Gastronomia Volpetti, one of Rome’s best specialty food shops, is in the Testaccio neighborhood. Monte Testaccio, now a grassy 36 meter-high mound, was Rome’s terracotta dump from about 140 to 250 AD. It is made of potshards from the amphorae that supplied Rome with olive oil, wine, wheat, and other staples.
Claudio and Emilio Volpetti opened their shop in 1973 and stock “pleasures of the table,” their tag line. The brothers come from Norcia in Umbria. Many of Rome’s deli owners are Norcian. Alessandro, the next generation of Volpettis, also works in the shop and showed us their carefully selected range of olive oils. Interestingly the shop doesn’t stock any Tuscan oils, not because they aren’t good, but because they are easily found elsewhere. Instead, Umbrian oils are favored.
The Volpettis also own a cafeteria right around the corner from their shop. While the shop’s prices can be a little intimidating (we told friends we’d been shopping at Volpetti and they quipped “why not at Bulgari”) their cafeteria is very reasonable. When we go we like to greedy down cacio e pepe rice croquettes made with pecorino and pepper and a plate of greens. The cafeteria has a service island for condiments, where certain of the shop’s extra virgin olive oils can be sampled.
Via Marmorata 47
Tel. +39 06 5742352