Food / Italy / Tourism

Do as the Romans (food tip)

IF you have been to Rome, you for sure know that this place is like a time machine, it sweeps you off your feet bringing you back thousands of years to imagine how life was back then.


If you haven’t, its time to go! You will noticed the many layers of history that this city incorporates which leave us wondering how life was two thousands years ago the ancient Romans called for blood at the sight of ferocious gladiators in the Coliseum as the limits of the empire expanded, or one thousand years ago, when the Papal State reigned over the Roman rubble and began the process of constructing architectural and artistic wonders of immense and divine beauty such as Saint Peters. Some of the magnificence still stands, thankfully!, which helps us envision both the ‘meaning of power’ in other times as well as the lives that were being lived by both the simple people, the plebeians, as well as the rich classes, the patrizi.

In my last visit to Rome I discovered a different and peculiar way of traveling through ancient Rome, which doesn’t involve much ‘sight seeing’, or experiencing history exteriorly but rather, lets you travel back in history by looking inwardly through the senses, and in particular through taste. By eating the food of the past one can launch oneself deep into ancient modes of being: I call it traveling with taste but we can also call it Club Machiavelli!

One kilometer East of the Coliseum lays a small, gated entrance to one marvellous place: a restaurant that specializes in delicacies of the past. In this culinary lab – which has nothing of Machiavellian – you can experiment the food of the Romans at the time of Julius Caesar near the birth of Christ, or experience food trips of the Popes during the Middle Ages. And while you are ‘tasting the past’, the enlightened chef and manager Mauro will passionately walk you through the exotic ingredients and the historical research that led him to discover the secret recipes of the past!

Tastefully travel in this museum of il gusto and you might discover, as we did, that people ate quite well during the Dark Ages! But the Club doesn’t stop here, as Mauro has recently decided to expand the taste-experience by integrating this with travel tours around Rome and Tuscany, musical events, and other events that can tell us a lot of Roman society through an understanding of the food – the origins of the ingredients, the preparation, subdivision of labor, sanitary conditions, ….


what I had for lunch: Gnocci alla genovese (homemade pesto)


Lunch is always delicious and dinners on Thursday to Saturday are time for the historical taste-trips that Mauro has so carefully mastered. See his updates, news, monthly dishes at 


Mauro, chef and owner of Club Machiavelli

I cannot but keep thinking that this inward, sensorial experience is a wonderful way of travelling and, this idea will only grow with timeThis is because it is through the senses that we learn, we live and we come to love. This is even truer for the sense of taste, which will leave us in awe when we first try something new and stays with us emotionally forever after we have tried it.

When in Rome”, I find no better way to “do as the Romans” than going to Machiavelli and travel with taste!

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 10.32.20 AM

A screen-shot from Machiavelli’s Instagram to leave your mouth watering

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