Pietralata and Montesacro

A peaceful spot is what makes a lively capital town “perfect”

Last week was hectic; at one point I just needed to get away from the caos of the town centre and enjoy a relaxing walk somewhere not so far away, somewhere I could have reached with less effort than a proper get-away destination, maybe a place along a river, with a beautiful park and nice alleys to simply get lost. That’s how the area of Pietralata and Montesacro came up to my mind…

pietralata-montesacro-romeAs soon as I got out of the tube, I saw some colorful street art all around the Pietralata station and even if I wasn’t expeting a graffiti hunting, I stopped to take a lot of pictures! While doing so, an old lady approached me: “This is beautiful, isn’t it?” “Yes!” “I like it too” and with that she went away, entering that colourful mouth which seemed the underground station. Smiling at the old lady who totally got the whole point of the street art movement, I took the bus to go lunch at Lanificio Cucina, a relatively new restaurant with to-die-for vintage furniture, located into a huge post-industrial loft just above the river Aniene.

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The meal wasn’t anything extraordinary, but the loft-upon-the-river atmosphere with its wide glass windows and the amazing interior design are benchmarks in town! Here I can daydream I’m having my swordfish and eggplants parmigiana in my wonderful loft surrounded by nature, not so far from the beating heart of the city. This place is quite famous for its tasty brunch, so I guess I will give it a second chance and come back during weekends. At least, I will end up by buying a wonderful piece of furniture for my flat.

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lanificio 159Actually the whole block of Lanificio 159 (which also includes a discoclub, an exhibition area, a dancing and performing arts production centre, a 1000 sqm urban garden on its roof terrace, a creative market any happy Sunday as well as several artistic and creative workshops, among which the workshop that contributes to the creation and restoration of the restaurant’s wonderful furniture) is impressive! The owners define this place as “a synthesis of a production centre and a creative laboratory”, “a container of ideas”, “a centre of creation, exhibition and fruition of contemporary art”; in fact where it was a woolen mill now a lot of different creative and artistic projects take place and the location itself became very suggestive!

citta giardino romaFrom there, I went for a walk through the beautiful area of Città Giardino (“Garden City”, i.e. an ideal town people-oriented, surrounded by green spaces), a bunch of pretty small houses which are the oldest core of Montesacro neighborhood. According to its name, this district is very peaceful and green and it is located near not one, but two natural reserves (Riserva Naturale Valle dell’Aniene and Riserva Naturale della Marcigliana).

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Wondering around these pretty roman-style cottages I even found a fountainhead (Fonte dell’Acqua Sacra) where locals come to refill their empty bottles.

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latorre restaurant romeOne alley after another, it became dark. It had been a very restoring day, but somehow I still wasn’t fully ready to come back downtown, so I dediced to spoil please myself with the second gourmet meal of the day: a tasty biological dinner at La Torre’s restaurant, located into a farmhouse within the natural reserve “Valle dell’Aniene”. (in my defence, this restaurant is really cheap, so…half sin!).

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In addiction to the tasty restaurant, La Torre is another multifunctional space of the area. Here in fact you can find a gym, a vegetable garden, photography and IT workshops, a concert venue, a theatre, a park to study and develop projects on renewable energies and a farm market any first sunday of the month.

While coming back home, I couldn’t help appreciate my town even more, ’cause beyond the touristic surface but not so far from the caotic life of the centre you can always find Another Rome.

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