You know all those places in Rome that people write nice things about in magazines? Then it turns out the author has never actually been to the venue, is on the take or doesn’t have the slightest clue what good food is supposed to taste like (or all of the above). You’ve wasted your precious time and hard earned money by buying into the hype (inexplicably) surrounding Giolitti, Pierluigi, La Rosetta, and the like. It happens all too often and it’s enough to make any serious gastronomic traveler skeptical of venues that get a lot of coverage.
That’s what makes places like Colline Emiliane all the more comforting. For decades, this family owned and operated restaurant near the Trevi Fountain has been serving satisfying dishes from the Emilia region in northeastern Italy. The place has been in business since 1931—current owners, the Latini family, took it over in 1967—and year in and year out, the kitchen turns out reliable, consistent food that tastes genuine and homemade. It has been in virtually every guidebook, travel magazine and newspaper and it live up to the hype.
The menu, rich in homemade pasta dishes, changes slightly throughout the year to reflect seasonal variations. In the summertime, you’ll find prosciutto e melone, tortelli di zucca (pumpkin pasta with butter and sage) in the fall and baked apples for dessert in the winter. Year-round you will find tagliatelle alla bolognese and on Sundays, besciamel-laced lasagna is served.
The dishes aren’t the only things to depart from the Roman tradition. They are nice to tourists. In spite of its decades of positive foreign press, the Latini family has not taken their clientele for granted. They are kind, accommodating and respectful of their foreign visitors. The place has become an institution and they know this is thanks, in part, to their foreign fans.
Its popularity with tourists means Colline Emiliane is packed everyday at lunch and dinner, beginning at 12:45pm and 7:30pm sharp (early by local standards). To bypass the early birds and dine amongst locals, reserve a late table and be sure to book or you will likely be turned away from this (deservedly) beloved destination.
Colline Emiliane is located at Via degli Avignonesi 22
Tel: +39 06 4817538
Open Tues-Sat 12:45-2:45pm & 19:30-10:45pm, Sun 12:45-245pm