This article appears in Volume 26: The Nostalgia Issue

Great cities impress in seconds but seduce slowly. Rome is no different. If you’re a romantic traveller who has always been drawn to historic places, nowhere compares to the Eternal City.

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Your imagination is drawn back centuries, whether strolling around the ivy-covered piazzas of the Regola district, observing the classical grandeur of the Spanish Steps or pinballing through the terracotta maze of Testaccio. Like most pilgrimages to the city, from knights in search of the Holy Grail to the great romantic poets Keats, Shelley and Byron or the young lovers in André Aciman’s seminal summer read Call Me by Your Name, those who journey here do so to drink in its antiquity.

These are our favourite places to stay, eat, drink, dance and play.


Locanda San Pancrazio

Located in the young and vibrant neighbourhood of Trastevere, Locanda San Pancrazio is low-key and cool, with the rooftop terrace and sushi restaurant attracting a trendy Roman crowd come summer. Ideal for a weekend break with friends or a romantic getaway for two, the comfy rooms provide the perfect launchpad from which to explore the edgier side of the city. Rooms from £59 per night.

Hotel Locarno

The Locarno is situated just a few steps from the Piazza del Popolo. The original Art Nouveau style from the early 20th century has been preserved and rooms are easy and unpretentious. Staff are friendly and professional and the heated outside terrace, reminiscent of an Art Nouveau garden, is the perfect spot for aperitivo. Rooms from £105.


The G-Rough opened its doors in 2015. Only 50m from Piazza Navona and situated in a 17th-century building, this petite, 10-suite hotel is one for design lovers. Describing its ethos as ‘rough-luxe’, each floor is modelled on a renowned Italian designer from the 20th century: Ponti, Parisi, Cavatorta, Borsano, Ulric, to name but a few. The result is a mixture of Fellini-meets-baroque Rome which strikes just the right balance between luxury and fun. The hip bar downstairs is all mirrored tiles and sleek, mid-century furniture – the perfect place for pre-party aperitifs (the G-Rough spritz is to die for). Rooms from £259.

J.K. Place

Housed in what was once Rome’s school of architecture, the five-star J.K. Place offers a luxurious alternative to L’Hotel de Russie. This 30-room boutique hotel is located in the town centre with a café and fantastic rooftop bar open to all. The hotel features a eclectic mix of antiques with mid-century furniture, while the library will keep you busy with its interesting collection of books. Don’t forget to order the house cocktail, J.K. Sour, while you’re there. Rooms from £307.

Holy Deer San Lorenzo City Lodge

A two-bedroom palazzo and the former residence of a Pope – it doesn’t get much more Baroquely brilliant than this extravagant lodging overlooking the famous Piazza Navona. A fantasy of frescoes and antique furnishings, it practically encourages flights of fancy and tempestuous love affairs.

La Posta Vecchia

The reimagined childhood home of creative director Marie-Louise Sciò, this elegant Etruscan escape on the coastline one hour outside of the city by car is a maximalist’s dream of velvet headboards, chandeliers and tapestries that is well worth venturing beyond the established tourist trail for.

Hotel De 'Ricci

For oenophiles this eight-bedroom hotel off Via Giulia has its own well-stocked wine cellar, a staff composed entirely of sommeliers and a ground-floor members’ club in which to drink in the hedonistic atmosphere – hardly surprising when you consider that it belongs to the same owner as the beloved seafood restaurant Pierluigi.

Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

This former convent is located in the heavenly Borghese Gardens and has been restored into a charming and discreet beauty of a hotel, where marble floors and shuttered windows add a whiff of old-world grandeur alongside contemporary comforts such as the Biologique Recherche spa. Bikes offer the perfect means of exploring the leafy neighbourhood, while the concierge can secure notoriously hard-to-get tickets to the Villa Borghese.

J. K. Place


Hotel Locarno

Locanda San Pancrazio

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City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.


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