Roma: an insiders guide to the city

13 February 2022
Written by The Italy Insider
Insider's Guide

Rome, the Eternal city. The Capital city and one of the most historically enriched cities in the world. No matter whether it’s your first visit or tenth visit. a trip to Rome will always mesmerise you. From an architectural standpoint to the numerous ruins that encompass this city, it’s no wonder Rome is seen as an ‘outdoor museum.’ Here is our guide on what you should see, do, where to eat and sleep in the city.

Trastevere. Ph. Credits Ryan Neeven

where to eat

Haute Cuisine

Giano Restaurant

From Sicily to Rome Chef Ciccio Sultano brings his know-how and delectable cuisine to the city. Born in Turin, Sicily is his adoptive land, not to mention home to his two-Michelin starred Ristorante Duomo. So with Giano, Chef Sultano has sought to bring the a slice of Sicily to the city.  Opening Giano inside the W Hotel, the design mirrors the eclectic, retro concept that marries beautifully the concept of his cuisine. Taking inspiration from traditional Sicilian recipes, Ciccio Sultano curates his menus on a seasonal basis with a contemporary reinterpretation. Sided by Executive Chef Nicola Zamperetti, the menu consists of a play on culinary techniques that bring to light delicate flavours of primary ingredients that are in fact the foundation of the dish. Signature ingredient of Chef Ciccio Sultano is red tuna bottarga, that he produces in Sicily in collaboration with Alfio Visalli. Closing up the meal is Pastry Chef Fabrizio Fiorani, a pioneer in the industry who has developed his iconic, deconstructed version of a tiramisù. WEBSITE


Aroma is a Michelin starred restaurant within the most beautiful frame of the Colosseum, located on the rooftop of Palazzo Manfredi. The restaurant is headed by Michelin starred Chef Giuseppe di Iorio who has curated a menu that is closely linked to traditional Italian cuisine with his creative interpretations. Each ingredient has been carefully selected to create a unique dish that is complex not only from a technical point of view but from an artistic standpoint. Sweet and sour, sea and land, hot and cold are only a few interesting combinations you’ll find on the menu. A menu comprised of four tasting menus – 2 course, 4 course, 5 course and 7 course. There are also additional options should you wish to substitute with either a traditional roman dish such as the Shaken Carbonara or a Special such as Mediterranean Blue Lobster or Wagyu Entrecôte. WEBSITE

Pasta sarde at Giano Restaurant


Zia Restaurant

Antonio Ziantoni, chef patron of Zia Restaurant and Ida Proietti, his partner and companion, are young, passionate professionals. Zia opened in May 2018 and its design (by architect Anton Cristell) is functional: neutral shades from grey to olive green, nice, simple table arrangement and large windows that overlook Trastevere; but here Trastevere is different. It’s silent, minimal – the roman ‘caciara’ is absent. Product excellence, consolidated techniques, clear and decisive flavours are integral to the cuisine. In fact the Chef is well travelled and has brought back his experiences from around the world to his restaurant. The atmosphere is also very pleasant, starting with Ida’s warm welcome to the dimmed lighting. WEBSITE

Fine Dining

ristorante les étoiles

Where to eat in Rome
Table setting on the terrace

Located in the quiet districts of Prati and Borgo Pio, Ristorante Les Étoiles is a sophisticated restaurant that offers sensational views over the Vatican City. Housed inside the family run Hotel Atlante Star, the environment is friendly, modest and very welcoming. The menu is curated by Chef William Anzidei who, following recent renovations to the kitchen, uses the josper grill to slow cook, roast and smoke his dishes. The core philosophy behind his cuisine revolves around simple flavours highlighted through his delicate cooking techniques with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. A ‘must’ try is the Calamari Filled with Ricotta and Sun Dried Tomatoes and for desert, the Carrot Crumble with Ginger Namelaka is a sensational, unique ending to your meal. WEBSITE


Jacopa Rome restaurant
Polpette di ossobuco Jacopa by Andrea Di Lorenzo

In Trastevere, Jacopa is a fun, young, smart restaurant located inside the small Hotel San Francesco.A food & beverage that is spread out among different spaces: you enter through the cocktail area – some of the best cocktails in town – then you walk through the restaurant and, in the warmer season, you continue to walk through to the Terrace. In the kitchen two young chefs Jacopo Ricci and Piero Drago who have designed a menu based upon the Roman tradition but with a modern and creative (and sometimes unusual) interpretation. The first courses are excellent as are the aperitifs; a proposal of bistro type food such as ossobuco meatballs, grilled skewers, tartare, bun and burger – everything with sustainable and seasonal view. Here you have excellent value for money coupled with friendly and professional service. WEBSITE

Caffè Doria

In the 16th-century Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, small tables in the cloisters (designed by Bramante) invite visitors to sip coffee. One of the best surprises of summer of 2022 was the opening of Caffè Doria’s dehors: people come here to taste Massimiliano Mazzotta’s cuisine, from breakfast to aperitif. After a carbonara ravioli, a desert or an aperitif prepared on the scenic Gin Trolley, you can take a stroll inside to admire the monumental 17th-century fountain that watered the horses in the stables where today stands this contemporary Italian-style bar. WEBSITE


Pianostrada is an ‘experimental Lab’ on the Lungotevere pioneered by four women: Chiara, Paola and their daughters Flaminia e Alice. The location is a suave, vintage feel, with an open kitchen and a beautifully curated courtyard set among climbing plants, flowers and herbs. The menu is seasonal and built around simple dishes. Here presentation as well as flavour is key – each dish is beautifully composed on a plate. You’ll find “street food” such as burgers, meatballs and fish & chips as well as a creative twist to traditional dishes that carry a taste of Italy to Rome (pasta alla Nerano is their latest addition). Another recent addition to the menu is the Mediterranean sushi and a classic, that you mustn’t leave without trying is the focaccia. you’ll thank us later. All is accompanied by a well-assorted wine list. WEBSITE

Da Angelina a Testaccio

Maintaining it’s traditional Italian Pizzeria concept, it still holds an outdoor wood oven to bake the pizzas in, but it is the elegant decor of the restaurant that creates a classy atmosphere. In spring & summer the rooftop terrace, embellished with olive and lemon trees, is open allowing you to eat al fresco, but during winter you will be accommodated inside in a spacious, minimalistic room decorated with various interesting objects. One of the best parts of Angelina is their large wood fired oven in which they create the most spectacular barbecues and pizzas. The menu is traditional but with an addition of interesting recipes. It varies from traditional pasta dishes such as Amatriciana, Gricia and Carbonara but also various less traditional recipes. A ‘must’ is the Antipasto Angelina, a variety of small sharing dishes from ricotta to meatballs and parmigiana. WEBSITE

Caffè Doria
Angelina a Testaccio Rome restaurant
Angelina a Testaccio

alfredo alla scrofa

This is the original birthplace of the world renowned Fettuccine Alfredo. How are they made? fresh egg fettuccine with butter, a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano and the proper ‘mantecatura’. In fact, there is a ‘mantecator’, a member of staff who is in charge of this very careful movement that perfectly combines the fettuccine with the sauce. An iconic, historic location that is absolutely worth a stop. WEBSITE

From around the world


Pacifico Palazzo Dama
Main hall Pacifico

Pacifico, located inside Palazzo Dama is founded and signed by Chef Jaime Pesaque and comes to life in the form of a contemporary bistrot with a unique approach to cuisine. Pacifico first opened in Milan, followed by Rome and Sardinia. The restaurant has strongly established its identity in the Italian culinary scene, becoming a hub for those in search of a unique culinary experience combined with a characteristic atmosphere and unconventional cuisine. Signature dishes that include crispy tacos, ceviche, tiraditos and gyozas. Ps. we have been told that the triple cooked potatoes are a treat so make sure you add those to the list. WEBSITE


Cuisine at Reserva. Ph. Andrea Di Lorenzo

South America in Campo de ‘Fiori: for us it is a yes! This one-of-a-kind place will make you feel in Latin America within walking distance of all the wonders of Rome. Tapas, fish, shellfish, meat and a great selection of drinks. WEBSITE



From actor and film director to restaurateur, Claudio Amendola opens Frezza in the heart of the city. Amendola flaunts the Roman spirit in every aspect of the new restaurant, especially the menu which is a clear tribute to the most authentic and genuine Roman gastronomy. Expect Coda alla Vaccinara, Trippa, Cacio e Pepe, Polpettine and Involtini alla Romana which Chef Davide Cianetti presents in characteristic terracotta dishes. Not to miss is the Bombe Salate, fried starters with various fillings (and quite filling). There is also classic roman pizza, traditional deserts and a wine list with mainly local regional labels. WEBSITE

roscioli roma

Restaurant, delicatessen and a very rich cured meats and cheese counter. Salumeria Roscioli is the perfect place to taste local products of excellent quality to get into the true spirit of Roman flavours. Here you can also eat one of the best cacio & pepe or carbonara in the city. An experience not to be missed in the heart of the capital. Make sure you book in advance. WEBSITE

ercoli 1928

If you want to feel the real taste of Italy, Ercoli is for you. The proposals vary from gastronomic excellence and restaurant with menu designed for lovers of good food, Cocktail bar with champagneria in the Prati area, vermouth bar in Viale Parioli and the new restaurant in the Trastevere area. WEBSITE

Ruma Bottega

Bruschette at Ruma Bottega

Ruma Bottega is a hidden gem nestled among the cobblestoned streets of Rome a five minutes walk from Piazza Navona. In the Tuscan Maremma, an Etruscan territory, Rome was called Ruma which in turn, in Etruscan, indicated the breast of the animal (with reference to the she-wolf), a source of nourishment and life. Thus, Ruma – Bottega e Cucina Agricola was born, from Maremma Toscana to the heart of Rome. Matidia and Guido Pallini decided to take their agricultural family business to a new level, expanding into a store that not only sells their produce and locally sourced produce but also offer a carefully curated menu from breakfast all the way through to dinner featuring mainly cheese products (including ice cream!). WEBSITE

Irma roma

We must never forget that eating healthy food is good for both body and mind. For this reason, Irma never tires of seeking out the best that nature has to offer throughout the year and carefully prepares it to enhance every nuance. Their aperitifs are also excellent, always composed of different tastings freshly prepared by the chefs. Those who habitually frequent Irma’s are crazy about it! WEBSITE

Vegetarian Restaurants


In Via Flaminia in Rome you can find the Marzapane, a place managed by the two partners Mario and Tommaso who agree that the main element that revolves around the place is fire. The cuisine proposed is in fact rural and involves primitive and ancestral techniques, which however do not give up on vegetarian menus and green proposals. How not to be curious? WEBSITE


Pizzarium Bonci

A serial dispenser of masterpieces of the white art, Bonci, an artist of yeast, has subverted the traditional canons of Capitoline gastronomy. Characterised by sublime doughs, the result of impeccable leavening, and excellent raw materials, his pizzas hover between classicism and creativity, sublimating a repertoire that also includes supplì, breads, desserts and dishes worthy of applause. WEBSITE

Piccolo Buco

Piccolo Buco Roma

Il Piccolo Buco is a family owned, gourmet pizzeria moments away from the Trevi Fountain. As the name suggests (and translates to ‘small hole’) this restaurant is a small space with only a few tables so our advice is to arrive early (and be prepared for a queue). The pizza is not traditional Roman pizza (which usually features thin, crispy crusts). Instead it’s more Neapolitan, with thick, pillowy crusts. In fact, the dough is left to rise for 48 hours, using Mulino Marino flours, organic sea salt from Brittany, and (of course) the water of Rome. This dough is later slipped into a wood oven that is over 100 years old creating the most flavourful pizzas. The owner and Chef Luca Issa pays a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the selection of ingredients, picking only fresh and seasonal products to top his pizzas. What I love about this place is that in the menu the restaurant highlights the farms and cheese factories from where they select each and every ingredient. For example the yellow tomatoes come from the Azienda Agricola Paglione or the Fiordilatte cheese comes from Caseificio Scarchilli. Talking about the menu, there are 20 different pizzas to chose from, each separated on the menu depending on whether they have a red tomato base, yellow tomato base, white base (no tomato) or focaccia. WEBSITE

50 kalò ciro salvo

There is never a wrong time for pizza: whether it’s a late breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner, pizza is always a valid answer. 50 kalo Ciro Salvo is a trademark for this special Italian dish, taking inspiration from the Neapolitan recipe ensuring the original result. Try to stop by in Via Flavia, you won’t regret it! WEBSITE

Cafè & Breakfast


Where to eat in Rome
Pastry at Madeleine. Ph Andrea Di Lorenzo

Madeleine is a wonderful concept that brings a slice of Paris to Rome. The concept is inspired by a French Bistrot that serves cuisine all day from early morning breakfast to after hour cocktails, It opened in 2015 as the founder Giancarlino’s vision to bring the very best of French Patisserie to the heart of the city through techniques and ingredients that Pastry Chef Francesca Mennella so wonderfully incorporates. You can expect a selection of macarons, eclairs, fondants, pancakes, cheesecakes, crêpes and of course madeleines that change regularly according to Pastry Chef’s inspirations that she gathers during her travels. WEBSITE


Where to have breakfast in Rome
Brunch at Marigold. Ph. Alberto Blasetti

For you health fanatics, Marigold is for you. From here, the scent of warm, freshly baked bread and pastries oozes out in the street every morning and it’s impossible to not stop and wonder what delicious things are being created inside. The menu is seasonal, and this autumn/winter the breakfast features many warming foods such as porridge with plum compote or toasted banana bread with homemade butter. The lunch menu on the other hand focuses on fresh and seasonal produce, including a variety of superfood salads and green bowls. WEBSITE


Tulipane Casa Forno e Arredi is a contemporary-style bakery with a retro feel, as well as designer furnishings and soon to open, apartments in the heart of Rome that you can rent for a short visit to the city. Sara Bonamini, former food critic, decided to cross “to the other side” and create a place for exquisite bread together with Flaminia Fratini, furniture consultant, who selects extraordinary pieces of modern antiques from the 1950s. At Tulipane you’ll find pizzas, focaccia, sandwiches and large loaves of different grains as well as pastries on the counter and a pretty seating area with tables, sofas and armchairs: everything is for sale. For breakfast, make sure you taste the filled croissants, cakes and various pastries and for lunch pizza or focaccia is a must. Explore the endless varieties from white focaccia simply topped mortadella to zucchini, cherry tomatoes and ricotta – and many more. Tulipane is a small shop of good things, and a collector of beautiful things. WEBSITE


If you’re looking for a place to grab a specialty coffee in the city centre then look no further. Barnum is a bistrot/cafè located on Via del Pellegrino near Campo de’ Fiori and here you can expect to find your hip crowd of freelancers typing away on their laptops with a cappuccino nearby. What is unique about this location is that it takes the ‘aussie’ brunch concept and translates it with traditional Italian products so instead of your banana bread here you’ll find plumcake, crostata and bombe alla crema (in other words, cream filled donuts). Take a seat for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon aperitif. WEBSITE

Le LevAin

Situated near Piazza San Cosimato in Trastevere, this is one of the best pastry shops in Rome. Pioneered by Giuseppe Solfrizzi, a young Apulian pastry chef who trained at the court of Alain Ducasse with butter-scented deserts and bread making. WEBSITE

Emporio Sant’Eustachio

There has always been the stereotype that there are definite times to indulge in a coffee. The Emporio Sant’Eustachio wants to go against this belief, extending coffee to all times of the day, even with recipes of their own invention, hot and cold. It wants to cater for everyone’s tastes: for practical people who love espresso and for the sweeter ones, who prefer milk-based drinks. WEBSITE

What to see

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina is a unique and romantic corner of Trastevere next to Palazzo Corsini where you can admire the frescoes of the triumph of Galatea, in the Loggia dedicated to Cupid and Psyche. Prince Chigi had fallen in love with a beautiful girl, at the same time Raphael, while he was painting the frescoes, was meeting Margherita Luti la Fornarina (it is likely that Galatea was inspired by her). These two love stories inspired this masterpiece. WEBSITE


Galleria Colonna Rome
Galleria Colonna. Ph. courtesy of Galleria Colonna

Palazzo Colonna is one of the largest and most important palaces in Rome; its origins date back to the Middle Ages however, its moment of greatest splendour comes at the time of Cardinal Girolamo who, in the second half of the seventeenth century, built one of the first galleries in the city designed to display a collection of works of art. Today, Galleria Colonna is filled with absolute masterpieces, such as Annibale Carracci’s ‘Mangiafagioli’, Bronzino’s ‘ la Venere’ and several paintings from the Bolognese school. WEBSITE


Galleria Doria Pamphilij. ph. Agatha Depine

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is the most famous private art gallery in Rome on Via del Corso, with a collection made up of more than 400 paintings produced between the 15th and 18th centuries. In the halls of the palace you can admire the works of great masters, such as Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, Brueghel the Elder, Velázquez and Bernini. One of the most mesmerising rooms is the Hall of Mirrors, a long hall lined with sculptures and large gilded mirrors covered by a frescoed ceiling. WEBSITE

Il Giardino Degli Aranci

The Orange Garden is located on top of the Aventine Hill and it’s one of the best viewpoints of the city. The park was originally named Parco Savello because it belonged to the Savelli, an important, aristocratic family. Their castle was later turned into a monastery by the Dominican Order. Legends surrounding Spanish Saint Dominic gave the garden its name “Il Giardino Degli Aranci” and its first orange tree: having transported the sapling from his homeland, and planting it close to the cloister where it flourished. Top tip: Turn right as you leave the Orange Garden and you’ll stumble across one of Rome’s best-kept secrets. Just outside the Priory of the Knights of Malta is an inconspicuous iron gate. Peep through its keyhole, however, and you’ll be treated to a unique view of St. Peters Cathedral.

Palazzo altemps

Palazzo Altemps, formerly Palazzo Riario, is a historic building in Rome, designed by Melozzo da Forlì and it’s located a short distance from Piazza Navona, It is an aristocratic residence where that houses a rich collection of ancient sculptures in a magnificent architectural setting since the sixteenth century and today, it’s home to the National Roman Museum dedicated to the history of these collections. It is a true hidden gem of the city. WEBSITE


Chances to get lost and find beauty in Rome are definitely higher than any other city. When exploring the Rione Trevi and its majestic fountain, take a walk on the off the beaten path to Galleria Sciarra, an exquisite Art Nouveau courtyard known for its mesmerising frescoes and vibrant colours. The galleria is an opulent feast for the eyes and a breath of fresh air from the honey-coloured cobbled Roman ruins scattered throughout the city.

Shadows at Palazzo Altemps. Ph. Fabiana Marrani
Galleria Sciarra Roma
Galleria Sciarra


Did you know Rome treasures a bright blue sky and you can enjoy it whenever you want? Nestled along via del Banco di Santo Spirito is Arco de Banchi, a magical and mysterious gateway connection with via Paola. During ancient times, the spot was known as “Courtyard of the Chigi” for the bank work held by Agostino Chigi. Adding value to the spot is the left foot of the arch which dates back to the year 1277, considered to be the oldest existing marble headstone in Rome on the Tiber floods. Of spectacular view is the arch covered by blue paint and stars, recreating a beautiful stellar sky that intertwines with frescoes.

galleria SPADA

Galleria Spada itself is one of the best Rome hidden gems. This Roman Renaissance building is filled with frescoes, sculptures and artworks, and features a beautiful garden facing the Tiver River, collections of sculptures and baroque paintings, and a peculiar internal courtyard, famous for the perspective optical illusion in the courtyard designed by Borromini. The artist was capable of recreating an exceptional game of perspectives with shrinking columns and a raised floor, giving the illusion of a 37 meters long gallery, when in reality it is only 8. This secret spot is a marvellous blend of architectural art and the Spada family’s collection of works by several renowned artists, including Caravaggio, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Guido Reni. WEBSITE

PIT-STOP AT Ristorante Museo Canova Tadolini

Canova on Via del Babuino is what used to be the atelier of the great italian sculptor Antonio Canova and his student Adamo Tadolini. Whithin the atelier (or the cafe) over 150 years of italian sculptors is visible, from both Canova and Tadolini but also from other great sculptors such as Scipione and Giulio. It’s a beautiful, cultural environment where one can stop for a coffee break or a quick lunch. WEBSITE

Prospettiva borrominiana Galleria Spada
Prospettiva borrominiana. Ph. Fabiana Marrani
Museo Canova Tadolini Roma
Museo Canova Tadolini. Ph. via Gabriella Clare Marino
The views from Villa Borghese

EXPLORE THE QUIRKY neighbourhood OF Trastevere

Trastevere is viewed as Rome’s most favoured neighbourhood where locals love to spend their Friday nights and Saturday days wondering around its narrow, cobbled streets. Piazza Trilussa, situated at one end of Ponte Sisto is the meeting spot. Behind it, is an enchanting enclave made up of cafés, shops, bars, pubs, tavernas and churches. The most important church to visit is Santa Maria in Trastevere, renowned for its unique and beautiful 13th century mosaics by Pietro Cavallini. Besides its historic importance, Trastevere is legitimately the ‘it’ spot for foodies and at its best at golden hour for an aperitivo. Head over to La Prosciutteria: imagine a glass, or two, or a bottle of wine accompanied with an array of ham and cheese aesthetically distributed on a board.

Walk DOWN the oldest street of Rome, Via Giulia

Via Giulia is a charming street lining the edges of the historical centre of Rome. It was designed by Bramante in 1508 as part of an urban development program ordered by Pope Julius II. It’s a 1 km stretch, a length that was seen to be hard to accomplish in that period of time, which is what made it so particular back then. You will find several churches and elegant renaissance-style palazzi along this pretty street.

Trastevere Roma. Ph. Ryan Neeven

Take a stroll through Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese is one of the finest parks of the city. Walking up from Piazza del Popolo you will reach the Pincio, one of the best viewpoints of the city. The park is at its best during spring and summer time, but during autumn and winter you can always take the walk to reach Galleria Borghese, an exceptional museum that displays a collection of ancient sculptures, mosaics and paintings dating from the 15th to the 19th including masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raffaello, Tiziano, Bernini and Canova. If you’re hungry by the time you finish, pop into Casina Valadier for some fine dining. It is one of the most fascinating and elegant locations built over four floors with not only exquisite food but also a terrace overlooking the city.

Shop local delicacies at Campo De’ Fiori

Today, Campo de’ Fiori is popular amongst the locals for its early morning street market filled with local delicacies from spices and cheeses to truffle based produce and fresh fruits and vegetables. The piazza really comes to life in the evening with its bars and tavernas nestled in the alleyways leading up to the square. The historical importance of the square dates back to the fifteenth century when it was used for horse races and executions. In fact, fun (but not so fun) fact: you will find a statue in the centre of the piazza of Giordano Bruno, a philosopher and Dominican monk accused of heresy who was burned alive here on February 17, 1600.


Via Margutta is a pleasant little street tucked away in the centre of town. It was featured in the award-winning film ‘Roman Holiday’ as the home of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Via Margutta dates back to the 17th century where craftsmen, workshops and stables filled this narrow little street. Furthermore, this picturesque cobbled street has always been seen as an art hub – probably due to the fact that many foreign artists sought out a life here.


Hotel Butterfly

The Hotel Butterfly returns to the capital with a series of new locations for a long summer of music and entertainment. On the occasion of the Tennis International Championships it has kicked off the season with a sporting event in Piazza Lauro de Bosis 3, with a set designed by the designer Matteo Parenti. Themed events will take place with a rich programme of international DJs, mixology nights and culinary proposals that will entertain you from dinner to late hours of the evening. On the second floor, breakfasts made of coffee, a selection of Mariage Frères teas and delicious sweet proposals by pastry chefs Francesca Minnella and Niccolò Natalini. In June, Hotel Butterfly will move to Il Bosco Parallelo. WEBSITE

Antica Latteria

The Antica Latteria has recently changed its appearance, without losing its soul. It is no longer a coffee and croissant bar, but a cocktail bar where you can drink excellent drinks, wines and champagnes, with some pleasant surprises to eat. The atmosphere, always very cheerful and cosmopolitan, completes the perfect bar. WEBSITE


In the Testaccio area the winery was born, which defines itself as ‘funky’, and we agree with it! As can be deduced from the name, the strong point of the restaurant is the wine, of which the selection is excellent and in harmony with the gastronomic proposals, perfectly in italian style, that we are sure will conquer you. WEBSITE


Aperitivo at Les Etoiles

Overlooking the majestic Vatican as the sun starts to set and the sky turns a reddish hue, Terrazza Les Étoiles of the Hotel Atlante Star provides the perfect setting for an aperitivo. Tucked away from the busy centre, the family run Hotel Atlante Star is nestled between the quarters of Prati and Borgo Pio, moments away from the Vatican City. The cocktail list, curated and managed by Bar Consultant Riccardo Marinelli, is very classic, with meticulous attention in the selection of premium liqueurs to emphasise on the pure, quality of the label. Aperitivi are generously paired with a selection of bites put together by Chef William Anzidei. Sit back and enjoy the fantastic view as you try a slice of Italian lifestyle. WEBSITE

La Zanzara

La Zanzara aperitivo in Rome
La Zanzara Rome

La Zanzara Bistrot is located near the Vatican in the heart of the Prati district, with indoor and outdoor seating, very in with the locals. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere with an industrial, minimal decor: dark wooden seating, majolica flooring and large vintage mirrors that are used as a canvas for the ‘daily specials’. Open from breakfast until after dinner, we have selected this location as an ideal Aperitivo as the drinks are a strong point. An array of wine labels and cocktails feature on the menu. Five different Spritz and six reinterpretations of the classics. Looking for a refreshing cocktail? Try the Italian 75, made with Gin, Ginger, Lemon and Sparkling Wine. Hungry? don’t worry, bites keep coming to your table. WEBSITE

Emerald’s Bar

Emerald’s Bar acts as a combination between a speak easy with a cosy living room. It’s small, intimate with dimmed lighting designed with a retro touch of velvet sofas and vintage objects hung on the walls, The cocktails menu is an infusion of flavours and garnishes from all over the world, juxtaposing spices and ingredients in a harmonious way. Try the Gonzales from Mexico: Tequila Patron, Clementines and honey – just the right amount of sweetness and, if you come between 6PM and 8PM it’s Happy Hour – two for one. Olives and tarallucci are brought with the drinks but for a few more bites you can find sharing dishes on the menu such as zapatos (warm pitta and crudités) and various dips or cheese platters. Prices start at €12 per cocktail. WEBSITE

Terrazza Borromini

Terrazza Borromini Piazza Navona Aperitivo Rome
Views from the Terrazza Borromini

Terrazza Borromini is situated inside Palazzo Doria Pamphilij, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture by Borromini located on Piazza Navona. The terrace lies between the bell tower and the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and it offers an exceptional view over Rome (and of course, the best viewpoint over Piazza Navona). This is the place you would come if you’re celebrating something or if you would like to indulge in a little luxury because after all, a glass of bubbles overlooking Rome at sunset is an experience you cannot put a price tag on. WEBSITE

Salotto 42

Salotto 42 is situated in the city centre and it’s undoubtedly one of the locals’ favourite aperitivo spots (booking is recommended). You will find this venue opposite the Temple of Hadrian, behind the Pantheon. The interior decor is retro; think subdued lighting, vintage armchairs and murano lamps hanging from the ceiling, therefore a fun, quirky place to hang out and enjoy a signature cocktail or two. At aperitivo. all drinks are accompanied by a large tray of bites (crudités, mini sandwiches, crisps and more). WEBSITE

Il Locarno

Il Locarno is housed inside Hotel Locarno, a classical, elegant five star hotel located near Piazza del Popolo. The bar has two outdoor spaces: the rooftop terrace that overlooks the city centre and the ground floor courtyard, a pretty area with plants and cast iron furniture. The cocktail menu has been designed by the acclaimed mixologist Nicholas Pinna, who uses his expertise in creating unique, extraordinary drinks – think whiskey and fig liquor or mezcal, apple, cucumber, agave and lime with a wasabi salt rim. This spot is a lowkey, intimate setting for a late afternoon aperitivo. WEBSITE

Jerry thomas project

In full roaring 20s style, the Jerry Thomas speakeasy will be the perfect ending to your Roman day: elegant and glamorous, with that retro touch and an excellent selection of drinks. WEBSITE

Blackmarket hall

In the Monti area, the blackmarket hall is located inside the former “Overlook Hotel”. A speakeasy vibe with 4 dimly lit rooms and two intimate courtyards making this a perfect place for a first date. Expect an extensive cocktail list with all the aperitif classics from Spritz to Hugo, Gin & Tonic to a more thought out, signature menu with various combinations, garnishes and prestigious liqueurs. WEBSITE


Gina Lollobrigida and Valentino Garavani

It was 1972 when Jackie O’ was born in via Boncompagni (a side street of Via Veneto) in the heart of Dolce Vita area. The name is an explicit homage to Jackie Onassis, an icon of those years. It immediately became a point of reference not only for well-to-do Rome but also and above all a “theatre” from where international stars recounted the excesses and wealth of those years. Alain Delon, Gina Lollobrigida, the Rolling Stones, Princess Margaret of England, Andy Warhol, Helmut Berger but also Italian names such as Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman and the paparazzi crowd: every celebrity was at Jackie O. It is the black and white snapshots that dominate the venue because those names, the stories of each of them, made Jackie O’ memorable and an evergreen. A venue that has maintained the same magic for 50 years, where there has never been a need to follow fashions rather, that often dictated them. The restaurant’s menu brings back to those years: Riso al salto, Green pepper fillet with flambé directly in the room to impress, Crepes suzette. An excellent raw material for a classic cuisine at the antipodes of gourmet, the one signed by Chef Federico Sparaco. And the piano bar, a format that has always distinguished Jackie O’ which keeps people dancing until dawn. WEBSITE

where to sleep


The Hoxton bedroom

The Hoxton opens in the Parioli district of Rome. A neighbourhood known to be the area of the affluent, socialite Romans. But the Hoxton is different; yes, its a space that brings people together but here there are no preconceptions nor expectations. This is an inclusive space apt for everybody from solo travellers to locals simply looking to ‘hang out’ or work from somewhere other than the office. 192 bedrooms are spread over 7 floors, with six different sizes that reflect a retro, 60s vibe. In fact, the connecting thread in each space of The Hoxton is the utmost attention to detail when it comes to the design, curated by Ennismore Design Studio. Downstairs is home to two eateries: Beverly, with its Californian inspired cuisine and Cugino, an all-day diner with a farm-to-table approach (and pretty exceptional pastries). WEBSITE

Hotel de la Ville

Courtyard at Hotel de la Ville

Iconic terracotta stripes and sumptuous, British inspired fabrics are emblematic to the Hotel de la Ville in Rome however the fil rouge that combines all the Rocco Forte Hotels is the connection to the city they’re in. The desire tp represent this aspect is highlighted through the attention to detail in the design of each hotel which, for Hotel de la Ville is signed by Tommaso Ziffer in collaboration with Olga Polizzi, Design Director of the Rocco Forte Hotels. Here, elements are inspired by the Grand Tour, an era of historical importance to Rome as well as the desire to enhance the work of local artisans from upholstery to prints and fabrics. The hotel, located above Piazza di Spagna houses 104 room & suites and boasts an incredible terrace (Cielo) that offers a 180 degree view over the city as well as a very reputable culinary offer. The cuisine is led by Fulvio Pierangelini who focuses on mediterranean flavours with locally sourced ingredients (the olive Oil is produced at the Verdura Resort). The Cielo terrace is also a gem for those wishing to enjoy an aperitivo at susnset. Wellness is a core pillar of the Rocco Forte Hotel group in which Irene Forte, daughter of Sir Rocco Forte, is a pioneer in the beauty industry and founded a natural, vegan skincare brand that is created in their organic farm at Verdura Resort. The SPA is a haven with sauna, Turkish bath, ice plunge pool, jacuzzi and a relaxation area as well as an array of blissful massages and treatments. This hotel is for those searching for a wellness escape to recharge in luxury. WEBSITE


Bedroom at Hotel Vilòn. Ph. Ryan Neeven

That’s just what it is. Secret. Intimate. Hideaway. In Hebrew, Vilòn means veil or curtain; something that covers and discloses something beautiful, private. Nestled on Via dell’Arancio the hotel is almost hidden; a small black door that contains a treasure made up of space, history and design that combined create this five star hotel, member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 18 Rooms & Suites feature in the Hotel Vilón. A retro-chic design that evokes elegance yet at the same time, contemporaneity and smartness. A deep blue paints the furniture, the same pantone that won the colour of the year in 2021. Curtains that act as a veil to the second floor rooms that overlook the magnificent courtyard of Palazzo Borghese, one of the most important noble residences in the city. The ground floor is home to Adelaide, the in house restaurant signed by Chef Gabriele Muro. His cuisine reflects his roots with a light, contemporary interpretation. WEBSITE


Palazzo Dama Rome hotel
Palazzo Dama bedroom details

Located two minutes from Piazza del Popolo, this hotel is situated in a noble residence that has been restored by Italian architect Antonio Girardi, who managed to preserve the Palazzo’s liberty style architecture whilst adding a touch of contemporaneity. Elegance is what springs to mind when walking along the corridors of Palazzo Dama, crowned crystal chandeliers and Liberty style stucco ceilings. Twenty-six rooms and suites blend beautifully the sophisticated architecture with a contemporary flair. Delicate green or blue tones, signature of the hotel’s palette, are integrated with white to create a clean yet smart aesthetic. On the ground floor, the in-house restaurant Pacifico, the intimate Pisco bar and an outdoor courtyard filled with cast iron furnishings, tropical plants and a large swimming pool. WEBSITE

ANANTARA palazzo naiadi

Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel
Premium Room With Terrace

Located in Piazza della Repubblica near the Termini Station, Anantara Palazzo Naiadi was acquired by the Anantara group and by Autumn 2021 will be entirely renovated. The hotel is situated on the foundations of what were the luxury baths of the Roman Empire: The Baths of Diocletian. This acts as an important pillar for the hotel brand who pays particular importance to SPA and Wellness. Anantara Palazzo Naiadi, of 238 rooms & suites is designed in a classic style with an oriental touch. A calming palette of neutral colours fill the rooms that have been furnished with antique wood, marble and leather. The culinary scene is also strong, with a menu curated by Executive Chef Niko Sinisgalli at Ristorante Tazio. WEBSITE

W Rome

Where to sleep in Rome
Studio Suite at W Rome

W Hotels have a portfolio of 30 hotels worldwide and in December 2021 landed their first Italian location in Rome. The group is renowned for its young, vibrant and high-spirited atmosphere and has brought exactly that to the centre of Italy. Situated behind Via Veneto, the idea was to inject a little energy to this historical side of Rome and, by the looks of things, they have managed to do exactly that. From the interior design to the culinary scene passing through fashion and wellness; these are all aspects that combined have filled a missing gap in Rome. An eclectic mix of leather, velvets, marble and mirrors fill the space and bring to life the hotel and its 163 rooms & suites designed by Meyer Davis. On the culinary front, two Michelin starred chef Ciccio Sultano opens Giano, a mediterranean based menu with chefs signature creative flair. In Summer, head to the rooftop for an exquisite (the best) pizza in Rome in collaboration with Seu Pizza Illuminati. WEBSITE

Umiltà 36

Where to sleep in Rome
Cafè Dandy, Umiltà 36. Ph. Ryan Neeven

Hotel Umiltà 36 is the perfect, conventional, luxury hotel in the heart of the city centre. The design, art and architecture are the driving force of the hotel. Prestigious materials, immaculate attention to design and meticulous research behind every furnishing. In the rooms & suites you’ll not only find the comforts of a luxury hotel but also modern, home comforts from fully functioning cuisines to living rooms with stellar TVs. The Dandy Cafè is the beating heart of the hotel, with an all day dining concept led by Chef Giulio Troise and next door, taste Argentinian stake at El Porteño. It appears as a museum, with wonderful paintings, sculptures by Matteo Pugliese and modern art pieces. WEBSITE

Hotel maalot

Where to sleep in Rome
Bedroom at Hotel Maalot. Ph. Ryan Neeven

Hotel Maalot is seen as a hotel within a restaurant, since its heart and soul is Don Pasquale, a theatrical, eclectic designed restaurant with magnificent artworks by Argentinian artist Stanley Gonczanski. The contemporary works (that appear as classical at first glimpse) mirror the exceptional culinary proposal of Chef Domenico Boschi. The rooms and suites are individually designed with eclectic colours, fabrics and materials that almost resemble a British country cottage. Prestigious marble covers the bathroom and some rooms even feature walk-in wardrobes. There is a speakeasy type cocktail bar tucked away in the back with funky neon lighting and a rum trolley featuring international labels and a technogym equipped gym. WEBSITE

mama shelter

Where to sleep in Rome
Rooftop Terrace at Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter is like the coolest new kid in town and it’s located within walking distance from the Vatican. With 217 colourful yet glamorous designed rooms, this is idyllic for those with a budget without sacrificing comfort and style. One thing is for sure, you can never get bored (who said travelling is for exploring cities – #staycation is the new thing). From cosying up in bed watching free movies to a more active session in the fully equipped gym or Roman baths (pool, sauna and a steam room). There are also three restaurants: a Pizzeria, il Giardino d’Inverno serving exquisite Italian cuisine and il Giardino d’Estate, also known as, Rooftop. On Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s expect a fun night of cocktails, live DJ, table football, ping-pong and many more informal celebrations. WEBSITE

Leons place hotel

Bedroom at Leon’s Place

New to the hotelier scene in Rome is Leon’s Place, a boutique hotel housed within the historic Palazzo Fabi Altini in the centre of Rome. Following careful renovations, Leon’s Place has become the perfect fusion of classic environments and modern influences, with 56 rooms and suites charmingly furnished with a sober colour palette and prestigious materials such as fine Carrara marble in the bathrooms and restored antique furniture. As for dining, there’s an in house restaurant that serves traditional roman and contemporary Italian cuisine as well as a refined lounge bar and idyllic wellness centre (with Turkish bath, sauna, hot tub) and Technogym equipped gym. WEBSITE

Piazza Navona Roma
Piazza Navona Roma
The Pantheon
The Pantheon, Ph. Gabriella Clare Marino

Stay up to date. Sign up to our newsletter