Rome – Day 10: Last Day

We had Mass for the pilgrimage group last night at St. Cecilia and then had supper at a humble spot in Trastevere. It wasn’t much, as far as the food scene is concerned but it was a slice of life and fast, because people had early flights. I had one more day in Rome. It started with sleeping in! Then I packed. Then I wrote. Then I went for lunch at a favorite place. The whole group ate there two nights ago.

I didn’t want anything heavy, since I am out again tonight. So, una caprese with the best mozzarella that I have had in any restaurant in Rome… reading while I waited.


Here se are.


Some of you may never have been to Italy and, even while here, have never had real mozzarella from water buffalo milk.  Even here you have to ask questions about the mozzarella before ordering it, because they often don’t have the real stuff or they pass along second rate fare, hardly worthy of the name.   If you have only had mozzarella in the USA, then you have never had mozzarella.  They should be forced, even at sword point, to change the name to something else like “white cheese product”.  The real mozzarella is like silk and is oozes milk when you cut into it.   And, if you can imagine, it is even better when it comes off the paddle and out of the vat.  Anyway… una caprese.  The “una” agrees with “insalata”.

Some of the great things lined up for your inspection as you enter the place.  Such as artichokes:


Their daily fresh fish options:


Okay… back to my second course.  I’ve been eating plenty lately, so today, after the caprese, I had a sauté of clams, vongole, in white wine and garlic:


My view while eating.  The restaurant has some elements of the remains of the ancient Theatre of Pompey.  No, this is not the place which is named after the Theatre, or which advertises that it has remains of the structure in their lower level.  This restaurant is a bit quieter in its presentation and facade.  It is nothing to look at outside, and you would be tempted to walk by without giving it a second thought.  Inside, however, it is spacious.


They make ciambelle al vino rosso that you will not forget.  And I am not one for sweets.


If you are someday between Sant’Andrea and the Campo de’ Fiori, check out Hosteria Constanza.  All the waiters there are great, but Roberto speaks some English.


More of the stuff awaiting you as you come in the door.  Look… I don’t know why my phone posted the photos out of order, so I am just working with what I find as I scroll down.


Their apple tort, on which they put chocolate.


After this light lunch, I went to the Norcineria Viola, which I wrote about the other day, and got a few slices of salami with black truffle and also with Barolo for dessert.  Perfect.


A sight in the Campo de’ Fiori.


And, just for nice.


As I was walking through I was, in the space of about 30 feet called both a serpent and a fox.  I think they didn’t like priests.  It feels like old times.  One of the funniest moments I had in Rome was when an old crazy woman, and I mean sparks-shooting-from-head looney, followed me through the Campo and down a street shouting imprecations which I dasn’t reproduce here.  Suffice to say that the lightest one was “mafia slave … schaivo mafioso!”  It didn’t help, I think, that as she went on I got the giggles, which just set her off more.

Nap time.  Then I’ll hunt up some cigars and take care of a few final errands.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    Maybe the person calling you a “fox” was giving you a compliment! I’m pretty stumped about why you would find such mistreatment in Rome. Is this typical?? That’s so bizarre.
    The photos are simply beautiful. Dining is quite a wonderful looking experience in Italy. Thank you for sharing these, Fr. Z. May God give you all a safe and happy trip back home.

  2. Bos Mutissimus says:

    “Serpent?” “Fox?”

    I didn’t know the Fishwrap had any subscribers in Rome….

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Kathleen10 & BosMutissimus,

    I suspect that the ‘Don Cammilos’ of Rome are surrounded by any number of ‘Peppones’ & co.

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Oops, wrong doubled consonant: “Camillos”!

  5. acbprop says:

    My wife is trying to lure me into a trip to Rome. I REALLY hate to fly and travel in general, but these pictures, they may put me over the edge. The clams, I swear, I can smell . . .

  6. Longinus says:

    I’m happy to see that you visited Constanza. It is my all time favorite in Rome. I especially like their carciofi alla giudia when they have them as an antipasto.

  7. Matt Robare says:

    After Paris, Rome is the home of anti-clericalism. The Freemasons and socialists used to have big demonstrations on the aniversary of the execution of Giordano Bruno.

    Looking at these pictures of the little Roman shops you’ve been posting, Father, I can’t help but feel that the US is missing something.

  8. Mary Jane says:

    “Everybody’s got a water buffalo!”

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us Fr Z. I have been to Rome twice and these photos bring back a lot of memories! I’ve been to most of the places you photographed and mentioned. Safe travels home.

  9. iPadre says:

    I’m jealous! That caprese looks delightful. I would dear to say that one of the places in Providence has a comparable mozzarella. It’s Buffalo. and melts in your mouth. Wish I had time, I would go there for lunch!

  10. Unwilling says:

    The spacious inside view reminds me of that scene from Brideshead at Paillard’s in Paris where Charles is taking advantage of hapless Rex and his endless money.

  11. Unwilling says:

    People in Rome, in Italy, wherever, are anti-clerical because they resent being deprived of TLM.

    Kidding! … Well, actually, not really…

  12. RomeontheRange says:

    Very sorry to hear about the gratuitous insults, Father. Perplexed readers: I can’t really offer an explanation except to recall from my own Roman days that the Campo de’Fiori neighborhood used to be a stronghold of the Italian Communist Party (PCI). It’s probably still very heavily Leftist today.

  13. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Thank you for mentioning the name, Hosteria Constanza! I’ll be there when I back in Rome for Holy Week and Easter Week.

  14. roma247 says:

    OH! I’ve been fighting back the Rome Envy I’ve had all the time you’ve been there, posting all these glorious pictures of my beloved Roma, but I can no longer bear it! That last picture, unless I am much mistaken, is of the Albergo della Lunetta, my home for 8 months. My room was on the top floor there, above the balcony. Ah, it hurts to remember how wonderful it was to live in Rome! And to live next door to Costanza, and Campo de’ Fiori! How well I remember the Norcineria (I can smell it now!) though I loved the bread store in the opposite corner best…

    OK, I’m over it now. I guess I’ll have to go to confession now.

    Say hello to my beloved Roma for me, would you Father? How I miss her.

  15. Joel says:

    Mary Jane

    “Mine is fast and yours is slow.”

  16. yatzer says:

    Water buffalo? They have water buffalo in Italy as a general thing? How did an Italian cheese come to be made from water buffalo milk? I always thought cow, sheep, or goat milk would be used.

  17. msc says:

    Father: you are guilty here of eliciting strong feelings of envy, jealousy, and coveting one’s neighbour’s goods. Please say a prayer for all those you are leading into sin.
    On the cheery side, I’ve often wondered for how many months fresh field tomatoes can be found in Italy.
    Of course Wikipedia has an entry on Italian water buffalo:

  18. Di says:

    Dear Father Z,
    I can just see St. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney on this trip with you….. having a sip of wine and a bite of your panini and he would have been enthralled with your Kindle.
    I wonder if St. Jean Vianney would have put a solid-metal 3-ft high donation box with a laminated sign that requests donations in “gratitude for keeping confession available so many hours.” I believe if he had he would have been able to pay off the United States debt.

  19. LarryW2LJ says:

    I have found out that it’s not a good thing for your mouth to water so much, so close to a laptop keyboard!

  20. StJude says:

    Oh my that all looks delicious!!!!

  21. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Have a safe, uneventful flight back, Father.

  22. pelerin says:

    When I noticed that my local butcher (in England) sold Buffalo Mozarella I thought he was joking. I had never heard of it before and as I didn’t think we had buffalos in England I really did not believe him when he told me it was true. It looks as if I shall have to apologise to him on my next visit!

  23. Elizabeth M says:

    Dear Father,
    Your friends in Napa clearly did you a disservice. A mere 40 miles away is Ramini Mozzarella, where they indeed use water buffalo milk.
    Have an uneventful flight back home and thank you for taking us on this virtual tour.

    Mary Jane – I will now be humming that tune for the next 24 hours!

  24. JohnNYC says:

    In the US, the only place I have found for MOZZARELLA DI BUFALA CAMPANA (NOT “fior di latte”) is “Cheese on 62” which is in NYC, south side of 62nd St. between Lexington and 3rd Avenues, closer to Lexington, next door to Lee’s Cleaners. It only comes in once a week from Caserta, I believe, on Thursdays or occasionally Fridays if the shipment doesn’t get in on time. The owner goes to JFK airport to pick up the box. It is packed in sealed plastic bags filled with a lump of the exquisite mozzarella and its own water, just like you buy back in Italy. It’s $10. I have been away from my apartment in NYC (and Holy Innocents which I miss terribly) for quite some time now so I hope the owner still gets it! It is understandably popular and rarely lasts beyond Friday or Saturday. Buon appetito!

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