21 Nov 2016
While walking through the streets of Rome, you may see a variety of bars offering what is commonly referred to as aperitivo. But what does it mean? In this article we hope to share this distinctly Italian practice with you, as well as give you some of our recommendations for the best aperitivo in the city.
What is Aperitivo?
The word "aperitivo" comes from the latin word "aperire" - meaning to open and stimulate the appetite. Although the practice can be traced to the northern regions of Italy, today aperitivo is served across the country and is seen as being an important part of socialization in Italian culture.
Although aperitivo may be different depending on where you go, it can be simplified in one fundamental concept: a drink paired with small snacks that is meant to open the appetite and kickstart digestion before dinner. Some locations keep it simple with small snacks such as olives, mixed nuts and potato chips; while others offer a full buffet of pastas, sandwiches, cheeses, etc. It is also becoming more common to find aperitivo featuring international dishes like chicken curry and cous cous. You will usually find aperitivo being served between 18:00 - 21:00 and range from 5€ to 15€.
Traditionally, an aperitivo drink is made with a bitter liquor such as Campari or Aperol.
Aperitivo in Rome: The Spritz
Although there are a few drinks that are traditionally served with aperitivo, the Spritz is probably the most popular in Rome. The Spritz can be traced back to the Venice region in the 1800s when soldiers of the Austrian Empire asked for their wine to have a small amount of water sprayed into it to make it lights. In the 1900s carbonated water was substituted for still. Later, bitter liquors (such as Campari or Aperol) were added.
5 Aperitivo Spots in Rome
1. Gusto al 28
Gusto al 28 is wine bar located near Piazza Popolo, just off of Via del Corso. In addition to their industrial-chic decor, they offer an extensive wine list and cocktail menu. Their aperitivo is excellent - including pastas, pizza, and a variety of fried snacks.
Where: Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 28 (Via del Corso)
Price: around 10€
2. Salotto 42
Nestled in the perfect central location, Salotto 42 offers artisinal cocktails and a generous aperitivo buffet. You can also sip you cocktail while enjoying the view of Hadrian's temple. Salotto 42 is also located close to the Pantheon, making it the perfect stop after our walking tour of Rome at night.
Where: Piazza di Petra, 42
Price: around 10€
This ultra-modern cocktail bar is one of the the best aperitivo bars in the city. Despite its, well, interesting decor Fluid is known for its extensive selection of liquors and cocktails. In addition to their drink selection, Fluid has a huge aperitivo that features both Italian and international options. It is also located just down the street from Piazza Navona - perfect for a post Ancient Tour aperitivo!
Where: Via del Governo Vecchio, 46
Price: 10€ - 15€
4. Freni e Frizione
This trendy bar is located in one of Rome's trendiest neighbourhoods - Trastevere. With expert mixologists manning the bar, its no surprise that Freni e Frizione is one of the best places to go for a cocktail. They also feature an aperitivo bar in the evenings with pizza, pastas, and salads as well as an outdoor terrace between Piazza Trilussa and the Tiber. Check out aperitivo at Frene and Frizione after our walking tour of Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto. If you want to learn more about Trastevere, head over to our previous post where we explore the area and give you our highlights.
Where: Via del Politeama, 4/6
Price: around 10€
Although their cocktails may be a bit pricey, you don't want to miss out on Panella's aperitivo. They offer a wide selection of gourmet breads, fried foods, bruschette, crostini, and more. Located in the trendy Monti district, Panella is also the perfect place to go for a stroll and a bite to eat near the Colosseum.
Where: Via Merulana, 54
Where is your favourite place to go for aperitivo in Rome? Let us know in the comments!
19 Nov 2016
What is Jubilee/the Holy Year?
The practice of celebrating the Holy Year has ancient roots and can be traced back to the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. The year-long celebration normally occurs every 25 years and feature special events, pilgrimages, and sacraments centered around the forgiveness of God, but the Pope also has the ability to proclaim extraordinary Holy Year if he so chooses. During each Jubilee, the Holy Doors are opened and those who pass through are said to be absolved of all previous sin.
The first Holy Year or Jubilee occurred in 1300 after many - who had been experienced war and immense suffering - flocked to the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. Since then, there have been 27 Holy Years including 3 that were extraordinary. Extraordinary Jubilees (such as this year) are not previously planned and are called on by the Pope in order to emphasize a particular theme or event. For example, the last extraordinary Jubilee was held in 1983 under Pope John Paul II to mark the 1950th anniversary of Jesus' death.
What is the Holy Year of Mercy?
Pope Francis declared that December 8th 2015 - November 20th 2016 would be the 27th Holy Year and that it would focus on the concept of mercy. According to interviews given by the Pope, this was done is response to "the world's need for a revolution of tenderness". In other words, the Pope aimed to highlight the suffering, marginalization, and poverty that has permeated society in recent years and connect the suffering with those dedicated to providing support. The Pope declared the official theme of the 2015 Jubilee would be "Merciful Like the Father".
Why are the Holy Doors Significant?
Holy Doors are significant in the Catholic church as they are only opened during Jubilee years. Each Holy Door is an entrance to a major Papal basilica and they are normally sealed from the inside using brick or cement. As previously mentioned, during Holy Years people are able to walk through these doors and receive what is said to be absolute forgiveness for their past sins.
The most prominent Holy Door is located at St. Peter's Basilica, however there are 3 other Holy Doors located in Papal basilicas in Rome - St. John Laternan's, St. Mary Major's, and St. Paul's Outside the Walls.
There are also many other doors that have been given this status all over the world. Check out this interactive map to see where they are located.
Jubilee 2016: The Holy Year of Mercy
Pope Francis' Holy Year of Mercy will officially come to an end this Sunday when the Holy Doors at St. Peter's Basilica are closed and resealed. The pontiff's Jubilee of Mercy including a variety of events that aimed to highlight "works of mercy" such as feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, sheltering the homeless, etc. It is estimated that over 20 million people made the pilgrimage to Rome over the course of the year to walk through the Holy Doors and St. Peter's.
It is also estimated that over 1 billion people participated in the Year of Mercy worldwide.
Here are some of the highlights:
Pope Francis unofficially began this year's Jubilee by opening the Holy Doors at a cathedral in the Central Republic of Africa
The Holy Year of Mercy officially commenced on the morning of December 8th, 2015 when the Pope opened the Holy Doors at St. Peter's Basilica.
Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home also took place on December 8th and featured images of our "shared natural world" being projected onto St. Peter's. The aim of the event was to inspire change regarding the current climate crisis across generations, cultures, languages, etc.
The Holy Doors at St. John Lateran's were opened on December 13th, 2015. The doors at St. Mary Major followed on the 1st of January, as well as the doors at St. Paul's Outside the Walls on January 26th, 2017.
Over the course of the Holy Year of Mercy, the Pope including various events dedicated to prisoners, the homeless, and disabled persons. For example, closing events have including Pope Francis inviting prisoners and homeless persons into St. Peter's Basilica for Holy Mass.
What was your favourite event of Jubilee 2016? Let us know in the comments!
The Holy Doors may be closing tomorrow morning, however you can still experience St. Peter's Basilica with Enjoy Rome. Click here to book!
17 Nov 2016
The month of November is flying by! Here are 5 things to add to your calendar this week:
1. Rome Jazz Festival
Rome's 40th jazz festival continues this week through the 23rd of November. Performances this week include Fabrizio Consoli, Paola Ronci, Jacky Terrason Trio, and many more. Head over to the festival's website for more details.
More information: romajazzfestival.it
2. Life of Wine
On Sunday November 20th, Rome will be hosting an interesting wine tasting opportunity. Organized by Florence's Studio Umami, the event seeks to highlight the relationship between wine and time by featuring vintage selections. The event includes over 60 wineries, guided tastings and panel discussions.
When: November 20th, 11:30-19:30
Where: Hotel Radisson Blu Roma, Via Filippo Turati 171
3. Monti Unplugged: Emily Jane White
On November 21st, Emily Jane White will be performing as part of the Monti Unplugged acoustic concert series! The California native will be playing at Blackmarket in one of Rome's coolest neighbourhoods.
When: November 21st, 21:00
Where: Blackmarket, Via Panisperna 101
4. Arnoldo Foa Exhibit
Rome's Teatro di Villa Torlonia is holding an interesting event dedicated to an Italian film icon. Until December 30th, visitors have the chance to see a variety of photographs, film clips and personal items that showcase the life and career of Arnoldo Foa. Foa is considered to be a staple in Italian film as he appeared in over 130 movies between 1938 and 2014.
When: Until December 30th
Where: Teatro di Villa Torlonia, Via Lazzaro Spallanzani 1A
5. International Festival of Sacred Music and Art
The International Festical of Sacred Music and Art will be in Rome until November 21st. The festival features a variety of events that you don't want to miss including performances by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
When: Until November 21st
More information: http://www.festivalmusicaeartesacra.net/en/programm.php