I mentioned recently that Bologna is my favorite eating city in Italy (a country which has no shortage of amazing regional food specialties). We are lucky to live just a three-hour train ride away, but when you are craving Emilia-Romagna cuisine in Rome then you can make a much shorter trip to Colline Emiliane.
But isn’t Italian food Italian food?
Not quite. Roman food tends to be heavy on the offal, use sheep milk cheese (pecorino) and more often than not relies on dried pasta.
Food from Emilia-Romagna, on the other hand, tends to emphasize fresh and filled kinds of pasta, use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and of course, there is the most famous sauce of all – ragù.
If you pass by Colline Emiliane in the morning, you can see the chefs hard at work creating all the fresh pasta for the day.
There is nothing wrong with dried pasta (it is simply used for different kinds of dishes) but when people really want to eat FRESH pasta in Rome – I send them here.
The small restaurant has become slightly more refined in recent years. It has gotten a more modern makeover and simple white tablecloths.
And I really do enjoy the food at Colline Emiliane, but I am not the only one. The restaurant is about a five-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain and is a quality option in such a tourist-heavy area. But oh, there are tourists. Be prepared for a front room filled almost entirely with non-locals (though there are usually Roman businessmen dining in the back).
In addition to a stellar location, Colline Emiliane is featured in the Michelin Guide.
In short, this restaurant is no secret.
The fame, location and high-quality ingredients mean that the prices are also a bit higher. In Bologna, tagliatelle alla Bolognese would be €10. At Colline Emiliane that same dish is €15.
However, we are around the corner from one of Rome’s must-see attractions and not in Bologna, so I can’t really hold this against them.
An iPhone photo does not do my triangoli di ricotta, bieta e salsiccia justice. The fresh pasta stuffed with ricotta, chard, and sausage was excellent. Stick to plates like these and skip any Roman daily specials because you can find better versions in other local restaurants.
Oh, and the wine by the glass comes in a very healthy pour. Cheers to that.
Via degli Avignonesi, 22
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico)
Closed Monday. Open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch from 12:45 pm to 2:45 pm, and for dinner from 7:30 pm to 10:45 pm (except Sunday when it is open for lunch only).