This summer, we traveled to Italy on a dime (ie. cheap seats)—then ate our way through markets, grazed on thin, crackly-crusted Roman pies and piles of peaches and plums. It was bliss. Almost every meal was exceptional—-well-researched and worth the long treks across town for all the most renowned pastas, pizzas and gelatos (I promise to share my must-do-in-Rome list, soon). But one day, when we’d walked all the way from our charming Air-b-n-b, Monte di Pietà to the Colosseum, carrying my four-year-old son on our backs, passing his limp, jet-lagged body back and forth from parent to parent, we found our way to the restaurant we’d most been wanting to try, a recommendation from my instagram friend, Elvira Zilli, who calls Rome home.
She may have mentioned something about making sure to call first to make sure they were open—it was August in Italy, afterall; many smaller mom-and-pop places close for summer holidays. But I had forgotten that little detail. So I did what any respectable, exhausted mother in Rome would do when she has only five days to conquer all the delicious things —I called a Uber (don’t do it, cabs are much cheaper than Ubers in Rome!) and climbed into the plush leather seats, AC and all. We’d walked for four solid days and it only felt fair, to all of us. I instructed the driver to take us to yet another far-flung corner of the city, crossing my fingers we’d find another gem, when my husband asked, but, where do you eat lunch? He started listing places, as I hurriedly pulled each one up on Google, cross-referencing penciled lists from bloggers and friends who live or lived in Rome, stuffed into my purse. Finally, he mentioned Pizzeria Emma, where he said he had eaten lunch that very day. It didn’t ring a bell, but something in me said to take him up on his offer to drive us straight there.
There were no spots in the sidewalk cafe, but he talked them into giving us a table inside, where we found none of the charm of Sora Margherita, nor the raucous laughter at Da Buffetto (an absolute Rome, must!), nor the date-night glam of Roscioli. It was a little too shiny, too much AC, and our son was definately the youngest diner there. Yet—-yet!Read More