Of late, Kathryn Marshall and I have become obsessed with this little forno (bakery)/pizzeria in Trastevere called La Renella. It wasn’t a conscious decision to eat there. We were walking down the street and the aroma of the place grabbed us by the nose and pulled us in. It was that physical. Absolutely. We’ve gone six out of the past seven days, I believe. I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, more like an addiction. But I’m not asking for help, actually, I think fighting this addiction would be cruel and unusual.
The family pizzeria boasts pizza of all kinds: ham, artichoke, eggplant, peppers, mushroom, margarita, salami, etc, etc, and zucchini (what I had today, pictured here). Everything is to die for. To kill for? Both.
Katie and I are working to befriend the family. Katie found the son on Facebook so this “friending” may soon become literal. Seeing as we go everyday, we know they see us. They are starting to recognize us. The jolly man whom we believe to be Papa Renella (because why wouldn’t he be?) now greets us with smiles and nods. The son gives us our pizza and cookies (can’t believe I haven’t mentioned the coconut cookies – hills of heavenly coco goodness, divine, actually inspired by Christ probably – we ARE close to the Vatican, here) at a reduced price. With him everything is one euro. A miracle, again religious.
We keep saying that we need to venture out and try new things, but this is so difficult to persuade yourself to do when you’ve simply found the best. After hearing us rave about this lunch oasis our friends in the program have finally seen the light and started going. They’re converts. Everyone is being baptized in the way of foccacia pizza and panini. We make daily offerings to the pizza gods.
Sorry, about the quality of these pictures, but I had to sneak them on my phone. I try to fit in at La Renella like the regular I am. This is a spot for the locals – people bring their dogs. Pigeons come through the doors. People greet each other, joke around. Neighbors come through the backdoor into the kitchen. The oven gives off warmth. We solely speak Italian here.
It feels real. It tastes it. I’ll go back tomorrow, maybe everyday. Don’t you even talk about breaking my addiction.