The countryside comes to the city for the first time in Rome at Ruma – Bottega e Cucina Agricola, with its farm to table menu at the base of which lie origins, traditions, family and the pleasure of doing things well.
In Maremma, Etruscan territory, Rome was once called Ruma, which in turn, in Etruscan, indicated the animal’s udder (with reference to the she-wolf), the source of nourishment and life. Thus was born the Ruma project, which reaches from Maremma to Via di Parione 13, just a few steps from Piazza Navona.
Ruma Bottega e Cucina Agricola: A Generational Bond
The protagonists of this beautiful story are Matidia and Guido Pallini, brother and sister with a historic family business behind them, a business that has been tied to the land for centuries. Marcello Pallini was an agricultural entrepreneur and, together with his wife Diana Theodoli, he devoted himself for years to raising buffaloes in the Maremma area of Tuscany, but limited himself to milk production.
It was 2013 when Guido left finance in London and returned to the Maremma to transform and relaunch the farm, focusing on a circular economy model and expanding it to include cheese production.
Matidia, an architect by profession, after the many satisfactions of working abroad, also felt the desire to give her contribution to the family business; so she began working by renovating some properties and working on the image of the business, with the aim of expressing agriculture at its best with her knowledge of architecture. The common desire was to bring the Maremma to the center of everything, in the heart of Italy, Rome. A project that, on closer inspection, mirrors their life: a dream rooted in the land but that knows no constraints.
A Heart for Farm to Table
What has never changed over time has been the focus of the farm, animal welfare. An integrated and sustainable supply chain project, where there is ample space and a state-of-the-art barn, and where waste and residues become clean energy after passing through a biogas plant. A series of agricultural practices make this a test and example of how our choices can have a positive impact on the land.
Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of the work Guido Pallini has carried out, taking over a traditional farm to turn it into a benchmark as an ecological footprint – the true RTR of Farm to table eating. A strong and clear idea: to bring the countryside to the city, but above all to propose a lifestyle that goes hand in hand with the idea of craftsmanship, time and care for things done well.
From the Countryside to the Streets of Rome
“Ours is the first real farm to open its store in the center of Rome. Here, I would like this to be an opportunity not only to enhance our products but also to aim for something broader: to involve other small local realities, to create programs of events, tastings and more. It would be nice to bring creative collaborations, educational activities for children into this project and thus merge moments of conviviality with more cultural or artistic ones. A space where we can encourage contaminations between different art forms,” says Matidia Pallini.
Two storefronts face the street, giving a glimpse of the care Matidia has taken in choosing materials and their meaning. Wooden, earth-colored, and handmade tables for a total of about 16 seats; steel for the cheese counter, almost recalling the “production” aspect of the dairies. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxing, managing to tie together two contrasting spaces.
The products range from classic buffalo cheeses (mozzarella, ricotta, burrata) to aged cheeses (Capalbio flower, spicy robiola, Franciscan, etc.) the result of an all-French inspiration. In fact, most of the products bear their trademark, such as buffalo ice cream, the brand’s great novelty.
Meat is featured with buffalo raised in a semi-wild state and a small offering of Maremmane, raised totally in the wild. The choice of the gastronomic proposal is designed for tasting and sharing.
A menu that moves throughout the day, celebrating farm to table, starting with breakfast (ricotta cheese with honey or jam accompanied by hot bread directly from the Antico Forno Roscioli, but also buffalo yogurt with fresh or dried fruit or even crostini with cheese, vegetables and Tuscan ham for a savory breakfast).
From Dawn to Dusk
For lunch and dinner, space is given to platters of cured meats and cheeses, herb meatloaf with myrtle sauce, gnudi with red chard and beet sauce, buffalo roast beef, vegetables and greens (directly from Maremma Vegetale’s vegetable garden) while the herbs are from the company Zafferano Monticiano.
Desserts then range from daily specials, such as caramelized peach crumble or ricotta cream with peach and mint jam, to “natural” ice cream, made on site from buffalo milk and without the use of industrial semi-finished products.
The wines, also natural, come from collaborations with realities from Lazio and Maremma, as well as for preserves or oil; all products available for retail and tasting, both on site and takeaway.
Dishes and recipes designed by Angelica Federici, a graduate of the Gambero Rosso cooking school and recipe developer in one of the largest biodynamic realities in Italy (Azienda Agricola Boccea). Lucas Maidana, on the other hand, is the operational soul of Ruma, the driving force behind the kitchen.