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Sunday Lovely Sunday

Sunday Lovely Sunday

Sunday is like Janus; two faced, partly because half of it belongs to happy-weekend-no-care-in-the-world and half to tomorrow-it’s-back-to-the-rut, and partly because there are two options, Fancy Michelin Lunch or cuddly say-goodbye-to-dieting lunch with Nonna. I’m writing this on a Wednesday, so let’s go for something in between: places that make you feel cosy while letting your taste buds linger a little extra in sweet culinary indulgence.


ORTO – This recent opening just behind Piazza Cavour is entirely vegetarian and it has all my love. As a dedicated omnivore, I was curious as to what might be the highlights of this place, and believe me, I was pleasantly surprised. At lunch during the weekend, the restaurant offers a bountiful, yet super healthy, brunch buffet at 15 Euro, which includes a refreshing (non-alcoholic) welcome drink and everything from pasta, to main courses and fruit and dessert. The dishes are mostly reminiscent of the Roman and Mediterranean flavours, with some oriental inflections; everything prepared with local, biological produce. The place is relaxed and cosy with wooden floors, tables and decorations that remind of hipster agriculture. But no fear, the hipster atmosphere remains in the post-post-modern furnishings, while the buffet creates a lovely conviviality, both between guests and the super friendly staff.

Orto, via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 142


VIVI BISTROT – Why not enjoy the Sunday in the lush green pastures of Villa Pamphilj? The park is a splendour and the century old pine trees create a wonderfully rustic atmosphere reminiscent of bygone eras. By contrast the Vivi bistrot serves fresh and modern meals and also has brunch offers (available any day of the week). The best part of this rural restaurant is that they prepare lovely little pick-nick baskets to enjoy in the bucolic atmosphere of the park

Vivi Bistrot – Close to the Park entrance on Via Vitellia, 102, can be reached with a short stroll through the park from the entrance on Via Aurelia, above Trastevere.


OPEN BALADIN – If beer and burgers is more your thing then a visit to Open, right behind Campo de Fiori, should definitely be on your list, Sunday or not Sunday. The place is a haven for lovers of great craft beer and awesome burgers. Open Baladin is the number one address in Rome for getting to know the lively scene of Italian microbreweries while enjoying crisp potato chips with tempting flavours such as Cacio e Pepe or Liquorice and juicy premium burgers between home-made buns. The best part is that the kitchen is open non-stop from 12:00 until 01:15 at night.

Open baladin – Via degli Specchi 6


BARNUM CAFÈ – Sometimes a cosy cafè is all that’s needed to make the (lazy) day. Barnum has quickly become a hit in a city where coffee is often considered a digestif, or a wake-up serum. The cosy lounge bar serves artfully decorated cappuccino’s (and naturally all the other cousins of the coffee family), plump cakes and desserts, as well as good options for aperitivo and light lunch or dinner, and the best is that, come late afternoon/evening, the staff prepares some of the best cocktails to be had in town; a perfect start of the new week.

Barnum Café – Via del Pellegrino 87


The best thing would of course be to start the day with a hearty fresh air brunch at Vivi Bistrot, followed by a stroll through the park, over the Gianicolo hill and down to Saint Peter's. This should take an hour or so, depending on the pace, and will prepare you for the green delights at Orto behind Piazza Cavour.

Having begun the day with such a healthy tone, some decadence is of little harm, so cross Ponte Cavour into the meanders of the historical centre to wallow in the baroque beauty of the Spanish Steps as you climb them to arrive at the renaissance Villa Medici. The Villa was the Roman seat of the Medici family from the late 16th century until the late 18th century, when it became the temporary seat of Napoleon, who assigned it as new seat of the Académie de France à Rome. This institution, under the leadership of great artists such as Ingres and Balthus, has gone to great lengths to maintain the renaissance origins; all the while becoming one of the most important modern art institutions in Rome. At the moment, there is a collaborative exhibition on Balthus with the Scuderie del Quirinale.

Once duly permeated by the peculiar atmosphere of the historical Villa, head south through the Parliamentary district on Montecitorio, pass by the Pantheon and arrive at Campo de’ Fiori and at two options. Are you hungry? In the mood for a pint of beer, a burger and fancy crisps, seasoned with great music? Head to Open Baladin. If you are more in the mood for a well-mixed cocktail and a cosy aperitivo, or simply a relaxing coffee, then head to Barnums.

There, you just explored Rome from head to toe, culturally and gastronomically, walking approximately 15km, thus enjoying the culinary satisfactions with zero sense of guilt, what a way to start the week! Naturally, you could do the whole trip in the opposite direction, starting at Barnums and finishing for a sunset aperitivo at Vivi Bistrot, but that would mean walking uphill and we don’t want to exaggerate, now do we.



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