rome-car

Rome is known as the ‘Eternal City’, a city filled with such an abundance of ancient treasures that it’s impossible to focus on just one. Needless to say, it’s a place which must be visited at least once in a lifetime in order to understand the foundations of culture as we know it – and even more so now that a breath of fresh air has been blown into the city’s hotels, restaurants and bars.

The opening of renowned art gallery, Gagosian, a few years back, the recent inauguration of the Fendi Hotel and the launch of legendary Parisian nightclub, Raspoutine, at the Palazzo Dama, means there is now more than ever to keep you amused on a city break in one of Italy’s most romantic cities. We’ve picked our old favourites and the current cool places to hang out, so you, too, can go To Rome, With Love.

To Stay

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.

G-Rough

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.

To Eat

Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè

This is one of Rome’s institutions. At walking distance from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, this ancient coffee shop is renowned for having the best coffee in town. Order a macchiato from the bar, add a little cornetto al cioccolato if you are feeling naughty and feel the Roman vibe.

Ciampini

Ciampini is well known among locals. A short walk from the Spanish steps, impeccably chic bartenders in white jackets and even whiter gloves will serve you silky, dark coffee or one of their legendary pizzas if you decide to stop by for lunch.

Forno Campo de' Fiori

You can find the best pizza tagliata on the famous Campo dei Fiori. Grab a few slices of gooey goodness and sit in the sun on one of the fountains of Piazza Farnese. You’re bound to make friends with others who’ve had the same idea.

Cul de Sac

If you’re looking for an unpretentious place for lunch, Cul de Sac is the one. This popular wine bar is situated just minutes from Piazza Navona and their encyclopaedic wine list is unparalleled anywhere else in the city. Soak it up by indulging in plenty of cheese and cold meats, or some of their incredible pasta.

Pierluigi

If you are looking for a sun-drenched terrace for an elegant (but boozy) meal, look no further. Pierluigi is protected from the crowds on the sunny Piazza de Ricci, just 20m from the Piazza Farnese, and is renowned for high-quality food, particularly its fresh fish. The super friendly owner will also take great care of you.

Assunta Madre

We couldn’t resist recommending our other favourite seafood restaurant in town, which happens to be the best kept secret on via Gulia. Set in a traditionally chic setting, it’s the perfect place for a Saturday night dinner. Tip: pop over the road to the DOM hotel for after dinner drinks on the rooftop.

Al Moro

Tucked away on a side street near the Trevi Fountain, step into a trattoria straight out of your Roman dreams (lighting and furniture included). The old-school waiters will prepare anything for you, from the best carbonara in town to a Monte Bianco dessert. Now, what to order…

Pastificio

If you are looking for a more modern spot, head to Pastificio in San Laurenzo. Inside a former industrial space, the restaurant is situated in Rome’s contemporary art hub. The crowd is cool, the burgers delicious.

Aperitivo

Osteria delle Copelle

Piazza delle Coppelle is one of the most animated piazzas in the centre of Rome, packed every night with the after-work drinking crowd. Pull up a pew and order some aperitivo (a selection of miniature pizza slices and bruschetta) and a glass of spritz and you will soon feel like a true local. The restaurant is also very good, but the cherry on the cake is the naughtily named secret bar, ‘Le Derrière’, which you can access through a cupboard or the concealed door in the adjacent street.

Jerry Thomas Project

Jerry Thomas is the ultimate speakeasy. The snug atmosphere, red velvet furnishings, bearded bartenders and amazing cocktails mean Jerry Thomas has nothing to envy even the coolest Brooklyn drinking dens. Perfect for a secret meet up with an Italian love interest…

Salotto 42

A few steps from the Pantheon, nestled on the beautiful Piazza di Pietra just across from Hadrian’s temple and its famous columns, Salotto 42 is the place for a proper Roman after-dinner rendez-vous. Their moscow mule, served in an actual mule, will rock your world. When in Rome, do as the Romans do… It would be rude not to.

Going Out

Cohouse Pigneto

Located in Pigneto (the city’s first suburb ring), Cohouse was once a cook’s house where Italian railway workers would go for lunch. Now, they’re now on a mission to make high-level gourmet cuisine informal, through a ‘social dinners’ initiative. Each week, the restaurant invites a Michelin-starred chef to cook for the night; as dinner goes on, the living room slowly fills up with local city dwellers who come for cocktails and the live band (the food goes without saying). International DJs ensure you stay and dance until dawn.

La Taverna

If you’re after for a local night out, this should be your spot of choice. Housed in the Palazzo Taverna, this cosy and buzzing dive will make you forget you’re a tourist in no time.

  • Via Dei Gabrielli, 92
    00186

Music Inn

If you are looking to shake things up in the heart of Rome, the place to do so is the Music-Inn. The ground floor is a bar and sometimes jazz club which flows outside onto the piazza, while the subterranean nightclub pumps out house, dance and techno beats.

Music Inn

Via Dei Gabrielli, 92

La Taverna

Cohouse Pigneto

Salotto 42

Jerry Thomas Project

Osteria delle Copelle

Pastificio

Al Moro

Assunta Madre

Pierluigi

Cul de Sac

Forno Campo de' Fiori

Ciampini

Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè

J. K. Place

G-Rough

Hotel Locarno

Locanda San Pancrazio

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