Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adventure Rome: More Than Its Icons

It’s easy to envision the long-list of Rome’s famed landmarks and when these sites are seen in person, they magically surpass their reputation. But, extraordinarily enough, Rome's real treasures are found in its neighborhoods. Laced together are more than a dozen unique quarters, each boasting their own stories, style, and gastronomic specialties. Over the year, we’ll highlight some of our favorites, but today we focus on Monti, located just north of the Colosseum.

The main drag, Via del Boschetto, combines antique shops and time-tested restaurants with hip wine bars and trendy boutiques. Historically known as the seedy part of town, this quarter is now one of Rome’s most desirable neighborhoods. Whether you’re searching for a new skate deck, a hand-crafted jacket, or a place to simply rest your feet between escapades, Monti is sure to please.

AireLab, Via del Boschetto 123
Walking down the street, the dangling chicken bag-bins were the first of the many quirky items to catch my eye. Once inside, this mother and son venture offers a number of pop-culture knick-knacks and funky accessories, including Chairman Mao bottle openers, vintage cloth sleeping masks, and handmade felt necklaces.

Fabio Picconi, Via del Boschetto 148

Filled to the brim with costume jewelry, it’s difficult to maneuver your way through the store, but the vintage, Italian brooches, glittery rings, and rhinestone pins make it a fun place to stay and play.

Le Gallinelle, Via del Boschetto 76

This old neighborhood meat market has been seamlessly transformed into a funky boutique. From the old meat hooks now hang one-of-a-kind creations made from second-hand clothing and world-wide materials. Peppered throughout the store are a number of vintage designer accessories, making Le Gallinelle the perfect destination for fashionistas on a limited budget.

Libreria Caffe Bohèmien, Via degli Zingari 36
Whether you’re craving a glass of wine, an espresso, or a good book, Libreria Caffe Bohemien offers it all. Cozy rooms lined with bookshelves, records, and artwork offer an inviting way to catch your breath, replenish, and map your next Roman excursion.

Valentino, Via del Boschetto 37
Don’t look too hard for the restaurant name: You won’t find it. In its place sits the original 1930’s sign reminding us of its beer parlor past. Today, however, Valentino is one of Rome’s most honest and comfortable trattorias. The checker tiled floor; heavy, dark wood work; low ceilings; and crisp, white table cloths offer a hint of the warm and comforting food that awaits. The specialty of this family-run establishment is their grilled meats and cheeses. Try scamorza, a smoked, tan, and bubbly melted cheese with the toppings of your choice (from Parma ham to mushrooms) or their ground beef grilled to perfection and topped with salty prosciutto and warm cheese. Accompany your meal with a carafe of their house-wine or a chilled beer from the tap.

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Anonymous January 14, 2010 at 7:12 PM  

That looks truly amazing! LOVE the pics!

Adventure (26) Gastronomy (38) Obsession (39) Style (26)

About Mod City Mom

After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.

About Sarah

Sarah is a passionate cook, fashionista, writer, actor, and mother. Like all actors, she ended up working at many-a-restaurant to make ends meet and shopping at countless bargain boutiques to maintain her sense of personal style. Her culinary journey, love affair with fashion, and desire to remain true to herself after becoming a mother are the inspirations for this site. Sarah lives with her husband and two sons in Chicago.

About Leah

A polymath wannabe, Leah loves books, films, music, cooking, and travel. After co-starting a writing and editing shop in 2002, Leah has spent her spare time frequenting her favorite cities, hangouts, and haunts. Her obsession with finding the new, innovative, and quirky is the impetus behind this site. Leah lives with her two sons and husband in North San Diego County.
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