A film, an icon, the profile of an Italy exploding between cultural rigidity and frantic change. Sixty years ago, La dolce vita by Federico Fellini appeared in cinemas, and in popular culture. Just on the night between 2 and 3 February 1960 at the “Cinema Fiamma di Roma”, today closed, there was the premiere.


The Film

We are in the glamorous Rome of the ’60s, where Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a scandal journalist, spends his life through a purely Hegelian drama, that is: between having to be a scandal journalist and wanting to be a novelist.

Through the character of Marcello, Fellini unveils to us lights and shadows of the Capitoline society of the time, such as: the arrival of a Statue of Christ headed to the Vatican aboard a helicopter; Marcello’s continuous betrayals that lead his girlfriend Emma (Yvonne Furneaux) to the attempted suicide and the will of a man who, after the escaped tragedy, decides to throw himself headlong into his job accepting to follow the famous Hollywood star Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). Through her, Fellini takes the protagonist and the spectator into the complex meanders of a society that changes, rebeling quietly and finding itself devoted to beauty as if it were sunken, festive and luxuriant in the Trevi Fountain. And, in an instant, it is as if that “Marcello come here” was an invitation addressed to all that ” dolce” Italy.


“A Small World” in Via Veneto

Like a current that crosses a river from Porta Pinciana to Piazza Barberini, Via Veneto is the place where Italy changes, Neorealism flakes and is tinged with a golden filigree, a new light.

Located in the beating heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from Via Veneto, the visceral soul of the freshness of the style known as “dolce vita”, the Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant is a witness to an inexorable change of the guard, becoming a cradle of change and home to the likes of Federico Fellini.


Federico Fellini and the evenings in via Veneto

Federico Fellini walked along Via Veneto like an ante litteram flux of Roman sociology. Born in Rimini and moved to Rome to study, he made the city his second home, so much so as to make it the inspiring muse of his greatest films from Roma to La dolce vita. The capital took on new facets for Fellini: a protagonist with a thousand faces, told in a prosaic way as one does of a woman one admires and loves so much.

In an interview Fellini said: “In the evening we went to Via Veneto”. And it was precisely this little glimpse of Rome that became a corner of home for the director, a place to live, made up of nineteenth-century facades, crowded hotels and beauties immortalized by a flash. Here, the “painter” Fellini admires his masterpiece that moves and turns from “dolce vita” into “daily life”. Via Veneto could not, therefore, fail to thank that great master. Crossing the Aurelian arches we arrive in largo Federico Fellini, dedicated to the man who made Via Veneto “the theatre of the Dolce Vita”.


Federico Fellini and food

A table laid and a family reunited. Speaking of Fellini, one cannot help but think of one of Amarcord’s scenes, but it is also the scene that comes closest to his life experience in terms of food. Son of a parmesan representative, he tells of how he grew up “with that smell under his nose”, as he said as an adult. However, his favourite dish remained, without a shadow of a doubt, the English soup prepared by his grandmother and enriched with a very special meringue. At the time, in fact, since there were no piping bags, his grandmother used to put the mixture of egg white and sugar inside a cone made of newspaper. And it was precisely this detail that made that meringue so special, which took on an aftertaste of newsprint impossible to reproduce, because the newspaper in question was now out of print. He loved first courses, as not to mention one of his famous phrases: “life is a combination of pasta and magic”. In an interview he revealed that he loved to eat alone during filming. Voracious but too anxious to sit still, he said that having lunch with the film crew would distract him.

We, however, like to imagine him like this: sitting at one of the tables of the restaurant Il Piccolo Mondo, in front of a steaming pasta dish, watching life flowing outside and a new idea running through him.


The amberjack is characterized by its delicate taste, which sets it apart from the other fish that belong to the same category, namely the bluefish. The compact and tasty meat, rosy in colour and with a flavour similar to that of tuna, makes it excellent to eat both raw and cooked. The important thing is not to cook it too much, to avoid it becoming tough. Although it is a very good fish with excellent nutritional properties, it is not very common.

The amberjack is a migrating fish that prefers deep waters, but in the spring and summer seasons, it gets closer to the coast. It is mainly fished commercially and is present in the Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.


Nutritional characteristics

What makes this fish so valuable? Besides having a pleasant taste and a low calorie count, as already mentioned, the amberjack has the advantage of having remarkable nutritional properties. And these are what make the difference!

The meat is rich in Omega-3, whose importance for cardiovascular health is well known, and in proteins with a high biological value. There is also a high intake of valuable minerals such as phosphorus, which is useful for the absorption of calcium and memory, and A and B vitamins. All these features make it an ideal food for young and old.

The amberjack on the dinner table

To make the most of the nutritional properties of this lean fish with its pleasant taste, it would be best to eat it raw in the form of carpaccio or tartare. At Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant you can enjoy a delicious Carpaccio of amberjack marinated in raspberry vinegar, so you can satisfy your appetite with the confidence that what you are eating is not only good but also healthy! However, the amberjack is also very good cooked, as long as the cooking method is not too aggressive. If cooked in a sensible way, savouring the amberjack will give you the sensation that it will melt in your mouth.

In the cooked version, this fish can be used to prepare delicate first courses, combined with vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and zucchini. There are different ways to prepare tasty main courses. Baked, placing the fish on a bed of cut potatoes under oil and seasoned with Pachino tomatoes, extravirgin olive oil, garlic, salt, parsley, chilli pepper and capers. In a pan with “acqua pazza”: fry the garlic with extravirgin olive oil, add the cherry tomatoes cut into pieces and deglaze with white wine after they have softened, all on a high heat. After a few minutes lower the heat, add salt and amberjack and, after covering it with a lid, continue cooking for 10/15 minutes. The fresh and chopped parsley will be put only when the cooking is finished. It is also excellent in a salt crust or grilled. There are many recipes for preparing amberjack and these are just a few examples. There is something for everyone!

Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant gives you the chance to taste this delicious fish both raw and cooked. The choice is yours! For reservations please contact us at 06 42016034.

Not only does the octupus often feature on the fish menus of Italian restaurants, but it is also found elsewhere. This is due to its easy availability, its tastiness as well as its versatility in the kitchen.

To enhance its taste, all you need to do is take some precautions during the cooking process and pair the octopus with ingredients that do not overpower its unique flavor. Because of its nutritional properties, also suitable for low-calorie diets, experts suggest including a portion of octopus in our weekly diet. Throughout this article we will analyse its health benefits, also thanks to the collaboration of Dr. Domitilla Grasso, a biologist and nutritionist.


The beneficial properties of octopus

Besides being a highly intelligent animal, the octopus is tasty and healthy. It contains mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus), which are useful for both the bones and the mind; moreover, it provides a good dose of vitamins, including vitamin C, which is excellent to boost our immune system, especially when the weather changes due to the alternating seasons.

Thanks to its low-fat content and protein intake, it is also recommended in low-calorie diets. As it contains, compared to other large fish, lower concentrations of methylmercury, a substance which is toxic to our body, you can also consume a large portion of it.


Some tips to best enjoy it

If we buy fresh octopus, it is always advisable to freeze it before cooking since, thanks to the variation in temperature, its fibres can break more easily. It can be cooked both in a pressure cooker or in a saucepan, in which a vegetable broth has been previously prepared with aromatic herbs, such as wild fennel; its taste will be even richer.

To check the state of the cooking process, just insert a toothpick into the part between the head and the tentacles: if it comes out easily, then the octopus is ready. Once cooked, it can be eaten simply with the addition of a drizzle of oil and lemon, or used as an ingredient for other recipes.
Thanks to its intense yet delicate flavor, it can be combined with different ingredients as well as accompanying sauces, and can also make an excellent filling for tasty sandwiches.

At Il Piccolo Mondo Restaurant, where the quality of the raw materials is always guaranteed, you can enjoy a delicious octopus salad with potatoes, green beans and pesto, or try the octopus in other delicious variations occasionally proposed by the chef, such as octopus with couscous of pulses and seasonal vegetables.



The fish products, as well as being delicious, are valuable allies for our body. Rich in proteins, vitamins and mineral salts, they are essential in the diet  (eating fish 3 times a week is recommended). Quality and freshness, of course, are essential characteristics.


Fish products: nutritional properties

Fishery products are rich in proteins of high biological value (about 15-20%), which are more digestible than the proteins present in mammalian meat. They contain mineral salts such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and iodine. They are also a source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, B vitamins and vitamin D, essential for bone health. Blue fish and salmon, in particular, are rich in omega 3, polyunsaturated fats that keep cholesterol levels low and prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease.

The percentage of fat varies from species to species, depending on age and biological cycle. Skimmed fish products include mussels, shrimps, squids, anchovies, lobsters, cod, sole, sea bass, clams, octopus and cuttlefish.


Classification of fishery products

Fish products are divided into:

  • fish, vertebrates, which according to the skeleton are divided into bony fish (e.g. sea bream, ombrina, bass) and cartilaginous (e.g. race);
  • crustaceans, with an external skeleton called carapace (e.g. shrimps, lobsters and prawns);
  • molluscs, invertebrates, whose shell may be single and external (e.g. sea snail), external bivalve (e.g. mussels and clams) or internal, as in the case of cuttlefish, octopus and squids.


How to recognize fresh fish

To check if the product is fresh, it is necessary to evaluate some characteristics:

the fish’s eye must be vivid and protruding, not hollow and opaque;
the product must have a delicate, marine odour, not acrid and pungent;
the skin must be bright and iridescent;
the meat must be elastic and firm.

At Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant you will find fresh fish products every day, coming from auctions and daily deliveries. The summer menu offers delicious appetizers from the kitchen, raw seafood, seasonal first courses, tasty main courses, fish of the day in different preparations, in addition to the valuable crustaceans of our aquarium. Come and visit us in via Aurora 39, a few steps from via Veneto. You will find the sea in the heart of Rome!

For reservations, please contact us at + 39 06 42016034.