Benvenuti! Enjoy your time on this special website!

Francesco Totti • Rome • Ristorante Piccolo Mondo

Francesco Totti • Rome • Ristorante Piccolo Mondo

Did you know?
Why is the Rubicon River so famous, and where is it located? The Rubicon (Fiume Rubicone in Italian) is a tiny river with vast historical importance. At the height of the Roman Empire it flowed between Ariminum and Caesena into the Adriatic Sea. Today it runs from the Pisciatello to Fiumicino rivers Northwest of San Marino into the Mare Adriatico – Adriatic Sea. The Rubicon was renowned because law prevented generals from crossing it with an army to protect the Roman Republic from invasion.

In pursuit of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey), Julius Cesar crossed the Rubicon on 10 January 49 BC and made history by coining the phrase “The die is cast" or Alea iacta est in Latin. “Crossing the Rubicon” is a phrase used today to caution someone from committing themselves to an irreversible action.

Famous Italian
Francesco Totti is one of Italy’s most successful and popular soccer players, captain and #10 on the A.S. Roma soccer team. A talented soccer player at an early age, Totti joined A.S. Roma at the age of 16. Born 27 September 1976 in Rome to Enzo and Fiorella, Totti has been the star of A.S. Roma since 1992, and he is a fierce adversary on the Italian National soccer team, as well. Francesco hit a career high in 2003-2004 with 20 goals. Retired Brazilian professional football player Pelé calls Totti one of the greatest footballers. Totti authored a best-selling book Tutte le Barzellette su Totti (book cover above center) that contains jokes the locals often told about him and his teammates. The book sale profits go to support UNICEF for which he serves as a goodwill ambassador. Rome’s star likes to talk about his blessings: “What I can say is that I really believe in God. If only I look around and I see how many people of my age just struggle without a job, I realize how happy I am and I try to do my best to deserve such a fortune.” Totti’s fans call him the 8th Emperor of Rome here were seven emperors and Totti.


New phrase:
"Paesi che vai, usanza che trovi” means when in Rome, do as the Romans do (Literally: The country you visit, the customs you find). The more literal phrase in Italian using specific references to Rome and Romans: Quando siamo a Roma, faciamo come i Romani: When in Rome do as the Romans do. The phrase is advice St. Ambrose gave to St. Augustine.

Place to visit
Rome - the Eternal City, is a metropolis which emanates vitality and is quite simply one of the most remarkable places in the world. Roma, where most visitors start their journeys in Italy, is a city without peers—unequalled in history, art, beauty, famous venues, world-class hotels and restaurants. It is both ancient and timeless. “There is no better place than Rome,” said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Roma was founded in the year 753 B.C. and every 21st of April there’s a huge festa in Rome to celebrate. Rome is one of the top travel destinations in the world and millions flock here every year. The highest number of pilgrims traveled to Rome in 2000 to usher in the Jubilee and the third Millennium. One could spend a lifetime in Rome alone and not absorb all of its culture and history. The symbol of Rome used for centuries includes the letters SPQR on a shield which stands for “The Senate and People of Rome.” Ancient Rome made lasting contributions to the world through it’s Roman law, foundation for a democratic form of government, art, theatre, religion, philosophy, math, science, architecture (enormous roads, bridges, baths and aqueducts) that endure to this day.

For 2,769 years Roma has served as the seat of ancient Rome, the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, Roman Empire, the Papal States, Kingdom of Italy and now the Italian Republic. Here are just a few of Rome’s most famous sons and daughters: Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony, Augustus, Livia, Pliny the Elder and Younger, Seneca, Cicero, Trajan, Julia Domna, Constantine the Great who unified Europe and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in 313, St. Helena, Constantine’s beloved mother; Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina, Domenico Modugno, Francesco Totti, Enrico Fermi, Gina Lollobrigida, Anthony Sabato, Jr., Gregorio Allegri, Maria Rosa Coccia and Francesco Petrarch. Must-see sites are St. Peter’s Basilica, built over the tomb of San Pietro – Saint Peter. Largest church in the world with masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “La Pieta” and Bernini’s “Gloria” as well as tombs of the Popes. Walk to the top of the massive cupola for spectacular views of Rome. Vatican Museum which preserves some of the world’s most inspiring art collections including Michelangelo’s Creation of Mankind in the Sistine Chapel and many of Raffaello’s greatest works. The Colosseum built by Emperor Vespasian in 80 AD (It could seat 55,000 people. When it was partially destroyed, slabs of the travertine marble from the Colosseum were used to build St. Peter’s), Roman Forum, The Pantheon, Vittorio Emmanuele II Monument, Trevi Fountain (Throwing a coin over your shoulder into the fountain is the tradition), Spanish Steps near some of Rome’s exclusive shops. Walk the Via Veneto (Named after Vittorio Veneto, it opened in 1889 and is one of Rome’s most celebrated avenues immortalized in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”) for some of Rome’s most elegant shopping and best restaurants. Close to the charming Villa Borghese Park. For a patriotic and impressive performance, don’t miss the changing of the guard at the Italian Presidential Palace - Il Quirinale. Roma is a splendid and overwhelming feast for the eyes, palate and soul! There are hundreds of historically significant churches in Rome.

Piccolo Mondo
is one of Rome’s leading restaurants. Celebrities, tourists and locals have raved about Piccolo Mondo since 1954. Owner Stefano Ajelli and his long time chef Chef Kristjan Kocjan are well known for their culinary innovations. Idyllic venue near Via Veneto with outside seating available for lunch or dinner al fresco.  Born in Trieste, Chef Kristjan offers simple dishes with authentic taste. Impressive wine list features 14 of Italy’s 20 regions.  Impeccable service provided by Roberto, Erica, Sara and Cristian.  Vegan and gluten free options. Via Aurora 39, 00187 Rome 11087   Tele: +39 06 420.160.34

Enjoy a drink and piano music in the lobby of the Cavalieri Hilton, situated on one of Rome’s seven hills. While on one of Rome’s seven plateaus, Marie-Henri Stendhal said, “From the table I am writing at I can see three quarters of Rome; and before me on the other side of the city the Dome of St. Peter’s soars majestically….Nothing on earth can compare to this…” La Pergola, one of Italy’s highest rated restaurants, is on the Cavalieri Hilton’s roof garden and provides one of the best views of the Eternal City. Roman food connoisseurs hail La Pergola. It is perched high on Monte Mario, one of Rome’s seven hills. The setting is elegant and the Italian haute cuisine superb. For over ten years the talented Heinz Beck has been delighting those who are fortunate to dine at his renowned restaurant. Michelin bestows five red forks and two stars to La Pergola and adds, “Luxurious but refined elegance, impeccable service, wide and evocative views over the Eternal City of Rome: a dinner in this roof top restaurant is a really unique experience.” Via A. Cadlolo 101, Roma 00136. Hotel: 06.35092031. La Pergola: 06.35092055.

Vecchia Roma is another favorite restaurant. Specialties include pastas and risottos which are prepared to perfection such as the linguine alla marinara with calamari and risotto with red cabbage and frutta di mare -- "fruit of the sea”, lamb and spigola-- white fish. Owned by Giuseppe Pallatino. Michelin two forks. Located near Campo De’Fiori and the Jewish Ghetto at Via della Tribuna di Campitelli 18, Roma. Telephone 06. 6864604. Closed Wednesdays and for two weeks in August. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When you’re here it seems clear why poets and songwriters have called this the capital of the world. “Here was Rome indeed at last; and such a Rome as no one can imagine in its full grandeur,” said Charles Dickens.

Il Matriciano. This bustling and warm ristorante, with their time-honored Italian specialties, has garnered a loyal following among locals. The signature dish is the matriciana (pasta alla pomodoro sauce simmered with pancetta-bacon and basilico). Homemade cheese ravioli melt in your mouth. Outstanding tagliata (grilled filet with olive oil and rosemary), scaloppa alla valdostana (chicken sautéed with ham and mushrooms in a cream sauce) and delectable abbacchio (suckling lamb) al forno. Divino crème brule, zabaione and tiramisu for dessert and fresh figs during the summer. Excellent wine list. Less than a ten minute walk from the Vatican Museum’s entrance. It’s one of the favorites of Vatican officials and Pope Benedict XVI (Benedetto Sedicesimo) ate here often when he was a Cardinal. Owner Alberto Colasanti has attracted some of Rome’s best chefs and waiters Mario, Stefano, Giuseppe and Alessandro have been providing friendly, attentive service for years. Alfresco dining during the spring and summer. Closed 5-31 August and Wednesdays May-September. Via dei Gracchi 55 located 3-4 blocks from entrance to Vaticano Museo at intersection of Via Silla & Via dei Gracchi. Telephone: 06.3213040 or 06.3212327.

Hotel Nova Domus**** Considered one of the best hotels in Rome and reasonably priced for a four star property. Located in the city center the Hotel Nova Domus is within walking distance to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Square, Trastevere and an elegant shopping district. Rooms with balconies and views of St. Peter’s cost a little more but are worth it. General manager Carlo Izzo and his staff make this a comfortable home away from home in the Eternal City. Outstanding meals served in their restaurant and patio dining available. Via Girolamo Savonarola 38, Rome 00195. Telephone: 06.399511 | The Dong Feng Ristorante Cinese, across the street from the hotel, prepares some of the most authentic Chinese food in Rome. Wang, Monica and their families from China who own and run this great restaurant provide excellent service. Trionfale 38-44 (Ple. Clodio – Ple. Degli Eroi) Telephone 06.39746769.

Rome Marriott Park Hotel
Located ten minutes from the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, this is a well-appointed luxury hotel which is reasonably priced and the perfect place to stay before an early morning flight from Rome. Indoor and outdoor pools. Customary, stellar Marriott customer service and fine dining. Location is via Colonnello Tommaso Masala, 54 Rome00148.

Conte Zandotti. Roma. Conte Enrico Massimo Zandotti has now passed the reins over to his son Conte Leone Massimo Zandotti who brings continuing impetus for innovation while remaining true to tradition. With valuable help from oenologist Marco Ciarla, he has embarked on a replanting program in the family vineyards.

Production is now around 500,000 bottles a year, many of these destined for export markets, but all of them with a clear stamp of the family’s committed approach. In 1734, Marchioness Pentini, ancestor of Count Zandotti, bought from the Cesi Princes the property which is now the vineyard. It came by testamentary succession to Cardinal Pentini, a keen agriculturist and great uncle of Conte Zandotti.

Italy Heralded by Mauro Battocchi, former Italian Consul General in San Francisco:
Incredible Street Art in Rome


(Street art in Ostiense area, Rome)

Street Art, that surprising and spontaneous creativity that touches every city on the globe, is alive and well in Rome. According to Italy 24, the online English-language daily all about Italy, the Ostiense neighborhood has transformed from an industrial  zone to an open air gallery with at least 15 huge murals – see above for one of them.

Above you’ll see a gladiator painted on the side of a building, just across the street from the Ludus Magnus, the ancient gladiator training barracks that are directly across the street from the Colosseum. And below you see a spontaneous burst of color depicting a mother and sleeping baby with the glorious Palatine hill in the background – a gallant juxtaposition of enduring architecture and ephemeral paint.

Of course not all street art is subtle – or small for that matter. See below for a magnificent vermin that has been painstakingly recreated cross the entire broadside of an apartment building in the periphery of Rome. What would you think if you lived in that building?

In light of this remarkable street art and the thriving contemporary art scene in Rome, one must recognize that the eternal city is not only rich in classical or baroque art, but it’s a living caldron of ongoing artistic exploration.

Volta • Mario Andretti • Amalfi Coast

Volta • Mario Andretti • Amalfi Coast

Enzo Ferrari • Erbusco • Solferino

Enzo Ferrari • Erbusco • Solferino