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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 40 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 60,000 bottles. Reservations are essential.

Tucked away in the Trastevere neighborhood is Hosteria dei Numeri Primi, offering unpretentious but delicious food and reasonably priced wines. Reserve in advance if you want an outdoor table.

Need a quick and tasty lunch? Try the gourmet sandwiches at Panino Divino. Options include classics like prosciutto, cheese and tomato, as well as vegetarian sandwiches such as grilled zucchini and eggplant with pesto and Emmental cheese.

For something you can't get anywhere else, head to the Jewish Ghetto and try the famous fried artichokes, especially at Piperno. 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 Pinsere Roma would certainly be in the running for its artisanal pies. Locals and tourists alike line up to order personal-size pizzas topped with everything from zucchini and mozzarella to bacon, cheese and wild mushrooms.

Giolitti 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. (It's been on the menu since 1960, when it was created to celebrate the Games in Rome.)


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