Waaaay back in December 2012, I wrote a post in which I put Flavio al Velavevodetto(and few other places) on notice. That year, Flavio, a Testaccio-based restaurant specializing in traditional Roman fare, had gone from being completely satisfying to wildly inconsistent, a change that was likely linked to opening a second restaurant, Velavevodetto ai Quiriti in Prati. Service glitches and food failures became increasingly common, which isn’t unusual for a restaurant to suffer following expansion. Many readers and app users reported negative experiences–so I was concerned–but I remained optimistic that things would turn around.
Fast forward to December 2014 and Flavio al Velavevodetto has more than just rebounded. It has surpassed its earlier reputation and is one of the few places in Rome that manages to maintain an extremely high level of quality, both in its raw ingredients and its final dishes. Meat comes from the restaurant’s own herds and flocks, while seasonal vegetables are cultivated on their land in northern Lazio. Ingredients are transformed into superb Roman classics like polp
A very pricey cocktail in progress on the roof of the new-ish DOM Hotel.
The DOM Hotel, a five-star luxury retreat, opened on Via Giulia in central Rome a little less than a year ago. The place is a good value, in relation to its category, and the location is hard to beat. I weigh DOM’s pros and cons in this Sunday’s NYT Travel section (or read online here).
Cesare and Alfredo Bergamini have been fishing for eels in the Tiber since 1947. Now 74 and 77, respectively, the brothers learned the profession from their grandfather. In post-war Rome, they shared the water with other eel fishermen–and a great deal more eels. But falling eel stock caused by pollution coupled with spiraling profitability due to collapsed demand has driven others away from the trade.
On a recent visit to the Bergamini brothers’ dock in Mezzocamino in southwestern Rome, Cesare recounted his daily routine while repairing his handmade nets. He goes out in his dinghy (water conditions permitting) at 7:00 each morning to check his eel traps, around 300 hand-crafted funnel-like nets. He said the quantity of eels they catch depends on the river level. Last week, the Tiber had risen more than 4 meters due to heavy rains, which meant Cesare couldn’t lay his nets and it was impossible to catch anything.
Decades ago, his haul on a good day would have been several hundred kilos, while today the catch is severely diminished. Cesare explained that the eels he catches are healthy and ada
This is the second leg of a truly fun week. There are adventures to get each morning when we land somewhere else, but also fun time on the boat itself.
The Club Med 2 has an open bar. Yes, that means free flow of pretty good things...all day long. So being on a French boat, you have Ricard for aperitif at lunch time if you are on the boat at lunch time...and pina colada by the pool before sunset, and obviously wine during meals. We are in the North Hemisphere end of November, so sunsets are early at around 5.30pm each day...with some pretty cool views from the swimming pool bar on the back deck. By 6pm, it's champagne time...all night long. Well, first it's shower time and getting change for the evening obviously...this is still a French place! And as we all now that mixing different alcohol drinks is not a great idea, I found a fun group of people ready to go on the champagne all night long, each evening, for great and fun time! More in the next entries of this truly fun group of people.
Little warning, Club Med 2
Club Med 2Club Med 2
Club Med 2
is French, and it feels. Out
Today marks the 2,000th anniversary of the Augustus’ death. In a city in which more than a few great leaders have drawn on the lessons of the emblematic first Emperor, you might expect some actual fanfare. But this is 21st century Rome, and for a myriad of reasons, the city has chosen a predictable path and undertaken a series of underwhelming and poorly publicized events to commemorate Augustus two millenia after his demise. Tonight at the Ara Pacis Museum (a controversial but totally spectacular building), the original colors of the first century BC altar within will be projected onto the monument. Pretty cool, I guess. But it’s been done before. What would Augustus think about recycling an old exhibit for this occasion?
I doubt he’d be pleased to know that his Mausoleum, the massive monument that he invested quite a lot of effort building, and where his ashes where ultimately interred, was open to a mere 90 people this morning. That’s right, three visits of 30 people each were all the city could muster in the very place where the Emperor’s remains were laid to rest 2000 years ago.
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