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sidewalk cafe rome italy diningRome is justifiably famous for its cuisine, from homey pasta dishes served in traditional trattorias to melt-in-your-mouth gelato from that teeny little shop around the corner. And did we mention the pizza? A meal at an outdoor cafe is a must-do Roman experience. We like to avoid the crowds on Piazza Navona and follow the locals instead to Piazza del Popolo, where you'll find fine people-watching and cafes serving excellent pasta, not far from the Via del Corso shopping area.

Six Tips for Dining Abroad

Widely considered one of the best restaurants in all of Rome, La Pergola (in the Rome Cavalieri Hotel) is the place to go for a big splurge (and we mean big -- appetizers start at nearly 50 euros). The only restaurant in the city to have earned three Michelin stars, this ultra-luxe dining room offers divine Italian dishes accompanied by your choice of wine from a cellar of more than 50,000 bottles. Reservations are essential.

Follow the locals to the Trastevere neighborhood and Sabatini (Vicolo di Santa Maria 23), serving up seafood and and spaghetti among other classic Roman dishes. It's open for lunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended.

For something you can't get anywhere else, head to the Jewish Ghetto and try the famous fried artichokes, especially at Piperno (Monte de Cenci 9). Also on the menu is a selection of to-die-for fresh pastas.

It's nearly impossible to choose the best pizzeria in Rome, but Baffetto (Via del Governo Vecchio 114) would certainly be in the running. Locals line up for the traditional thin-crust pies at this Roman favorite. The owners have opened up a second location, Baffetto2, at Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo 18.

Giolitti (Via Uffizi del Vicario 40) is Rome's oldest gelateria, where you can indulge your sweet tooth with anything from a simple scoop of chocolate ice cream to a decadent sundae such as the Coppa Olimpica, shaped like an Olympic torch and filled with zabaione, turrone, chocolate and pan di Spagna.

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