Barnaba is one of those rare and wonderful places that’s slightly better than it needs to be. It’s a wine bar where the wine is really good, where the food is better than anticipated, and where there’s enough space to spread out with a large group or to drop in without a reservation.
The shop Volpetti has long been a pilgrimage site for obsessive lovers of cheese, salumi and other gourmet products from all over Italy. For travelers with eyes bigger than their hotel mini-fridge, however, their selection has always been something of a tease. How best to enjoy such takeaway bounty when you don’t have a proper kitchen in Rome? Enter Taverna Volpetti, a small wine bar around the corner from the mothership, serving beautiful boards of their outstanding cheeses and cured meats. A handful of wines are available by the glass, but the selection of bottles is more impressive and includes some older vintages.
Litro, a bright, welcoming wine and cocktail bar in Monteverde, was arguably the first in Rome to specialize in natural wines, which is to say organic and biodynamic wines vinified with minimum sulfur and no other additives. But where natural wine hotspots in other cities have sometimes taken a reactionary stance towards service norms, the team at Litro are warm and cheerful, clearly delighted to share the bar’s big list of obscure wines from throughout Italy, along with surprisingly evolved cocktail and mezcal selections.