He could be as surly as he was brilliant.
Felice Trivelloni was a controversial man. He could be thorny, but never predictable. As a young man, he took the helm of his father Guido’s Osteria – one of those old-style places where you’d come for a drink, but you’d have to take your own food with you! After some time, Felice decided to open up a kitchen serving the dishes he loved most, the traditional Roman recipes of his youth.
That was the start of the Trattoria that bears his name, reflects his fame, and reveals his origins: Felice a Testaccio. The year was 1936. Felice would divide his time between the hot stoves and his boisterous patrons: there are plenty of tales revolving around his grouchy, disrespectful way of turning away customers. But the locals, the road workers, the inhabitants of Testaccio – one of the poorer yet most genuine districts of Rome – were always assured a place at his table. His recipes, rooted in the land and in tradition, have been handed down through the decades due to the unswerving dedication of the Trivelloni family.
When Felice passed away, his son Franco took over, who, with his family, decided to remodernise the venue. However, while the look of the restaurant may have changed, the quality of the dishes remained the same. Somewhat difficult to pin down – A popular restaurant? A gourmet trattoria? – Felice a Testaccio is a mixture of things: a welcoming family, a comfortable space in which to relax, a professional staff in whom to trust. Fresh, prime ingredients go hand in hand with genuine traditional recipes and with the staff’s constancy and dedication, offering a wholesome and rewarding culinary experience.
Today, it is even easier to become a part of this “felicitous” family: its Cacio e Pepe pasta has set sail from its historical headquarters in Testaccio, Rome, and landed in the capital of Lombardy. In 2017, Felice a Testaccio opened in Milan, where it is run by Giulia, the gritty, determined niece of Uncle Felice.
The design of the Milanese restaurant offers an innovative reinterpretation of the architectural elements of the Roman venue, resulting in a contemporary restaurant that showcases Felice’s bounty cuisine in a new key. Because memory and innovation come together in a single embrace at Felice a Testaccio.