The Oblate Sisters of the Most Holy Redeemer were founded in Ciempozuelos, Madrid, Spain, on June 1, 1864, by Bishop Jose Maria Benito Serra, OSB, and Antonia de Oviedo Schonthal, OSR, for the evangelization and integral healing of exploited women. These sisters also have a guest house in Rome, Villa Fatima, and provide friendly service and hospitality to individuals, families and groups throughout the year, 24 hours a day. Situated on the Via Aurelia, not far from St. Peter’s Basilica, Villa Fatima has for many years offered hospitality to pilgrims coming to Rome. Recently remodeled, it offers a well-organized, comfortable, quiet and hospitable environment.
The bedrooms are suitable for single persons or for families, with or without children. There are attractive views from the terraces. Since it is close to the Valle Aurelia station on the subway (Line A) and also to several bus routes, pilgrims can easily plan their sightseeing journeys to enjoy the beauties of Rome.
The guest house provides rooms for one, two or three persons, with en-suite facilities, and breakfast is available. Wheelchair access is available, with two specially equipped rooms for handicapped guests. The front desk is open 24 hours a day. There are two lifts, and a self-service bar is at the disposal of guests. There is a telephone in each room to receive calls or contact the switchboard. Outgoing calls need to be made on your cell phone or on the public telephone for guests’ use. A public television room is provided for the visitors. The sisters’ chapel is open to the guests for prayer. There is air conditioning, and a special baggage room which guests may use free of charge. Payment in cash is required, but Eurocheques are also accepted.
Some 18 years ago, the very first restaurant we visited and reviewed for Inside the Vatican was the restaurant I Tre Pupazzi on Borgo Pio, right near the Vatican. It was an excellent place to eat, and now, since it is even more distinguished than ever, we have decided to revisit it. This family-run restaurant lies on the corner of Borgo Pio and Via dei Tre Pupazzi, and from this latter street it probably takes its name, which means The Three Dolls or The Three Puppets.
Apart from the continuing tradition of fine Italian cuisine, since March 2010, as an all-time first in Italy, they have begun to cook Portuguese, personally supervised by Carlo’s wife Fatima, every Friday and Saturday for lunch and dinner. The Portuguese dishes include the unforgettable bacalhau (cod) cooked in a thousand ways as only the Portuguese can do, accompanied with typical Portuguese wines. Sometimes on Saturday evening they even do Portuguese fado music. The dining room is laid out in medieval style based on a building dating from 1625 and skillfully restored in 1999. In the warmer season, there are also tables set out in the Borgo Pio, which is traffic-free.
The owner, Carlo Massa, proposes homemade Italian cuisine, greatly appreciated by the Vatican clergy, offering a varied selection ranging from appetizers to main courses ranging from fish to fettuccine with truffles. The beef they use in the main courses is exclusively Danish Crown, providing steaks and fillets. In the Roman tradition, they offer roast lamb, ossobuco and saltimbocca and then excellent homemade desserts.
My occasion to revisit the Tre Pupazzi was dinner with a well-known professor and dean of the department of economic and political sciences and modern languages at the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta, Dr. Rocco Pezzimenti, who among many other publications has written The Open Society and Its Friends, available from Gracewing at www.gracewing.co.uk.
After being warmly welcomed by Carlo and Fatima, our dinner started with a couple of tomato-topped bruschette, as we sipped our house red wine. For our next course we both chose pasta. Rocco took spaghetti al caccia e pepe, while I selected an old favorite, spaghetti all’amatriciana. As this was quite a generous portion of pasta, we decided to go for vegetables, Rocco some spinach and I a couple of artichokes. To round off a pleasant dinner, we had pineapple, and then liqueurs were kindly provided by the management. Although I was the guest, I noticed that the check came to only 25 Euro ($31) a head, quite modest for such a fine repast.