It's one of the most popular out-of-town destinations among Romans, as well as among the weekend crowd from the nearby Tuscia. We're talking about Sabina, which stretches just a stone's throw away from the A1 motorway, around the territory of Magliano and up to the picturesque village of Casperia. It's an area not overly touristy and still quite authentic, where new and more modern eateries have emerged alongside establishments deeply rooted in family history.
Nine destinations close to Rome
Here are the 9 places where it's worth making at least a stop to enjoy a dish, a glass of wine, a sweet treat, or to take home a small delightful memento of this part of the green and full of small farms part of Lazio, which gifts incredibly pleasant flavours.
La Collina degli Olivi
Silvia Pastorelli had destiny in her name, or rather in her surname (which translates to “shepherd”): in her farm, she raises sheep and cows, and at her agriturismo, she welcomes around twenty guests offering her own grown vegetables, meats, and above all, her olive oil from the olives that give their name to the farmhouse. The farm overlooks the Tiber Valley and is truly breathtaking. From the menu, just to mention a few, there are ravioli filled with stewed lamb, traditional Roman dishes (from gricia to amatriciana and carbonara), but also recipes from the region that are non-traditional, such as pork meatballs with Jerusalem artichoke cream, potatoes, and caramelised onions. Federico, Silvia's husband, selects the wines; he knows how to tell their story well and is dedicated to this after a life change that brought him back to the countryside.
Forano (RI) - fraz. Gavignano - via Selci - 327 341 6422 - Facebook
Agricola Moderna by FDR
Plin stuffed with pecorino with Roman style oxtail sauce, tortelli filled with vignarola and red shrimp, breaded and fried lamb with chicory and yogurt... Just mentioning some of Fabio Di Romualdo's dishes already lends insight into his origins and where he is headed. Years spent alongside chef Antonello Colonna between Labico and Rome, alongside colleagues like Adriano Baldassarre, Angelo D'Amico, and Marco Martini (just to name a few of the best “Colonna Boys”), shaped his culinary style, which effortlessly combines elements of the region and enjoyment, while following the technique of consociation that he practices in cultivating his garden. It is precisely from the garden that his inspiration springs, and from an idea of the territory that isn't strictly tied to specific places. It's a modern Italian cuisine, highly recognisable. All of this set amidst the Sabine countryside. Our advice: make a reservation.
Ristorante degli Angeli
An establishment in operation for many years, this one belonging to the Marciani family has carved its place in the gastronomic map of the region due to the quality of hospitality and genuine cuisine executed with care. There are typical dishes from the Sabine tradition (crafted by Laura Marciani, who is also a talent on Gambero Rosso Channel), such as “coratella di agnello” (lamb offal) or homemade egg pasta, along with dishes that cleverly showcase local products, like Sabine black pork with green apples and fermented sour cherry sauce. The house desserts are also delightful. The cellar is extensive, featuring international references, and there's a focus on extra virgin olive oils (a passion shared with wines by Mauro Marciani). From the dining room, the view stretches through large windows overlooking the Tiber Valley. You can also stay overnight or shop at the store.
Magliano Sabina (RI) - loc. Madonna degli Angeli - 0744 91377 - ristorantedegliangeli.it
Fattoria del Giglio
Luca Varasconi's farm is primarily known for the bread: naturally leavened dough meticulously prepared by Luca's mother, Mrs. Antonina, and wood-fired using the heat from local wood bundles; the flour comes from the Profili Mill in Viterbo. However, in the shop, Luca also offers cured meats made from the pigs he directly raises. Additionally, there's meat sourced from the 40 cows bred on the farm, fed with a closed-loop system of hay and grains. In short, it's a wonderful farm worth visiting.
Magliano Sabina (RI) - via Sabina, 3 - 0744919040 – fattoriadelgiglio.com
Il Giardino Segreto
To enjoy the spectacle of Wagyū cattle grazing in the countryside of Rieti alongside Chianina, as well as black pigs and barnyard animals, one must plan a visit to this beautiful agriturismo with a kitchen. In the kitchen they also make use of excellent vegetables grown on the farm, in addition to their home-raised meats. Barbara Pergolesi's estate spans 50 hectares where 50 Chianina and about thirty Wagyū cattle live, alongside 50 free-range black pigs and 50 hens for the restaurant-agriturismo's egg production. The menu features a seasonal and playful cuisine, not limited to the local territory, offering dishes like Wagyū ragù arancino with pea sauce or pumpkin-filled tortelli on a bed of Parmigiano, almonds, and crispy chestnuts.
Tarano (RI) - SR Sabina 657 km 12,600 - 329 8762471 - Facebook
The taste of simplicity and the preservation of Sabine and Roman culinary traditions drive the offering at this establishment overseen by Romeo Fabi and his wife Tatiana Tocci, overlooking the Tiber Valley. The careful selection of genuine and hearty ingredients, and seasonal availability dictate a menu with constant rotation that always includes typical specialties. For enthusiasts, there are dishes based on offal (“quinto quarto”) that Fabi skillfully prepares, from tripe to sweetbreads, as well as Roman style oxtail. In winter, it's not uncommon to find boiled hen or variously seasoned polenta, while all year round, one can start with excellent local cured meats and cheeses. The pizza selection is varied, baked in a wood-fired oven, and can be paired with craft beers—a part of a menu that includes both national and international wines.
Cantalupo in Sabina (RI) - viale G. Verdi Piantata di Sopra - 389 2539914 - trattoriacapocroce.it
This pastry shop is a tempting beacon in a land defined by countryside, olive groves, and small artisanal farms. Alessandro Dell'Omo, originally from Prato, and Carolina Galiotto, a Roman native, met at the Alma school, later reuniting in Paris, where they worked as pastry chefs. During the Covid pandemic, they found their way to Cantalupo, where Carolina owned a home. Initially eyed with suspicion for their French-style pastries, they eventually managed to win over the local dessert enthusiasts and the many Romans who visit on weekends. Croissants, leavened pastries, and a few savoury options for breakfast, followed by a series of cakes starting with Sacher, Caprese, and tarte au citron, all topped with splendid Italian meringue (also available in single portions). Additionally, they offer highly sought-after super artisanal gelato. Enjoyable outdoor seating available.
Cantalupo in Sabina (RI) - viale G. Verdi 26 - 0765 1892890 - Instagram
Michele Tartarelli settled in Casperia after falling in love with the village. He embarked on this journey after a long stint as a personal chef, following a life-changing decision that led him to abandon his managerial job and dedicate himself to the world of taste, passion for wine, and good eating. His establishment is a bar and trattoria overlooking the surrounding hills with a truly captivating view. His cuisine is tailored to his taste, without claims of being strictly traditional or ideologically tied to terroir. Nonetheless, it's a welcoming atmosphere here, with a small village feel and a lovely intimate setting. To give you an idea of the menu: warm tomino cheese with a surprise, stringozzi pasta with pumpkin and sausage, tagliata dell'Armando strip steak (from the village butcher who also makes divine semi-aged sausages), guinea fowl breast with potatoes, slow-cooked pork neck... mascarpone delights to finish. Delicious dishes and an intriguing and enjoyable wine list.
Casperia - piazza Umberto - 0765 189 3267 - Facebook
The motto chosen by Claudio Polidori for his business speaks volumes about the depth and philosophy of this Sabine farmer: “Geniuses in art and truffles in the fields disregard the rules of culture, they can be found but cannot be imitated” once said John Petit-Senn. Here, Claudio works as a farmer and focuses particularly on his truffle fields, both in the woods and in the vegetable garden. His passion led him to also raise and train truffle-hunting dogs, which are the stars of truffle experiences offered at the farm. At this agriturismo, the spotlight shines on truffles and Chianina beef sourced from the Torri breeding farm, located at a stone's throw from La Montagnola.