Rome

Overview

From Andrew Harper

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the Eternal City is its historical continuity. The Ponte Fabricio, which spans the Tiber to the Isola Tiberina, dates from 62 B.C. and remains in daily use. And 2,000 years after it was built, the Pantheon still has the world’s largest unreinforced dome. Arguably, the best introduction to the city is still “The Companion Guide to Rome” by Georgina Masson, first published in 1965. It is certainly a favorite of mine, and I have long enjoyed following its detailed walking itineraries. Rome is particularly beautiful during the so-called “ottobrate,” from mid-September to the end of October. High summer is hot and disagreeable, and the Romans themselves leave the city for the seaside.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Rome

Lazio (Rome), Italy
La Posta Vecchia
La Posta Vecchia

Restored 17th-century villa (once owned by J. Paul Getty) in a 15-acre park overlooking the Mediterranean. Salons/dining room and 19 guest quarters are adorned with priceless paintings and antiques.

Rome, Italy
Casa Manni
Casa MANNI

Exceptionally attractive penthouse apartment on the top floor of a 17th-century palazzo, just five minutes’ walk from the Pantheon.

Hotel Eden
Hotel Eden

Elegant turn-of-the-century 121-room hotel near the Via Veneto and the Spanish Steps. Lodgings feature classic furnishings, ample windows and marble baths, some with separate tubs and showers.

Hotel Hassler Roma
Hotel Hassler Roma

Legendary hotel in a turn-of-the-century palace located atop the Spanish Steps, a short walk from the Via Condotti, Rome’s most fashionable shopping street. A charming staff enhances the hotel’s intimate Old World atmosphere.

Portrait Suites
Portrait Suites Roma

Stylish 14-suite townhouse hotel owned by the Ferragamo family and situated adjacent to the Spanish Steps. Accommodations offer clean, modern design, luxurious baths and well-equipped galley kitchens.

Residenza Napoleone III
Residenza Napoleone III

Two opulent suites housed within the spectacular 16th-century Palazzo Ruspoli.

Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie
Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie

Stylish hotel near the Spanish Steps and lovely Piazza del Popolo. The 122 high-tech rooms and suites are done in pastel hues with an appealing mix of classic and contemporary furnishings, and feature marble mosaic baths.

The Inn At The Roman Forum
The Inn At The Roman Forum

Enchanting 12-room hideaway in a 15th-century mansion on a quiet cul-de-sac adjoining Trajan’s Forum, within walking distance of the Coliseum and the Corso.

Villa Spalletti Trivelli
Villa Spalletti Trivelli

Elegant 12-room hotel within a stone mansion near the Quirinale presidential palace. Public areas include an antique-filled drawing room and library.

Dining

All recommended restaurants in Rome

AGATA E ROMEO

Husband-and-wife team Agata Parisella and Romeo Caraccio fuse contemporary cuisine with venerable Roman traditions. Dishes include ravioli filled with braised oxtail, simple yet delicious spaghetti with grated Pecorino cheese and black pepper, Mediterranean scorpion fish with a potato foam and sea urchins, and rich braised veal cheek with a parsnip purée.

Via Carlo Alberto, 45
Rome 00185
Italy
US$110
CLEMENTE ALLA MADDALENA

Set on the charming piazza in front of the rococo façade of the Santa Maria Maddalena church, this lovely small restaurant offers many pleasures. Foremost is the cooking of chef Rita Colaiacomo, who draws on the traditions of Rome, Emilia-Romagna and Puglia, the land of her grandmother. Look for satisfying starters such as a cake of salt cod and potatoes with chickpea cream; pastas like the classic Roman homemade maccheroncini with tomato, bacon and sheep cheese; and main courses such as lamb chops with potatoes and rosemary.

Piazza della Maddalena, 4
Rome 00186
Italy
US$75
GLASS HOSTARIA

Cristina Bowerman ran a catering company in Austin, Texas, before returning to her native Italy and taking over the kitchen at this handsome restaurant in the delightful Trastevere district. In a city that is notably conservative when it comes to food, Bowerman has won a reputation for inventive dishes such as her signature ravioli filled with asparagus and a cream made with Parmesan that’s been aged for 60 months, and rich risotto made with a Bagnoli blue cheese. On the often-changing menu, watch for dishes such as lamb with pumpkin sauce, shiitake mushrooms and quinoa; and lobster with aromatic salad and avocado. Excellent wine list.

Vicolo dè Cinque, 58
Rome 00153
Italy
US$140
IL CONVIVIO TROIANI

The three Troiani brothers temper their culinary imaginations with respect for Roman tradition. Several dining rooms (one frescoed and another hung with classical oil paintings) provide memorable settings for the refined gastronomy. Among the signature dishes are a beautiful selection of pristine raw fish in various preparations, and roasted pigeon marinated with wine, herbs and vegetables with rosemary and persimmon. Closed Sundays.

Vicolo dei Soldati 31
Rome 00186
Italy
US$100
IL PAGLIACCIO

Anthony Genovese, who formerly worked at the Tokyo branch of Florence’s Enoteca Pinchiorri, is one of the most innovative chefs in Rome, and this stylish place offers an eclectic menu of Italian classics and fusion food, including shrimp with turnips, anise and peanuts; spaghetti with lentils and sea urchin; and lamb with Roman broccoli and mushrooms.

Via dei Banchi Vecchi 129a
Rome 00186
Italy
US$100
L'ARCANGELO

Even among food-savvy Romans, this remains a bit of a secret. The interior looks like the classic trattoria, albeit a refined one, with ochre walls hung with old prints. The food is first-class, with dishes such as fresh-made chitarra pasta with marinated anchovies and fried artichokes, and main courses like a variation on the classic Roman dish of steamed salt cod with a purée of broccoli and warm ricotta infused with cocoa beans. Ask for recommendations from the interesting wine list, which is full of selections from Italy’s smaller producers.

Via Giuseppe Giaocchinio Belli 59
Rome 00193
Italy
$65
LA CAMPANA

Finding a restaurant in Rome on Sunday night can be a challenge, which is how I discovered this delightful spot. Reputed to be the oldest trattoria in the city, it might not be the most elegant, but the food makes it a must. Pastas are excellent, as are the lamb dishes. (Nowhere does a better take on the simple cacio e pepe with just ground pepper, butter and Pecorino cheese.) The service can be perfunctory, but come on Sunday for lunch, when you will see happy Roman families enjoying every bite.

Vicolo della Campana, 18
Rome 00186
Italy
US$55
PIPERNO

Situated in the former Jewish ghetto, this charming and informal spot is famous for its carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes, “Jewish style”). Also, try any of the wonderful dishes with fresh-made pasta, the fritto misto vegetariano, and the first-rate stuffed zucchini blossoms. Tables spill out into the quiet piazza, which provides a magical setting in summer. Closed Mondays.

Via Monte de’Cenci 9
Rome 00186
Italy
US$60
ROSCIOLI

Located just around the corner from the Campo de’ Fiori market, this is a favorite place for casual dining. The snug space is tucked away behind a gourmet grocery shop. Start with burrata, the creamy mozzarella-like cheese from Puglia, with anchovies; or squid-and-vegetable salad; then try the best spaghetti carbonara in town. If you don’t want pasta as a main course, the roasted swordfish with vegetables, and meatballs with smoked ricotta and chestnut polenta, are excellent. There is a superb assortment of cheeses and one of the city’s best wine lists.

Via dei Giubbonari 21
Rome 00186
Italy
US$60
TRATTORIA MONTI

This family-run trattoria offers delicious regional food and outstanding service. The seasonal menu generally features dishes such as a mixed antipasti of veal-stuffed olives, deep-fried zucchini and soft sausage. Another specialty is tortino (small flan-like cakes made with vegetables). Rabbit dishes are a specialty, and if it’s on the menu, try the luscious timballo di coniglio con potate—a casserole of rabbit with potatoes. The clientele is always well turned out, and reservations are essential.

Via di San Vito 13/A
Rome 00185
Italy
US$50

Special Offers

Special Offers

Hotel Eden - Stay Three Nights, Pay For Two
Hotel Eden - Stay Three Nights, Pay For Two

Confirm a three consecutive night summer stay by July 31, 2014, and pay for only two nights. Rates start from 217 EUR per night for double occupancy, plus VAT.

Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie - Summer Savings in the Eternal City
Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie - Summer Savings in the Eternal City

Stay three or more nights at Hotel de Russie and enjoy 25 percent savings on our best available rate, valid for a Deluxe room category up to an Executive Suite.