In lockdown Rome, businesses rediscover home delivery
These past few weeks, stricter lockdown measures in Italy and Rome mean that only essential businesses can stay open. These include supermarkets and grocery stores, obviously, but also hardware stores, newsstands, pharmacies (a more detailed explanation is here).
We don’t lack any essentials, as such, but for sure we’re missing some of the experiences that were ordinary before the Coronavirus pandemics. Buying books or records, having a meal at a restaurant, getting gelato or a cake…
And while we cannot do any of those things while socializing at the same time, inventive business owners all over Italy are helping us with tailored home deliveries.
Rome under lockdown: no country for Uber Eats (and their competitors)
Don’t mistake this phenomenon for the usual door-to-door deliveries available by such services as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and so on and so forth.
While there have been some disruptions there (mostly for the lack of PPEs and security measures for riders), what we’re talking about in this post is something unprecedented: to avoid going under because of the executive orders on social distancing, a number of businesses are embracing deliveries as a way to survive the forced quarantine.
High-end restaurants: pick your delicacy!
Among the first to change their “business model”, so to speak, have been restaurants. What they have in common is they provide their own delivery guy (or girl!), often someone working the kitchen there!
Highly regarded eateries such as Michelin-starred Pascucci al Porticciolo, a seafood-focused restaurant in Fiumicino, delivers a “kit” with a selection of its most famous dishes (make sure you book your lunch or dinner ahead of time): you just need to combine all sauces and ingredients together.
Famed Danish-Italian restaurant/microbakery Marigold, in the Ostiense district, is more by-the-books that way – they send customers the most sought-after items in their menu ready to be eaten. This obviously includes their famed cinnamon swirls, their homemade gyoza or ramen and their soups!
Santo Palato, another popular restaurant in the San Giovanni area, is another serious contender to the title of quarantine lifesaver: their delivery menu includes trippa, cacio e pepe, meatballs and many other traditional Roman dishes.
The number of restaurants turning to delivery culture to keep working is increasing daily. If you’re stuck in Rome at present, our suggestion is to look your favourite places up on Facebook or Google and see whether they are already… “closed for business”!
Sweet treats and other cravings
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For those who crave a cappuccino or cornetto at a café, portals like Cosaporto.it are truly must-bookmark as they gather together several bistros and bars in the Eternal City. Among them, locals’ favorites like Le Levain, in Trastevere, Antonini or Roscioli.
Some popular torrefazioni are also available to help you stay sane with your fix of… coffee beans: best kept secret Fratelli Bertini, in the Montesacro district, or legendary Caffé Sant’Eustachio, in the city center, are just some examples.
And what about desserts? Cakes, pies, and gelato are a regular craving, but even more so now that bakeries are closed and Easter is around the corner.
Many have arranged to bring their seasonal colombe to you – just be mindful of the time it takes them to prepare them!
Molinari, Otaleg and Gori are just some of the ice cream shops delivering to your place in Rome, as do pastry chef Andrea De Bellis, donut shop Bucolica or Forno Brisa (the latter are featured on Cosaporto.it). And let’s not forget Dolceroma, the Jewish Ghetto’s Italian-American-Austrian bakery – their cheesecakes are heavenly!
Books and more: for people seeking the thrill of day-to-day life
Bookshops Altroquando, Coreander, Libreria Trastevere or Pagina 348 have joined together to keep working during the Coronavirus crisis.
Many more of Rome’s bookstores have joined in their scheme, hashtagged #libridasporto (“books to go”, literally) on such social networks as Facebook and Instagram: you ask, they bring the tome to you. Easy as… reading a book, really.
While obviously buying ebooks is very possible, many people crave touching the page, as well as the connection with their booksellers (and their recommendations). That’s why most times you will observe that profile pages for these establishments abound with requests for advice!
What about toiletries or hair dye? Beauty parlors and barbershops are closed too, so many professionals in this field have started setting up couriers delivering their treatments at your place.
Haircuts will have to wait, but in the meantime you can turn your attention to other types of pampering. If you have a favorite hairdresser or beautician in Rome, look them up on Google: they might be working remotely at this time.
And don’t even get us started on flowers and garden centers: Italy has been at the forefront of online shopping if you’ve got a green thumb, and this time is no different.
As you can see there’s a variety of shops that are still open online during the lockdown: surely being this spoilt for choice will help us pass the time faster…