A foodie oasis with a contemporary bite
Garbatella fast becomes a favourite of any that visit it. Boasting otherworldly architecture, authentic local cuisine and lively laid-back nightlife, it’s a neighbourhood that attracts the locals. The impressive bridge Settimia Spizzichino is now opening up a contemporary artery into the historic neighbourhood linking it to the studenty Via Ostiense and inspiring a new wave of hip venues.
The area was a development plan for working class families in the 1920’s copying the British ‘Garden City’ by Ebenezer Howard, a utopian ideal where residents live in harmony with nature.
The architectural style is a mix of Baroque-like ‘Barochetto’ with naturalistic botanical and animal motifs along with Medieval and Renaissance flourishes. It has been left to quietly age, the rain creating a romantic Titian-like rust on the facades. Small detached apartment blocks (called in Italian “Lotti) huddle around inner common courtyards with green cultivable spaces.
Legend has it the name came from a kind innkeeper known as Carlotta who fed construction workers, which led to the shortening of Garbata Ostella meaning ‘well-liked hostel’ to Garbatella.
The plan also included Via delle Sette Chiese, an ancient trail for pilgrims to the seven major basilicas in Rome. From eclectic buildings to yummy food, prepare to get a taste of one of the coolest neighbourhoods of Rome.
MUST SEE in GARBATELLA
Explore Ostiense’s street art on a Vespa
Via in Selci, 58
Duration: 3 hours
Witness incredible forgotten buildings and hidden walls flourish in color and drawings on this 3-hour street art tour of Rome on the back of a Vespa. See millenary buildings and ancient ruins smoothly blend with this new disrupting form of art. And get your camera ready for the most unconventional Rome you would ever imagine! From Tormarancia, to Porto Fluviale and Garbatella, get ready to discover a whole new side of the Eternal City.
Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492
Down the street from Garbatella’s historic centre behind Piramide metro station is Eataly on Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492, a multi-level complex of glittering glass instantly recognisable. It encompasses a gourmet food market, retail zones, chic open plan food stations and top floor restaurant and workshop area for tastings, events and cookery classes.
Public Elementary School Cesare Battisti
Piazza Damiano Sauli, 1
The striking Public Elementary School Cesare Battisti, built in 1930 under fascist rule on Piazza Damiano Sauli displays a skeletal-like dome and imposing grandiose eagles presiding over the tall entranceway.
Piazza Bartolomeo Romano, 8
At Piazza Bartolomeo Romano is the famous Palladium Theatre with curious convex and concave opposing lines, run by the Romaeuropa Foundation in collaboration with Roma Tre University hosting progressive film festivals, concerts, theatre and more.
Via Giovanni Battista Magnaghi
With the dawn of fascism a set of urban-hotels with less green spaces were set up as makeshift dwellings for displaced workers with common dining and washroom areas such as Albergo Rosso, a strange looming terracotta building with clock tower designated for bachelors.
Via Francesco Passino, 22
And for fresh local produce, head to Garbatella’s indoor weekend Farmers Market on Via Francesco Passino, boasting over 30 stalls offering fresh seasonal produce from the local Lazio area. From 8.30am to 6pm on Saturdays and from 8.30am – 2.30pm on Sundays!
Piazza Benedetto Brin
This piazza is one of the most important areas of the neighbourhood and one of the first developments in the area back when works first started in 1920. The piazza, the stairs and the benches surrounding the stone fountain at the center of the piazza create more of a countryside atmosphere rather than that of a big city. Every summer, the piazza organizes open-air movie nights.
The Lotti di Garbatella (Garbatella’s Property Units)
The characteristic property units of Garbatella are the neighborhood’s working-class houses, buildings that surround courtyards and gardens, with different architectural styles. If you enter one of the property units you will certainly find clothes hanging on the windows, children playing and elderly women playing cards. It will feel like travelling back in time.
RESTAURANTS in GARBATELLA
Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492 (Ostiense)
Tue – Sat 7.30pm – 10.30pm, Sat – Sun 12pm – 3.30pm
There’s a restaurant in Rome that allows you to choose your own ingredients? With the incredible “farm-to-table” or “counter-to-table” concept, Terra lets its guests choose the highest quality ingredients directly from its counters. Afterwards, all ingredients are cooked on a 100% Italian natural charcoal grill that gives off exceptional aromas and flavors.
Al Ristoro degli Angeli
Via Luigi Orlando, 2
Monday – Saturday 6pm – 11.30pm
Opened by Elizabeth and Ivo in 2004, “Ristoro degli Angeli” has become a home to excellent Roman and vegetarian cuisines. For its high quality food and affordable prices the restaurant has recently been included in the “Guida Michelin”. It’s a beautiful welcoming place to enjoy your last evening in Rome. Once you are there, you definitely have to try the popular “zuppa di pesce” and the “favoloso vegetariano” paired with a “Frascati Superiore” wine.
Pizza e Cucina restaurant
Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492 (Ostiense)
Mon-Thurs 12pm-3.30pm, 7pm-11pm; Fri 12pm-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm;
Sat 12pm-4pm, 7pm, 11.30pm; Sun 12pm-4pm, 7pm-11pm
Don’t be fooled into thinking that all pizzas are created equal. There is no such thing. If you want to taste a delicious pizza, one made with super fresh seasonal ingredients, organic flours, top-quality tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, you need to head straight to the Pizza e Cucina restaurant on Eataly’s first floor. Not into pizza? Check out their pasta menu to explore Roman pasta specialties.
La Casetta Rossa
Via Giovanni Battista Magnaghi, 14
Tue – Sat 9am – 12am. Sundays for lunch only
People-oriented and supportive with its “antifascist” theme, “La Casetta Rossa” is the right place to try the best carbonara in Rome. Here, under the umbrella pines you can eat and drink in the delightful internal garden leading to the park, reconstructed by the owner of the restaurant. Every Tuesday, this spazio culturale hosts language exchange meetings and donation-based cooking classes, every month – books presentations, art and photo exhibitions and live music.
Via Enrico Cravero, 10
Thursday – Tuesday 7pm – 11pm
Opened in 1973 by two Roman friends, “Er Panonto” is a perfect place to try real pizza Romana. Crispy and thin, straight from the wooden oven, pizza romana is available in 40 different types. You can indulge in this unforgettable pizza experience fo only €8 ( and Moretti beer is included). A charming atmosphere and the flavours of the good-old Italian days are available daily except on Wednesday.
Piazza di S. Eurosia, 2B
Daily 12.30am to 1am
If you are passionate about art and looking for something cozy with delicious Roman food on the side – Acino Brillo is for you. Located in the heart of Garbatella, the restaurant continues pleasing guests for over 10 years. The menu changes daily based on the availability of fresh local ingredients and boasts a rich wine selection from all over Italy. Wooden decorations made by Italian artist Tomasso Garavini, comfy bookshelves and handmade lamps create an exceptional artsy atmosphere.
Pizzeria 3 Gatti
Via delle Sette Chiese, 68
Tuesday – Sunday 8pm – 11pm
A huge selection of pizza, from the good-old classics to the more creative stracchino cheese with nuts or pear and gorgonzola, paired with draft or craft beers and wine await you on the historic street of Via delle Sette Chiese. If you’re in a group you can opt for a long pizza ‘alla pala’ to share with all your favourite toppings.
Li Scalini De Marisa
Via Roberto de Nobili,17
Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 3pm, 7.30pm-11pm; Sunday 12pm – 3pm
On Via Roberto de Nobili, 17 is a neighbourhood restaurant I come back to time and again for down to earth Roman cooking. Sat below street level with a quaint covered seating area outside, you’ll discover authentic Roman cuisine for a great price. I usually order the strange-sounding but surprisingly delicious tripe in tomato sauce.
Via Alessandro Cialdi, 35
Tuesdays – Saturdays 6pm – 12pm with live music on Thursdays. Sunday 12.30pm – 12am
Garbatella’s most elegant restaurant accessed through an impressive classy courtyard, One Sense definitely is the place from the “must see” list. This is a unique restaurant which you can find only in Rome. Created with a warm and contemporary feel, One Sense is carefully designed to enable a comfortable space for disabled people. Once you enter the restaurant you notice that every detail of interior is conceived to the accessibility for guests with disabilities. Offering a distinctive atmosphere of equality and exceptional care, One Sense will make your stay in Rome unforgettable.
Via Giacinto Pullino, 103
Tue – Sun 12pm – 3.30pm; 7pm – 11.30pm
If you’re searching for a cozy fish restaurant in the Garbatella neighbourhood, search no more. And to top it all off, as soon as the sun comes out, you can also dine out in the open for lunch (and dinner, weather permitting) in the charming outdoor garden, making it one of the best al fresco restaurants in Rome.
BARS in GARBATELLA
Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492
Open daily 9am – 12am
Taste one of the most amazing selections of craft beers in Rome at Eataly’s Birreria. Choose from a selection of 400 craft beers and taste Eataly’s very own draft beers (yes, Eataly has its own in-house brewery, and it produces 50,000 liters of beer per year). The coolest part? There’s a system that allows the beer to flow directly from the tanks of the Brewery into the beer taps that line the bar.
Piazza Geremia Bonomelli, 9
Tuesday-Saturday 6pm – 2am, Sunday 12pm – 11.45pm
After a long day, unwind and enjoy a fine drink in the popular Latteria – one of the coolest venues in Rome. Contemporary and urban, Latteria is proud of its story and location. Latteria offers fantastic cocktails with stories behind them. Once you’re there, check out the “Vota Garibaldi” cocktail. It is the most special drink in “Latteria”. Be ready to hear the exciting story of “Vota Garibaldi” from a friendly barman or from the owner himself.
Piazza Bartolomeo Romano, 4
Daily 4pm – 1am
With over 10 Italian craft beers on draught and over 100 more by the bottle, this bar is perfect for beer lovers. It’s simply one of the most popular ones in Garbatella and the most “punkish” of venues you will find in Rome. “HeyHop” offers many of the beers available from all around the world and almost all types of whiskey. It’s a place where old meets new, with rock music playing and punk band posters all over the walls.
Piazza Eugenio Biffi, 11-12
Daily 7.20am – 2am
Young and contemporary, Biffi is the perfect place to visit if you want to dive into the neighbourhood mood. The atmosphere is vibrant, the cocktails great. Especially the unforgettable “Eva” created by local barman Marco Paoletti. “Eva” has won the cocktail competition “Absolute invite” in Milan and was officially presented in the top 10 best cocktails in Italy. Biffi is the only bar in Rome where you can taste the real “Eva”.
Via Roberto de Nobili, 3b
Monday – Friday 6pm – 1.30am, Saturday – Sunday 11.30am – 1.30am
If you’re a wine lover, this place should be high on your priorities when visiting Garbatella. Specialising in aperitivo, they have a huge variety of organic beers from Umbria and more than 20 types of wine labels from all over Italy. The must-try drinks at “Otium” are “Garba-Hugo” for aperitivo and the “Garbatella connection” cocktail which you will find only in this bar. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Via Pellegrino Matteucci, 114
Monday – Saturday 6pm – 2 am
No night out in Rome would be complete without a visit to Atipico 114. Opened by 28 year-old Gianluca – mixology teacher and professional barman – Atipico 114 is the right place to make your wildest dreams come true. Here you can try mind-blowing cocktails or even invent your own drink. Without any fear of hangover, here you are allowed to mix all types of alcohol you always dreamed of. Don’t worry, Gianluca will take care of you. As he says: “Atipico 114 is not a typical way of drinking”. Come, if you want to experience it.
568 Public House Garbatella
Via delle Sette Chiese, 56
Tuesday – Thursday 7pm – 1am, Friday – Saturday 7pm – 2am
This spot oozes minimalist cool with light wood decor and diffused lighting creating a warm atmosphere with live music sets at the weekends. The menu is simple but creative including stuffed potatoes, hotdogs and omelettes with a focus on their vast choice of craft beers.