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.
We splurged on the gran tagliere (large board) of formaggi & salumi (30€) and were defeated by the generous number and quantity of each. The smaller board at 18€ should be enough for most twosomes. Pastas were excellent and the diversity of options provided welcome relief after days of carbonara overload.
Tortelli stuffed with burrata in puttanesca sauce brought the warm flavors of the south, and vulcani with lamb ragù and powdered courgette blossom was comforting and delicious.
Taverna Volpetti isn’t a place to taste Roman food, but it’s an excellent place in Rome to taste superior cheese and salumi from all over Italy along with good wine and maybe a pasta dish or two. It’s particularly great for groups who don’t want to commit to the time or expensive of a more elaborate meal.
Taverna Volpetti in pictures
Photos by Meg Zimbeck © Rome by Mouth
What people are saying
- I Cento (2018) includes them among their favorite 50 “Pop” or informal addresses in Rome.
- The New York Times (2017) celebrates that “new management has brought service that matches the delicious food and wine.”
- Forbes Travel Guide (2017) advises you to keep your eye on this place. “The menu offers charcuterie and cheese selections and delightful dishes like truffle tonnarelli. Round out your meal with a tipple from the impressive by-the-glass wine list.”
- Maureen Fant (2017) laments that the “Volpetti shop has been sold; it looks the same, but Emilio, Claudio, and Alessandro Volpetti have left. The familiar staff are still doing their thing, but there is an air of rudderlessness.” However, she likes the wine bar. “Meanwhile, around the corner, what used to be a glorified tavola calda has been seriously spiffed up, with a new name, and is very nice.”
- An American in Rome (2016) does not count herself among those who will mourn Vopetti Più, the tavola calda that formerly occupied this spot. She was hopeful that this new incarnation would deliver a decent wine bar for Testaccio. “Saffron cheese, wild boar salami, perfect prosciutto – this was what I wanted from Taverna Volpetti. It was a lovely selection of products sold in the Volpetti gourmet market around the corner.”
- Gambero Rosso (2016) examines the history of Volpetti, the transition in 2015 to new ownership and the transformation of this space from tavola calda (cafeteria) to the present wine bar.
- Eater (2016) by Katie Parla includes this among its roundup of new openings called “Ten Hottest Tables in Rome,” explaining that Taverna Volpetti will serve a buffet at lunch with daily specials cooked to order, with evenings dedicated to aperitivo and dinner service.