Rome: 5 best November values

Courtesy Museo del Corso
A tutu designed by Gianni Versace for a performance at London's Royal Opera House

Jazz concerts from $7

The 34th-annual Roma Jazz Festival pays homage to a new generation of musicians such as pianist Chiara Civello, American jazz-fusion multi-instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding, and the Unknown Rebel Band. Tickets for Civello and Spalding's shows are €15 ($21.30) and €18 ($25.50) respectively, while acts like the Unknown Rebel Band are €5 ($7). The festival, which runs through November 30, also features a few big-name musicians like Macy Gray. Most concerts take place at the Auditorium Parco della Musica; the 910 bus from Stazione Termini takes you there. Tickets are available online (with English instructions).

A new brunch restaurant

Brunch is a growing trend in Rome. There are some poor American replicas and other flimsy Italian attempts, but one of the most valid places that I have found so far is Angelina a Trevi (via Poli, 27), which opened two months ago in a tiny square off the bustling touristy path to the Trevi Fountain. The decor mixes rustic and industrial accents, while menu options include baked pasta, Sicilian caponata, fresh ricotta, and pastries baked daily. The buffet is not all you can eat—more like all you can fit on your plate. The price is based on weight, so for €14.50 ($20.35) you can eat 500 grams worth, which should be filling for most. If you have a monster appetite, it's €2 ($2.81) for every extra 100 grams.

Designer-made costumes on display

A new exhibit, Fashion of the Theater, opens today at Rome's Museo del Corso and showcases tutus, gowns, and other extravagant attire worn by performers like Luciano Pavarotti and Spanish dancer Joaquin Cortes. It's a rare look at the work done by major Italian designers—among them, Gianni Versace, Valentino, Giorgio Armani and Antonio Marras—for the stage rather than the runway. Tickets are €10 ($14.20) and available through December 5.

Back to the Futurism

Head to the Campo de' Fiori area for a free exhibition devoted to painter Giacomo Balla, a pillar of Futurism, an early 20th-century movement that embraced speed, technology, and youth. A native of Turin, Balla moved to Rome in 1895 and made his reputation with paintings like "Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash" and "Abstract Speed + Sound". The show is on view until December 31 at the Nuova Galleria Campo dei Fiori (via di Monserrato, 30).

Country specialties in the city

Drink and eat Lazio's freshest for only €7.50 ($10.50) at lunchtime at Fraschetteria Brunetti (Via Angelo Brunetti, 25b), just a few steps away from Piazza del Popolo. The menu is teeming with specialties from the Castelli Romani, the hilly region just outside of Rome where the Pope has his summer home. Go for the classic porchetta di ariccia (roasted seasoned pork). The fixed lunch menu includes one first course (which includes a wide variety of lasagna and cannelloni dishes), one drink, and one coffee.


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