Mailbag! Karl Holmberg, Flynn & Fettucini

18 May

Mailbag! Karl Holmberg, Flynn & Fettucini

18 May

Our dear chum Karl Holmberg writes in part recently:

Recently, through Tim, on EFB appeared a photo of Flynn and Fettuccini.


There is a story behind it, actually more than one, so… read on.

This photo is displayed rather prominently at one restaurant in Rome, Italy. And it wasn’t always the case. The Restaurant goes by the name of Alfredo Alla Scofa. And it was here that the photo was taken (probably in 1953 and around the time of the William Tell production). And this physical location also happens to be where, reputedly, Fettucini Alfredo was born.

But, there is more than one Alfredo’s also making this claim- each with a slightly different slant on the controversy. So here’s the general background:…

Now having read through the previous link, it turns out that “Alfredo alla Scrofa”, begun in 1911 or 1914, wins the prize for being not only the oldest establishment but also, the only one to make the claim of being the 1st Alfredo’s that Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford visited on their honeymoon in 1920.

[This is the restaurant that Doug Sr and Pickford put on the “Ocean Liner” (currently “Jet”) set list of places to “BE”. And the story goes because they so loved the (new and unknown) Fettucini Alfredo dish, their entire visit was spent dining every evening at Alfredos. And on their final night they gifted him a golden fork and spoon; another version says it was in exchange for the secret recipe).

As you will see, through the virtual tour link below, this restaurant is decorated throughout with the many celebrity visitors’ photographs taken over the years.

The 1950 born restaurant, Il Vero Alfredo, (next to the tomb of Augustus) is a much newer and larger building and filled with photos of celebrities as well. All of their photos are labeled with the recognizable star names (first and last) except for 2:  “Mr. Hitchcock” and “Perry Mason”. It’s has a different (more modern) feel to it. And, as Douglas Fairbanks Sr. passed in December, 1939 it would not have been possible for him to have “visited”.

The “background” link above also speaks of  2 additional sites, both in America. And they came well after: Alfredo’s at Epcot, and another in NYC (see it’s famous icon image attached). Epcot has since closed, and Alfredo of  Rome of NY has relocated near Rockefeller Center to 7 East 54 street.


Alfredo's NYC Icon


And now to the point of mentioning all this.

I have visited  Alfredo alla Scrofa over the years; my last time being in July 2013.  And at that time was delightfully surprised in finding a “decorating change”. It was such a change that it prompted me to pick up a hard cover copy of the McNulty book, send it to Tom for a dedication, (after explaining the story, of course) and ultimately on to the (alla Scrofa) owner himself.

Here, then, is a virtual tour of Alfredo alla Scrofa. As you first walk into the restaurant, there is an large archway flanked by paneling with a double row of photographs and ABOVE THIS, FLANKING THE ARCHWAY, and above all the rest, are 2 much larger photos: the “Fettuccine Flynn” shot and “Brigitte Bardot leaving the restaurant”. If you take the tour through the link you will see the “lay of the land” and the “complement” being paid:



So, as you can see, a MOST REVERED position of photo placement at the original home of Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome: Alfredo Alla Scrofa!

So, until next time, may I wish you…

Buon Appetito!



Thanks, Karl!

— David DeWitt


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    May 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

    That is Awesome, Karl! Gratzi!!

    How very cool you’ve been there and done all that. So wonderful. Only problem is, I’m now craving some of their famed fettucini and can’t afford the plane ticket (possibly nit even the meal!)

    That’s a great virtual tour, with Flynn properly featured as the star of all stars he was. Here’s that Bardot photo, I believe, and the cinema immortals who, as you have made know to us, started all the Hollywood commotion for Alfredo’s: Fairbanks & Pickford!!……

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  2. shangheinz

    May 19, 2015 at 7:03 pm


    An evening in Rome, featuring Flynn & Fettucini.

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    • Gentleman Tim

      May 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      Gratzi, pastaheinz! That’s an awesome photo. It really shows hiw much joy Errol brought to people.

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