The Second Fornace Stella in Marconi, Rome Offers Pizzas and Burgers

When Fornace Stella opened in 2018 in Piazza Lecce (a short distance from Piazza Bologna), the restaurant that seats a hundred guests, became a point of reference for the neighborhood in a very short time. "This was in fact our mission but we didn't think we would see it achieved, in terms of customers, so quickly," says Enrico Mercatili, co-owner of Fornace Stella. He recalls how the growth of the first Fornace Stella was actually stopped only by the pandemic. "However, Covid certainly hasn't demoralized us. We continued to work, obviously only with takeaway, in that period and as soon as we reopened we immediately felt the warmth of the whole neighborhood."

Because of the rapid growth of Fornace Stella, the business partners, Roberto Priora and siblings Enrico and Barbara Mercatili, decided that it was time to open another branch in another part of Rome. They found the perfect spot in the in Marconi area, where the busy southern Roman neighborhood is accessible to both the locals and visitors. This too has a capacity to seat a hundred diners which can be equally distributed in the indoor and outdoor areas. The iconic vibrant primary colors of Fornace Stella are transported to the tables surrounded by an urban-industrial style with gray walls. It reflects ease which they want to convey with the concept of their kitchen.

Enrico and Barbara Mercatili

"Already in 2018 when we opened Fornace Stella in the Piazza Bologna area, our first restaurant, we had a single objective: to offer quality cuisine and pizzas by building a restaurant that would become a point of reference in the neighborhood. And we would like it to be the same for this second at Marconi," says Roberto Priora.

The Marconi branch definitely retains the philosophy of the first restaurant that was built around quality and a kitchen of double proposal. However, unlike the first one that offers a vast menu of pizzas and traditional dishes of different courses, the gastronomic offers at Marconi are simplified to more immediate proposals of pizzas and burgers. "We decided to reduce the cooking part to give ample space to pizza, which is the protagonist of this format together with burgers," they explained. 


The two main components of the hamburgers, which are foremost in the quality of every bite, are the 180-gram scottona (heifer) beef and bread from Forno Roscioli that all arrive fresh daily in the kitchen. The burgers which come in different variations with the scottona beef are priced at €10 each. Some of them are: the Fumo Burger which have smoked Provola cheese, sautèed chicory and caramelized onions; Rustico Burger with Pecorino cheese with juniper of Amatrice, sautèed chicory and mayo with 'nduja; and Italico with stracciata di burrata, basil pesto and semi-dried tomatoes. For the non-beef eaters, there are also variations with pulled pork, chicken, salmon and hotdogs. 


Being a place specializing in pizza, Fornace Stella takes this part of the menu seriously. The dough was developed by the two historic pizza chefs of Fornace Stella: Angelo Segatori of the restaurant in Piazza Lecce and Francesco Di Franco who is heading the new one in Marconi. The pizza is comparable to the contemporary Neapolitan style, which is large in diameter with a thicker end crust. The dough is highly hydrated at around 70% and made with organic flours through a maturation that varies from 50 to 60 hours. The hand-rolled pizza is then cooked in a MAM oven. 

A full page menu is dedicated to around 30 to 35 different kinds of pizzas priced between €7 to €13, and divided into categories. The timeless traditional reds and whites such as the Margherita, Capricciosa Neapolitan and Marinara are present. Whereas the regional pizzas pay homage to different Italian regions like the Pugliese which is a white pizza with courgette pesto, stracciata di burrata and capocollo; the Toscanaccia which is a white pizza with finocchiona salami, roasted artichokes and olive powder; and Amatriciana with fior di latte (mozzarella made with cow's milk), guanciale, Amatriciana tomato sauce and Pecorino cheese.

Among the specialties of Fornace, there is Diavola per Capello which has a slightly hot point for its tomato and 'nduja cream and chili pepper threads mixed with burrata. There are also the modernized classics like the Capricciosa with fior di latte, prosciutto cotto, roasted artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, egg yolk powder and mushrooms; and Margherita with fior di latte, yellow datterino tomato confit and Pecorino cheese with juniper of Amatrice.

Fried Bites

The fried bites (€4 to €6) are never overlooked in any pizza place like Fornace Stella. These appetizers, all made with breadcrumbs prepared in the kitchen, are equally delicious as the rest of the menu. Take one or two of these finger-licking bites and you're off to a good start with the burgers and pizzas. There are the supplì (Roman oval rice balls) filled with tomato and beef ragú; cacio & pepe; and salsiccia (sausage) with red wine. There are other irresistible variations like the spherical pulled pork or spherical coda alla vaccinara (Roman oxtail stew). Another tasty bite is the cuboid mattonella stuffed with pasta inside such as the bucatini all'amatriciana and the spaghettoni alla gricia.

Fornace Stella

Address: Via Alessandro Cruto, 9 - 00146 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 51847561
Open daily for dinner except Tuesdays