Text by Caterina Vagnozzi
Photos by LGCT/ S. Grasso
For the second year running, the Longines Global Champions Tour held its Rome leg in the magical setting of the Stadio dei Marmi Pietro Mennea, set in the Foro Italico park. An all-white location at the foot of the city’s Olympic Stadium with a breathtaking panorama.
Great sport was obliged to cope with the most hostile and bizarre of weather conditions: violent rain storms with thunder and lightning forced organizers to suspend the Grand Prix, which was completed the next day (with a magnificent victory for Harrie Smolders on Don VHP Z), and to cancel both the team trials for the Global Champions League and the Carosello dei Carabinieri carousel event.
Despite the weather, the spacious stands and fun shopping village were packed with guests not only enjoying fine food and products made in Italy, but also browsing a select range of equestrian brands and related services that were very popular with riders, including a dog bar, shoe shine stand and hairdresser.
An elegant, welcoming Hospitality Lounge was open to owners, riders, guests and VIPs, who were able to watch trials while being pampered by excellent service, and savoring the dishes prepared by four young Michelin-starred chefs who alternately handled the various days of the event. Jan Tops, LGCT founder and president, was delighted with his second experience of the Italian capital, with the hard work of his sports director Marco Danese, and the organization in Rome, coordinated by Eleonora Di Giuseppe.
Pure Italian tradition was on show thanks to the Carosello delle Lance, a carousel performed by the Lancieri di Montebello, and much-appreciated solidarity was seen in the carousel from the disabled riders of the Villa Buon Respiro rehabilitation center.
Tips for eating out and places of interest within walking distance or a little beyond…
VOY Restaurant & Cocktail Bar – Italian cuisine with a trendy twist. New ideas for refined cocktails.
Via Flaminia, 496/c – email@example.com – tel. + 3906 33222179
Ristorante Cuccurucù – A charming restaurant in an old country house on the river. Roman cuisine, wood-fired oven, barbecue. Via Capoprati, 10 – firstname.lastname@example.org – tel.+3906 3751 8558
Antica Trattoria Pallotta – Traditional Roman cuisine and pizza in an eatery run by the same family since 1820. Good meeting place for the GIO venue. Piazzale di Ponte Milvio – email@example.com – tel. +3906 333 4245
Lo Sgobbone da Pippo – Traditional family-run Roman trattoria. Delicious meat and fish. Via dei Podesti 8 – tel.+3906 3232994
Tiepolo – Bistrot Bottiglieria – Offbeat, retro place with intriguing to-die-for salads and baked potatoes. Via Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 3 – tel.+3906 322 7449
Met Concept Restaurant – Aperitif club and lounge bar. Authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Sushi. Sunday brunch. Piazzale di Ponte Milvio 34 – www.met-roma.it – tel. +3906 33221237
Ristorante Il Caminetto – Guaranteed fine food. A Rome favorite with foreign riders since 1959. Via Dei Parioli, 89 – firstname.lastname@example.org – tel. +39 06 8083946
Duke’s – International Restaurant & Bar – Definitely worth trying for its creative gourmet menu, with refined food and wine. Viale Parioli, 200 – email@example.com – tel +3906.80.66.24.55
Neve di Latte – Artisanal gelato served in a modern, minimal setting, with a long table occupying the center of the venue. Via Luigi Poletti, 6 – tel. +3906 320 8485
I Caruso Gelateria – Divine gelato and dessert, with flavors changing on a weekly basis, depending on the fresh ingredients available. Piazza Melozzo da Forlì, 10 – tel. +3906 3234861
Mondi Pasticceria- Gelateria – Petit fours, cakes and gelato. Highly recommended for its vast and absolutely exquisite range. Via Flaminia, 468. tel. +3906 333 6466
Il Gianfornaio Panificio – Definitely not to missed: Roman pizza alla pala with various toppings, schiacciata, focaccia, and lots of different breads. Piazzale di Ponte Milvio – tel. +3906 333 3472
The MAXXI – National museum of 21st-century arts, designed by architect Zaha Hadid. The venue is a conversion of old military workshops and the structure itself is a work of art. Via Guido Reni, 4 www.fondazionemaxxi.it – tel. +3906 320 1954
Auditorium Parco della Musica – A multifunctional venue designed by architect Renzo Piano to host musical and cultural events of all kinds. Via Pietro de Coubertin, 30 – www.auditorium.com
Ponte della Musica – Armando Trovajoli – The most recent of Rome’s bridges (2011), connecting the Della Vittoria and Flaminio quarters on either bank of the Tiber, and the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Villa Glori park, MAXXI, and the Teatro Olimpico with the Foro Italico sports complex and the green areas of Monte Mario, the Museo del Genio and the RAI auditorium.