Rome trip recap

Old favorite that’s better than ever: Perilli

New favorites: Emma, Nuvolari, La Gensola, Supplizio

Favorite carbonara: tie between Perilli (rigatoni and lots of crisp guanciale) and Emma (spaghetti and creamy sauce with all top ingredients)

Favorite sit-down pizza: Emma’s chorizo de pata negra

Favorite by-weight pizza: Bonci

Favorite deli: Volpetti Testaccio (don’t miss the four-year-old prosciutto di Parma)

Favorite pastries: Pasticceria Boccione’s ricotta tart and amaretti


I think I miss Perilli more than any other place in Rome.

Is Perilli still closed on Wednesday?

I’m a month out for my trip and pretty much settled on trying most of these places. I checked out Quandoo and most of these restaurants aren’t listed. Do you need reservations or can you mostly walk into these restautants?
Tempio De Iside

I believe Perilli’s closed Wednesdays. Reservations are a good idea.

I suggest skipping Roscioli. Emma is owned by the same people, its menu includes most of what’s on order at
Roscioli and more, and the interior, glass-roofed courtyard is the most comfortable place we went in Rome. Roscioli fills up with tourists, it’s cramped, and most if not all the seating is patio furniture and dinky tables. I’m not sure we ever saw Emma full, maybe once, but we went only for lunch.

Thanks Robert. Appreciate all your insights and feedback.

How does one go about making reservations to restaurants in Italy when in the states? Can we just wait until we land in Italy and make reservations 2-3 days ahead of time?

Are you fluent enough in Italian to make reservations over the phone? If so and you know where you want to go, you might as well reserve before you leave.

In Rome, the popular online reservation system seemed to be, but only one of the places I wanted to go was on it. It was handy when it was pouring rain and we wanted to just walk somewhere close and know they’d have a seat for us.

My Italian is non existent except when I order pasta. I have some friends who are fluent so maybe I’ll ask them to make reservations ahead of time. I looked at but I could not find 1 restaurant on my list in Rome. I’ll check out

I’ve never heard of Quandoo before.

Ask your concierge. Highly recommended for Tempio di Iside since it is mostly Italian speaking. Request the downstairs grotto. Try for a Thursday night if possible.

Thanks that was my initial plan - have the concierge make the reservation for us. But was worried about making reservation 2-3 days in advance.

Don’t do it 2-3 days in advanced. If you do it now you should be able to get into most if not all of them.

Have you eaten there for lunch? I’m still trying to get somebody fluent in Italian to make a reservation for me. But if I’m unable to I was thinking lunch in the middle of the week would be easier. Just wondering if they have the same menu items.

I think this is your recommendations - crudo, grilled gamberi rosso, connocchie, cooked antipasto, scampi & whole crab linguini.

Yes. It was so good I went back for lunch.

Same menu but not as lively.

I think there may have been some off the menu specials nor available during lunch.

I had a sculpin pasta during lunch that was also excellent.

I bought a calling card from a liquor store for $2. Called and made reservations in Rome and Florence. Everybody spoke English well enough that I was able to make reservations pretty easily.

Rome - Roscioli and Tempio de Iside
Florence - Sostanza and Il Santo Bevitore
Dario Cecchini on our way to Tuscany

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll report back with photos in a few weeks.


In Florence, I highly recommend Omero over Sostanza. Sostanza is very touristy. Good but touristy. Also they do not use Chianina beef. Omero does/did. The view from Omero is very nice too.

In Florence, don’t miss the Mercato Centrale and the bollito misto sandwich at Nerbone. Get there early. Lines really blew up from 2003 to 2010. I have no idea what it’s like these days. They also serve some nice classics like tripe and tuscan soup.

Roscioli, except for takeout, seemed to me to be strictly for tourists. It’s a deli that they turned into a cramped, uncomfortable restaurant by jamming in a bunch of patio furniture. Their spinoff Emma a block away has an expanded menu in a lovely, comfortable space.

While in that area, stop in at Beppe e i suoi formaggi and get some picnic stuff for the trip north or whatever. They have some great raw-milk French cheese that’s illegal here in the US.

I know that Sostanza and Roscioli are tourist traps. But a lot of people still say its worth going bc the food is still good.

Emma is a lunch destination already on the schedule. If its basically the same as Roscioli with more comfortable seating and good pizza then maybe we’ll skip Roscioli. Some of the pictures of all the American people waiting outside for tables is a little disturbing. Same with Sostanza.

I have Beppe e i suoi formaggi on the list from Katie Perla. We only have time to hit up one salumeria/formaggi in Rome. Would you suggest this as the place to go?

I was intentionally skipping places in Florence (prior to Dario Cecchini) that specialize in fiornetina or beef in general. If Omera is open on Sunday (or lunch) we’ll add that to the schedule as most places on my list are closed on Sunday.

If I can fit in 6-7 meals per day in Rome and Florence I’ll be able to eat everything on the list I compiled. They’ll also have to roll me onto the tarmac but it’ll be worth it.

You can get the same food at Emma the tourists get at Roscioli. Same owners, same ingredients, same recipes, longer menu. Don’t miss the mortadella with black truffles.

Grazi. We’re going to skip Roscioli then. Might double up on Tempio de Iside because our dinners in Rome will be 4 days apart and we could probably use a rest between all the pasta.