Meet the authors Luisa Grigoletto & Christopher Livesay in Rome

Rome - Christopher Livesay and Luisa Grigoletto
Luisa Grigoletto & Christopher Livesay

Christopher is a journalist for NPR and a foreign correspondent for PBS. Luisa Grigoletto plans the Italy trips for elite travel agency Trufflepig. They are based in Rome and wrote this book after years of learning the hard way: they made all the mistakes and ate at all the tourist traps before they got to the secret gems that they have listed in The 500 Hidden Secrets of Rome.

A perfect day in the city for Luisa & Christopher might look like this

Start your day with a decadent breakfast at Pasticceria De Bellis, and spoil yourself with a deep-fried croissant filled with fresh custard cream, and an espresso or cappuccino. With that fuel in the tank, head to the nearby Piazza Navona, and away from the crowds, by visiting Domitian's Stadium. Just around the corner is Palazzo Altemps and its gorgeous collection of ancient Roman and Egyptian sculptures. The painted loggia alone is worth a stop. Then continue by surrounding yourself with one of the world's most impressive book collections: the Vallicelliana Library, with its monumental reading room that's appeared in a host of films.

entrance of Gatsby Caffè
Gatsby Cafe

For lunch, head to Per Me, off of via Giulia, for Giulio Terrinoni's "tappi", which are minimalist dishes that come in tapas-size, so you can order several. In the afternoon, turn back towards the Tiber River, cross the Palatine bridge (look down and see the Cloaca Maxima), and head towards the Church of San Gregorio al Celio. From here, through the Clivo di Scauro, you'll first hit Villa Celimontana, with its delectable park, and finally visit the church of San Stefano Rotondo. At this point, you deserve a drink. We love Gatsby Café (where you can also buy some elegant hats). End your day with a taxi to the up-and-coming Centocelle district, and enjoy a sumptuous meal at Mazzo, known for its modern and creative twist on the Roman classics.