You can eat Porchetta di Ariccia all over Italy, but for a truly authentic experience do as the Romans do, and head to Ariccia in the Castelli Romani on a steamy summer night, to try it at its source.
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What is Porchetta di Ariccia?
At its essence, Porchetta of Ariccia is roasted, seasoned pork with a crunchy skin, that’s usually sliced before it’s served. It must be made from a female pig that’s deboned, salted, hand massaged with fragrant herbs, and roasted for 4 hours or longer.
The method of cooking porchetta is an ancient tradition in Ariccia. It’s still passed down from generation to generation, as it has been since before Ancient Rome became an empire.
In 2011, it was designated an I.G.P product, meaning that it has to meet rigid criteria and actually be produced in the town of Ariccia to earn the title of Porchetta di Ariccia. Be sure to look out for the I.G.P stamp, to ensure total authenticity.
How to eat Porchetta di Ariccia
Ariccia porchetta can be eaten in a panino, as part of an antipasto or as a main course. However, don’t expect Porchetta di Ariccia to be served hot. It’ll most often come out lukewarm.
Typically for a panino, 2 slices of local casareccio bread is stuffed with thickly cut pieces of porchetta, some of its crispy, fatty skin, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with a bit of salt. You can also add whatever extra fillings you like, including roasted peppers, cheeses, veggies or sauces. It’s an ideal on the go meal or street food snack, perfect for enjoying while watching the world go by in Ariccia’s Bernini designed main square.
Ariccia Porchetta can also be served as part of an antipasto, or eaten as a main course. I’ve visited Ariccia a few times for dinner (at Osteria L’Aricciarola), and had my porchetta as part of an insane antipasto that left little room for primi piatti, never mind secondi.
The antipasto included fresh olives, bruschetta, a charcuterie board full of house-cured salami, prosciutto, cheeses, roasted veggies, and perfect Porchetta di Ariccia, of course.
If you still have room in your belly, after eating that massive antipasto, you can order a plate of pasta for your primi piatti, or a variety of meats for your secondi. If you decide on pasta, you could opt for cinghiale, or wild boar ragu, which the area is also famous for.
Don’t forget to order a bottle (or two) of locally produced frizzante wines to wash down all that excellent food!
Where to eat Porchetta di Aricca
The best place to try porchetta in Ariccia is at one of the many fraschette that line the Via Borgo S. Rocco. These are informal osteria-like restaurants that are traditional to the Castelli Romani region. They’re named for the fresh fraschetta or vine branch that was nailed onto a cellar’s entrance in ancient times, to advertise the latest vintage and draw in customers.
Inside these Ariccia fraschette, you’ll find a lively atmosphere and long, communal tables. It’s totally possible that you’ll end up sharing one with strangers on a busy night.
If you’re just looking for a quick bite or panini, you’ll find shops around the main square, where you can grab and go.
Visiting Osteria l’Aricciarola for Ariccia Porchetta
Address: Via Borgo S. Rocco in Ariccia
You’ll find Osteria l’Aricciarola on Ariccia’s main restaurant drag. There are several fraschette along Via Borgo S. Rocco, and you won’t go wrong walking into any one of them. They’ll all serve the famous Porchetta di Ariccia.
Seating is usually at long wooden tables inside Osteria L’Aricciarola, and you may find yourself sitting with strangers if it’s busy. There’s outside patio seating as well, which is very popular in the summer time.
The first time I visited, we showed up on a weeknight, without a reservation and had no trouble getting seating for 7 + a baby. It can get very busy on summer weekends though, so if you’re set on eating porchetta di Ariccia there, you might want to get in touch to make a reservation.
They’re open everyday except Monday, from 11:30AM – 12:30AM, with a break from 5 – 6:30PM.
How to get to Ariccia
Ariccia is in the Castelli Romani region about 20 km southeast of Rome. Public transport links are not direct, so it’s best to drive if you have access to a car. Head straight up Appia Nuova, then make a left at Via dei Laghi. Expect traffic on summer weekends.
Getting to Ariccia using Public Transport
If you don’t mind a walk, you can get to Ariccia by train. Take the train from Roma Termini to Albano Laziale. It’s a 20 minute walk from there to reach Ariccia. Check Trenitalia for a schedule and full details.
To reach Ariccia by bus, use subway Metro A to get to Anagnina Station in Rome. Head outside the station to the CoTral bus terminal. Buses to Ariccia leave every 30 minutes or so and tickets cost €2.50 per direction. Be sure to check times for the last bus back or buy round-trip tickets in Rome, or you may be stranded in Ariccia longer than planned.