Raining meat balls. On Rome. In the Monti district opens the second polpetteria, a restaurant meat balls specialized, within a few months. Here the meatball is a poor food, our grandmothers cooked meatballs mixing the leftovers of the week. So they have become a typical element of Roman traditional cuisine. The meatballs are un classico, a classic. And even the meatballs pasta is a typical Sunday lunch dish in the winter. Polpetta Cucina & Miscelazione in 26, via dei Capocci, has a wide range of meatballs, from salty to sweet, accompanied by a glass of wine or a cocktail. The new one, Viveri Polpetteria (139, via Urbana), offers a easygoing formula, più sgarzolina, It’s open all day long, from breakfast to after dinner. Meatballs are served with drinks and dj set. Prices are low, as raw material is not expensive.
“A Roma non succede mai niente”, say the locals, when they complain that there is no news in the Eternal city. Hey! In two thousands of years something happened here or not? Question is that time in Rome rolls slowly. Maybe.
But in the last weeks something new has happened. Rinasce la Rinascente, reborn the Rinascente. Eight planes dedicated to fashion, body care, design, with the most popular italian and world brands. Just only the building is an attraction. In the underground was rediscovered the 2k years old aqueduct Aqua Virgo, that was inaugurated by the Emperor Augusto in the 16 AC and is still functioning, feeding the largest fountains in the center. To be seen. The aqueduct arcades were discovered during the renovation work. And this has delayed the closure of the restoring, which has lasted for 11 years.
On the top floor there is the restaurants area with stunning views. The interior design combines classic with the contemporary, the floors are joined by 16 escalators that can accommodate up to 90,000 people at the same time. Prices? It goes from one euro for a pen up to 15k euros for a bag.
All crazy about the Salumeria.Many of my guests ask me where they can go to lunch between hams, salami and cheese hanging on the ceiling.I tell you this: once pane e mortazza (the sandwich with the mortadella) was the fast and cheap meal of the worker who did not have lunch break. Today the Salumeria has become a gourmet place. The owners are millionaires and go around with the Ferrari! Save this five places.
Roscioli ristorante, near Campo de’ Fiori, is also a winery and an oyster bar. They serve salami, hand-cut ham, but also fish dishes. Here if you do not book, you will never sit down! Another place is La Salumeria, near Castel Sant’Angelo. They make the tagliere, a wooden boards with salami, ham, cheeses and more.Do not miss Erzinio, near Piazza Venezia, Volpetti in Campo Marzio and Franchi in Via Cola di Rienzo, near the Vatican city.
The ancient romans were ahead with regard to body care. I Patrizi (the rich people) had relax at Termae (ancient spa), i poracci, the poor people, did the sauna, on the street, carrying stones! Two thousand years after nothing has changed, the spa is still a symbol of riccanza (opulence). If you are looking for relaxation and wellbeing in the places of the ancient romans, I would recommend two places. Try Aquamadre, just behind the imperial ruins, has very suggestive rooms, some Jacuzzi and a long range of facial and body treatments.
Facciamo serata means having party hard! Where? In Rome, like in other cities of the world, the trendy places are constantly changing. I can tell the list of the best club of the moment, that probably will change in the next season. If you want have “party like a Russian”, meaning enjoy the nightlife with unlimited budget, remember this suggestions. Raspoutin is near Piazza Del Popolo, in Palazzo Dama hotel. Learn this words: Si sboccia! In Italy (not only here) is a status symbol booking a table and ordering a bottle of Dom Perignon or a extra size of Belvedere Vodka. People look at you with admiration, the girls will be happy if you offer them a flut from your precious bottle. Hey, probably not telling you anything new!
Si sciabola! is the upgrade of Si sboccia. It means those who open the bottle with a saber. If you are one of those, welcome! And remember: Dom Perignon is for rich, Vedova (Veuve Cliquot) is for barboni (not rich enough). Now you are the king of the roman nightlife. But look: conquer your kingdom should cost even a thousand euro!
So, I suggest this program: aperitivo at Hotel De Russie, drinking a Bloody Mary among businessmen and beautiful models. In alternative I suggest Zuma, on the roof of Fendi Palace (it is also a japanise restaurant). Then you can dine at Assunta Madre, where, tra calciatori e veline (between football players and tv stars), you can “watch and be watched”. The chef cooks excellent fish, but I do not think that people go there for the quality of food!
The restaurant is in Via Giulia. How to find it? Is simple, there are always one or two Ferrari parked in front! Sciallo (fun) never ends! Our night continues at ToyRoom, in Via Veneto, the street of Dolce Vita. ToyRoom is one of the most fashionable club in this season, there is a strict selection of customers, so I recommend booking a table.
Near Vatican city there is a very cool neighborhood with trendy restaurants and bars. I’m talking about the quartiere Prati. This district is full of law offices. In the evening, young lowyers, when end up working, meet each other nearby to drink or dine.
I usually go to La Zanzara bistrot. But even the restaurants that are in via Properzio are at the same level: Calabascio, Il Sorpasso, Sogno autarchico. They serve the typical dishes of italian cuisine revisited in contemporary style. A little further forward there is Porto, specializing in fish dishes. I also recommend taking a look at Borgo Pio, a very characteristic street of Rome, also full of bistrots and restaurants. I know this place very well because my University was right there. But if you want to see the neighborhood from above, go on the terrace of the Hotel Atlante Star at the aperitif time (7PM). The view over roman roofs is imperdibile, unmistakable!
Are you greedy? At Piazza Risorgimento I recommend two places. The first is Old Bridge ice cream parlor. You recognize it because there is always a long waiting line! Another place is Pompi, where someone says they make the better Tiramisu in the city. Try and let me know what you think about!
If you ask me about Trastevere, I’ll tell you attenzione, look out! You must be furbo, smart, to avoid le sòle, the scum. The neighborhood is full of bars and restaurants, but not all are worthy of the Italian tradition. I just love some places, here’s the list.
First of all Taverna Trilussa, a typical Roman restaurant famous for its giant portions, serves the pasta directly nella padella, in the pan, not in the dish! Many romans love the restaurant Antica Pesa, famous for hosting celebrities and politicians. Mai coperto, I’ve never been there, I know it’s expensive, but everyone says it’s worth it!
Ti piange la tasca? Your wallet weeping? If you are looking for something economical and typical, choose Augusto a Trastevere, a basic trattoria loved for this characteristic. Do not expect to pay with your credit card! At the end of the meal, the owner comes and writes the bill sulla tovaglia di carta, on the paper tablecloth! Only accept cash.
If you like fusion cooking, I suggest you Coffee Pot, Jap-Mex restaurant, a very fashionable place loved by the locals. If you are looking for a cocktail bar, my tip is Freni e Frizioni, vintage ambience and good cocktails. Or Akbar and, only in summer, Terrazza San Pancrazio. In summer, if you go down to the river quay, there are plenty of places where drink or dine. There are also many on the Isola Tiberina, a small island in the middle of the river.