Traveler’s Picks

by Francesca Romana Fontana

Nov 2014

Francesca Romana and I meet at the corner between via Cavour and via Amendola, on a sun-kissed Roman afternoon, while a gentle zephyr blows. She was born and raised in Rome. After studying as an interior and set designer, she devoted herself to street food with Tricolore Monti, gourmet sandwiches and cooking lessons. Then, she devised Bao, a project where flowers play the leading role in set designs and in decontextualized markets, and afterwards she co-operated with Arabeschi di Latte, a food design agency. Her passion for Rome and for hospitality led her to start a new adventure at the same time – hosting people from all over the world in her Mezzanino, a wonderful vacation home on the mezzanine floor of an ancient palace in Via Giulia.


If you could close your eyes and be somewhere else, where would you want to be?

On Hydra island, in Kamini, drinking ouzo with Cohen’s music playing in the background.

The restaurant where you feel at home

In an old bakery, early in the morning, between flour and the fragrance of yeast.

A hotel room that makes you nostalgic

Auberge du Presbytere in Saignon, a village in wonderful Luberon.

A travel you could do over and over again without getting bored

Driving towards Apulia, skirting wind turbines and reaching Ostuni’s coast, where you can have bread and freshly opened sea urchins.

A dish that recently surprised you

Just-picked little tomatoes dressed with oil and herbs and cooked in the fireplace of a restaurant in Civita di Bagnoregio.

A holiday place from your childhood

In Sicily, with the sweet smell of orange blossoms, prickly pears, Baroque and the sweet pizzas by Savia, in Catania.

If a kid asked you to take him/her on a trip, where would that be?

I would grab a globe and give him carte blanche to choose.

If you could choose a dream place to celebrate, what would that be?

In the olive trees field in front of Saint Bruzio Abbey, one step from my country house in Maremma.

A view you will never forget

The view from the bailey of a house in Filicudi overlooking all other Aeolian Islands. A flat sea, a pink sky and moments of happiness.

Your Meraviglia address that can’t be missing from our collection

The Albergo Diffuso Sextantio in Matera.

A place you wish it was just round the corner

Stromboli – it has always been in my heart.


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