Just like Piccolo Buco by the Trevi Fountain, it’s a rare find to discover authentic and delicious Italian restaurants by the Colosseum without being lured by the enticing view of the amphitheatre from your dining table. Roomie & I wanted meals that didn’t break the bank yet filled our appetites with quality meals. We decided to take a turn around the corner to find restaurants that were not in plain sight of the Colosseum, but looked like the real deal.

We stepped into Naumachia Ristorante, and immediately knew we were setting up shop here over lunch. “A naumachia was the reenactment of a naval battle in a basin or on a lake, a popular albeit costly – and for the participants deadly – entertainment of the masses in ancient Rome.  The term naumachia was also used for the location at which the games took place.” (source)

I think the entire wall of vino as the ristorante’s centerpiece was the ultimate selling point for me. I went on my Blackberry and saw many positive reviews of this place on Trip Advisor. I was excited to have lunch after a long walk around the Borghese Gardens during the morning.

Service Core

For starters, I ordered the Mozzarella di Bufala atop some arugula and cherry tomatoes.

When you slice into the fresh buffalo milk mozzarella, the juices flow and season the balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.

Juicy and fresh as can be.

I also wanted to try the ultimate Roman street food/snack: Suppli

What is a Suppli? Well, it’s basically a rice or risotto ball wrapped around cheese (preferably mozzarella) and mixed with tomato sauce…and then deep fried. BAM! It’s one tasty ball of gooey and crispy goodness all at the same time. Roomie swore she could inhale an entire plate of this if we didn’t order our own pizzas. Must Make My Own.

Yes, we ordered our own pizzas. Which was a little misguided since Naumachia’s pastas are freshly made on a daily basis. Too bad, since we were not craving for pasta at that time.

Roomie ordered the Pizza Cappriciosa with mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, artichokes, prosciutto, eggs and olives. The ultimate kitchen sink pizza.

I wanted a Bianco (white) pizza with sausages, mushrooms and ricotta cheeseNaumachia’s pizza is beautifully thin and light. The seasoning is not overly salty, and the Italian sausage flavored the pizza alongside the fresh mushrooms.

Don’t ask me how many slices I finished… I don’t want to remember myself. This was a perfect meal if you just came from the Colosseum, or plan to have some lunch before doing the touristy route. It is as close to authentic as you can get within the confines of all the tourist trap restaurants in the area.


Via Celimontana 7, Rome, Italy