Hotel Rome Cavalieri
via Alberto Cadlolo, 101
Marco Reitano doesn’t agree about being the representative – not even if a leading one – of a negligible category, that of sommeliers. So much so that, together with some friends and colleagues who suffered from the same distress, he founded the association “Noi di sala”, with the ambition of spreading the motives and the culture of hospitality, education and competence.
Meanwhile Marco looks after, smiles, recommends, smiles, uncorks, smiles. Mostly, he smiles. Because he belongs to the relaxed school that avoids any haughtiness. There’s no gap between him and the guest. And it helps to have that nice, rascal face of his, adorned with a natural elegance which bypasses any possible subjection. It’s best to have a laugh, perhaps with a joke with that very controlled Roman accent that doesn’t take away an ounce from his professionalism.
Nonetheless, for the rest, the matter is extremely serious. It’s an almost inevitable drift when you govern a sanctuary such as the cellar of La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri hotel, the only tri-starred restaurant in Rome, the stage of the most convincing service scene of all the country. Reitano manages 3 thousand labels, many tens of dozens of bottles. One would expect some adoration for the unreachable bottles. On the contrary, coming from the lowest ranks and having started to drudge at La Pergola a few decades ago, when as a student he needed to make ends meet, he knows that greatness can be hidden behind bottles with a normal price. Best if Italian (but even French...). And best if from local grapes varieties. And if someone who affirms he’s tasted 70 thousand wines says so...
Even when it comes to wine and food pairings, there are no dogmas. Of course, the collaboration with chef Heinz Beck is very close. Food and wine go arm in arm and killing a dish with the stigma of the masterpiece with an unsuitable glass is a crime. However, the Dickens, drinking is having fun, experimenting, risking; with a drink you build the foundations for a business, you say you’re sorry, start romantic liaisons. In other words, it’s not something you could do with one glass in one hand and a guidebook in the other.
Born in Rome in 1972, he’s chief sommelier at the restaurant La Pergola at the hotel Rome Cavalieri. Chevallier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, he’s received Wine Spectator’s prestigious Grand Award for his wine list. In 2001 he received the Ais “Oscar” for Best Italian Sommelier and the prize for the Best Sommelier in the 2012 edition of the international guide Identità Golose
Roman, now living in Milan, sommelier, he's reporter of Il Giornale. He's been writing about taste for years
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Left to right, four new protagonists at Identità Milano 2021: Francesca Castignani from pastry shop Belle Hélène, Francesco Pompetti of pizzeria Impastatori Pompetti, Joe Bastinich of the Bastianich Hospitality Group and Roberta Ceretto of restaurant Piazza Duomo and winery Ceretto
A souvenir photo in Rome for the presentation of the first edition of PASS, the very first guide dedicated to "the protagonists of hospitality in the Italian restaurant scene" curated by association Noi di Sala and published by Giunti. Left, behind the bookstand, there’s president Marco Reitano while he pridefully holds a copy.