Even though Rome is the largest city in Italy, the historical centre is quite compact and walkable. Staying near The Pantheon like we did, we were almost at the centre of the city. We could walk almost anywhere - the Vatican City is about 1.5 km away, so is the Coloseum. The Trevi Fountain is only 500m from our hotel.
With all the walking about, we had worked up quite an appetite come dinner time. We bumped into a small restaurant on a busy street - Rosa Rosae on Via di Pietra. The menu looked good and the wait staff were very friendly. We were hungry so we said why not.
We ordered several dishes to share. The Antipasti Platter came with generous slices of salami, ham, prosciutto and cheese. It was the envy of many guests on other tables.
The Pasta Carbonara was the best I had ever tasted. The sauce was made from traditional recipe without the usual creamy mess that you get in lessor restaurants, and had a very pleasant top note of a good wine in the sauce.
The Seafood Risotto came with really fresh baby octopus, clams, mussels, prawns and squid. It was really delicious. The rice was al dente, yet giving in easily to the bite and had soaked up all the tasty juices of the seafood.
We also ordered a Seafood Soup which also came with mussels and clams. This seamed like a repeat of the risotto but the mussels and clams were so fresh and delicious we didn't mind at all.
Reading reviews on the restaurant after the trip, I discovered that there are a quite a number of unhappy customers at this restaurant. The typical complaint was that the place was a tourist trap - charging high prices for mediocre food. Others complaint about the service charge. Our experience was a very positive one - we had great food, the service was fast and friendly, and the bill was very reasonable for what we had. There are also many positive reviews beside the negative ones. Give it a try and see for yourself.