I am passing along these tips on Italy shared with me by a veteran overseas traveler. -- Deborah Whitaker
RESTAURANTS: Google these to find addresses and directions; all are worth a try in no particular order...
Roma Sparita: In Trastevere, a cool area to wander around on the west side of the river from downtown. This restaurant was highlighted by Anthony Bourdain as having the best caccio e pepe in Rome. This is typical Roman pasta with just pecorino cheese and black pepper. The version here is very good, served in a baked parmesan cheese bowl. Good prices.
Colline Emiliane: Not far from Trevi fountain. Listed in Michelin, but without any stars. Family owned since the 1970s, famous for it's slow-cooked veal Giambonetto. It's awesome, and all the pastas are quite good. Also not expensive. I would call for a reservation for any night of the week but you should be able to call at lunch time for dinner on the same day.
Just to the west, off the southwest corner of Piazza Navona, are a nice variety of comfortable little wine bars/enotecas. There's one along this street called Etabli, which is pretty cozy.
Gusto: This is a combination of three places in the same building -- restaurant, pizzeria and osteria. I personally like the osteria, but they all have good food. This is not far from the Via del Corso, near the Ara Pacis, which is also a nice modern museum.
Al Forno della Soffitta: Just outside the tourist area, but fantastic pizza.
Santa Lucia: This is just off the northwest corner of Piazza Navona, and depending on the weather it has nice outside seating area for lunch. The food's good, and not too pricey.
Vini e Buffet: Al little restaurant worth finding for lunch, but get there before 1 p.m. or the tables will be filled with Italians. I haven't been there for dinner, but they have a good selection of salads, crepes and other things. For directions, you might google the address Vicolo della Torretta, 60, Roma.
Osteria Barberini: This is a small family-owned place. Good reviews on Trip Advisor over the last year. It's on Via della Purificazione just off of Piazza Barberini. The antipasti and pastas are excellent. I wouldn't go for the beef, but they've got a truffle meatball that's fantastic, and the prices are great.