Rome. Massimo d’ Azeglio is a peaceful, palate-pleasing restaurant.

Just a block from the convergence of Termini train station, both Metro lines, beggars, and bus bays. The dining room can seat 200. But the generous space between tables and niches allows for more intimate dining.

A Culinary Oasis in Rome |

The waiters move like a well-drilled platoon, and any chaos that may ensue from a capacity crowd is all behind the scenes. Walnut paneling dates from the restaurant’s 1875 founding. And the art is from that more graceful era when the restaurant’s namesake, renowned Italian statesman and artist, was a household word among the elite.

One of the house specialties, an ancient one from Northern Italy, Gran Bollit –. boiled meat and vegetables served with a fruit mustard. Ristorante Massimo d’ Azeglio is the only restaurant in Rome offering this hearty dish and serves it throughout the cold season. In warmer seasons, the catch of the day is never disappointing. Swordfish with a fresh tomato sauce is particularly appealing on a summer day. It tastes as refreshing as a splash by one of Rome’s fountains and is a satisfying encore to an antipasto of smoked goose breast with fresh fruit.  The chef prepares all desserts except cakes, which are supplied by a local bakery. The dessert trolley has other tempting choices ranging from tiramisu to cheese and fresh fruit and the chef’s inspirations, which change according to the season, the day’s weather report, and intuition.

The owners are wine connoisseurs. Wine is tasted and approved by the family before being offered to patrons. During the German occupation of WWII, the family bricked up a room in the wine cellar to protect their best wines. The Germans drank the rest of their 30,000 bottles. In addition to saving 100-year-old wines, the family saved lives by audaciously hiding Jews in hotel rooms next to German officers. If you have time, ask to visit the wine cellar; but do not expect to be offered a sample. The wines are reserved for family and posterity. The collection has been appraised, and some bottles have been declared priceless.

Leaving the restaurant, turn left to walk off your elegant meal by strolling downhill to the Coliseum.

This tour gives you time to explore some of Rome’s most interesting and tasty restaurants.