Posted by: Madeline's Plate | November 8, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up: Thunderstorms and Testaccio

Map of Testaccio

It’s Sunday night and another work week begins all too soon. Rome weather has been schizophrenic lately, alternating thundershowers and sun multiple times each day. When combined with the equally inconsistent public transportation system, this has amounted to a weekend with a lot of standing in the rain for Madeline. Luckily I have an umbrella.

I spent most of this weekend in the Roman neighborhood of Testaccio. South of the city on the East bank of the Tiber, Testaccio is a fun, young neighborhood with a string of good nightclubs along one of its hills. It has fewer tourists and American students than nearby Trastevere and consequently costs a bit less.

Friday night began with an aperitivo with a colleague at L’Oasi della Birra, then dinner at Acqua e Farina with a friend. The aperitivo at L’Oasi was an insanely extensive buffet – stuffed and marinated vegetables, 2 kinds of quiche, 5 kinds of cured meat, several cheeses, rice salads, pasta salads, etc. It’s a relaxed place with a basement that has cozy tables ideal for aperitivos more romantic than mine (my colleague is very cute but married and female so the atmosphere was a bit wasted on us). After so much indulgence I wasn’t able to stomach an entire pizza. Luckily, Acqua e Farina is an Italian chain that specializes in smaller nibbles and I was able to have just one 3 inch pizza rossa, super-thin crust pizza slathered with marinara sauce, while my friend ate several pizzas and some kind of incredible folded crepe thing enclosing cheese, ham and eggplant. Da Remo still wins my award for best pizza in Testaccio but Acqua e Farina has much less of a wait on Friday nights.

The cherry tomatoes are drizzled in pepper oil and spicy in an unexpected but delicious way.
Pizzetta from Acqua e Farina

Saturday night saw me at Caruso – a Latin dance club – for the first time. It was another colleague’s birthday celebration and a lovely night. The crowd was international with tons of men who could actually dance (and lacked the usual hordes of Italian men scanning the dance floor for foreign girls lacking in sobreity and judgment). Ladies have an opportunity to get up on stage and shake it to reggaeton. It will go unstated whether or not this opportunity was seized by my colleagues and I.

Today I joined forces with my flatmates in cleaning our apartment, did some grocery shopping and studied French and Spanish verbs. Now I’m researching the history of tiramisu for a writing project (interesting side note: tiramisu is much younger than you would think) before a friend takes me to dinner at one of the restaurants in my neighborhood. Report to follow…..

L’Oasi della Birra – Website currently under construction. Open daily 19:00-00:30. Piazza Testaccio, 41. Tel. +39 06 5746122. To reach with public transportation take tram 3, buses 23, 30, 75, 95, 170, 280, 716, or the metro line B to Piramide.

Acqua e Farina – Open daily 12:30-2:30 and 19:30-23:30. Piazza Orazio Giustiniani, 2. Tel. +39 06 574 1382

Caruso Cafe – Via di Monte Testaccio, 36. Tel. +39 06 5745019. Open until 3:30 AM Tues-Thurs and Sunday, until 4:30 AM Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday. Dress is “trendy casual” – most girls are wearing either jeans and a cute top or a small dress, guys in typical club attire.



  1. […] part of Rome is one of my favorite under-appreciated spots. In the happening neighborhood of Testaccio, just a few minutes’ walk from the Piramide station is the Protestant Cemetery, home […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: