Thursday, 15 September 2016

Rientro a Roma

We are back! This time we are staying in Testaccio &, even though this is our eleventh trip to the Eternal City, we still have a list of sights to explore.
Our apartment could not be better placed, with a view of  the Porticus Aemilia from the garden. Built 200 years before Christ, the Porticus was a vast complex of warehouses which was used to house the goods coming from the nearby river port.

After a brilliant introduction to the area from our host, Gianlucca, we set out for the Circus Maximus. We were keen to see the the excavations that had been done in this area - remains of a great arch built for Emperor Titus have been revealed as well as tiered rows of seating.
An added bonus were the rainbow flags fluttering in the wind, part of the Par Tibi Roma exhibition.

The metro and tram delivered us to our first aperitivo of the trip, at Tree Bar. We love this bar set amongst the trees on Via Flaminia. An added bonus is that the fresh bread & wood fired pizza that make up part of the aperitivo plate comes from their own agricultural agency - Treefarm. Oh, and they have artisanal beer on tap which pleases my husband!

One of the reasons for coming to Rome at this time of year was to visit Taste of Roma and take the opportunity to try dishes created by Michelin starred chefs. Where else could we have eaten at four stellar restaurants in one night (and there were so many more to chose from)
First up was Roy Carceres from Metamorfosi with a 'pasta dish without pasta', enhanced with tiny spheres of lemon.

To see 'chef' cooking this dish in front of you is priceless.

Next up an oyster dish from the megastar chef, Heinz Beck. Barring a lottery win it is doubtful that we will ever eat at his 3 Michelin starred restaurant, La Pergola, but for a few euros we got a small taste of the high life.

Tordomatto, in the Prati area is on our list as a 'must eat here' (probably on a future trip} and chef Adriana Baldassare's take on coda alla vaccinara has reinforced this idea.

Finally we try a penne dish from Franceso Apreda at Imago (another lottery win restaurant!)

This whole evening was simply brilliant, from the efficient organisation (I hardly dare say it but this is not always a 'given' in Italy), to the setting in the gardens of the awesome Parco della Musica. It was also a multi generational event. All ages were represented here, from families to groups of young friends to older couples with their doggies . There could have been no better way to spend our first night in Rome than to sit under the light of a full moon, sipping local Cesanese wine, eating amazing food and watching Roman life go by.

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