Rome: the new life of L’Archeologia, a historic venue on the Appian Way

Archeology in Rome is a historic restaurant along the Via Appia: a meticulous restyling and the ideas of Davide Del Duca give it new life.

Regina viarium , as the Romans defined the Via Appia, the consular road that connected the Eternal City with the port of Brindisi, a commercial outlet to the East. Starting from Porta Capena, the urban stretch of Appia Antica is dotted with historical sites and monuments. At the height of the Catacombs of San Sebastiano there is a restaurant with an evocative sign: L’Archeologia (via Appia Antica, 139). 

The origins 

The name apparently derives from the fact that it was particularly frequented by workers and archaeologists, engaged in the excavations of the surrounding areas. It is actually an old post office, transformed in 1804 into a refreshment point : the last for those who left the city, the first for those who came from the countryside. At first it was a fraschetta , a simple place where wine was served accompanied by snacks to encourage drinking; later it became a real restaurant.

The poet Uggeri wrote ” … on the right hand you can see the tavern built on sepulchral remains showing, on the outside, boulders of which these constructs “. In the garden there is even an imposing ruin of a Roman tomb, while protected by a reliquary is a wisteria over 300 years old . The cellars are located in a hypogeum dating back to the first century after Christ . 

The new course of archeology

It may seem an oxymoron, but also a place called Archeology needs to be renovated every so often and for this reason the property has relied on the advice of Bruno Settimi and chef Davide Del Duca . The restyling, in terms of interior design, has lightened the rooms, which, while retaining a certain elegance, wink at a more contemporary aesthetic. For his part, Del Duca intervened in support of the young resident chef, Stefano Ruzzoli , by redefining the menu.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to try Del Duca’s cuisine knows that it is characterized by a good dose of experimentation, with pleasantly surprising combinations . Entrusting him with the task of rethinking the offer of a restaurant with a loyal clientele and which has an important budget item in banqueting, might seem like a courageous choice.experimentation and tradition in a balanced proposalInstead, the result is a balanced proposal: reassuring flavors but far from being taken for granted. Among the starters: Sea bass tartare with oyster emulsion, crunchy seaweed and carpione gel. A valid alternative is the marinated yolk, celeriac and anchovy sauce. Try the Ravioli stuffed with Genoese, smoked sardines and wild fennel. One of the most interesting second courses is instead the duck breast, hazelnuts and apple and leek balsamic vinegar. Varied and delicious the offer of desserts. Further note of merit, a value for money among the best in the city, at least as regards the tasting itineraries : 40 euros for the land one (entrée and four courses), 50 euros if you head towards the sea.

The wines and the dining room

Maître de dining is Renè Moreschini , while Christian Fortuzzi is the sommelier who is entrusted with the task of selecting the wines to be included in the menu. Over three hundred labels are available, equally divided between conventional and natural references . Finally, there are also bottles of particular value. 

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