I plan on having a cheap dinner in Rome at a place called Albrecht, a restaurant specializing in Austro-Hungarian cuisine located near the train station. Last time I made this trip, I found this restaurant owing to a recommendation from Georgina Masson's The Companion Guide to Rome.
Thing is, the guidebook didn't actally recommend Albrecht. It recommended another restaurant at the exact same address:
It will now be one o'clock; for good Tuscan food we should try Nino's at 52 Via Rasella, a street leading out of the Via Quattro Fontane opposite the Palazza Barberini gates.See, the version of the book I'm reading was published in 1965. It's a great little paperback with pages that smell like your grandmother's attic. When you're reading a book about Rome, the important stuff hasn't changed in a thousand years, let alone 40.
So I figured I'd see if this Nino's was still there and still serving good Tuscan food, and I found Albrecht's instead. It was excellent.
Yet for some reason I'm curious whatever happened to this Nino's. Is it the same Nino's with the famous Tuscan bean soup located near the Spanish Steps, frequented by Rome's smart set and recommended by numerous Fodor's readers? If so, when did it move from 52 Via Rasella? A birreria founded by the Albrecht clan claims to have been at that address for 130 years.
It sort of pains me that this sort of history never gets written down and ultimately fades away. In order to learn about the history of Opatovicka 3 (now Tulip Cafe) in Prague, for instance, you have to talk to the neighbors, who remember is as a U Stromecku (U Strome?k?), that is, "At The Little Tree." I believe a pub of that name existed at that location during the time of the First Republic, and while I'm not sure if it was there during the war and under communism, it made a brief return after the 1989 revolution. The tree is still there but it's no longer little. The elderly neighbor remembers going there with his father when he was seven.
Other random Prague stuff I'd like to know: Why is the spot in Prague known at the intersection of Zitna (Žitná) and Belehradska/Skretova (B?lehradská/Škretová) known as Deminka? And where exactly were the two gates referered to by the street named "Mezibranská" ("between the gates")?
Anyway, I'll be posting occasionally for the next few weeks, but I'll have to run down to the Internet cafe on the piazza in order to access the web.
Also, I was lucky to have found this interesting web site -- a research project dedicated to studying the family history of Calabrians, in particular those born in the villages of Gioiosa Jonica and Martone -- via a commenter on my previous post about Calabria. Of course I'm not the least bit Italian, but my brother-in-law was in fact born in Gioiosa Jonica.