Representatives of travel suppliers are a valuable source of insider tips that can be passed along to our clients. Fran Gellar of Fran Gellar & Associates regularly shares suggestions for authentic travel experiences. You’ll want to keep these pointers from Fran in mind when planning a trip to Rome.


Been to Rome before and ready to discover the less touristy areas? Try the Monti district. The Bettoja Hotel group, Via Cavour, situated on the top of the “Monti” on Edquilino Hill, has grown through five generations of Bettojas to establish itself as the oldest and among the largest family owned hotel groups in Italy offering value, fine food and service. If you are staying at the Bettoja Hotels, you don’t have to walk far. They are in the Monti. Arguably more Roman than Piazza Navonna and CampoFiori, (NYTIMES, 2/2011) and the hottest “hood” in Rome (intelligenttraveler, 3/13) the old Monti neighborhood is the new place to be for Romans. Just up the hill from the Coliseum and tucked between the Roman Forum and the Quirinale Palace, this neighborhood has emerged as the place to see and be seen. Called the artistic village in the middle of Rome, it’s winding, well-kept cobblestone streets are home to some of Rome’s best locali (hangouts) as well as eclectic shops, endless gems of architecture, craft, fashion and restaurants, The Monti is full of piazzas, and surprises for enjoying everyday life.

Winter is a wonderful time to experience Rome. The weather is cool, not cold. The “go to” tourist spots are pleasurable with the viewing open and relaxed. The streets are easier to navigate promoting casual strolls and impromptu stops for some serious window shopping. Winter is the time for Romans to reconnect and discover the new “in” places. If you are coming to Rome this winter here are a few tips and must-sees:

For the Roman, food is a religion and most visitors are quickly converted. However, it is hard to keep track of all the good restaurants and trattorias. We found the system. Pick a district and try several in that locations. Here are a few new finds in the Monti district:

Urbana 47: Specializes in organic, seasonal fare like vegetable polpette with sweet pecorino, sheep’s milk yogurt, and ravioli with pumpkin and amaretto. The decor is warmly retro. Brunch from 9 a.m on Sundays, daily aperitivo from 6 p.m. The restaurant stays open for dinner until after midnight. Via Urbana, 47

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