The Fondazione Pastificio Cerere and The New Roman School (Nuova Scuola Romana)
The former pasta factory Cerere in the San Lorenzo neighborhood is an artistic corner of Rome that bears something in common with London’s Soho district. This part of the city, not too far from the center, is leading a new trend in Roman radical chic combining contemporary art with cuisine d’auteur and a lovely young nightlife. Once a pasta factory, the Pastificio Cerere is now home to the Foundation Cerere, a restaurant of the same name, and a center for various activities related to the creation of contemporary culture. This artistic identity finds its roots in the history of the New Roman School (Nuova Scuola Romana), better known as the San Lorenzo Group. At the end of the 1970’s this great industrial space was completely abandoned and soon became the place where a small group of artists and fellow students decided to set up their ateliers and develop a new type of art (the so called Officina San Lorenzo). Among these artists were Bruno Ceccobelli, Piero Pizzi Cannella, Marco Tirelli, Giuseppe Gallo, Gianni Dessi and Nunzio Di Stefano.
In 1984 the critic Achille Bonito Oliva curated the exhibition ATELIERS, where artists of the Pastificio Cerere opened their studios to the public and introduced them into the international art scene. In the same year, Ceccobelli was invited to the Venice Biennale, with works exhibited in the section Aperto ’84. Although these were the years when Transavantgarde art prevailed, the New Roman School managed to carve out an independent style that remains woven into the cultural fabric of the visual arts in Rome until the present day. Along these lines in 2004 the Foundation Cerere (www.pastificiocerere.com) was born with the aim of promoting and spreading contemporary art. Today, in the former industrial site there are still artist studios, the headquarters of the foundation and a school of photography (www.isfci.it). Here we can also find the restaurant Pastificio Cerere under the artistic direction of the young Chef Fabio Pecelli that serves his meals as if they were works of art, satisfying not only the palate but also the eye (www.pastificiocerere.com/ristorante/).
This culinary culture of excellence continues in another venue on the same street, at number 135 on Via Tiburtina. Here you can find SAID, the chocolate factory that besides offering its delicious chocolate since 1923 also has a restaurant that will captivate gourmands and lovers of beauty (www.said.it). SAID recently decided to export its unique products and recognizable style right into the Soho district of London. It’s not by chance that these two districts of Rome and London are now united through the culinary art that finds its identity in the culture of Italian visual arts.