flavio al velavevodetto - Rome

Hi HOs - I am hoping you can provide some feedback on Flavio al Velavevodetto. I am staying nearby and made reservations for Flavio just after booking my accommodations. I have read many good things about it from what I consider to be reliable sources over the past few years. My sister just sent me the TripAdvisor reviews…they are awful. I generally don’t use TA, and if I do, I take the information with a large grain of salt. However, I consider the reviews on TA to be overwhelmingly awful. Should I not waste one precious meal in Rome at Flavio? If not, any alternate recommendations? We’ve done Roscioli and Aramando (and really enjoyed both) but wanted to try new places. I look forward to any insight this group can share!

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Hi there, depending on when you are going (maybe), and the mood of the crew when you go, the welcome is not friendly to English speakers, I am afraid to say. The last couple of times I have gone, I have sworn it to be my last. The setting can be spectacular, if they give you a good table (not so nice more recently to Americans in my experience). When I went with a friend who lives and works in Rome (as a translator, so her Italian is excellent), once she arrived, we were treated well. But before that, it was not good. The food is pretty good, but loving Rome, as I do, I think there are many nicer places to try, where the welcome is warm.

I was in Rome over Thanksgiving and wrote it up here; [Rome] Trip report in bites I share your love of Armando and Roscioli.

I would very much recommend Trattoria da Cesare di Casaletto, Colline Emiliane and Trattoria Monti, all of which I went to (and wrote about) in November, though it was the first taste for me of the latter two restaurants. Colline Emilliane is not a Roman restaurant per se, but rather the menu hails from the Emilia region of Italy. I think an excellent restaurant of that kind (still haven’t gotten to Emilia-Romagna so cannot compare it to the actual area), so I would take a look at the menu and maybe see if it appeals?

If you need a restaurant near Flavio, I could have a think…or maybe someone else can recommend?

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Thank you so much! We have reservations at Cesare later in the week, and did end up getting a lunch reservation at Roscioli. I have been eyeing up Colline Emiliane - I just need to work out making the call during the work day to secure a reservation. My gut was telling me that Flavio was not going to be a great start to our trip, so I appreciate your confirmation of that feeling. I would love something in Testaccio since we are staying there and we will be tired from a long day of travel. We were considering pizza at Da Remo. Thoughts on that?

we have had a couple of good meals over the years at Flavio al Velavevodetto and I believe its still one of Katie Parla’s reccs n the Eater 38 list or elsewhere. I could believe it suffers from over-exposure and all americans or tourists can suffer from ignorant examples, its a big room with big servings and very popular. And all restaurants are struggling on with limited help which might create friction.

Regarding the food, I think that item by item it was not up to Cesare nor to our other long-term fave for the classics, Armando al Pantheon, on our last visit but it was still very good (I DO NOT Like Carbonara or is it Gricia, made with artichokes). So I would not rule Flavio out based on TA which I would give little weight to. One caveat on any of my reccs - we rarely go out to dinner in Central Rome, chosing to do our serious eating in midday - where there are generally a higher % of local patrons which I think makes for a better experience.

We will be staying in the Testaccio area and Im also mulling over the alternatives nearby. So looking at Katie’s list,
one possibility is Piatto Romano. On the other side of the Tiber, not far away, are Ristorate La Tavernaccia da Bruno (I know Nina will have some reservations to state on that but its still on my list ) and c’e Pasta…E pasta! which offers both prepared food and eat in. We are considering the venerable Checchino dal 1887 as well - now or never, I figure we are venerable enough ourselves we should fit right in!!

There are lots of food shopping resources at Volpetti (historically they have carried very fine cuts of the Pane di Genzano, Altamura etc regional breads, as well as salumi, cheeses etc, wine) though they have become more oriented to tourist shoppers, the products are still good , the new Mercato, the farmers market nearby, Panificio Passi, fine wine stores like Palombi, etc etc
We are going in March - will have a bit more solid information after that - and of course if you are going before March I will look forward to seeing what you found!

Something else to add to your arsenal, there are pictures and comments on this regarding Flavio’s.

Thanks, Nannybakes! Elizabeth Minchilli (and Katie Parla) are always part of my Italy planning! We actually took a tour with her daughter, Sophie, last time we were there. Elizabeth’s book is a helpful reference, too.

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Thanks, JenKalb! Piatto Romano was not on my radar - I will check that out. We do have reservations at Tavernaccia da Bruno - would love to hear Nina’s thoughts! I know of Checchino dal 1887, but didn’t have it factored in for this trip. Maybe I will take another look.
I’m quite excited about Volpetti and the possibility of Altamura bread! I ate a sandwich on Altamura bread while in Matera a few years ago and I still think longingly about it. Thanks for the heads up on Panificio Passi, too. That was not on my list but definitely is now!

I will be there in 10 days and will definitely report back!

Its been 10 years since we spent much time in Rome, but we have been in and out a couple of times since. These are just my non recent remembrances, and I wouldnt weigh them too heavily, but thought they might be somewhat helpful:

  • we’ve been to flavio al velavevodetto several times and, each time, got a not so warm initial welcome that got better as we settled in. Obviously, since we’ve gone back each time, we liked the place well enough & wouldnt rule it out.
  • Checchino dal 1887 had (has?) some great wine offerings but the food we had the one time we were there didnt inspire us to return. Every other person of note that I’ve spoken to disagrees and recommends it. Great location. May be the best place in that immediate area.
  • we always return to Perilli, but it’s a very plain place catering to locals and, if you speak Italian it defiinitely helps break the ice. I really like the home cooking vibe there and I think (last time I looked) Eliz. Minchilli agreed. I dont think that Katie Parla (or Maureen Fant) were fans though. May be too risky to chance one of your dinners.

So, Tavernaccia da Bruno has always been a favorite restaurant. I had heard rumblings from friends who live in Rome that had recently experienced what I experienced there in November, which was a serious downturn in the food, particularly a favorite of mine, and a specialty of the restaurant: the suckling pig. Here’s a picture from 2019 my daughter had sent me of her suckling pig (I cropped her out, but her enjoyment is evident in the picture):

A nice piece of meat, crackling skin on the pork, and lovely potatoes. When I ate the same dish in November, it was a thin slice of meat (like you might get at a lunch counter) with limp fatty skin, not crisp. Don’t recall the potatoes, but when I went hunting for this picture this morning, I was surprised by how lush the potatoes looked, and since I don’t remember them from November, not sure they also hadn’t fallen off the cart. Anyway, the pork just wasn’t good.

I still love the welcome at the restaurant. The waitstaff is friendly and helpful, and warm. And anyone can have an off night, but I had heard this complaint from my local friends. I will happily look forward to your and Jen’s take on the restaurant with fingers crossed that they get their act together! And, I think, if Flavio is convenient, it might be worth braving the chilly reception. When are you going to be in Rome? It may be that if it is not summertime, for example, they may be a bit more welcoming. And, as others have said, the food is good (not as good as some of the other places in Rome you are going to be going to).

In any case, looking forward to hearing about both of your upcoming Roman holidays!

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you know I am wondering, do you think its possible they have had complaints about all the (delicious) fat on the suckling pig? Maybe you have to ask to be sure to get that! Anyway, I think we will request.

Hmm no, I don’t think that was the problem. There was skin/fat on the thin slice, it just wasn’t crisped. It wasn’t missing, just not good. I will definitely look forward to your visit and report!

I’m back after a blissful week in Rome/Florence! I hope to do a longer write up of the whole trip, but while I sip my coffee trying to ease the brutal jet lag, I figured I would provide a quick update. We stuck with our reservations at Flavio for our first night and are so glad we did! The service was prompt and professional, and the food was delicious! I had the cacio e pepe, which while a tad salty (a little to much cheese on top) was very good. We shared carciofi alla Romana/Giudia to start and found the crispy, salty Jewish artichokes to be addictive! We enjoyed the carciofi alla Romana, as well, but when we tasted the version at Tavernaccia da Bruno, it got downgraded a bit. The other members of my party ordered amatriciana, carbonara and a fettuccine with artichokes and guanciale and were all very pleased with their meal. We shared a bottle of wine from Lazio and had the cicory and broccoli for contorni. I don’t generally enjoy tiramisu, but the version at Flavio was exquisite- light, creamy and not overpowered by booze/coffee, as it often is in the US.

Tavernaccia da Bruno was unanimously one of the favorite meals of the group. The staff was friendly and warm, the food was excellent, and an incredible value, to boot. When I inquired about artichokes, which were not on the menu, the waiter’s face lit up and he told us he’d bring some meat/cheese/bread to have with them. He identified the meat as prosciutto,though it appeared darker and drier than any prosciutto our group had ever had. The group really enjoyed it. The buffalo mozzarella made me so happy that my 15 year old nephew was making fun of me about crying “happy cheese tears.” Ah, the life of someone obsessed with food. The carciofi alla Romana were so flavorful, and brighter and fresher tasting than the ones we had at Flavio. (And we did enjoy the ones at Flavio.) He brought crisp, rosemary flecked bread with it all. It appeared to be the same dough for their pizzas, which looked great. The group ordered parmigiana di melanzane, amatriciana, coda vaccinara and involtini. We shared two vegetable contorni, a liter of the house wine and two desserts. A fabulous, delicious evening was had by all!

We made two stops into Volpetti - purchasing cheeses for the week, and also to take home. We also bought vinegar, pasta and some prepared dishes for the week. The gentleman who helped us both times was a gem, and shared my excitement to be discussing all of their delicious offerings.

Next door to Volpetti is Barberini, a pasticceria that we visited 4 times over the course of the week. My sister voted Barberini’s maritozzi to be the best, and their coffee was some of my favorite. (She tried one everywhere.) Their small pastries, however beautiful, were not necessarily our favorite ones.

Linari is another pasticceria in Testaccio that we also really enjoyed. It’s more of a family establishment, and it also serves some savory dishes - get the thin, crispy pizzette! I haven’t stopped thinking about their bigne de San Giuseppe stuffed with ricotta since I’ve gotten home. I bought one of their Colomba di Pasqua and my husband had to bring it as his “personal item” on the plane. The man is a saint!

Testaccio market is a food lover’s dream. I always get nervous buying fruit in Italy (all the rules! Are they going to give me crummy fruit because I’m a tourist?, etc), but that went off without a hitch and I now have a deep love for Sicilian oranges. My husband’s sandwhich at Mordi e Vai was one of his favorite things he ate all week (some kind of beef in Amatriciana sauce). I was excited to try Supplizio, and while they were tasty and I would certainly eat them again, we all preferred the suppli at Pizzeria Ostiense. One of my favorite experiences was at a box that sold naturally leavened breads, cookies, etc. We always lead with an apology (in Italian) for not speaking good Italian. The proprietor said “no problem” (in Italian) and went on to speak rapid fire Italian at us. There was pointing/gesturing, laughing, much rephrasing in our limited Italian and then he just started slicing things and handing them to us to try. While he sliced, he sang. It was everything I love about Italy. We bought three kinds of jam filled cookies made with almonds, an olive stick and some excellent carciofi alla parmigiana. When we turned to walk away from the box, we almost bumped into Katie Parla giving a tour and talking about that particular stand.

This is already quite a bit longer than I intended and I’ve only covered a tiny slice of the week! Before I wrap this up and grab some more coffee, I wanted to note that we didn’t make it to Cesare! After not one, but TWO buses broke down we missed our reservation. I was really disappointed by this, but it’s how we wound up at Pizzeria Ostiense, where we had a really good meal anyway! They had the best (and cheapest) suppli we had all week. The pizzas, pastas and desserts were all very good, as well. The sauce on the cacio e pepe was more (properly?) emulsified than at Flavio.

Thank you HOs, as always, for your shared enthusiasm about all things food and your willingness to share your experiences!


Welcome home! And so glad you had a great meal at the Tavernaccia! No suckling pig, and perhaps that was the biggest disappointment for me when I was there in November.

Many thanks for all of your observations and delicious notes.

Hi - so glad to see all of this Testaccio talk. Wondering if anyone’s tried Taverna Volpetti. Debating between it and Flavio for dinner in a few weeks. Thanks!

This made me very happy to read as it was among my favorite places that we ate at a few years ago. (not discounting Nina or her friends at all, I am just an optimist at heart) We will be back in Rome for a few days this summer and are debating where to have our meals right now.
For reference, this was my pig from 2017. I would guess when dealing with a whole animal your experience may differ depending on the cut you are served. This was extremely tasty, even though it looks dry in the picture. Can’t believe it was 6 years ago :frowning:

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We will be staying around the corner from both starting in a couple of days. Cant promise but should have some info for you!

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I’ll be most interested in your reports, Jen. Instead of plugging away with my current report on eating in Spain’s province of Cadiz, here I am, not for the first time, reading excellent threads about Italy, like this one. Very happy to read of Adawks culinary meanderings through a favorite city of mine. At the risk of seeming horridly picayune, I will make a tiny comment (possibly a correction) about Altamura bread savored in Matera.
Now I may be wrong, but I believe that this might be, somewhat, sort of, like wearing a Yankee hat at Fenway. There seems to be a big rivalry between Matera and Altamura on the issue of bread, and I imagine that the bread you ate in Matera was, in fact, Matera bread. This sounds almost like a parody or joke, but from my visits to the two respective southern regions, I’ve heard about people getting their hackles raised up pretty high when it comes to who makes the better bread. If you can read some Italian, and have lots of time on your hands, take a Google peek at some of the discussions and even the differences between the two breads, made in cities that may lie in different regions, but are not many miles apart from each other. Anyway, now that the topic has been raised here, I must say that I am even more keen on another repeat visit, hopefully this fall when the Senise peppers should be ready. (My somewhat crazy plan it to begin in Bari, jut over to Senise, then back to
area in and around Minervino Murge, and train from Foggia up to Ancona, then begin driving…Senegallia and then to inland Le Marche. But that is a tale for another day, and now I’ve successfully managed to evade my ongoing Spain report (still plowing through places I ate LAST week!) for another good half hour! Many thanks again to Adawks and others who posted such useful, and interesting, info here…keep it coming!