Rome restaurant guide

Around Rome: the Roman Castles and Tivoli

Since the old days, Romans for leisure go to restaurants around Rome, and not in Rome ("fuori porta", out of the gate, as they say), because of the beautiful countryside. The Roman Castles, probably the nicest environment near Rome, always attracted emperors, popes, cardinals and common people all alike.

A particular feature of the restaurants around Rome is that on purpose they are not apparently sophisticated or chic. In fact the philosophy is to offer a most genuine, countryside and traditional cuisine, in a most homely and cozy atmosphere. The owners and waiters are also very friendly, reflecting the bonhomie of the "Castellani" (people of the Roman Castles). There are many restaurants, each with a distinct personality. We will report the ones we strongly recommend.

FRATTOCCHIE - Marino: Agriturismo Trinca

"Agriturismo Trinca" is in Frattocchie, in Via delle Case Rosse, intersection with Via Nettunense Nuova 65 (tel. 069309195 / 069352562). It is only open Thursday-Sunday, both at lunch and dinner, it is worth waiting these days. Reservation is strongly recommended.

FRATTOCCHIE was one of the thirty towns of the ancient Latin League. It was called Bovillae, and it was initially a colony of Alba Longa (like Rome, in a previous stage). After the destruction of Alba Longa the sacra were transferred to Bovillae, including the cult of Vesta and of the Gens Julia, the family clan of Julius Caesar. Remains of buildings of the imperial period - the circus, a small theatre, and edifices probably connected with the post-station - may still be found.
The circus or stadium was built by Tiberius to commemorate his predecessor Augustus.



The latter was born in Velitrae (modern Velletri), yet as he belonged to the Gens Julia once he died in Nola in 14 AD his dead body was first brought to Bovillae before being escorted by the knights to the Mausoleum bearing his name in Rome. Nowadays only three arches of the stadium are extant. They were called "carceres", and they were the starting grid of competitors riding horses.
The archaeological area stretches over a green area, between the Appia and the Nettunense roads, endowed with vineyards (where from the famous "Gotto d'Oro" wines originate), with century-old olive groves, biking and walking paths bordering mannerly old country homes. Panoramic views of the Roman Castles, of Castel Gandolfo (the Pope summer residence), and of Monte Cavo (where the Temple of Latium Jupiter once stood) complete the picture, recalling the ancient heritage. It is precisely in this area that the Trinca restaurant is situated.

The restaurant, outside

Opposite view, with the friendly Trincas at the entrance

We recommend this restaurant also for the daily excursions to the War Cemetery of Anzio-Nettuno. The restaurant is half-way between Rome and Nettuno, and you will not regret stopping here for your lunch.
Directions: Drive along the Via Appia Nuova, going out of Rome, until after 6 Km you reach the intersection with Via Nettunense, to the right, going to Anzio-Nettuno. After one Km you find an intersection with Via Divino Amore. This is said just as a landmark, keep driving along the Via Nettunense, and after 100 meters to the left you find a little road called Via Case Rosse. As soon as you will enter the road you will find to the left the gate of the Agriturismo Trinca, where the restaurant is situated.
The most friendly owners Trinca select carefully every single product they use. The cuisine is simple, yet prepared with the same care of home. The food is tasty, but also healthy, natural, and light, unlike with most restaurants.

The outdoor veranda, with children playground

An overall view of the interior

Although you can follow a menu "a la carte", the restaurant recommends that you follow their menu of the day. Practically, you will first receive a starter, which includes a number of yummies. First of all "bruschetta" (grilled bread with a nuance of garlic), prepared differently according to the season. In winter it is generally dressed with cream (olive cream, nut cream etc.), ham or cheese. In summer you will find variants with fresh tomato, or with Pachino tomato (a Sicilian breed of cherry tomatoes, the name is pronounced Pakeeno). The starters also include fresh mozzarella, grilled marinated aubergines and mushrooms.

In a most peculiar way, the restaurant offers *two* first courses, which you can select among many. A favourite piece of the house are hand-made fettuccine casarecce with ragu' (home-made fettuccine with meat sauce) or with tomato sauce or with mushrooms. Yet you should also try lasagne in bianco (white lasagna, i.e. without tomato) with mushrooms and aubergines, ravioli ricotta e spinaci (dumplings with ricotta cheese and spinach) with fresh nut cream, or agnolotti (larger dumplings), or cannelloni and tortellini.

Second courses usually include meat, although upon request (preferably informing beforehand the restaurant) vegetarian dishes are prepared, such as melanzane alla parmigiana (parmesan aubergines), scamorza ai ferri (grilled smoked cheese), pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) etc. Meat dishes are: abbacchio al forno (lamb cooked in the oven) with mixed salad, polenta (a mais pudding), filled chicken, galletti alla diavola (grilled chicken), prosciutto e melone (ham and melon). Finally, two or three types of home-made cakes or desserts are prepared every day.
Notably, there is an ample selection of wines, and the bread is home-made. We particularly appreciate of this restaurant the truly home-made cuisine.

Other homey halls

Other homey halls

All ingredients and products are selected with care by the proprietors, which are connoisseurs with a lot of taste, working and cooking restlessly for their customers' satisfaction. They are also very friendly and pleasant. Prices are reasonable, and an average meal costs around 20 Euros (app. 24 US$). For all its good aspects, we chose this restaurant for the lunch of our daily excursions to the Roman Castles (click the underscored text to know more about this wonderful individual tours).

Monteporzio Catone: Romoletto

In Monteporzio Catone, near Frascati, try "Romoletto", in Via G. Verdi, 25. If you go on Sunday, it is necessary to reserve, at least as early as on Friday. Tel. 069449495. Closed on Monday.
The restaurant is tucked in the historical centre of Monteporzio. On foot, after you pass the main gate of the town, turn immediately to the left. If you go by car, you will have to park first, and then find Via G. Verdi.
The restaurant was founded by Romoletto at the beginning of the century, today his nephew Romoletto Jr. continues the tradition, together with all the members of a big and united family. Everything is fresh and natural.
You will be first served a generous "antipasto" (horsd'ouvre), then you will be able to choose among many variants of home made pastas (we recommend "Ravioli ricotta e spinaci" -   Ricotta and spinach dumplings - with tomato sauce, or Tagliatelle both "ai funghi porcini" - with mushrooms - or with tomato sauce). The second course is also very generous. Usually there is a tray with many varieties of grilled meat, or - if you respect animals and you are hence vegetarian - the tray will have many niceties, like fried zucchini flowers, or fried eggplants etc. A generous side dish is brought too, usually a salad. There follows the dessert, fruit, digestive (try "limoncello" made of lemon, superb), and coffee. It is an inexpensive restaurant. For all the above food you normally pay 20 Euros (app. 24 US$). If you tell the owners that you saw the presentation in our site they will surely pamper you.

Romoletto, interior

Romoletto, ouside: a happy customer after lunch


Tivoli, near Rome, is famous for three parks and Villas, among which the world-acclaimed Tivoli Villa d’Este with its 500 fountains. In the medieval centre of the town, next to the Villa d'Este, you find an intriguing restaurant, offering high-quality ancient traditional Italian cuisine at convenient prices. It is called “L’Antica Trattoria del Falcone”.

Here you can sit down in one of the many elegant internal halls, and taste at your ease many courses after a very pleasant day in one of the most beautiful places in Italy.

L’Antica Trattoria del Falcone is situated in 34, Via del Trevio, in the centre of Tivoli (tel. 0774312358)

L'Antica Trattoria del Falcone

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