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When in Rome, don’t shop in supermarkets or eat fast food. Dodge the tourists and do as Romans do: shop in delis and markets, drink artisan beers, eat the best pizza, gelato and the cucina of Rome’s top chefs.

Lunch
Budget: Family trattoria Da Cesare serves all the classics, from rigatoni alla amatriciana (pasta with bacon, onion, tomatoes and goat’s cheese) or gnocchi, both €10, to grilled scottadito (lamb chops), €13. Finish with ricotta and pear tart, €6. (ristorantecesare.com)

Roscioli is Rome’s favourite foodie address. Shop for a picnic or goodies to take home such as handmade salumi, or eat in and enjoy impeccably sourced produce made into dishes such as artichoke salad or carbonara, both €15, and tiramisu, €11. Wines by the glass from €5. (salumeriaroscioli.com)

Blowout: Il Sanlorenzo’s vaulted rooms are the setting for Rome’s freshest seafood brought direct from local Ponza island fishermen. Sample spaghetti with sea urchins, €25, and the day’s catch baked in salt, €10/100g. (ilsanlorenzo.it)

Dinner
Budget: Chef Luigi Nastri makes the most of Mediterranean ingredients in his restaurant Settembrini. Order lemon risotto with squid and liquorice, €16, or pasta with pulses and prawns, €12, à la carte, or as part of his five-course seafood dinner, €55. (ristorantesettembrini.it)

L’Arcangelo offers classic Roman flavours in a refined trattoria near Piazza Cavour. You can’t beat its tonnarelli with pecorino and black pepper, €15, or baked squid and spicy pancotto (bread soup) with bitter chocolate, €22. (Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 59; 00 39 06 3210992)

Blowout: Il Pagliaccio offers some of the city’s most imaginative food. A la carte from €35, or multi-course menus for €135 and €155, featuring dishes such as cuttlefish and broad bean dim sum with octopus. (ristoranteilpagliaccio.com)

Drink
Budget: Il Goccetto is an enoteca (regional wine shop) near the piazza Campo dei Fiori offering a range of imaginatively chosen wines by the glass, from €4 to €18, or by the bottle. Handmade cheeses and cured meat complement the wines. (Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14; 00 39 06 6864268)

Bir e Fud, an atmospheric, cult beer bar in the arty Trastevere district showcases over thirty of Italy’s artisan beers, from €5. They perfectly match the pizzas they’ve been paired with, from €12, and the hand-cut crisps. (Via Benedetta, 23; 00 39 06 5894016)

Blowout: Rome’s favourite barman, Pino Mondello, and chef Luigi Nastri have taken over Bar Giolitti to create the Settembrini Café. This is the place for cocktails such as Cynaroni, €8, or champagne, from €9. (Via Settembrini 19-23; 00 39 06 97610325)

Hotel
Budget: Book well ahead for La Piccola Maison, a clean-lined small b&b in a 19th-century palazzo near Via Veneto’s glam boutiques and caffes. Doubles from €70. Its pale-toned furnishings and sparse design offer a welcome respite from the colourful street life down below, a few steps from La Dolce Vita’s Trevi Fountain. (lapiccolamaison.com)

If you fancy a quiet retreat after a day among the tourist crowds, Villa Urbani is an intimate b&b in an art nouveau villa on the hill of Trastevere. The light-filled house has modern furnishings and free wi-fi, doubles from €100. (villaurbani.it)

Blowout: Residenza Canali ai Coronari offers peaceful rooms in a period palazzo furnished with antiques. From here you can step out into Piazza Navona for a nightcap or gelato. Doubles from €189. (residenzacanali.com)

Must do
Budget: Lunch in the cafeteria at MAXXI, architect Zaha Hadid’s museum of the 21st century, and the 2010 World Architecture Festival’s best new building. Choose from the local or low-cal menus: paccheri with mackerel, €10, or grouper and vegetables baked in paper, €14. (fondazionemaxxi.it)

In a piazzetta behind Piazza Navona is Rome’s finest ice cream shop, Gelateria del Teatro, in Via San Simone. Sage and peach, pear and caramel, sesame or banana – heaven in a cone, from €3.50. (Via di San Simone 70; 00 39 06 45474880)

Blowout: Where better to blow your money than farmers’ market Mercato San Teodoro, open Saturdays and Sundays. Shop for cheeses from the Lazio region, olive oils and fruits and vegetables. (mercatocircomassimo.wordpress.com)

The article ‘Budget and blowout guide to Rome’ was published in partnership with BBC Olive magazine.

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