An epic and monumental city, Italy’s awe-inspiring Eternal City is a visual feast of art and culture.
Do as the locals do and start the morning with a caffè and cornetto at La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro al Pantheon, which opened in 1946 in Rome’s historical center. Italians are synonymous with style and the concept store HB Roma treats the senses to a mix of stunning art and perfumes. The high-end department store La Rinascente offers several floors of Italian clothing and furniture (and head to the basement to see the still-functioning ancient Roman aqueduct that services nearly all the city fountains). Take a break from the action with traditional fried artichokes and other seasonal dishes at Osteria Chiana, then spend the afternoon strolling the Centro Storico’s cobblestone streets to see such iconic sights as the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza di Spagna.
The holiest of happy hours happens Friday evenings through October, when you can sip aperitivi inside the Vatican Museums’ manicured Pinecone Courtyard. When it’s time to eat, take the 10-minute cab ride to Trastevere, a charming medieval neighborhood where the locals gather. For a memorable meal of homemade tiger-prawn tortelli with asparagus and other Roman classics, book a table at Antico Arco. Follow it up with an Italian film under the stars at L’Isola del Cinema, an outdoor festival that runs through mid-September on the nearby island of Tiberina. Or simply grab an overstuffed cone of small-batch gelato from the excellent Fiordiluna to feel like you’re walking straight out of Roman Holiday.
This post was adapted from ‘Boston Traveler' that ran in Boston Magazine in July, 2017.
PS. Join me for my next Field Note