POINTS OF INTEREST
Via Dei Fori Imperiali- A Walk In Imperial Rome
The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most well known landmarks. The grand theater of Nero has become a tame mascot of the former imperial city. However, ancient Rome shouldn’t be reduced to the Colosseum, not even for iconographic purposes.
It’s a pity to give but a single image for such a faceted and diverse reality; past or present as it may be. The entire underground area of Rome is an archaeological site and mere portions have come to light, more or less randomly. One of the best places for experiencing the magnitude of the empire that was, right in the middle of contemporary Rome.
Via dei Fori Imperiali is one of the most photographed streets of Rome, having on one end the Colosseum, on the other Piazza Venezia, and on its sides the archaeological remains of the Imperial Forum that the road practically cuts in two.
The Forum used to be the very heart of Imperial Rome, just like the Roman Forum was the center of the Republican era of Ancient Rome. Though today the two different forums are difficult to distinguish, partially due to the street that despite motions to remove it, has become a fundamental artery in central Rome.
The road was built on top eradicating a neighborhood with renaissance origins, following the modus operandi of the architects of the Vittoriano monument on Piazza Venezia. The parade street was one of the many ways in which the fascist regime tried to visually connect itself to the bygone glory of the Roman Empire.
Today the street is loved for its scenic potential, couples come here for a stroll by the former temples and grand palaces and many nightwalkers enjoy the sight of the softly illuminated wonders that the forum and the visible parts of the Palatine offer.Still today the street is used for grand parades such as the one celebrating the national day of the Italian Republic on June 2nd. And yearly the Rome marathon starts and finishes here, in the very center of republican, imperial and modern Rome.
Antico Forno Ai Serpenti- Monti’s Historical Bakery
This historical bakery was founded in the late 1870’s and has been a point of reference in the daily life of the Rione Monti ever since. Now newly restored, the locale presents itself with a classic flair reminiscent of the 1930’s, an era that keeps inspiring many bars and restaurants in Rome.
The long-lasting history of the all-round bakery is based in part on its excellent ingredients. They only use biological flour from a traditional flour-mill located outside Rome and prepare their delights in a spectacular open space kitchen with giant windows to allow their clients to see the magic happen.
The second reason for the bakery’s longevity is its versatility. Starting from 8 o’clock in the morning with a dozen types of fresh sour-dough bread, cornetti with all imaginable fillings, delicious danishes and a myriad of other sweat-breads, this is an excellent place for breakfast, cappuccino included.During lunch hour, the Antico Forno becomes a cove of business-people as well as flaneurs rushing to find a table in order to enjoy their pizza or one of their daily hot or cold lunch offers. By afternoon the locale turns into a tea room while the evening brings in the aperitivo crowd for cocktails and their generous savory buffet, which sometimes is accompanied by live music by students from the nearby Saint Louis music academy or upcoming artists in the Roman music scene.
The Forno is located on Via dei Serpenti, the street that leads from Via Nazionale to the Colosseum, in the very heart of Monti, an area rich in cultural, culinary and artistic up-comers, making it ideal for an invigorating stopover during exploratory rounds.
Open daily from 08:00 – 20:00
Via dei Serpenti 122-123
The Race Club- Love At First Sip
Rome is notorious for its terrible cocktails. We all suffer from abstinence, or the sad versions of so-called “can’t do it wrong” cocktails. However, fresh air is breathing in the capital of Italy! Many new bars and clubs are opening with the aim not only of offering great cocktails provided by stellar mixologists, but to teach the local population what it means to enjoy a truly well-made drink.
The Race Club is one of these places. Like many small clubs in Rome it is an association, which means that access is not guaranteed, you have to convince the guy at the door. Usually such behavior is unnerving,but in this case it simply translates into a relatively chill, but still present, dress code; don’t show up in slacks and flip flops and be respectful to your surroundings (there’s a reason why it’s called speakeasy).
Once inside you will be asked to become a member of the association, because this is to all effects a private club. The membership costs 5 euros and gives you access to the bar downstairs. Hidden under a stylized motorbike shop, this club is one of the many speakeasy remakes popping up around town, but it has managed to create and maintain a very individual character.
Different from many other speakeasies, here the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff is forthcoming and the barmen, and the lovely bar lady Laura, are only happy to explain the secret functioning of the perfect cocktail. The ambience is perfect for sinking into one of the vintage sofas sipping on a spicy-but-not-too-much Jalapeno Mule and enjoy the music, which from time to time is live, and just seep in the groove.
Peeking behind the bar, you will notice that the famous brands shine in their absence, letting lesser-known producers come to light: naturally my eye immediately caught two Sardinian gins, Pigskin and Giniu. The two gins offer very different interpretations of the classic liquor, the first is rather aromatic with typically Sardinian herbal inflections, while the latter remains classically dry; differences that the staff artfully consider when preparing a perfect custom drink.
Don’t come here if you’re in a rush, that tour can wait, it probably has for roughly 2 millennia, so sit back, relax and enjoy the few minutes it takes for Angelo to make that Mike Collins by watching the people around you, have a chat and then slowly and lusciously sip the somewhat bittersweet but perfectly balanced drink. We don’t have the pleasure of being around for as long as Rome has, but the embracing care of the soft-spoken and lovely staff, together with the happy and calm faces of the pleased clientele makes us forget such worldly worries and just enjoy the moment.
Via Labicana 52
+39 06 9604 4048
Drink Kong is certainly not the pub you would expect to see, but it is located on a green square not far from Rome’s center. This hybrid design, which draws inspiration from Japanese, King Kong, and 1970s futurism, is situated in a wraparound room with nightclub-style black furnishings and only neon lighting. This is a busy bar since both residents and tourists from other countries know that Drink Kong serves some of the city’s most cutting-edge cocktails. This particular idea was brought to life by Patrick Pistolesi, and his upcoming menu, Perimetro, which will debut in 2022, is poised to break new ground. It comes after the acclaimed New Humans menu, which bravely led the guest through their taste profile using colors, words, and style, but mentioned little nothing about the dish’s individual components other than the main element. Consider Apples or the Banana Echoes. There are no other bars in the world quite like Drink Kong when you combine the design, ambiance, and cocktails.
Piazza di S. Martino Ai Monti, 8, 00154 Rome
The Black Market
In the center of Rome’s oldest neighborhood sits a hidden location called the Blackmarket Hall. born inside the former “Overlook Hotel” in Rome’s Rione Monti neighborhood.
The areas that make up the Blackmarket Hall make it a flexible setting appropriate for many settings: 2 storeys with 4 rooms on each and 2 pleasant gardens, perfect for a small gathering.
The Blackmarket Hall serves up sophisticated fusion cuisine from supper till late at night. It also offers what is arguably the most famous decennial history in an atmosphere with the best mixology bars. In order to keep its patrons entertained, The Blackmarket Hall hosts concerts featuring everything from swing to cover bands, English indie rock to experimental instruments.
From 18:00 to 2:00, the Blackmarket Hall is open.
Via de Ciancaleoni 31