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fun family run restaurants

My hope in traveling to Italy is to have a few opportunities to "connect with the locals." It seems like one place to do so would be at the restaurants. In my opinion, the food is only a part of the experience. Does anyone know any interesting family run Trattorias in any of the following cities where I might be able to use my fledgling Italian?
Varenna, Bolzano, Venice, Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Rome.

Posted by
13 posts

It has been a couple of years since I have been to Rome, but 2 of the best dinners I had in Rome were at Pasqualino's. It is located near the Colosseum up a side street. We found this place by accident as we walked around the Colosseum at sunset. The food was incredible. The service was great, and the prices not to high. They have outdoor tables that face the Colosseum. We liked it so much that we went for dinner there twice, including our last night in Rome. Mario our waiter was very nice, as well was the owner who joined us for coffee after dinner. They asked to us to take a picture with them, which we sent to them after our return to the USA. Try to find it if you can

Posted by
241 posts

We found one in Trastevere section of Rome. If you cross the river from the main or east side, going to the west or trastvere side, on the Sisto bridge, you then are presented with the small piazza Trilussa, (which gets VERY lively at night.) Go to the south side of piazza and continue west into the neighborhood. The first main street (small, remember) that runs to your left, roughly north south, is full of local businesses. MARIO'S is on the right, on the west side of the street. As you face the building the smaller room is on the left, containing cash register, behind which is the kitchen. On the right, through the door, is a larger dining room. Both rooms have windows onto the street. After dark it is brightly lighted inside. Not romantic, but many locals go there, it is family run, and owners and staff are reasonably friendly. Prices very good for the area. The small street might be via del politeama. If I am wrong, look at a very detail map and pick one with best semblance.