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Italy's First (and Only) Amaro Bar

Conveniently located near Piazza del Popolo, Il Marchese (named after the movie Il Marchese del Grillo) claims to have two souls. A concept illustrated perfectly with their unique menu, space and cocktails. Combining French elegance and décor with the heart found in traditional Roman cuisine, it is equal parts Osteria and Cocktail Bar.

Il Marchese is also Italy’s first Amaro bar who has completely changed my mind about the bitter, after-dinner digestif. My only point of reference previously had been the free offering post-meal at local Roman trattorias. And I was not a huge fan. But after trying their famous Clarified Milkamaro Punch and their newest addition to the menu – the Forest Hill (a twist on the classic Americano), Il Marchese has opened me up to a whole new world of cocktails.

There are 600 different labels to choose from and an extensive list of cocktails with that ingredient as the main protagonist. They also have a list of 30 amaros that change monthly. And the man behind these cocktail creations – mixology great Matteo Zed, hailing from Bastianich’s Del Posto in New York.

If that’s not enough to lure you in, they also have an amazing aperitivo deal from 6:30pm - 9:00pm at only 10 euros in addition to your beverage of choice with 3 options to choose from: Romano, Vegetariano, and Per tagliere. I, being the carb-lover that I am, went with the Romano option that includes a little plate of Carbonara or l’amatriciana and a selection of 3 different suppli. And if you come on a Tuesday, you’ll enjoy some live music to go along with it.

The space is both beautiful and versatile. You can dine on the plush, light-blue banquets or opt for the cozy corner in the back. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll grab a seat at their Amaro bar, so you can see your cocktail being created firsthand.

Il Marchese, is also the perfect venue for customized tastings and aperitivo events with many low-alcohol and non-alcohol options to choose from.

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