OCCUPATION: Publicist, Rai Cenema and Medusa
MY STYLE: Casual elegant. My go-to look is a pair of jeans with a nice top and jacket. I love leather coats and high heels—I wear them from morning until night! In winter, I switch to ankle boots. Other accessories like gloves and hats are important too!
I LOVE ROME BECAUSE: Rome is a great city for living and relaxing. It’s always sunny and the temperature is perfect. You can walk with your kids through Villa Borghese or the city centre and stop for gelato, or get a glass of juice or wine with friends. For eight months of the year, you can eat dinner outside, amidst ancient Roman monuments. I pass the Colosseum on my way to the grocery store!
Il Gianfornaio, which boasts one of the most famous wood-fired ovens in Rome, specializes in bread of all kinds, including “The Crocodile,” a specialty sourdough loaf baked with nut husks. The bakery also makes scrumptious treats. Kids—and more parents than would care to admit—line up for the croissants with Nutella! If you want to pass on the desserts, the café is a good place for a quick but healthy lunch. “They have a varied menu—grilled chicken salad with oranges, cous cous with rocket pesto, and of course, pizza!” says Eleonora Pratelli. “I buy some for my kids’ afternoon snacks.”
Built for the 2009 World Swimming Championships, Aquaniene is a massive sports complex with one indoor and two outdoor pools. All ages and levels are now welcome, but don’t be surprised if you end up swimming with pros, if not quite like one. Aquaniene offers a range of classes in and out of the water. Kids can learn modern dance or become a karate master. Adults can choose from capoeira, personal defense, and water aerobics, including a special version for pregnant women that focuses on breathing and posture. Little ones not taking their own classes wait happily in the fun-filled childcare center.
Galleria Lorcan O’Neill
Before starting this gallery—easily one of Rome’s finest and coolest—Lorcan O’Neill was an art dealer in London. His shows feature cutting-edge artists from Britain and around the world, including Richard Long, Kiki Smith, Pietro Ruffo, Gary Hume, and Tracey Emin. “My husband and I are passionate art collectors, and the Lorcan O’Neill Gallery is one of our favorites. CO2 Gallery (Via Piave, 66) is another good one, especially for young artists,” says Benny Lucherini.
Due Ladroni exudes an old-fashioned elegance, from the mirrors to the white tablecloths ot the staff that treats every customer like the local and not-so-local celebrity regulars. The menu, which has a Neapolitan bent, offers delicious seafood. You can get a little taste of everything with the mixed plate of crudi (raw seafood), or an entrée like salted sea bass. Prices are about what you’d expect at a classy trattoria, but thankfully not so much to live up to the restaurant’s name, which means two thieves! Even non-seafood people will find plenty to enjoy. Benny Lucherini recommends the caceo e pepe spaghetti and the Roman artichokes.
The Colosseum is quintessentially Roman, but this new café nearby smacks more of Paris. Chef Arcangelo Dandini and pastry chef Stéphane Betmon preside over the kitchen, while busy servers dart around the stunning dining room, complete with high vaulted ceilings, an oak and zinc bar, white subway tiles, and chandeliers from an old hotel in the south of France. Caffè Propaganda can be just about whatever you want it to be. Go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a cocktail, or just a cup of tea and a macaron.
Campo de’ Fiori
Named for the field of flowers it once was, Campo de’ Fiori is one of the liveliest piazzas in Rome. Flowers can still be had—at the market held every day except Sunday—along with fresh vegetables, spices, and an impressive array of sauce-worthy tomatoes. Charming restaurants and cafés offer the weary shopper a place to rest to rest with a glass of wine or a bite to eat. Located in the heart of the city, the market can’t help but attract some tourists, but it’s mostly retained a local, chatty feel. Though many of the artisans of crossbows and coffers that used to populate the area have gone, the inscription on the square’s fountain still applies. “Fa del bene e lassa dire,” it reads, which translates to “Do good deeds and let them talk.”
Antico Caffè della Pace
Antico Caffè della Pace draws an artistic crowd, perhaps because of the paintings on its walls dating to the time of its opening in 1891. Or maybe these patrons are just following in the tradition of Bertel Thorvaldsen and co. “This is really one of Rome’s must-go bars,” says Benny Lucherini. That goes for locals and travelers alike, so join the evening scene on the ivy-decked patio in the piazzatina of Santa Maria della Pace.