Luciana Squadrilli

Born in Naples but based in Rome, it’s not surprising that freelance journalist and author Luciana Squadrilli has a thing for pizza (fun fact: she cites extra virgin olive oil and deserts as her two other major passions). As a regular contributor to Italian titles such as Identità Golose and Via dei Gourmet, she has plenty of opportunities to share her insatiable love of eating and travelling.

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Make New Friends At The Dinner Table

Retrobottega is a really a unique experience, and my favourite restaurant in the city. I’ve met and become friends with so many interesting people from all over the world from dining here. It was one of the first restaurants in Rome where you share the table with other guests and interact with the chefs. They offer high-quality, fine-dining cuisine in an informal setting, and moreover, they personally source wild herbs and fruits. They also have a fresh pasta atelier where they sell pasta and other food products, perfect to take home.

The Best Pizza In Rome

For me, Seu Pizza Illuminati makes the best pizza in all of Rome. The dough is light, fluffy and perfectly risen, and they use imaginative, delicious toppings. La Gatta Mangiona was the first place to serve a good pizza in Rome, so I’m an aficionada! I also love Sbanco and the genius Trapizzino by Stefano Callegari: a “pocket” of pizza filled with typical Roman sauces, to be eaten as a street food.

When you’re in Rome, don’t miss trying pizza al taglio, a Roman staple. Gabriele Bonci’s Pizzarium is deservedly the most famous address, yet there are many great places to try this typical street food. Together with some other food writers, we’ve created an entire guide to the best addresses in Rome to eat pizza al taglio.

Where You’ll Find The Locals Eating (And Drinking)

I’m never disappointed by Barred, a small, unassuming bar and restaurant managed by two young bothers. The food is delicious and creative without being pretentious, and they also serve great cocktails and interesting natural wine. This is a great place to experience the local scene.

I have become a good friend of Vincenzo Mancino, a smart guy who devoted himself to finding and promoting the best products from the Lazio region. He has opened ProLoco Trastevere which is both a shop selling amazing Lazio products (like cured meats, cheese, olive oils) and a restaurant serving typical local cuisine from the region. It also does incredible cocktails and opens from noon to 1am.

Contemporary Cuisine In A Warm Atmosphere

I also love Zia, a recently launched restaurant serving great contemporary, creative food with a special and warm atmosphere. The new bistronomique format at restaurant Marzapane really surprised and conquered me.

Italian Classics With A Divine View

And, I really love the Divinity terrace restaurant from chef Francesco Apreda at the Pantheon Iconic Hotel (Francesco’s fine dining restaurant Idylio, is on the ground floor) where one can enjoy drinks, wine, pizza, pasta and other simple yet delicious food with a stunning view!

Comforting Roman Dishes

My comfort place is Cesare al Casaletto, which serves great traditional Roman cuisine and recipes in a simple, unfussy atmosphere.

My Local Wine Bars

The recently opened Matiere Bar à Vin is a wine bar with an impressive selection of mostly French wines and good, simple food. It’s close to my home, and the owner, Paky Livieri, knows a lot about wine!

A special place that’s full of happy memories for me is La Barrique in Monti borough. This is where I built up my wine knowledge, by sharing many great wines with friends and the owner, Fabrizio Pagliardi. Recently, Fabrizi – who’s now a friend – also opened two new venues. Remigio is a cozy Champagne Bar which I love, and Barnaba is a “bar à vin” that also serves food. It’s close to my house, so I’ve become a regular!  

Visit The Local Food Market

To experience the local food culture, go to the Testaccio food market, where there are a number of great food stalls.

Rome’s Best Burger

For a good craft beer and the best burger in town I go at Open Baladin where I feel at home.

A Cosmopolitan Celebration

If I have something special to celebrate, like an anniversary or a birthday, I often choose Il Pagliaccio. It’s another great place for fine dining, and is probably the most cosmopolitan restaurant in Rome, in terms of both food and ambiance.

Creative Seafood Dishes

I really love Pascucci al Porticciolo, which is just outside of the city. It’s simply the best for creative recipes using outstanding fresh fish.

A Sunday Escape From The City

Out of town, Sora Maria e Arcangelo is the place where I go for a Sunday lunch when I want to treat myself with great food and a warm, unpretentious atmosphere. 

Guide last updated March 2020

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