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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Gomez

"Local Guide Chris" takes on Balduina

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Ciao! This is Chris Gomez and I am the new editor for the “Around Town” section of the Dalla Bocca Della Lupa newspaper! In this section I will be detailing local spots within Rome that I think are certainly worth a visit. I will not be featuring anything large like the Pantheon or the Colosseum, but instead the small local joints and hidden gems of this city. If you have anywhere that is hidden away, off the beaten path, or just straight up interesting let me know and I may feature it in the next addition!

For this first edition I’ll be starting local… like really local. Walking distance local. Like throw a cannoli and hit the place local. All these little spots are, in my opinion, gems of Balduina, and before you leave you’ve got to pay them a visit. They’re the most authentic places run by the kindest people on Monte Mario. Once you’re a regular to these places, you’re practically a local.

First we have a location run by possibly the sweetest woman you will meet in Balduina - a lady so nice she deserves a church in her honor. I’m talking about the local Tintoria. For the Americans out there, that means dry cleaner. This place is a hole in the wall located less than ten minutes from campus right off the roundabout south of the JFRC (see the bottom of this article for the exact address). As previously mentioned, the lady who runs this place is sweeter than pie. She loves to talk - in spite of the language barrier - and will always say “Ciao!” to you when you pass her shop. She’ll remember you when you come in and is happy to help you practice your Italian. Now I know what you’re thinking; "Chris, what do I look like, Bill Gates? Dry Cleaners charge a fortune, I’d rather risk the campus washing machines!”

Well, my response to that is usually you’d be right. But her prices are incredibly cheap compared to the US. For example, a jacket that would typically cost 40 dollars to be cleaned back home only costs 10 euros here. Plus, if you tell her Chris from Loyola sent you, she’ll give you a discount. So if that old blazer in your closet needs a wash, or perhaps you want your coat fresh for the colder months, consider our local Tintoria.

Next we have a local cafe that, in my opinion, serves the best experience. I am talking about Zucchero & Co located ten minutes from campus right next to Ristorante Linda in a little dugout. Of course, this cafe has great food and coffee, but what really sets this one apart is the staff. I have been coming to this place since I arrived here and every time (including the first) I was greeted by a delightful staff that is always willing to have a conversation with you. The main barista loves America and if you ever want to tell him stories or listen to some of his, just pop by and he’ll be happy to enlighten you. The other barista also loves the US and visited back in the 80’s for a Pink Floyd concert that he would absolutely love to tell you about. There's always American rock playing and always someone new to meet. And did I mention it's super cheap? So next time you want to meet some new people or swap stories with the locals, keep Zucchero & Co in mind.

And last but certainly not least, we have our final local gem. But first, some questions; have you gotten your haircut since you arrived in Rome? More importantly, do you need a haircut? Are you worried that the language barrier may cause a disaster? Then you are in the same boat as a lot of people on campus. But breathe a sigh of relief and look no further than Christiano’s Barbershop. This shop is located just ten minutes down Via Della Balduina right near the local gas station. Christiano is an incredibly talented barber who puts American barber chains to shame. He can cut any kind of hair, in any style - long, short, curly, thick... if it's growing out of your head, he’ll make it look good. All you need to do is show him a picture of what you’d like or describe it to him in any level of Italian and he’ll make it happen. His attention to detail is incredible, as he will even use a razor to ensure your hair is looking perfect. If you’re not in a rush, I’d recommend the scissor cut, wash, and shave which will set you back twenty or so euros, which may sound like a lot, but I promise you there is no cut around here that’s better for less.



Via della Balduina, 261, 00136 Roma RM

Zucchero & Co

Via della Balduina, 158/160, 00136 Roma RM

Christianos Barber

Via Athos Ammannato, 5, 00136 Roma RM

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