What I’m digging right now
by Ms Q | Travel Concierge
I stay excited navigating the world as well as my community, and am always discovering something new or deepening my understanding of something I already love. Periodically I like to do a roundup of the various things that I am currently #obsessed with…and I’ll share them with you always, promise.
This neighborhood on Rome’s southeastern edge is not picturesque like the historic center, but the city girl in me loves its gritty charm. I’m especially enamored with the young Roman gastronomy gang offering artisanal twists on cucina romana!
Menabó Vino e Cucina is my spot for re-imagined classics + a tightly curated wine selection. 180g Pizzeria Romana serves up beautifully crisp Roman-style pizza and “fritti” in imaginative combinations.
It’s the only pizzeria I know that requires a reservation – even on a Monday night! For aperitivo hour, there are many options, but Bistro 46 serves up simple & delicious drinks and snacks in a relaxed atmosphere. When I’m up for a bit more action, L’Ombra Longa delivers and then some, offering Venetian style “cicchetti” and cocktails…they also seem to serve as headquarters for the crowds of hip 20 & 30-somethings in the neighborhood.
Natural Wines: Fermented in Bottle, Unfiltered (especially from Lazio!)
In the last 5 years the natural wine movement in Europe has been moving at a breakneck pace! In Italy there are so many to choose from – but I especially love the small, artisanal producers run by the next generation of winemakers. The white and sparkling wines run the gamut – from earthy and rustic to refined and are made for summertime sipping.
When I see the characteristic amber color and cloudy consistency, I get immediately excited!
Some of my jams are: The delicious Ribolie at Cantina Ribelà (Lazio); Col Tamerie from Vigna San Lorenzo (Veneto); Fishing Wine from Ajola (Umbria); Bianco Alpino from Cantina Furlani (Trentino).
Ponza & Palmarola
My arrival in Ponza was 16 years in the making, but I finally was able to experience this island jewel…it was worth the wait, trust. I have heard wonderful stories about this mythical paradise ever since my emigration to Italy. Compared to all the more well known Italian islands & resorts, Ponza remains steadfastly true to herself, charming and (intentionally) under-developed. It’s an easy trip from Rome: 1 hr either by car or train to a departure port, then 1.5 hrs via hydrofoil or ferry. As there are few sandy beaches, the best way to do Ponza is on a boat – renting a small boat costs about 60€ for the day (and of course I got the hook up for you).
You can circumnavigate the whole island in little over an hour. But stopping and dropping anchor in tiny coves and swimming in crystal clear waters is unforgettable. The food…the food! The freshest seafood I have ever tasted, prepared simply in the Ponzese way. Aperitivo life is fully supported and celebrated – the cocktails at each portside locale are delicious: progressive, made with local herbs & sensibilities. A super relaxing, restorative time is waiting for you on the unpretentious island of Ponza – spectacular views + pristine seas perfect for swimming. I’m already plotting my imminent return. Hit me up if you wanna know more.