Monday, October 7, 2019

T r a s t e v e r e | R o m a

Too many photos of me and my son? I am unsure if we took enough happy hour selfies? 
No? Ok good!

Trastevere is the COOLEST. I highly recommend staying in this charming and quintissentialy Roman neighborhood just across the Tiber River, where the graffiti covered and draped in green ivy buildings date back to the 16th - 19th centuries and the enchanting cobblestone streets encourage leisurely strolling. Centrally located close to the historic center and south of the Vatican, we were able to walk to all the sites from here.
We stayed in an Airbnb on the most perfect and picturesqeue street, Vicolo del Bologna; a curvy and V-shaped cut through street just ever so slightly tucked away from multiple busy squares where everyone gathers in the street. 

The first photo in this post Camden is right outside our large wooden door and the photo with 3 of us was also taken on our street. Above and below are looking out our living room windows. When the ultimate charm is right outside your door, there is nothing more exciting than stepping out each day and night ready to take on Rome. 

All of our dinners in Rome were right here in Trastevere. After busy days out it was much easier with a little bubba in tow to remain close to home. Mostly we'd take the stroller out and were able to do one of two things 1) wheel it right up to an outdoor table or 2) we'd lift out the car seat and put him on a chair, then fold up the stroller and place it out of the way. 

We took Camden out in the Ergo Baby the first night and ended up holding him throughout dinner. We didn't run across a lot of highchairs as it seemed these cozy trattorias typically are not catering to babies (make no mistake they are delighted or simply unphased to have you and your baby dine with them.) Throughout our meals Camden would be doing all the things - eating (breastfeeding), wanting to be held and hang out (grabbing all the things), or he'd be sleeping. So actually having his seat where he could comfortablly sleep made a lot of sense. 

In my planning efforts I read so many recomendations to make reservations when in busy Rome, but at the same time I make an effort not to OVERPLAN! I went with reservations for two nights and left the other three up to our whim. I do think the neighborhood is packed with tourist traps which all things considered we did our best to avoid. 

Trattoria Da Enzo (Via dei Vascellari, 29) is an adorable family-run trattoria on a charming backstreet. Da Enzo has become extremely well-known and people will wait hours for a table. Lucky for us this where I chose to make a reservation a few weeks in advance. The three of us strolled past a crazy long line of people and sure enough they had my name written on that nights list: "Cristan Luisi". HA! It felt like a huge win. This remained one of our favorite meals not only in Rome but throughout the trip. A heaping plate of creamy burrata di Anoria, crispy light as air fried zucchini blossoms, perfectly al dente, seriously heavenly pasta amatriciana, a fantastic agnello alla scottadito con patae (grilled lamb shank + potatoes) and the best tiramisu100% make a reservation if you'd like to eat here, and I recommend you do! 

Ditta Trinchetti (Via della Lungaretta, 76) is a cozy and charming family run gem located on a main pedestrian street, yet somehow it remains sort of hidden tucked in a small doorfront. This was a whim destination - they had a menu del giorno and so we by-passed larger neighboring restaurants with English menus in favor of this spot. We ordered the mozarella du bufala fritta antipasti and both the primi - a pesto linguini with squid and almonds and a cous cous with fish ragu. It is hard to describe how good these plates were. The simplest, most humble sounding ingredients and voila, an absolutley exceptional meal!

Glass Hostaria  (Vicolo de' Cinque, 58). When there is a Michelin-starred restaurant helmed by a notable chef (Christina Bowerman) at the top of your street, you go! It is always preferable to make a reservation at a Michelin star but you wouldn't necessarily need one far in advance. Contemporary Italian fine dining is not what the crowd in Trastevere leans towards so the sleek, gold accented dining room was not at all busy. Because we were in town so many nights dining here was a welcome change of pace, the meal certainly noteworthy. Camden slept until dessert, which is why we don't have photos of that course - except I did manage one of the delicious petit-fours!

I wrote a detailed note with our reservation request, not only so they knew we had a baby in a stoller but to actually make sure it was OK to come with him and no hard feelings if not. They were more than welcoming and by the end of the night I think every waitress had held and got to know Camden. It was really sweet!!! 

Osteria der Belli (Piazza di Sant'Apollinia). Instead of Roman, the family that runs this restaurant is from Sardinia.  From a seafood focused menu I chose the pasta alle vongole and it did not dissapoint! There is plenty of outdoor seating and while it was fairly busy we were seated right away with no reservation. 

Cajo y Gajo (Piazza San Callisto, 10). The food here is typical Roman casual in a bustling and popular square. The pasta carbonara and a chicken scalopini dish were very good. We also somehow managed to get fried artichokes here when no one else had them because it's not the season. For better or for worse, I was happy to finally have the famed Roman dish. Once again it was busy and once again we managed to be seated right away outdoors. I think we have a knack for showing up at just the right time. 

Olateg! (Via di S. Cosimato, 14a). The only gelato pictured, yet I definitley had gelato once a day either after dinner or when we were out and about. (And not to worry, we aren't teasing Cam in that photo, we gave him a bite or five!) The flavors are made fresh every day at g-e-l-a-t-o spelled backwards, proving a worthy choice when in Trastevere. 

Dar Poeta - (Vicolo del Bologna, 45) wood fired thin crust, exceptional toppings, cold draft beer  - this was a late lunch upon our arrival to town and I was in heaven. We had the cacio e pepe and the spicy calabrese salami. This unassuming but well known pizza spot is actually on our street on the other side of the "V" - meaning we took a sharp left to find it from our place. 

Bar Toto - I want to note the selfies taken where you can see Bar Toto behind us (Camden in red) are across the river in the Jewish Ghetto, another charming neighborhood with a lot of history. We drank some Aperol Spritzes and wandered the peaceful streets. 

Also not to miss while in Trastevere:

Piazza di Santa Maria. The most central piazza where everyone is gathered at the fountain. The church is stunning so make sure to step inside.

Piazza San Calisto is where we are hanging out in the photos with the giant Peronis. The charming square fronted with Bar Calisto make it a popular gathering spot. The cobblestones and live music lulled Camden to a peacefull sleep. Finally, Bar del Cinque might just be the best people watching spot in all of Trastevere. This bar was at the top of our street so each time we'd pass by knowning we had to stop sooner or later. The espresso martini sign outfront prompted our choice - and they were a very good start to our last night in Trastevere.

I miss this place and it is definitley a big reason we loved Rome so much!!!