A day in Rome


We Italians really spend too little time vacationing in Rome. We arrive there at mid-day for business or for an evening out and that's pretty much it. Instead, I am of the opinion that we should learn from foreign visitors and stop to admire the Eternal City from a new perspective. And above all, we should slow down. Which is why, on a recent visit to culinary Rome, I asked my friend Claudia Tiberti, a native of Rome and a food-blogger, to give me a few tips to point me in the right direction. I set out armed with lots of useful advice and curious facts on Rome from David Ranucci, owner of the famous Roman tavern in Milan, "Giulio Pane e Ojo" and the "Quinto Quarto" in New York. David believes that "Roman cuisine is a myth!" and he's right, considering that over the centuries pilgrims came to Rome from all over the world, bringing along their traditions and a wide variety of ingredients. On the train, I am once again mesmerized by how beautiful our homeland is in the summer, with its yellow and green hues. Every view from the train window is picture perfect. Upon my arrival, I decide to get to the Regina Hotel Baglioni on foot. I don't have a lot of luggage, the line at the taxi stand is long and it’s only 10 minutes away by foot. My room is magnificent and the hospitality at the hotel makes me feel right at home. Claudia is waiting for me, with a cute Japanese-style umbrella to offer some shade from the sun and the 40° C heat. Our first stop, a must, is to treat ourselves to some pizza by Gabriele Bonci, renowned among all the food-lovers of Italy. It's not right downtown so we head to Via Meloria 43 in the Trionfale District by subway. Don't expect an actual restaurant: Pizzarium is a really small place with an even smaller counter. But the pizza they make here is delicious. The dough is leavened naturally – there’s no rushing here – and it's truly worth the trip. Gabriele Bonci is a master: he uses only organic flour from Mill Marino and his relationship with the owners goes beyond a simple business relationship: it is a quest for the best green product with a focus on heirloom yeasts and cereals. He tops his piazzas with fresh seasonal vegetables and the finest mozzarella cheese.
We continue our stroll despite of the heat, enjoying our walk through the city streets on our way to our next stop on Via Cola di Rienzo. Castroni has been roasting coffee and serving delicacies from around the globe for eighty years and is celebrating its anniversary this year. The coffee is truly excellent and one could stand, mesmerized, before the products it offers for hours. My favorite section was the array of chocolates. If you come, don’t miss it!
After this historic shop, we move on to a very famous one that just recently opened. Eataly, the citadel of taste created by Oscar Farinetti, exports Italian goodies worldwide and occupies 17,000 sqm spanning four floors right next to the Roma Ostiense Station. Here you’ll find restaurants, laboratories, cooking courses and nutrition education workshops. There is a wonderful pastry shop called Montersino along with stores offering the finest Italian products and a myriad of opportunities to encounter chefs and producers. Claudia and I get lost in the beautiful library, sip on a refreshing fruit-flavored Italian ice and then reluctantly leave so we don’t miss our dinner reservations.

Paola Sucato

Roma - Paola SucatoIn viaggio per Roma - Paola SucatoRegina Hotel Baglioni - Paola SucatoPizzarium - Paola SucatoPizzarium - Paola SucatoCastroni - Paola SucatoEataly - Paola Sucato

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