Neighbourhood Spotlight on Garbatella
Garbatella is a unique Roman neighbourhood boasting beautiful architecture and an eclectic array of restaurants and bars. A relative newbie compared to some other parts of Rome, Garbatella was only developed in the 1920s. It was created to house the working class Romans, some who had been driven out of central Rome by Mussolini’s destruction, and some who had arrived to complete Mussolini’s new vision of Rome.
What to See
What makes Garbatella so visually interesting is that it was completed in the model of an ‘English Garden Suburb’ which consisted of low-rise houses in blocks (lotti), overlooking central courtyards and gardens.
Due to its unique design, Garbatella often feels like more of a small village than a city suburb.
These lotti were designed by different architects over a period of about 20 years, which means that there are a huge variety of architectural styles and decorations in the area. You’ll find a mix of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque styles existing harmoniously alongside one another. Take a walk revel in the visual splendour that Garbatella offers.
Palladium Theatre, Piazza Bartolomeo Romano 8
This Art Nouveau style theatre was designed by architect Innocenzo Sabbatini in 1927 to increase the public services to the inhabitants of Garbatella. Over the years it has been used for many different activities; parties, concerts, theatre, film festivals and exhibitions.
It is now run by the Romaeuropa Foundation in partnership with Roma Tre University and hosts many events.
Ponte Settimia Spezzichino
This unusual and impressive bridge links Circonvallazione Ostiense (Garbatella) and Via Ostiense (Ostiense). In stark contrast to the Renaissance and Baroque styles of historic Garbatella, the bridge recalls the structure of DNA.
It was completed in 2012 and is dedicated to Settimia Spizzichino; one of the only survivors of the Roman Holocaust. Settimia lived in Garbatella until her death in 2000.
Where to Eat
Garbatella is filled with authentic restaurants serving great Roman food as well as a few unique eateries with a more modern twist. Here are our recommendations;
Dar Moschino, Piazza Benedetto Brin 5
This historic osteria has been a staple of Garbatella since the 70s. Well known and frequented by locals, it’s a small gem serving Roman cuisine. You’ll find all the Roman classics for a great price.
Tanto pe’ magna’, Via Giustino de Jacobis 9/15
A welcoming, family-run Roman trattoria, serving local food in a rustic setting. Try the pasta cacio e pepe, coda alla vaccinara (oxtail), and puntarelle alla romana (a green leafy vegetable).
La Nuova Cantinetta, Via Basilio Brollo 7
A typical neighbourhood restaurant serving typical Roman food. The owner, Paolo, is a character and will make you feel like one of the locals. On nights where there’s a football match, enjoy the explosive atmosphere inside, or for a quieter experience dine on the patio. Ask for the daily specials if you’d like to try something a little different.
Li Scalini de Marisa, Via Roberto de Nobili 17
A historic trattoria in the heart of Garbatella, if you’re hungry this is the place for you! Portions are huge, the quality is great and prices are low.
Il Ristoro degli Angeli, Via Luigi Orlando 2
A perfect mix of tradition and creativity, this restaurant serves beautifully presented modern Italian food using high-quality ingredients.
Casetta Rossa, Via Giovanni Battista Magnaghi 14
For a different experience head to Casetta Rossa, inside Parco Cavallo Pazzo. Not your typical Roman restaurant, this is a community run organisation hosts many political, social and cultural initiatives. Eat well in beautiful surroundings.
La Maisonnette Ristrot, Via Giacinto Pullino, 103
Situated between Metro Garbatella and Ponte Settimia Spezzichino, below street level, you’ll find this unique hybrid restaurant /bistrot (RISTROT). The inside decor is styled after a French Bistrot in addition to a lovely outdoor terrace. The food is modern Meditteranean with an emphasis on fish.
Ristorante Il Girasole, Via Rosa Raimondi Garibaldi, 26/28
This restaurant is as rustic as it gets, yet come any day of the week and you’ll find it overflowing with locals. Why? The pasta! More specifically, the Carbonara which is made with crunchy pancetta which gives it an added depth. For 7.50 euros you’ll be presented with a huge plate of incredibly delicious pasta. You’ll be hard-pressed to finish it, but you’ll want to! Reservations recommended.
Where to Drink
Garbatella has plenty of places to quench your thirst, whether you are looking for a cosy cocktail bar or just a casual neighbourhood spot. Here are our recommendations;
Latteria Garbatella, Piazza Geremia Bonomelli 9
Latteria, a former milkbar turned vintage-chic cocktail bar/brunch/aperitivo spot has it all. Come in the evening to enjoy a few cocktails in the comfortable vintage-inspired lounge, or sit outside on the spacious terrace.
Otium Club, Via Roberto de Nobili 3
If you like your aperitivo with a side of cocktails, head to Otium club. This small little local is no bigger than your living room which means you’ll feel right at home. If your living room has red walls, music posters and vintage furniture, that is.
568 Public House, Via delle Sette Chiese, 56
If you are passionate about beer, 568 has got you covered. The decor is minimalist but welcoming. The list of craft beers is ever-changing so you’ll have an excuse to return. You can find live music most weekends, and a simple food menu in case you get peckish.
La Mescita, Via Luigi Fincati 44
Wine lovers; rejoice! La Mescita has an extensive selection of quality wines in a cosy setting. Even better, the knowledgeable staff can help you with your selection.
L’Acino Brillo, Piazza di S. Eurosia 2B
This bar/restaurant doesn’t look like much, but this place is popular with locals, and in nicer weather makes the perfect spot for a spritz outside.
Bar Foschi, Piazza Bartolomeo Romano 3
This typical Roman bar is the perfect place to go when you’re not quite sure what you want. Coffee, gelato, pastries, alcohol, aperitivo? No problem, Bar Foschi has got it!
We hope you found this neighbourhood guide helpful! Have you visited Garbatella yet? Tell us what you think of our suggestions and let us know about your favourite spots in Garbatella in the comments below!
For a specialized private tour of Garbatella or any part of Rome, contact us!
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Author: Rebecca Allison
Rebecca is an Australian writer and history lover who has been living in Rome since 2015. She loves travelling around Italy (and beyond), as well as marvelling at the many architectural and historical feats that Rome has to offer in the streets and museums.
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