OCCUPATION: Owner/Executive Producer, Person Films
MY STYLE: My house and wardrobe are both filled with few—but special—pieces. I will get a leather jacket and wear it with everything from jeans to dresses, and I’ll decorate a room with one large wooden table to create character without clutter. It’s not about achieving a cold minimalism, but about drawing the focus to the exceptional. Rome is a great place to shop for these sorts of pieces because it’s filled with artisans from families who, for many generations, worked to perfect a single item.
I LOVE ROME BECAUSE: Historically, Italians have been all about family. Perhaps more so than other Italian cities that have adopted to the work mode of Northern Europe, Rome has maintained that focus on family. The city, which is really just a collection of small neighborhoods, has a provincial feel. I can go out ot my local enoteca and leave my kids with the owner, knowing he is happy to work with them. In L.A., people will request a table away from the kids; in Rome, it’s just the opposite!
Cecile Leroy Beaulieu eats lunch at this Provençal-style bistro whenever she’s in Villa Doria Pamphili. “They have a great kids’ menu with fresh fruit juices and organic chicken nuggets, as well as outdoor seating from which you can look out on the whole park,” she says. Try one of Vivi’s goodie-filled and eco-friendly baskets for a pronto picnic in the sun or shade. In the evenings, the restaurant’s candlelit dining room keeps later hours than Pamphili, so you’ll need a reservation to get past the park gates.
Owner and sommelier extraordinaire Massimo Crippa took over his grandmother’s wine shop and made L’Angolo Divino what it is today—a stylish and cozy enoteca specializing in Italian vintages. He’ll gladly help you select one of the more than 700 bottles lining the restaurant’s shelves to go with your plate of cheeses or cured meats. “Thankfully for me, in Rome, kids are welcome out on the town. For a special family lunch, we go to L’Angolo, where my children get a kick out of helping Massimo prepare the antipasti. Afterwards, they run around with other kids from the neighborhood in Piazza Farnese, only a half block away from the restaurant,” Cecile Leroy Beaulieu says.
“This is my favorite museum in Rome!” Cecile Leroy Beaulieu says. “The grand villa is the perfect setting for the stunning works by masters like Caravaggio, Carracci, and Bernini.” If you have time, the “secret gardens” designed for Cardinal Scipione Borghese—complete with lemon trees and an aviary—are themselves works of art. Tickets, which allow for two hours in the museum, can be purchased online. You may want to bring a watch because there are no clocks and you’ll have to check your bags, phones, and cameras at the door.
Orto Botanico di Roma
The gravel paths here—well-tread by strollers and their devoted pushers—wind through literally thousands of species of plants. “See palm trees, the Fontana del Tritone, and the Japanese garden,” Cecile Leroy Beaulieu says. She also recommends trekking to the pagoda at the top of the hill for a stunning view of the city. Guided tours are available, but be advised that a modest admission fee applies to all visitors, and that the garden is closed during August, and year-round on Sundays and Mondays.
This is another great children’s boutique, perfect if your child’s style is less Zahara and more Shiloh (Jolie-Pitt, that is!). “I love the fun, relaxed environment,” says Cecile Leroy Beaulieu. Brands include Finger in the Nose and Yporquè. Natinudi recently opened a second location on Via di Propaganda near the Spanish Steps, but Beaulieu prefers the original in Trastevere.
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.”
A coin’s throw from the Trevi Fountain, Nino is a decidedly non-touristy restaurant that serves classic Tuscan food. Seasoned servers in white jackets flit around the wood-paneled dining room with plates of cannellini beans, pasta with black truffles, and grilled fish. “If I can take time away from work for lunch, then Nino is really the place,” Cecile Leroy Beaulieu says. “The dishes change by day and season, but the steak Fiorentina is always available, always delicious.”
The Perfect Bun
Expats come here for a taste of home, but the great American cupcake craze seems to have spread to all. “I take my kids here for an after-school treat,” Cecile Leroy Beaulieu says. In addition to chocolate chip cookies, fudge, carrot cake, and red velvet cupcakes, you’ll find muffins, scones, and bagels. For the perfect birthday, choose a high-concept cake—whether designed to look like a Chanel 2.55 bag or Darth Vader’s head—to match your child’s personality!
Scuola Populare di Musica di Testaccio
Testaccio is an up-and-coming neighborhood, but this premier music school, founded by a group of musicians as a space for artistic exchange, has been around for decades. Students can take private lessons, or theory and culture classes on topics ranging from black music to the history of rock. “My son, Iago, sings with the children’s choir here. Their concerts are so lovely,” Cecile Leroy Beaulieu says. Check with the office for information on enrollment and upcoming music festivals!
Osteria La Gensola
“La Gensola is truly family run,” Cecile Leroy Beulieu says. “The father cooks, the mother hosts, and the children serve. They offer flavorful Sicilian dishes, which means fresh fish, and in my opinion, the best in Rome!” Try the anchovy paté and tuna carpaccio to start, then the sea bass ravioli or cod pomodoro, and finish with a cannoli or slice of cassata cake. With a strong local following, La Gensola fills quickly. Reservations are recommended but if you go on a whim and have to wait, work up your appetite by taking a walk through the lovely Trastevere neighborhood.
Since its start as a single children’s shop in Paris, Bonpoint has expanded to become a global standard-bearer for kiddie couture. From a hand-stitched party dress to a pair of jeans, Bonpoint’s classic pieces don’t disappoint. White-walled and brightly lit, the Roman shop is très chic. It’s tucked away on a quiet corner in the city center, but don’t be surprised if you spot some high-profile customers.
Pizzeria da Baffetto
Cecile Leroy Beaulieu’s pick for the best pizza in Rome, Baffetto makes thin-crusted slices of heaven. This is not a formal, romantic restaurant by any stretch of the imagination, but who needs the finer things in life when you can have authentic pizza and a jug of wine? “They don’t accept reservations. Aim to be there by 7pm so you don’t have to wait in a queue for an hour,” says Leroy Beaulieu.