Palazzo Dama: a bit of Paris in Rome. This airy palace designed by Antonio Girardi is dazzling. White paneled walls and ornate crown moldings are backdrops to serene marine blues, pops of gold, crystal chandeliers, billowy palms and graphic décor. The pool and gardens offer a tranquil place to relax, and the chic lobby and restaurant feel rich yet modern. A destination in itself.
Rome Luxury Suites: with four properties around the Campo Marzio (historic center near the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo) you have several options for an upscale boutique hotel stay. Each location has several suites, with sleek interiors, and its position couldn’t be better. Surprisingly quiet, the back lanes of this area are lined with chic independent boutiques. There are also several great restaurants nearby, where you can dine alongside locals – despite its proximity to the tourist attractions.
Hotel de Russie: the stunning courtyard is reason alone to stay here, though you can always go for a drink to enjoy the exclusive setting here. This is one of the city’s finest hotels, with the discreet, elevated service and strong design that the Rocco Forte group is known for. There’s a stunning indoor pool and spa, for relaxing after all the hours walking.
Casa Montani: This is a luxury family apartment turned unique bed & breakfast, with fine furnishings and a cozy ambience. Its location just outside Piazza del Popolo keeps you close to the action, but far enough away to feel like you’re coming home at the end of the day.
JK Place Roma: sister of the glamorous JK hotels in Capri and Florence, the Rome edition delivers modern luxury in a convenient location near the Tiber River not far from the main shopping and tourist areas. The design features bold colors, wood paneling and mid-centery modern furniture.
Pigneto 1870: if you feel like venturing out of touristy Rome, then head into what would be likened to Brooklyn, Bushwick specifically. Formerly a gritty area, it’s been rapidly gentrifying thanks to an influx of young creatives. This restaurant serves an inventive take on traditional dishes, tasting courses and changing menus, served on cool ceramics in a hipster vibe.
Dilla’: this pretty little restaurant has great lighting, great food, and great service. Mismatched china plays backdrop to amazing Roman pastas. Think carbonaras and cacio e pepe, with a solid wine selection. It’s elegant yet casual, and the desserts are divine.
La Buvette: this is a lovely place for breakfast or later in the early evening for an aperitivo. Its vintage design is romantic, and even the staff wear old-world uniforms. Try the fruit tarts!
Cantina Belsiana: for a quick lunch when visiting the Spanish Steps area, pop in for a helping of charcuterie. There are a few small plates to order as well (yes pasta) but the spotlight here is the meat and cheese.
Da Enzo: unfortunately this local trattoria in Trastevere has become quite popular, once a place for locals it’s now on the tourist map. It’s still worth it for the homestyle Roman cooking – the best amatriciana and cacio e pepe, fried artichokes and zucchini blossoms, and save room for dessert: the tiramisu has a Nutella-filled center.
Madre: modern design, jungalow vibes, and a lovely terrace with a hanging garden make this a great oasis in the hip Monti area of Rome. Food is Latin-inspired, alongside pizzas you'll find ceviche, tacos, and a fun selection of cocktails.
Settimio al Pellegrino: near Via del Governo Vecchio and Via Giulia, this is quickly becoming the in-the-know, off-the-radar trattoria in central Rome. There’s no menu, you will eat whatever the owner and his wife have prepared that day.
Prosciutteria Cantina dei Papi: if you’re craving a snack while walking along Via del Governo Vecchio, stop here for a several foot-long “tagliere” – meat and cheese plate. It’s served on a long wooden board, offering the best of Italian cured specialities.
Ai Spaghettari: another option in Trastevere, come here for a variety of local "primi" pastas, "secondi" meat-based mains, and "contorni" vegetable sides. There's also a rich and creamy tiramisu. Take a table outside on the square (Piazza San Cosimato) -- even more fun during market days.
Tartufi & Friends: if you like truffles, this is the place to get your fix. Near the Spanish Steps, pop by and prepare to splurge. Go for the white truffle while you're here and think of it like a fine champagne: expensive but worth it.
Chez Dede: a concept store on Via di Monserrato, with a strong edit of global brands that have one thing in common: handmade luxury. Look out for the fierce trench coats by fellow Italians, Giuliva Heritage Collection.
Artisanal Cornucopia: another one of Via dell'Oca's gems, this concept store has cool finds for yourself and your home.
Atelier Bomba: a true atelier, this is Cristina Bomba’s studio, where today her son Michele personally attends to clients in the style of traditional haute couture.
Profumum Roma: niche apothecary selling artisan fragrances, inspired by the Roman landscape. Their Via di Ripetto store near the Spanish Steps is a perfect stop to pick up a special souvenir.
Flamingo Vintage: there are many vintage and second-hand shops in Rome, but this one has the best edit. Designer items and a well-curated assortment of fun, statement pieces in the cool Monti neighborhood.
Rome is filled with important historical monuments that deserve your attention. Pick a few, but also try doing some non-touristy things: just walking around and exploring the neighborhoods is the best way to see the city. The sights are remarkably breathtaking at night, when their spotlights highlight ancient architecture through the shadows; there's no better way to end the evening than with a romantic walk around Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona illuminated in the darkness.
The best neighborhoods to walk around are Trastevere and Monti. In the historic center, some great streets are Via dell’Oca, Via del Governo Vecchio, and Via Giulia for beautiful strolls. Make sure to stop by the Galleria Sciarra near the Trevi Fountain - it's stunning.
Another great way to see the city, is renting a motorino. See the city like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. An exhilarating ride you'll never forget!
Maxxi Museum: designed by Zaha Hadid this museum features changing exhibits from contemporary art to retrospectives. The architecture both outside and inside is worth the visit.
EUR: the acronym for Esposizione Universale Roma, this district of the city was built by Benito Mussolini for the 1942 World's Fair (which never took place due to WWII). The buildings showcase strong works of rationalist architecture, which rose in Italy during the Fascist period (1920s-1940s). It combines modernist and neo-classical architecture, with imposing minimalist structures and a reverence for arches, columns, domes and porticoes. A good example is the Palazzo della Civilta', now Fendi's headquarters! You can take a taxi about 20 minutes from central Rome.
Via Appia Antica: this actually an archaeological park around one of the oldest streets in Rome - the Appian Way. It's a lovely walk along the iconic stone pines, and a refreshing way to see old Rome without the chaos of traffic. You'll need to take a taxi, it's about 30 minutes outside central Rome.