The Apuleius Aventino Restaurant, located in the captivating heart of Rome, is a hidden gem that deserves to be discovered by anyone seeking an authentic culinary experience in the Eternal City.
In particular, the story of Apuleius begins in the early 1960s with Spartaco d’Itri, a former boxer and music enthusiast. Spartaco became so passionate about music that he became the biggest winner of the television program ‘Il Musichiere,’ hosted by Mario Riva. In the ambiance of Apuleius, authentic archaeological artifacts can be found.
These artifacts, accumulated over time, are cataloged and registered by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage. Despite the abundance of artworks and historical objects, the environment manages to avoid any sense of kitsch. The arrangement of objects rather suggests the refinement of an art dealer’s atelier, as depicted in many vintage prints.
Furthermore, the walls are adorned with frescoes showcasing the greatness of Roman art, with a particular emphasis on Pompeian paintings and other notable works of the era. Faithful replicas of these works adorn the walls in an atmosphere that takes the visitor on a surprising culinary journey.
The transition from the entrance hall to the main dining room is graced by two columns with different capitals. An Ionic capital and a Corinthian one further add to the charm of the space.
In the dining room, the tables are generously spaced, avoiding any intrusion from neighboring diners. Apuleius restaurant on the Aventino hill of Rome has become what it is through a passionate history. What was once one of Alberto Sordi’s preferred restaurants, halfway between his friend’s house, a film score composer, during the Spataco d’Istria years, was in a fascinating yet peripheral area.
The restaurant managed to thrive over time with the gradual beautification of the area. As the Aventino neighborhood developed, prominent figures began to appear at its tables. Apuleius hosted prominent figures from international politics, such as Gorbachev, athletes, and entertainment personalities.
However, the golden age of the old Apuleius, whose name was “Il Musichiere,” came to an end. It was only in 2005 that it reopened and regained prominence with the name we know today. In fact, the Ferretti Min family decided to purchase it and change its name.
The choice of the name “Apuleius” was inspired by the author of the “Metamorphoses,” and they thought of a menu consisting of dishes that were rich in tradition but with a personal touch that made them unique.
From the first chef, reached through the local newspaper “Porta Portese”, Apuleius has come a long way. Today, it is the skilled hands of Emiliano Ferretti that select high-quality Italian ingredients and pair them with recipes in a completely Lazio-inspired wine cellar.
Apuleius is located in the Aventino neighborhood, situated in the heart of Rome. This is one of the most captivating and historic areas of the city, with its history dating back to antiquity.
In fact, it was once a favorite spot for the luxurious villas and elegant gardens of Roman aristocracy. Similarly, today, the Aventino is a quiet residential area, rich in history and points of interest.
During Roman times, the hill was known for its aristocratic residences and splendid panoramic views of the city. For example, one of the most iconic spots in the neighborhood is the Garden of Oranges, famous for its bitter oranges and spectacular city views. Adjacent to the garden is the marvelous Basilica of Santa Sabina, characterized by its simple yet elegant architecture.
After Sunday lunch at Apuleius restaurant, why not take a stroll to Rome municipal rose garden? Founded in 1931, this is one of the largest in the world and is famous for its extensive collection of roses. Every year, during the month of May, the rose garden is open to the public, attracting visitors from around the world to admire the beauty of the blooming roses.
The history, panoramic views, and the goodness of Italian and Roman cuisine offered by Apuleius make the Aventino neighborhood one of the must-visit areas of the capital.