WHERE TO STAY
Rome has an illustrious hotel scene, but for a truly immersive stay in the city, these vacation homes – selected from Plum Guide’s hand-picked and meticulously assessed collection – offer their own unique perspectives…
Pensieri Stupendi, Pantheon
Enjoy an ultra-exclusive vantage point of the Pantheon and the bustling piazza from the small balcony of Pensieri Stupendi, a perfectly formed and centrally located apartment. The inside is equally beguiling thanks to the sumptuous sofas, sleek marble bathroom, chequerboard flooring and majestic wallpaper.
This charming home is cozy and chic, with original features such as beamed ceilings and oak floorboards. Cedrata’s standout spot is its sunny veranda, with throngs of flowers and fresh citrus fruits. The surrounding streets of Monti, a creative hub in the city, are wonderful to get lost in, offering up traditional trattorias and alfresco cafés.
Opera Glass, Monti
The spectacular Opera Glass apartment boasts striking, opulent touches (including ceiling frescoes and marble arches) offset by lots of natural light. A private abode with many of the benefits of being in a hotel – from a chef to a 24/7 concierge – it is located a short stroll from a number of iconic landmarks. For a wonderful vista, the dreamy, private rooftop terrace gives skyline views of the Eternal City.
The Terrace Palermo
It is impossible to choose between the indoors and outdoors of this refined two-bedroom property. The ornate interiors at The Terrace Palermo pay homage to a bygone era, featuring a grand piano, antiques and 17th-century artworks. Up on the rooftop terrace, which is bedecked with plants, the panorama takes in the Colosseum on one side and the Quirinal (Presidential) Palace on the other, with an array of seating to while away a sunny day or a balmy evening.
Trajan’s Chambers, Monti
Settle onto the pistachio-striped sofa or pretty Juliet balcony in this immaculately appointed home to peruse your impressive surroundings. Trajan’s Chambers is located within easy walking distance of the city’s most famous sights and has magnificent views of the Imperial Fora and the Vittoriano. For a night in, there is a beautiful formal dining room.
TO SOAK UP THE CULTURE
For a foray into the city’s history (while circumventing the hoards around the Colosseum) head for a lesser-known ruin instead. Largo di Torre Argentina makes for an unexpected discovery – the sunken piazza dates back to 4th century BC, and was the site of Julius Caesar’s death.
Pre-book a private evening tour of St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums to explore without so many fellow visitors. You can begin with an aperitif at Cortille della Pigna before getting an uninterrupted insight into the renowned galleries, and ending with the Raphael rooms and the Sistine Chapel.
Take a train ride to Ostia Antica, the harbor city of ancient Rome. Featuring temples, an amphitheatre and public baths, it’s less crowded and closer to Rome than Pompeii, and gives visitors a glimpse of the past.
The city has an abundance of art to enjoy, but two destinations not to miss are MAXXI, the National Museum of Art of the 21st Century, which is housed in a building designed by Zaha Hadid and boasts an incredible collection of contemporary national art as well as globally recognized exhibitions. Then make your way to Macro, a cutting-edge museum situated in a former brewery.
WHERE TO DINE
Michelin-starred Il Convivio Troiani boasts an intimate and enchanting atmosphere, beginning with an arrangement of small appetizers hanging from the ceiling to tantalize the tastebuds. Try the seven-course tasting menu, which is paired with an Italian wine list.
Both the ancient Testaccio market and Mercato Centrale food court are unmissable for a vibrant food-market scene. At the latter, Trapizzino comes highly recommended, and serves a pizza cone filled with traditional Roman flavors.
The family-run Enoteca Corsi opens in the afternoon only, so make sure to visit for lunch to indulge in this osteria’s menu of hearty classics.
The ancient winery and bottiglieria (wine shop) Ai Tre Scalini serves authentic Roman cuisine alongside a spectacular array of vino.
Meanwhile, the refined and intimate Jerry Thomas Speakeasy is a hidden-away cocktail spot that is world-renowned, as well as a local favorite.
For artisanal Italian coffee, stop by Sant’ Eustachio il caffè, where the baristas make an incredible caffè zuccherato (sweetened coffee) by adding a spoonful of foam from the first few drops of an espresso, whipped with sugar.
FOR A SPOT OF ROMANCE
The city isn’t short of potential for amore, but Fontana dell’Acqua Paola – found atop of Janiculum, the second-tallest hill in the city – is a marvellously romantic setting. Order a pizza from one of Trastevere’s many brilliant pizzerias, then watch the sun set over St. Peter’s Basilica from this secluded spot. The picturesque neighborhood of Trastevere is also well worth a stroll around to see baroque churches, scenic streets and piazzas filled with locals enjoying aperitivi.
WHERE TO SHOP
To peruse an impeccable selection of the city’s expert artisan makers and centuries-old ateliers, head for Parione, by the Campo de’ Fiori on the banks of the Tiber. Bibliophiles should also call in to Antica Libreria Cascianelli, which has an impressive assortment of rare tomes and first editions.
FOR A CINEMATIC MOMENT
Movie enthusiasts will recognize Via Margutta as a key setting from 1953 classic Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Running from Piazza di Spagna to Piazza del Popolo, the flower-festooned street now encompasses art galleries alongside magnificent stores and restaurants.