Tag Archives: Ostiense

Field trip: Eataly

19 Sep
Eataly is not on the itinerary of many who visit Roma. If you only have a few days in the city, trekking out to this distant-from-the-center-grocery-store-on-steroids is probably not how you want to spend a precious vacation day. We, however, are always on the prowl for a good field trip. (No permission slips required.) So one day this week, remembering a nice lunch we had there sometime ago, we made our fourth trip there in 3 years. No, we don’t go there often.
My lunch, Piadina "La Saporita" from La Piadina. True to its name, it was flavorful.
My lunch, Piadina “La Saporita” from La Piadina. True to its name, it was flavorful.
Eataly, to me, is not a place to do the regular shopping (for one thing it is a long way from home), although around lunch time, it gets busy with Italians who are snapping up the fresh produce and other delectables. To me, it is entertainment. Meters and meters of pastas, in shapes I have never seen accompanied by colorful produce, prime meats, abundant fish, hanging prosciutto and salumi of every kind, endless cookbooks, kitchen implements for which the use is obscure, row-upon-row of wine, a rainbow of preserved vegetables, a chocolate selection to make the Swiss jealous, and several interesting eateries. It is four floors of decadence. It is expensive. Everything sold there is Made in Italy. Bravo!
The produce area is almost unreal in its beauty and bounty. All Italian in season, of course.
The produce area is almost unreal in its beauty and bounty. All Italian in season, of course.
Tucked behind Stazione Ostiense, it can be difficult to find when arriving by Metro. The first few times we thought we should leave a breadcrumb trail as we traipsed through tunnel-after-tunnel. This time we noticed prominent signage that guided us. It was excellent, we thought. Perfect help for tourists: giant signs and arrows everywhere…until the last couple of turns where clearly the direction givers assumed “You can’t miss it.”  (This happens a lot in Italy: assumptions on way-finding.) The final leg has you traverse the entire under-track corridor at Stazione Ostiense on the hope that at the end one might emerge near the entrance to Eataly. If you decide to go, persevere.
Conservanti included these gorgeous peppers.
Conservanti included these gorgeous peppers.
There’s a new Eataly in Piazza della Repubblica.  (They took over an old MacDonald’s. Quite the change.) We have not visited yet, but certainly it is more central for most visitors. We’ll make that a future field trip.
This trip, we had a nice look around, and a fine lunch, but we did not buy much: an olive-pitter and some pretty orangey-yellow Moleskin notebooks, which I love for note-taking on trips.
Vino sfuso at a very good price. They even sell bottles in case you forgot yours.
Vino sfuso at a very good price. They even sell empty bottles in case you forgot yours.
The food outlets are called "Ristorantini" or little restaurants. They are semi-self-serve but food is made-to-order. This one empty at noon, because lunch here really does not start until 13:00.
The food outlets are called “Ristorantini” or little restaurants. They are semi-self-serve but food is made-to-order. This one, empty at noon, because lunch here really does not start until 13:00.
Long long shelves of almost everytning. Here, preserved vegetables. Not your Green Giant corn....
Long, long shelves of almost everything. Here, preserved vegetables. Not your Green Giant corn….
Riding the moving ramp down. This is a huge place, built in what was an abandoned air terminal.
Riding the moving ramp down. This is a huge place, built in what was an abandoned air terminal.
Prosciutti hang from the ceiling at the top of a moving ramp leading to the salumi department.
Prosciutti hang from the ceiling at the top of a moving ramp leading to the salumi department.
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