October is one of my favorite months for visiting Italy. In most places, the crowds are not overwhelming, even in Rome.
I avoided Rome the first three times I traveled in Italy, since large cities wear on me after a few days. After shooting photos in Athens before the 2004 Olympics and experiencing the historical center, I decided I really needed to see Rome. After three visits, the city has become a favorite and is a great introduction to Italy. It’s easy to arrive and easy to leave and provides incredible site seeing, easy walking and great food.
My visits were in June, August and October. I would definitely avoid hot and crowded June. August wasn’t too bad for crowds since that is a popular month for Italians to leave the city for vacation. We enjoyed the city in August, but make sure you book a room with A/C. October is my favorite month throughout the country, although you should be prepared for crowds in Rome. Make reservations for the Vatican (Sistine Chapel), hotel, and even restaurants early and plan to be patient at popular attractions.
I like to stay near Piazza Navona or the Vatican, because those locations put you within easy walking distance of many sites and restaurants. I like the Piazza itself with it’s beautiful fountains and the piazza’s proximity to the small square Campo di Fiore (field of flowers). In addition to a wonderful outdoor market, there are several terrific restaurants on or near this square. One is Obicá Mozzarella Bar and the other is Ristorante Salumeria Roscioli (reservations highly recommended).
It’s pretty easy to walk through St. Peter’s Square and into the Basilica at most times of day (obviously not during a Papal mass). Book online and avoid the lines to visit the Sistine Chapel. Walking east from the Vatican, you’ll pass by Castel Sant’ Angelo on the Tiber River, pass through Piazza Navona and continue to the Pantheon, the former Roman Temple with an oculus in the roof which provides the main source of light. Completed in about 127 AD, it’s a stunning architectural achievement. From there you can head south to Campo di Fiore.
One of the best ways to see Rome (or any city) is the hop-on and hop-off tourist buses. They introduce you to the main parts of the city in a leisurely fashion. However, there are so many small streets and hidden gems in a city like Rome, that a bicycle tour was our choice on one visit. We used Top Bike Rental, which offers several different tours. We chose the Roman Views, which included the Seven Hills of Rome. We wisely paid an extra 5€ for their E-bikes and zoomed up every hill without breaking a sweat. Our guide was really knowledgeable and the four-hour tour included a spin through St. Peter’s Square, hills with views of the city, ending by the Coliseum at dusk.
As with any large European city, the best part is simply strolling the neighborhoods, stopping at a cafe for a leisurely beverage, getting lost, finding a local trattoria, and discovering life away from the busy sites. Slow down and enjoy life as the Romans do.
Roman cuisine features pork and lamb as well as seafood from the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea, although you’ll find Tuscan specialties and Neapolitan pizza throughout the city. Rome is known for artichokes served in a variety of ways: grilled, marinated or fried.
Three pasta dishes are synonymous with Rome: Pasta all’ amatriciana, Cacio de Pepe, and Pasta Carbonara. Cacio de Pepe is served as the side pasta with Milanese Burrata and Eggplant Parmesan at M’tucci’s Italian and M’tucci’s Moderno. It’s also available as a side dish. M’tucci’s Italian Café & Market sells Pasta Carbonara as one their Pasta Kits. Basically everything you need for 2 main courses or 4 starter courses (pasta, cheese & meat) for $20. Many restaurants on this side of the pond use bacon in their Carbonara sauce, but the real thing is made with guanciale, which we cure in-house. They’ll even give you a custom recipe for this tasty, but sometimes tricky dish.
EDITORS NOTE: Hope you enjoyed our brief tour of Rome. Next week is Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
NEWS FROM M’TUCCI’S
M’tucci’s @ Lava Rock Brewing Co.
HAPPY HOUR & NFL Football!
$7 Happy Hour Menu features The Burger, a 10” Margherita or Pepperoni Green Chile Pizza, Charcuterie Boards and Wings for $7, Monday - Friday 3:00 - 6:30. Pair the food with a beer for $10.50 or $11, depending on the beer. Not eating (why not?), then $1 off all pints. The NFL is up and running and you can catch your favorite team on one of our large five screens.
HAPPY HOUR EVERY MONDAY UNTIL THE END OF THE FIRST HALF OF MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!
$5 basket of Wings all day on Sunday
RETURNING BEER - A small batch Brut IPA is now on tap (5.8% ABV and 30 IBU), as is the Vacation Daze Coconut Hazy IPA (5.5% ABV and 30 IBU).
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and we are donating to the local Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network - 10% of Tuesday Gross Food Sales and $1 from every pint of Petroglyph Wit will go to the Foundation all month long.
October 19: Color Me Beautiful - Create your fragrance flower. Space is limited. Call to reserve.
Upcoming Live Music:
11/2: The Gershom Brothers
Thanks to all our fans who voted our Servers the Best of Rio Rancho.
Italian Pork and Beans
House veal & pork sausage, roasted Italian white beans and carrots, pancetta, braised Italian greens, Orecchiette Pasta, Pecorino
Campo Viejo, Tempranillo, Spain - Notes of ripe red fruits, vanilla and spices. Soft long finish with with cocoa flavors
Pan Seared Icelandic Cod, switches to Scallops
Mild and sweet buttery flavor, medium firmness and seared to perfection. Served with creamy garlic mashed potatoes, grilled artichokes and sautéed baby arugula
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Mimi Chardonnay, California - Light oak notes, apple and pear flavors, light acidic finish
Cut of the Day - House Hand cut T-bone
Grilled to order and served with our house made garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and our house made traditional Italian Salsa Verde
Tercos, Malbec, Argentina - Aromatic with blackberries and ripe cherries. Long, in-depth finish with medium to soft tannin's.
Tonight: Melissa Rios @ 8:30
10/24: Alex Maryol @ 7:00
Cut of the Day - 24 oz Hand Cut Porterhouse, Salt Water Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and a Balsamic Reduction
Pan-Seared Seafood - Yellowfin Tuna, Grilled Artichoke, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sautéd Arugula, Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc
Ravioli - House Bacon Hazelnut Ricotta Ravioli, Bacon Caramelized Onion Bechamel, Crispy Bacon, Toasted Hazelnut, Shaved Parmesam & Micro Greens
Braised - Five Pork Bolognese, Creamy Polenta, Marinara & Sautéed Spinach
October Prix Fixe Menus
1st Course- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Fried Sage, Brown Butter Drizzle
2nd Course- Roasted Herb Brined Petite Chicken, House Sourdough Stuffing, French Green Beans, Cranberry Gastrique
3rd Course- M’tucci’s World Famous Take Home For Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, Sage, Whipped Cream
1st Course- Smoked Ghoulda Pizza, Balsamic Braised Cipollini Onions, Rosemary
2nd Course- Braised Duck A’l Blood Orange, Potato Puree, Braised Greens
3rd Course- Chocolate Mousse Cake, Graham Cracker, Marshmallow, Chocolate Spider
M’tucci’s Italian Café & Market
Voted Albuquerque’s Best Deli by the Albuquerque Journal’s Readers.
The Café & Market offers amazing pastries in our display case every day and we’re busy planning for the holidays. We carry the same great Italian imports, all of our artisan breads, and a wide variety of imported, domestic, and house made cheese and meat. There is an expanded selection of coffee and pastries. We have charcuterie boards to eat in or take out with wine and beer by the glass. Click here to see our menu.
Don’t feel like cooking tonight, but you want to stay home? Pick up a M’tucci’s Pasta Kit: 1 lb. of House Made Pasta, choice of Bolognese or Carbonara Sauce, House Made Meat and an Italian Cheese for garnish.
October Halloween Chocolates & Cookies!
We cater events of all sizes and varieties. Recently, we fed 1,500 guests at The Whiskey Classic at San Cristobal Movie Ranch south of Santa Fe. A portion of the event proceeds went toward a scholarship for students enrolled in Central New Mexico Community College’s beverage and brewing management program. It was a great event with M’tucci’s food, and Managing Partner/Beverage Director Austin Leard leading seminars about M’tucci’s Shrubs and Mixology.
Contact Ivy for your next event, large or small. We can handle it!
Click here to see our catering menu. 505.350.0019 or email@example.com
M’TUCCI’S AROUND TOWN
Our market items can be purchased at a couple of locations in Albuquerque. We deliver our fresh bread every Tuesday and Friday to Silver Street Market at 2nd and Silver. Choose from Sourdough, Fennel Rye, Wheat, Baguette, Ciabatta, and Raisin Rosemary Focaccia.
Drinking at Bosque in Nob Hill? You can order a M’tucci’s Charcuterie Board while there.
M’TUCCI’S TWENTY-FIVE JOB FAIR
Watch this space for the announcement of our December Job Fair for our new location. We are looking for highly skilled and motivated servers, kitchen workers, bartenders and managers.
SERVICE INDUSTRY NIGHT & DISCOUNTS
Area service industry workers can get a Service Industry card from us by showing proof of employment. With the card you receive 10% off your check every day and 20% off on Sundays from 6:00 - 9:00. Dine in only.
Our food is available for delivery with Door Dash or for pick up. Pick up something for the weekend or on your way home from work. The links to ordering are on the Home page.
MTUCCI’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Videos about making cocktails and pasta and getting to know the M’tucci’s culture. Click here
See you next Friday - Ciao!