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Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

Al Pompiere Restaurant in Rome's Jewish Ghetto

The weekend before Frank Bruni’s piece about dining while middle aged hit my Facebook feed I had a late night conversation about a meal I had just come home from. The food was fantastic, the volume level was fine but the newish space was on a rooftop and had very uncomfortable chairs. Despite all its sparkly charms, I am in no hurry to return.

These days I am happiest at home with Netflix or entertaining friends and family. When I do go out I am not interested in the newest place that is getting all the buzz. I am the cliche from the article. The one whose desire is comfortable consistency

As much as I love a simple plate of Amatriciana in a place with interrogation lighting sometimes a more refined and elegant atmosphere is called for. Al Pompiere in the Ghetto hits all the right notes. Frescoed ceilings, starched white table cloths, clientele with regular tables and almost unspoken orders that have been memorized by a staff that has not changed for decades. 


A Guide to Venice in 10 Spritzes

A Guide to Venice in 10 Spritzes

A Guide to Venice in 10 Spritzes

One bitter January morning over our morning cappuccino Noah and I joked that we were going to attempt to have 10 spritzes in one day. Venice has a similar elastic and disorienting sense of time and place as another beloved place of mine. Like a late morning Sazerac at the Carousel Bar in New Orleans, in Venice it is perfectly acceptable to have a shot of grappa with your morning coffee or a 10:00 am prosecco with a gaggle of gondoliers. We didn’t hit our goal that trip but we sure had fun trying. 

One other thing about Venice is you walk. A lot. More than think you will even if you regularly hit your 10,000 steps a day. To help you plan your stops every few thousand steps or so I created this guide to some of my favorite places to have a spritz in Venice at just about any time of day.

Most bacaro, the traditional bars that serve wine, spritz, and cichetti, (plates of small snacks) are standing room only. My picks all have a place to sit down. 


Where to Eat in Ostiense; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Where to Eat in Ostiense; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Where to Eat in Ostiense; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ostiense is a neighborhood literally on the other side of the tracks. Don’t let that scare you though. You will find it just on the other side of Rome’s astonishing 3rd-century pyramid on the other side of Testaccio. 

There are three new, new in a Roman sense anyway, spots that I have been visiting regularly and I think that you should too. 

No matter what time of day your appetite strikes there is something to hit the spot. 


Come have coffee in Rome with me

Your flights are booked and you have chosen where to stay and maybe you have even a scheduled a tour or two but are you still feeling a little overwhelmed by your trip to Rome? Thinking about a day trip? Are you wondering where to eat and drink and shop? Or how to best get around while you are here? I can help. 

Spend an hour with me over coffee (or a spritz) and we will have a chat and come up with a plan for you to make the most of your short time in the city. This is not a tour. It is a conversation and is designed to be brief so that you have more time for your own exploring equipped with information and intention.

I have lived in Rome for the last 12 years and love sharing my favorite places. My friends have long called me the source because I am quick with a recommendation no matter the question. Looking for the best place for a quick meal with a cranky 10-year-old or the perfect spot for a sunset cocktailWhere to find the sparkliest mosaics or spot a Caravaggio without the crowds? I can be counted on to find the answer.  

Let me help you find your way in Rome. Contact me here for information about availability and scheduling. 


The Best of 2018

Instagram Best92018 gmcguireinrome

Did the last 12 months feel like 10 years to anyone else? I have always been an information and news fanatic but one of my 2019 goals is to spend less time clicking and scrolling and more time on thoughtful journalism and the stack of books on my nightstand. 

This year we will spend a quiet New Years here in Rome and then we will head north to Venice to spend a few days in my favorite winter destination drinking spritz's, seeing friends and exploring the lagoon islands. 

Here is the 2018 edition of my favorite way of looking back on the year borrowed from my pal Smitten Italy.
I would love to hear what is on your reading list and what you have planned for 2019.


Italy Christmas Gift Guide 2018 {Gillian's Lists of Links}

Spelacchio Rome 2017

Spelacchio Rome 2017

Spelacchio Rome 2017

It's that time of year again and Rome is again struggling with a Christmas tree disaster

All jokes aside, I have spent the last year really trying to shop small. From my grocery shopping to vacationing close to home I have worked to spend my money in places owned and operated by individuals and families instead of corporations. In that spirit here are a few gift ideas that support artists and small businesses.