Thousands of great whiskies from all over the world, for tasting pure or blended, at the Rome Whisky Festival and beyond.
6 Mar 2020
On March 14 and 15 in Rome, the Salone delle Fontane hosts a not-to-be-missed event for all whisky-lovers. For the ninth year, this privileged showcase creates synergies between participating companies and a vast audience of industry professionals, enthusiasts and newcomers. You don’t need to be a great expert to immerse yourself in this new world, but it’s important to stay abreast of the latest developments. With whisky, once you’re in, you’re in. The festival offers masterclasses and seminars dedicated to mixology, as well as food, music, a whisky shop, a vintage area and basic courses on whisky led by teachers from the Whisky Academy. For 2020, a Whisky&Cocktail bar is being run by top Roman venues, including the Jerry Thomas Speakeasy.
A Speakeasy is a place inspired by 1920s and 1930s prohibition America. What better place to enjoy a good whisky than a place where forgotten mixing styles are brought back to life? Everyone’s looking for them, everyone’s trying to work out the latest thing. Come along with us and discover Italy’s most evocative secret venues for whisky-tasting, from Scotch to Irish whisky to American whiskey (think Bourbon).
Jerry Thomas Bar.
Rome, Vicolo Cellini 30
We start our journey at the Jerry Thomas Bar in Rome, because like any other distillate, whisky lends itself not only to being enjoyed smoothly, it is also an excellent raw material in the hands of a blending artist. The Jerry Thomas opened in 2010, when a group of bartenders decided to start a small club in the heart of the Italian capital to give colleagues, fans and curious guests a place to share their experiences. Five times the club has made it onto the list of the “50 World Best Bars“. In 2013, the bar produced “The Professor’s Vermouth”, the first in a long series of products designed in collaboration with the “Distillerie Quaglia”.
Where to stay in Rome.
The Gruppo UNA UNAHOTELS Decò Roma is in the heart of the Eternal City, a short walk from the Jerry Thomas Bar and less than half an hour from the Roma Whisky Festival. The hotel’s evocative architectural design and art deco interiors pamper you in true Italian style before and after your whisky-tasting duties.
The Mad Dog Social Club.
Turin, Via Maria Vittoria 35
Jerry Thomas is also in Turin, at The Mad Dog. Soft lights, a piano and bare-brick walls catapult you back into the 1920s. The ingredients are poured directly from barrels and glass jars, while live music accompanies your journey through a colourful range of flavours. Only guests who know the secret codeword are let in. To find out, contact the venue via its website.
Where to stay in Turin.
If you’ve just left The Mad Dog Social Club after a whisky-tasting session, you’ll be glad to know that you are just ten minutes away from the Gruppo UNA Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze, a historic 5-star hotel in the heart of Turin. This paean to the city’s ancient splendour is located in an imposing rationalist style building that is one of Turin’s most refined architectural gems.
Milan, Piazza Cinque Giornate area
The 1930, which is also on the “50 World Best Bars“ list, is the Mag Café’s speakeasy. Located in the Navigli area of Milan, it is one of the best-kept secrets in town. There’s no subterfuge, no special knowledge, no bills to slip into a palm.... You’re either invited in or you’re not. True wonders are concealed behind a small oriental bar. Either sitting in the lounge or in the underground area in a velvet armchair listening to a tinkling piano gives you the full experience of what it’s like to be a 1930s customer.
Where to stay in Milan.
For your trip dedicated to taste experiences, we suggest you stay at Maison Milano | UNA Esperienze, where luxury and elegance come together just a stone’s throw from the Duomo, or UNAHOTELS Cusani Milano, located near the Teatro alla Scala and perfect for exploring the historic centre of the city and looking for a 1930s experience.
Florence, Borgo Tegolaio 21
The Rasputin is located in what used to be the meeting place for far-left Lotta Continua militants in the 1970s. The cocktail recipes, however, originally date from the late 1800s. Attention to detail is essential; even the ice must pass muster here. The entrance is camouflaged among the city buildings, but once you’ve made it down the stairs, you are greeted by an unmistakable environment characterized by warm lights and an atmosphere muffled by the charm of the forbidden.
Where to stay in Florence.
UNAHOTELS Vittoria Firenze is a Gruppo UNA hotel designed by famous architect Fabio Novembre, located in an ideal spot to enjoy both the city and the surrounding area, where the Rasputin is located. This hotel offers a refined stay characterized by true Italian charm.