"The table for the Pope isn't ready yet: cod fillets are missing ..." E’ proprio così: al Vaticano ha regnato un Papa che quasi ogni giorno esigeva di avere in tavola una delle più squisite specialità romane.
Crispy, golden, fragrant ... Roman cod fillets, accompanied by chicory "puntarelle" flavored with garlic, white wine and chopped anchovies in oil, are one of the things that in Rome you want to taste, at least once in a lifetime.
Pope Pius XII, at least three or four times a week, wanted to have exactly this meal in front of himself, which had to be always packed by the same hands: those of the "Filettaro a Santa Barbara" in Largo dei Librari, in the (not far from the Vatican) via dei Giubbonari.
A place that we can now define famous all over the world for this tasty specialty. Many are prepared to wait in disciplined long lines, in order to arrive at the coveted counter, beyond which the two huge oil pots sizzle , from which the crispy, golden and swollen fillets come out as from cornucopias ...
The chronicles report that the Pontiff, every day, sent his secretary to the very popular fish-place, giving him the precise task of returning with that precious little bag, even if this required queuing for hours, and that the Pope's need of codfish was not limited to Friday, when Christian worship prescribes not to eat meat.
A gastronomic pleasure that the journalist and art critic Antonello Trombadori "codified" in these verses:
"To see if the fillet is well done
color, crunchiness and frying,
you must be able to feel the taste with your eyes
and imagine its flavor
go to the Librari, if you want to see them
and if you want to learn art and talent
of whitening the cod with flour"
A plate that can be served to a Pope. On the other hand, Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was deeply Roman; his figure and his role during the Second World War are still being deeply examined by historians, but there has never been any doubt about his love for his city and the Capitoline traditions.
He was the first pontiff to use radio and cinema to spread his message, but he did not compromise on gastronomy: for that he loved to "fish" (it is appropriate to say it) in the most ancient Roman traditions.
Are you passionate about Rome? Why don't you explore the tours I have prepared for you?
Some reviews of people that I have had the pleasure of guiding on my tours
The tour I wanted
The tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill that I have wanted to do for a long time. Camilla was a perfect choice. Prepared, friendly, patient with my many questions. I will recommend her to my friends. Thanks Camilla!
The squares of Rome are very interesting
My wife and I went on a tour of Rome's squares with Camilla. Although I was a little skeptical at first and took this tour by suggestion of my wife, I must say it turned out to be spectacular, and that Camilla was simply a fantastic guide.
Vatican exploration to remember
I had always tried to imagine what was behind the Vatican doors. This tour finally introduced me to a reality that had intrigued me all my life.
Rome in a Day
Without straining we were able to see in one day all the most famous glimpses of Rome, also recognizing many places seen in the great films of Italian cinema. A day that I would suggest to anyone who goes to Rome.
Forum and Palatine
We all know the Colosseum, but perhaps we know less about the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Camilla has a perfect way to make you "travel" in Imperial Rome, among historical data, curiosities, secrets ... Not only a great day, but also useful, very useful!
As a teacher I tell you: do it!
All my life I taught History and Letters in high school, and I thought that a tour like the Colosseum could tell me little, and in fact I had organized it mostly for my wife and my daughter. Actually, this guide has been able to illuminate some aspects of the life of Roman citizens that were completely unknown to me. We never know enough about Rome.
The Sistine Chapel is an incredible emotion
Before doing this tour of the Vatican I knew that the Sistine Chapel is one of the most important and famous works of art in the world, but I would never have imagined the emotion that entering that place caused me. There are no words to describe it. Thanks Camilla, for your expert and complete guide.
How nice the tour of the squares!
When we think of the squares of Rome we always imagine the most famous ones, such as the Spanish Steps or Piazza Navona. But those who are not from Rome, like me, often do not even suspect how beautiful many other squares of this incredible city can be! I recommend you do this tour with Mrs. Verdacchi, you won't regret it!
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