OCCUPATION: Owner and Designer, Flavia Padovan
MY STYLE: I like colors at home and in my wardrobe, and I’m very careful with details. I would say my style is simple and refined, or chic but smart, which serves well for working and meeting people all day. Comfort is key because in a big city like Rome, you are always on the run.
I LOVE ROME BECAUSE: The weather is great most of the year, and there’s so much culture—art exhibitions, concerts, theater, and cinema. And beach trips are so easy because Rome’s so close to the sea!
Stylish Romans come to this café, a block from the Spanish steps, for a light lunch after shopping. Fresh flowers accent the chic space, but co-owners Giandomenico and Christina have kept the focus on the food—mostly fresh salads and sandwiches. Don’t skip dessert, though! The ‘nocciolato’ has hazelnuts, whipped cream, and Nutella. (Prosciutto di parma, Caesar salad, eggplant parmesan panino) For a ready-made picnic, order a wicker basket—full of snacks and sandwiches, espresso, a bottle of wine, plates, utensils, and even a checkered table cloth—and head over to Villa Borghese.
The well-heeled locals at this traditional Roman trattoria near the Trevi Fountain all seem to know each other. They come for homemade pasta dishes of ravioli, spaghetti alla amatriciana, and the signature dish—spaghetti al moro. (Spaghetti al moro, fried artichokes, osso buco, semifreddo) The menus are in Italian, but the servers are always happy to help non-speakers. Also rely on them to recommend a bottle of wine from Al Moro’s unique collection.
The National Museum of 21st Century Arts, which was designed by architect Zaha Hadid and took 11 years to complete, is fittingly modern. Elevated walkways zigzag between the galleries’ concrete walls, and natural light pours in through the glass ceiling. Two complexes, Maxxi Art and Maxxi Architecture, serve as multi-purpose urban environments for artistic exchange. The museum has a separate education department that puts on workshops for students and families relating to the exhibits and events. Kids (who get in for free) might enjoy going backstage to the museum’s theater or taking a tour of the space on a Nintendo DSi.
Auditorium Parco della Musica
Every year, about one million people visit Parco della Musica’s concert halls—including Cavea, the amphitheater reminiscent of the ancient Roman tradition despite its modern design. But rather than gladiatorial combat, they come for musical performances ranging from pop to opera, as well as other cultural events. The scarab-shaped buildings, designed by Renzo Piano (also the designer of Paris’ famous Centre Pompidou) sit within the vicinity of the 1960 Olympics. Piano altered his plan to accommodate remains of a 6th century villa discovered during construction. You can see these artifacts, and learn about the architectural and acoustical characteristics of the modern structure, during a guided tour of the auditorium. “In winter, there’s also a skating rink that’s great for kids,” says Flavia Padovan.
Launched in 2000, Flavia Padovan’s flirty swimwear—inspired by the ocean—will make you feel like a sea goddess! The suits are made in Italy and typically embellished with wood, copper, beads, and crystals. The brand is a favorite with Italian celebs like Rita Rusic and Ilary Blasi. It also has a growing international presence, as it is only sold in exclusive boutiques in jetsetter destinations like Dubai, Saint-Tropez, and Sardinia’s Emerald Coast.
Within Body Studio’s newly opened space in the Piazzale Flaminio, you’ll find state-of-the-art equipment and an experienced team dedicated to getting you results. The goal is to maximize efficiency, so all workouts are with a personal trainer. In addition to pilates, the gym offers the BiioSystem method, a body-building program based on short anaerobic training sessions. Body Studio is all about overall wellness, so you can tackle wrinkles with the beauty treatments, or reward yourself by going from the gym to the massage table. There’s also an onsite nutritionist who will take a DNA test from your saliva and devise a regimen tailored to your body and lifestyle.
The gelato at this café and restaurant is some of the best in town. You can order at the counter and take your scoop to go and eat on the Spanish Steps, if you can hold out for the short walk it takes to get there! The lovely terrace (that overlooks the city!) and the full menu make Ciampini a great place to sid for a relaxing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. “You can really taste the freshness of the homemade gelato,” Flavia Padovan says. “I take Veronica and Valerio for a scoop after school. They usually opt for the famous tartufo al cioccolato (chocolate truffle) flavor!”
If you’re feeling like you’ve had enough pasta (for the time being, at least) you might want to check out Shinto. “It’s the best sushi in Rome,” Flavia Padovan says. Shinto serves a wide range of the freshest sashimi and American-style rolls, and the vegetable tempura is a favorite. You can watch the chefs at work from the elegant dining room, or claim some of their expertise for yourself by signing up for a cooking class on the philosophy and technique behind making sushi.
“If my kids had their way, they would eat pizza every night,” says Flavia Padovan. “We usually go to Gaudí, famous for bringing a taste of the Sorrentine Peninsula to Rome with its Neopolitan pizza,” which has a thicker crust than the Roman standard. Gaudí has the relaxed atmosphere of a pizza joint, but also offers grilled meats and daily pasta specials. Kids get a kick out of the red lights above each table for calling over a server.