1. Necci Dal 1924
This 1970s-themed Pigneto institution first found fame as a location for the 1961 film Accattone, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. All these years later, locals still love the bar-restaurant for its old-school ethos and faultless fare, which includes freshly baked pastries and paccheri (a tubular pasta) with octopus, cherry tomatoes and olives.
2. Yeah! Pigneto
Pick your aperitif, perhaps something from the cafe-bar’s Greatest Hits list – you’ll find everything from daiquiris to margaritas. Then, pick your record; there’s an awesome vinyl collection. Song requests are also welcome. You can catch a live-band performance too.
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3. Il Kino
Settle in for screenings of the latest Italian indie films – among other foreign productions – at this intimate art-house cinema. It’s a gathering spot for local directors, actors and screenwriters; keep your eyes peeled for one-off discussions and talks, along with DJ-powered parties.
4. Nero Gallery
This convention-defying contemporary art gallery is a platform for talent from all over the world, including Alessandro Sicioldr, an Italian painter known for his unsettling portraits, and Tony Cheung, a Chinese illustrator whose bold pop-art prints make a big impact.
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This former mechanic’s workshop is now a courtyard cafe apt for socialising, the perfect spot for weekend brunch or ‘Granny’s lunch’, as the locals like to call it. For a long, conversation-fuelled meal, you can’t go wrong with dishes such as agnolotti with butter and sage, or a pizza fresh from a wood-fired oven. Rosti sources its seasonal ingredients from well-known local suppliers.
6. Primo Al Pigneto
This kitchen is a hot favourite with its modern takes on classic Roman dishes – think spelt macaroni with lamb, and tiramisu with iced mascarpone. Pair these with a biodynamic Italian red.
Flip through some of the beautiful, design-led photo books at this specialist store on the main drag. A photographer’s heaven, it also hosts small exhibitions showcasing the work of local lensmen; you can purchase prints here too.
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8. HulaHoop Club
Make sure you check the calendar of this arty events space for live drawing sessions, cabaret shows and poetry slams. Look out too, for movie screenings accompanied by dialogue sessions with local indie directors.
– TEXT BY HANNAH STUART-LEACH
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED, HULAHOOPCLUB, IL KINO, LEPORELLO, PRIMO AL PIGNETO, ROSTI
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.