What to eat, see and do in Rome: Expert expat tips

THE EXPAT

World-champion Australian conductor Maestro Daniel Smith, born in Sydney, is Direttore Principale Ospite of Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Italy. He has lived in Rome for more than a decade and will make his debut at the Sydney Opera House, from October 24 to November 1, conducting Opera Australia's production of Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims. danielsmithonline.com, opera.org.au

SEE

Want to hear opera's greatest arias in an intimate setting, accompanied with anecdotes in English and a complimentary glass of Prosecco? A hidden gem is RomeConcerts, just metres from Castel Sant'Angelo and near the Vatican. Tell them "ciao!" from me and you might just get an extra Prosecco! romeconcerts.org

DO

Do a musical walking tour of the fountains set in Respighi's masterpiece Fontane di Roma. Download the music, listen live and be immersed in Respighi's creative genius as you visit the Fountain of Valle Giulia at dawn, the Triton Fountain in the morning, the Trevi Fountain at noon and the Villa Medici Fountain at sunset. Furthermore, one of the greatest operas ever written, Puccini's Tosca, is set in Rome. Walk the "Tosca Trail" and visit the Basilica di Sant'Andrea della Valle, Palazzo Farnese, Castel Sant'Angelo and finish at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma (where it had its world premiere) with an aperol spritz and a performance. operaroma.it

EAT

Cacio e Pepe is my local no frills, rustic trattoria with strictly Roman cuisine. You may be the only tourist there. If you want a classic Roman trattoria, you are in the right place. No menus and simple paper table covers, accessible prices and moreish cacio e pepe, carbonara and polpette. trattoriacacioepepeprati.com

DRINK

Italy takes pride in its coffee. On a balmy day, nothing quite beats an unmissable granita di caffè from La Casa del Caffè Tazza d'Oro. It's 100 per cent pure espresso, frozen and blended into glacial perfection. However, it's challenging to leave Italy's perfectly roasted coffee behind, so I always head to Caffè Castroni on the morning of my flight and pack a few kilos of their delizioso freshly ground coffee. tazzadorocoffeeshop.com, castroni.it

AVOID

In bocca al lupo ("good luck" in Italian) if you eat at restaurants with spaghetti bolognese on the menu (tourist trap), order a latte (a glass of milk), cut your mozzarellina with a knife (eat it whole) or say, "I prefer French wine". If you want to see a grown Roman cry, ask for parmesan cheese with your seafood pasta.

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