La Zanzara is an Italian-style bistro with an international twist in the heart of the Prati neighbourhood. It is fast becoming one of the capital’s most fashionable places and is perfect for anything from breakfast to late dinner after the theatre, from lunch to evening drinks. La Zanzara is open all day and looks set to become a veritable temple for Rome’s die-hard gourmands. There’s also a delicatessen with an impressive selection of cheeses, cured meats and craft beers.
In piazza del Popolo, one of the world’s most beautiful squares, Dal Bolognese is an elegant restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine. On entering, just after the cloakroom, is Marco’s gourmet corner, where he offers his discerning clients cheeses, cold cuts and crudités, where the air is heavy with the aroma of parmesan cheese and the even more pungent Levoni mortadella. The large classic dining room has parquet floors and wood panelling. Off the main room, up a few stairs, is a smaller, more private one where the atmosphere is even cosier, with red leather couches along the walls and wooden ceiling beams. There’s also a smokers’ room. Modern paintings, the owner’s passion, are everywhere you look.
‘Gusto Osteria is where the flavours of traditional Lazio cooking are given new expression. It is located in an international-style loft where the décor makes a feature of furniture from the early 1900s. The authentic flavours of Italy’s gastronomic heritage are matched by the collection of art photos and paintings. ‘Gusto also has a restaurant, pizzeria, wine bar, store, cafe, a cheese and rotisserie shop.
The Hassler Bar, inside the hotel of the same name, is a splendidly elegant cocktail bar also ideal for after-dinner drinks. Its warm colours of leather and wood take you back to the glamour of the Forties, when you could meet Humphrey Bogart or Audrey Hepburn sipping cocktails here. Princess Diana once declared the best Bellini she’d ever tasted was here and that she couldn’t resist the “Veruschka”, one of the cocktails created by the Hassler, a refreshing mix of pomegranate juice and sparkling wine!
G-Bar is the new contemporary wine gallery in Rome, a performance space, somewhere to savour (enjoy a cup of coffee or a tasty cocktail) a coffee or a cocktail. Located on the ground floor of the G-Rough, the hotel where style meets design, this bar is open everyday from 7 to 24. The contemporary wine gallery offers a choice of niche labels (niche drinks brands) sourced from small Italian producers and specially selected for palates (people who has a good palate for drinks and seeks an unconventional experience) seeking an unconventional experience, even in a glass of wine.
Never say no to a coffee, especially if it’s good – which is why everyone ends up going to Caffè Greco, which has always been a meeting place for artists and intellectuals from all over the world, including Lord Byron, Keats, Shelley, Goethe, Gogol, Pellico and Stendhal. The collection of paintings on the walls includes many by artists who frequented this café.
This 5-star hotel is in one of Rome’s most famous and elegant streets, via Giulia, strategically placed between piazza Farnese, Trastevere, piazza Navona, the Ghetto and St. Peter’s. It is in a Seventeenth-century building with the atmosphere of a noble town house: there are inscriptions in Renaissance marble but also designer items, contemporary art and photographs. The spectacular terrace on the top floor gives guests a view of the rooftops and churches in the Regola neighbourhood and the green Janiculum hill.
The Hotel Hassler is in the heart of Rome’s historic centre, at the top of the piazza di Spagna steps. Its famous restaurant, Imago, offers a unique experience: everything here is designed to exploit to the full the panorama that only this establishment can offer. Even the entrance offers a splendid view of the city. In this dream restaurant the view and the flavours blend to produce an extraordinary atmosphere. In 1999 it acquired the adjoining XVI century building, “Il Palazzetto”, which had belonged to a noble Roman family. The Hotel now includes a Wine Bar on a panoramic terrace and four boutiques and is in great demand for wedding receptions and other events.
This was built around 1640 by the Orsini family to provide accommodation for their friends and travellers. It was sold to Livio Odescalchi in 1693 and retained its hospitality function till 1918, when a fire led to its gradual deterioration and dereliction. In 1960, it was bought by Jean Paul Getty, who restored it to its former splendour and fitted it out, with help from art historian Federico Zeri, with XV and XVII century furniture, valuable art works and other items from princely palaces and churches all over the world. La Posta Vecchia is now an emblem of excellence, just outside Rome.
A long-established chocolaterie in the middle of Rome (but of Piedmontese origin) and a supplier of the royal house of Savoy, it was the capital’s first real chocolate house. It’s characterized by its retro style architecture and décor, with velvet lined display cases and silverware, evoking the belle époque. As well as creating the illusion of being in a prestigious old tea room from a bygone age, Moriondo e Gariglio offers chocolate of the highest quality, sublime marrons glacés and excellent pralines.
The furnishings and accessories created by Marco Riccardi, bronze worker, are made of prestige metals such as copper and brass. In addition to a catalogue of products he also makes to special order. A creator of unique one-off priceless pieces, Marco Riccardi has become a byword for artistic creations in bronze and other metals and a well-established name in contemporary crafts in Rome.
Built entirely out of wood in a single day, this theatre was used mainly for puppet shows and operettas, mainly for a middle-class audience. Its name, Quirino, comes from the hill (the Quirinale) and the god Quirinus. It was built in 1871 for Prince Maffeo Sciarra within the confines of the family’s palace, close to the Trevi fountain. The theatre is now called Teatro Quirino-Vittorio Gassman in honour of one of the most highly acclaimed Italian actors of the XX century.
Lorcan O’Neil is an Irishman interested not only in the artists he represents but also writers and poets and art in general. So 11 years ago he founded his first gallery, in Vicolo dei Catinari 3, in whose ambience of ethereal limbo he displays the works of major artists, photographers and designers of contemporary art of worldwide renown, such as Anselm Kiefer, Tracy Emin, Jeff Wall, Francesco Clemente and Don Brown.
The original gallery opened in Rome in 1898, the year in which Pasquale Addeo, great grandfather of the current owner Fabrizio Russo, inaugurated an antiques gallery in via del Babuino. The business was subsequently continued by his son-in-law Franco Russo, a specialist in antique and XIX century paintings, who was later joined by his brother Ettore. Ettore and the third brother, Antonio, went on to open a new gallery in piazza di Spagna, the Galleria la Barcaccia, which went on to become one of the most prestigious Italian modern art galleries until 1980. Nowadays Russo family holds the Gallery set near via Alibert.
Also shortened to via Condotti, this is one of Rome’s most famous streets, linking via del Corso to piazza di Spagna. It is situated in the northern part of the historic centre (the socalled Tridente). Along this road, which runs from piazza di Spagna to largo Goldoni, there are monuments and buildings of historical interest such the Fontana della Barcaccia, the Antico Caffè Greco, Palazzo Magistrale, Palazzo degli Ansellini, Palazzo Della Porta Negroni Caffarelli, Palazzo Avogadri Neri, Palazzo Megalotti, Palazzo Maruscelli Lepri and the church of the Santissima Trinità degli Spagnoli.
Piazza di Spagna – formerly piazza di Francia – is one of the most famous places in the Italian capital. The striking feature of this square is its elegance: the setting against the back-drop of the ochre coloured buildings, the Barcaccia fountain (early Baroque period, sculpted by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1629) and the steps leading up to the church of the Trinità dei Monti create a refined XVIII century atmosphere. It takes its name from Palazzo di Spagna, currently the residence of the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See.
The National Museum of XXI century Art, the MAXXI, is in the Flaminio neighbourhood of Rome. It was built on the site of the Montello barracks, next to the Basilica di Santa Croce on via Flaminia. The gallery, built entirely out of concrete, was designed by Zaha Hadid. The complex arrangement of different shapes, the variation and overlapping of different levels, give rise to a very complex network of spaces. Its collection includes works by Alighiero Boetti, William Kentridge, Kara Walker, Ed Ruscha, Gilbert & George, Gino De Dominicis, Anish Kapoor, Gerhard Richter, Francesco Clemente, Lara Favaretto, Marlene Dumas, Maurizio Cattelan, Gabriele Basilico, Kiki Smith, Thomas Ruff, Luigi Ghirri, Manfredi Beninati, Vanessa Beecroft, Francis Alys and Thomas Schutte.
This bridge was built on the site of an ancient Roman bridge between 1473 and 1479 so that Pope Sixtus IV could cross the Tiber between via dei Pettinari and piazza Trilussa. The original bridge, probably already damaged in 589-590, collapsed in a flood in 791 and became known as the “broken bridge”. Its rebuilding began under pope Sixtus IV in 1473.
Castel Sant’Angelo, also called Hadrian’s Mausoleum, was built in 123 AD as the tomb of the emperor Hadrian and his family. Situated on the right bank of the Tiber, opposite the pons Aelius (today’s Sant’Angelo bridge), it’s not far from the Vatican. In the Borgo quarter, to which it is connected via a fortified corridor (the “passetto”), Castel Sant’Angelo is one of the emblems of Rome, immortalized by the camera of every tourist visiting the capital. In summer it’s even more alluring and is also a venue for classical music and jazz concerts and opera.
The Gianicolo or Janiculum is a Roman hill that rises 88 metres above the right bank of the Tiber. It is not one of Rome’s ancient seven hills. The lower slopes of its eastern flank are in the old Trastevere neighbourhood. Legend has it that the hill is named after the god Janus, who is said to have founded a settlement there called Ianiculum. A cannon on top of the hill is fired at midday, a practice introduced by Pius IX in 1847 to synchronize the bells of Rome’s churches. A marvellous view of the dome of St. Peter’s in the Vatican can be seen from the Janiculum.
The Acqua Paola fountain stands at the top of the via Garibaldi, where it coincides with the top of the Janiculum hill. The monumental fountain marks the end of the “Acqua Paola” aqueduct. It has a number of arches, of which the three middle ones are taller and wider than the two outer ones, which are set back slightly, all separated by columns on high pedestals. The top half of the three middle arches is occupied not by statues but by large rectangular window frames, which offer a glimpse of the botanical gardens below.
Campo de’ Fiori has a colourful market during the day and becomes the nerve centre of Rome’s nightlife in the evening thanks to its many clubs and pubs. For centuries public executions took place in this square, including that of Giordano Bruno in 1600, whose statue stands in the middle of the square. Before the XV century there was no square as such, but a meadow and some cultivated plots, hence the name. Many of the surrounding streets still bear the names of the trades originally practised in them; many of them still have traditional artisanal shops that are well worth a visit.
Piazza del Popolo is one of the most famous squares in Rome. The square and its gate are excellent examples of architectural “stratification”, a common phenomenon in the eternal city that reflects a succession of popes and their modifications and additions to buildings and roads. The square has three churches and an Egyptian obelisk.
- Piazza del Popolo - View Map
- Open: 12:45pm-3:00pm, 8:15pm-11:00pm closed on Monday.
Villa Doria Pamphilj has one of the biggest and most important parks in the city (184 hectares) and was originally the country estate of a Roman noble family. Designed at the beginning of the XVII century, it’s one of the city’s best preserved villas. In 1960 the park was cut in two by the via Olimpica, built to coincide with the opening of the 22nd Olympic Games in Rome. Villa Pamphilj currently has three areas: the villa and gardens, the pine wood and a farm.
The name comes from the Latin trans Tiberim (on the other side of the Tiber). Initially Etruscan and then inhabited by sailors and fishermen working on the river, it also saw a huge influx of immigrants from the East. Trastevere can now be defined as the place where the Roman people originated and grew. Trastevere is the heart of Rome and one of its most beautiful and characteristic quarters, the centre of night life and wining & dining, an open-air theatre of marvellous squares, churches and ancient alleyways. The atmosphere is very original.