In Rome, when you order a “litro” of wine, chances are that it is going to be pretty bad.
House wine, which is ordered by the liter, has a time and a place in Italian cuisine. That time is usually a heavy multi-course meal and the place is a traditional osteria without a wine list. When there are no bottles to be had, wine by the liter will do.
But the Litro wine bar in Rome’s quiet Monteverde neighborhood is a completely different concept.
Litro prides itself on serving Italy’s best natural and biodynamic wines.
The modern, light-filled space and airy garden style patio are a bit surprising in Monteverde. Located above Trastevere, this is not a Roman neighborhood that many visitors ever see. It is primarily occupied by consulates and academies, as well as families looking for more breathing room and slower pace compared to the rest of Rome.
Then again, perhaps that is exactly why Litro is here.
This is not a place that you would accidentally stumble upon. You end up at Litro on purpose.
While best known for its wine, Litro is open all day and serves a light breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The menu skews away from the expected meat and cheese plates, and offers fresh salads, sandwiches and even sashimi, that pair with the equally bright wines. For that reason, it is truly one of the best wine bars in Rome.
And don’t be shy about asking about the wines. Most are from small producers that may not be familiar, and if you are dipping your toe into the natural wine pool for the first time, it would be a good idea to have a conversation with the staff about what you like in a wine (lively, chalky, with bubbles, etc) so that you end up with a glass or a bottle that you will thoroughly enjoy.
In addition to natural wine, Litro also has a fabulous cocktail list. My favorite is the elderflower infused Hugo, but with more than 30 different kinds of mescal – a drink that they see as having a similar philosophy behind its production to natural wine.
Litro does not accept reservations for aperitivo or drinks, but you can call ahead and book a table if you are planning to stay to eat. (And why not? That gives you more time to linger over a bottle of wine).