for all those who love italy 
for those inspired by the arts or for anyone that just happens to be interested 
'racconti roma' ( tales of rome ) offers a moment to indulge 'the theatre of beauty' 
to reflect upon the wonders of the human creation
to pause from the great causes of the day,
to appreciate that life is a wonderful gift, to be savoured to the full. 

rome - with its huge history, its magnificent architecture and its long tradition of artistic excellence, rome is one of the world's great showpieces….. where people from all over the world gravitate for 
just a few days in their lives, to play their part on the grandest of stages, the human drama writ large, 
the eternal city……. 

against this stunning backdrop, 'racconti roma' brings the palaces, churches and piazzas to life 
with a series of talks on the movers and shakers in rome's great history……. on the men, the women, 
the artists, emperors, donnas and popes that served to create the wonderful spectacle that we are priviliged to witness today 

and so that we may partake of rome to the full in the present moment, should you so desire, we have 
an almost sinful menu of cafes and restaurants to savour with each talk… a product of extensive, almost exhaustive research on the ground, a pizza free, snob free, trip advisor free process….. hundreds of cafes and restaurants recommended by all the main food writers and travel publications vetted, visited, savoured, …… for a variety of reasons : authenticity, ambience, tranquillity, buzz…. an eclectic mix of classical, concept, earthy, showy venues array themselves ….. even teasing out one or two unheralded gems along the way ……eating more casually once or twice ….. perhaps at one of the markets…. maybe a caffe crawl, a dolci dulge….. 

it is italy, it is food in italy, and a high standard of italian cuisine generally applies but this is not a michelin star-gazing foodie venture. rather it is about the great joy of dining on good food in great places, the tone, grateful, celebratory….. each day wonderful, different 

some rather modest fees are involved to cover some of the admin, otherwise espirita is putting it together for no other reason than it's a wonderful thing to do

Thursday April 26 to Sunday April 29, 2018 
Talks (T), Lunch (L) & Dinner (D) Schedule : 

 - Rome - The Big Story
 - Berberini - Grand Buffet 
 - Michelangelo - The Agony & The Ecstasy 
 - Centro Storico - Cool Modern

 - Italian Food Culture
 - Monti - Food Market 
 - Pope Sixtus V - Murder, Intrigue & Obelisks 
 - Centro Storico - Nouvelle Cuisine 

 - Donna Olimpia - The Pope Meets His Match 
 - San Giovanni - Neighbourhood Ristorante
 - 'Women in Italian Culture & Art' -
 - Centro Storico - Concealed Gem 

 - Caravaggio - Rome's Bad Boy 
 - Testaccio - Italian Sunday Lunch
 - Art, Architecture, Brutalism - Nero / Colosseum
 - Centro Storico - Grand Dining 

Thurs Oct 04, 2018 - Sun Oct 07, 2018
a broadly similar schedule should apply

Event Hosts :

Elyssa Bernard - We are very fortunate to have with us Elyssa from
the RomeWise website, who will be doing many of the scheduled talks :
Elyssa is extremely knowledgeable about Rome and its history, has a
very informal, chatty, easy on the ear speaking style, and is a lovely
person to be with.

Wendy Holloway from Flavor ot Italy will be giving the 'foodie' talk on
the Friday :

Either Elyssa or Alessandro will be hosting the lunches and dinners.


pranzo e cena
- a typical day would be :

11.30-11.45 café / drinks
12.00-12.45 guest speaker
13.00-14.00 lunch 

19.30-19.45 café / drinks
20.00-20.45 guest speaker 
21.00-22.30 dinner / dolci / nightlife

to fully enjoy the day’s cuisine, 
a light breakfast is advised
fairly punctual 
devices turned off
attendance at all meals is voluntary


meal prices - guests pay individually and a typical restaurant bill should be between E15-25 (main course)- E30-40 (2 courses), with a target of E50-E60 per head per day (excl. drinks ) we have paid close attention to meal costs and good value lunch and dinner options have been built into the schedule at various points. nearer the time we will brief our clients on some simple cost saving measures… 
payment - far the easiest and quickest way to settle a group bill individually is to do so in cash.

restaurant schedule - an excellent food journey is assured but this is not a gourmet foodie venture, and it does not promote itself on the basis of its restaurant schedule. we also wish to avoid people pitching up at our venues unannounced should the schedule be publicly available. our restaurant reservations are for named parties only who will receive a detailed schedule upon reservation and are requested to refrain from arriving at restaurants with unreserved third parties. 

dining - much as we all love to eat outside, unfortunately ‘vietato fumare’ inside restaurants means that the outdoor tables can get colonised by smokers. and, much as we all love music, with many trastevere and centro storico restaurants, there is a steady stream of hawkers, hustlers and buskers intruding. it varies by location but on both these counts, or should it be too hot or too wet, we might repair to the sanctuary of indoor tables. meal attendance is subject to an upper limit of 10-12 persons

regime pause - the discussion of all dieting regimes should be postponed until after the return from rome…… complex diets - italian cuisine caters pretty well for vegetarians, but stricter regimes will find some of the restaurant menus rather difficult…... being dedicated to the art of pleasure
we very much hope that our clients will fully avail themselves of the fruit of the vine, whilst otherwise imbibing respectfully

racconti roma - art & cuisine - application

£10 to join + £10 per talk attended - meals optional 

1. choose your time & day :
- choose from the list of talks above 
- meal reservations to be confirmed by 6.00 pm the previous day

2. email / application / reply :
- application by email only - please email :
- the application should state the time(s) and day(s) requested
- if attending the meal(s) after the talk(s)
- the name(s)of the guest(s)

3. we reply by email :
- confirming availability for the dates requested

4. payment / confirmation :
- payment then takes place via the paypal link on the espirita website
- we confirm the reservation for the named parties by email,
- with full details of the schedule for the day(s) selected

cancellations - refunds will not be possible once the 'racconti' week begins, april 23, 2018

april ? - late april should normally offer pleasantly warm early summer conditions, occasionally hot during the day, occasionally cool in the evenings october ? - early october in rome should avoid the sometimes sweltering heat of september. temperatures in the mid 20’s, maybe cool in the evenings. late april and early october - are particularly popular times so one can expect a high turnout from the world’s population and accommodation should be reserved as soon as practicable. the endless sunshine of spain or greece cannot be assumed and occasional rain is always possible in italy.

flights / transport - all clients make their own flight and accommodation reservations, as appropriate to their tastes and budgets. there are two airports serving rome - fiumicino and ciampino - from where it is a E45 / E35 fixed fare taxi ride to the city centre. there is a very good online travel planner in rome,, which integrates the bus, tram and subway system. the nearest subway station to centro storico is ‘spagna’ in the via del corso area, c.10 mins walk to the pantheon

accommodation - with the evening talks and meals being in the centro storico, depending on budget,
staying in the centro storico would be convenient and more or less walkable to each evening venue - it's not far to walk from trastevere and testaccio is a E10-E12 taxi ride away if the accommodation is too pricey, all options, including commuting from nearby parts of the city should be investigated.

length of stay - the arterati concept takes the view that 3-4 days / 4-5 nights is the optimum length for a city break….. rome is certainly interesting and enjoyable enough to merit such a visit

The Economist - 20 May 2017 :

'Just a turn of the head from the roof of Rome's city hall is sufficient to take
in Trajan's Column, the Forums, the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill and the
Circus Maximus - all against a backdrop of the blue-grey Apennine mountains.
This may be the world's greatest, and most beautiful, open-air museum.' 


For general viewing, for viewing whilst in Italy……… 

Passeggiata - a day in the Theatre of Beauty - 70 mins

Streaming - Free

Saint-Emilion - the Bordeaux Appelation 2013-2015 - 111 mins

Streaming - Free

For more information, contact espirita by email

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