Le Felizianerie – Eclectic Dining in the Shadow of the Vatican


Le Felizianerie… a new find on my Roman dining circuit

I’ve spent a lot of time in Rome, and I have at least a half dozen restaurants there that I adore. But things happen: you can’t get a reservation, the place you love is closed, or in my case recently, I was staying in a part of the city that was far from my usual haunts. So I decided it was time to venture out and try a new place. With a little help from tripadvisor.com, I found a restaurant that got rave reviews, sounded really interesting and when I searched the map I discovered that it was literally a block from the apartment where I was staying. It was a chilly, rainy night, so a well-recommended restaurant just a stone’s throw from my place sounded like the perfect solution to my “Where do I eat tonight?” quandary. Off I went to a place called, Le Felizianerie.

This is a rather small, lively restaurant located less than a couple blocks from the Vatican Walls on Via Candia. As I arrived, several English-speaking folks were leaving and when I asked how they’d enjoyed their meal, they exuberantly described everything they’d tried and said that this had been their third visit in a week. That boded well. Inside, the décor was colorful and bright, and I was quickly greeted and seated at a perfect table by the window.


The bright and cheery interior.

I’d read that the restaurant specialized in Italian with a bit of Asian fusion, and had trouble imagining just what that would look like. But one of the first things that caught my eye on the menu was the Salmon Teriyaki appetizer. I ordered it and it was both a visual work of art as well as one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tried. Beautiful chunks of teriyaki salmon were “decorated” with fresh ginger, lemon, olives, Asian cabbage, crispy oven-dried seaweed, and dabs of citrus mayo for dipping. It was refreshing, generously portioned and an almost startling mix of textures and flavors. A+!


Salmon Teriyaki, Roman Style

One of my favorite pasta preparations is a typically Roman dish called  all’amatraciana, a slightly spicy and hearty sauce made from guanciale (a sort of bacon made from pork cheek), tomatoes, onion and pecorino cheese. I usually see it served with bucatini pasta, a very thick spaghetti noodle that I would never order on a first date or if wearing any clothes I treasure, as it is almost impossible to twirl the broad noodles around one’s fork without splattering sauce in all directions! Well, Le Felizianerie featured an amatraciana dish served with paccheri, a large tube-shaped pasta that captures sauces much more effectively. I ordered that, and I have to say that this was hands down the most delicious version of this dish that I’ve had anywhere in Italy.  Another A+.


Best. Amatraciana. Ever.

I also had a refreshing glass of the house prosecco and though I was curious about dessert, I simply did not have room for it. But I’m not lamenting that decision, as I know that I’ll come back here on my next trip to Rome with a bigger appetite and ready to sample more from the menu of this great new find!  Check them out!  Buon Appetito!


Trattoria Monti, Roma

Trattoria Monti, Rome


I discovered this small, Roman trattoria, run by the Camerucci family, back in 2002 after reading positive reviews online. The food and the service were equally wonderful, and so on another trip over 6 months later, I returned. To my amazement, Enrico and Daniele, the brothers who serve as hosts and waiters welcomed me warmly and remembered me so clearly that I had to wonder whether they’d had any customers since my last visit! Fourteen years and countless visits later, the boys refer to me as their “red headed fratello” (brother), and the chef, Signora Camerucci leaves her station in the kitchen to greet me enthusiastically. Rounding out the staff are the cheerful team of Barbara and Zeljan, both of whom seem like members of an extended family. I have introduced many of my Italian and American friends to Monti and have “ordered” dozens of people who’ve asked me for a good restaurant recommendation in Rome not to miss this place!  Make a reservation so you won’t be disappointed, and tell them that Matteo from San Francisco says, “Ciao!”


Enrico, Matteo and Daniele… I am the “red sheep” of the family!

Have a look at the menu!