Rome, Italy
Sara, 32
Literary Editor
see her Rome city guide

a bit about Sara

What are you working on?

I’m working on an Italian novel about the holocaust.

What drives you mad these days?

People already thinking about New Year’s Eve plans.

What makes you happy?

I’m going to the cinema more than ever before in my entire life and it makes me feel active even when I’m relaxing.

When was the last time you cried?

I cry whenever I can,  it’s a way to relieve my stress. Last time was on sunday at MAXXI, the National Museum of Contemporary Art. A guy had dismembered one hundred weapons to make musical instruments and shovels to plant trees.

What is playing in your earphones nowadays?

The Battles’ new album La Di Da Di and Mainstream, the last album of an Italian songwriter Calcutta, who writes moving love songs.

What was the last movie you watched? Was it any good?

Suburra, the last fiction film about crime and corruption in Rome, directed by Stefano Sollima.

When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?

Vintage shops as King Size in Monti or Pifebo in San Giovanni. Otherwise there’s Kokoro, a little and cheap boutique in Viale Ippocrate.

What’s your go-to café in Rome?

I’ve got two special cafés which I love. Bar dei Brutti in San Lorenzo, where you can pay 3 euros for a cocktail and watch every football match of the season, and Na Cosetta in Pigneto, where you can eat at any time of the day, buy vintage clothes, play the piano, study, work, see local bands performing or simply fall asleep on a sofa when you’re tired and no one will never have anything against it.

Where’s your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander in Rome?

I have to admit it’s Coppedè. A neighborhood built in the Twenties, famous for its asymmetrical buildings marked by esoteric and Masonic symbols. I love to walk around those streets with, imagining living in Escher’s scenery.

What do you LOVE to do in the city but never actually do?

I love to go running in the city center’s parks at dawn, but I’m actually too lazy to get up early, so I started to appreciate them even when they’re crowded on Sundays’ late afternoon.

Who’s your hero and where would you take them out to eat or drink in Rome?

My hero is Pier Vittorio Tondelli, one of my favourite writers. He experimented in language and style, never hiding his ethical and emotional struggle against institutional morality. He has been living in Rome for a year during his military service and died too young to see the evolution of the city during the last twenty years. Therefore, I would take him to the suburbs to some hole where we would eat the best Cacio e Pepe in Rome and probably get drunk.

What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?

I would get up early, have a powerful coffee and a nice breakfast, ride my bikes along the Appian Way, stopping by the Catacomb of Callixtus to catch my breath. Afterwards, I would eat something on the way and watch the sunset from the Circus of Maxentius.

It’s raining for days and you’re sick of staying at home – where would you go?

I would certainly go to a museum: the MAXXI or Galleria Borghese.

What’s a place in Rome you feel like only you know about?

I’m sure most of the people know about it but only few can imagine how quiet, peaceful and unbelievably beautiful it can be around 3 in the morning. I’m talking about a terrace situated on the right side of the Capitoline Hill, just in front of the Theatre of Marcellus, with a small fountain in the middle and an astonishing view of Rome.

If tomorrow was your last day in Rome before you left for good, how would you spend it?

I would go to see the Vatican Museum for the first time in my life, and then I would cross to the other side of the city to have the last plate of the remarkable veggie carbonara at Betto e Mary in the working class neighborhood of Torpignattara, where I truly feel at home.

If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?

Pigneto, undoubtedly. It’s a controversial neighborhood, charming, multicultural and eclectic but also characterised by social unrest, with a lot of potential and a lot of unsolved issues.

What’s the place in Rome you’ll never be caught dead in?

You’ll never see me eating an “American style” hamburger in a steakhouse, buying clothes in Via Condotti or having a glass of wine in a fake wine bar in Trastevere.

You’ve just got the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?

Nothing better to spend a never-ending night with my closest friends at Bar San Calisto in Trastevere.

What’s the thing you love doing that isn’t work, relationship or family related?

Music. Especially indie rock, lo-fi or noisy stuff.

When you feel like going on a night out, what’s the first place you usually consider going to?

If I need to meet people and socialize I either go to a DJ set at Ex Dogana, or to a concert at Le Mura in San Lorenzo. But if I really need to be alone I just go on the top of Janiculum, sit beside the lighthouse and watch Regina Coeli and Trastevere from above.

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