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Castroni - Romes historic drug and colonial store

Castroni - Romes historic drug and colonial store

Go for great food and fancy restaurants and all that jazz, but what when you have to leave? Do you leave it all behind? Lingering in a melancholy memory of bygone pleasures? Hopefully not, especially since fresh produce is available just about anywhere and that is (theoretically) all you need for re-creating the palatable wonders discovered here.

For some extra inspiration head to Castroni. There are several around town, but the one on Via Cola di Rienzo, in the heart of Prati, is the one where it all began, back in 1932. Soon the war brought not only political difficulties, it radically changed the mornings of many Italian families. Food rationing and halted imports rendered coffee a rare delicacy, which lead to a bitter memory for many of our nonni, chicory coffee.

Surviving the war and rationing, Castroni emerged stronger than ever, having started to sell international and colonial goods at the same time as tourists started coming back to Rome. Their intuition to sell not only typical Italian and local wine, liquors, foods and spices skyrocketed their popularity among a population that was booming and ever more curious to try the newly available foreign flavours.

The business grew together with the family and now the thirteen shops around town are all lead by a family member. The reason for their success is partly the variety of goods, any kind of oil, balsamico, salt, spice, liquor, candied fruit, coffee, wine as well as ethnic goods make them indispensable for any ambitious chef. However, they are unique for their service, which, if you know how to choose the right staff member, is stellar, they advise well and know everything about their products, gladly helping you out when in need. Beware though, Castroni isn’t cheap, but in return their products are of excellent quality.


If you can’t make it to the shop, or simply want their products shipped directly to your front door, visit their website and online shop.



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