepared fruit steeped in wine but autumn will see gorgeous crostata on the menu.
After a lazy breakfast head to the old slaughterhouse for the Sunday BioMercato. Of course there are foodie delights to sample such as olives ascolane, a deep fried speciality from the Marche area of Italy. Find them at Liberamensa in the north east corner of the market. Also look out for pecorino cheese from Gregorio - a worthy souvenir to take home. Perhaps the best reason for a trip here is to soak up the atmosphere over a coffee, watching Roman families at leisure.
Your lunch spot, La Torricella (Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12) is another well established ristorante but the difference here is that fish dishes are the speciality. A seafood Sunday lunch is the order of the day!
Macro Testaccio is housed in the former slaughterhouse and hosts changing exhibitions of contemporary art. The vast space has been renovated to incorporate the original features, including the meat hooks hanging from the elevated track that was used to transport the cattle ,and the opening hours (4.00pm - 10.30pm) reflect Testaccio's popular nightlife scene.
Walk back along Via Galvani and pop in to Ketumbar (at no. 24) Your glass of wine comes with a perfect view of the ancient amphorae that make up Monte Testaccio.
Return to Althea Inn and enjoy supper on the terrace, congratulating yourselves on finding this foodie corner of Rome.