MY STYLE: My everyday style is casual but with special details (i.e. a pashmina or great shoes). In part because of my work, my evening outfits are more daring and glamorous! The style of my house is modern with some colorful touches, like by blue Edra sofa by the antique fireplace.
I LOVE ROME BECAUSE: There are many parks where you can go with your children to walk around or have fun on the playground!
Fashionistas refuel at this café on a quiet street of Via Condotti. There’s a lovely wood-paneled bar, plenty of healthy food, and some less healthy but delicious homemade pastries! If you don’t want a full meal, feel free to sit with just a cappuccino, espresso, or hot chocolate. (Panini, eggplant parmesan, salmon salad) La Buvette is elegant but kid-friendly. Vittoria Puccini goes with her daughter, Elena.
With an abundance of classes to choose from—from flamenco to modern—many students of Rome’s premier dance studio have been regulars for years. Newcomers, amateurs, and even young children are welcome, however. Toddlers twirl in tutus while, in a studio nearby, kids in street fashion work on their breakdancing moves. Busy moms with ever-changing schedules will appreciate that memberships are available, but not required, because you can opt to pay per class at the door.
La Casina di Raffaello
La Casina di Raffaello is yet another Villa Borghese gem, and an especially sparkly one where the under-ten crowd is concerned. It’s a restored cottage (read: quaint mansion) commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese where kids can take arts and crafts workshops and play inside or out. You’ll also find a children’s bookshop, complete with story hour and a cozy reading nook.
Since its start in 1995, this clothing brand has gained a steady stream of loyal customers. As its name implies, it’s about fashion, function, and feeling. The overall look revivs the industrial aesthetic popular at the turn of the century while still adhereing to contemporary trends. What’s more, the company treats its fabrics using eco-friendly practices, and all the clothes bear the ‘made in Italy’ label. In addition to the house brand, you’ll find coveted sportswear names like Adidas and Superdry.
Italian food is known for being simple and beautiful, and the same can be said of the cookware and gadgets sold at this culinary shop. “Think of a cooking tool or kitchen accessory and they’ve got it at c.u.c.i.n.a.” says Vittoria Puccini. “You’ll find the typical Italian coffee maker in every size, for example. Everyone talks about la cucina Italiana, but at this store, the letters stand for come una cucina ispira nuovi appetiti, which means ‘a well-equipped kitchen inspires new appetites.’
Vittoria Puccini loves to prepare meals for her family and friends, and like any good cook, she knows that quality ingredients make all the difference. For fresh produce, she goes to Le Primizie, a charming little fruit and vegetable shop near the Stadio Flaminio. “I like this place because the fruits and vegetables are fresh from the farm,” Puccini says.
This concept salon offers precision cuts in a lovely, relaxed environment. There’s also a solarium bathed in cool blue light and a makeup bar, not to mention a real bar, in case you want an aperitif with your new look! “I like to sit at the bar and have a drink or a fresh salad while I wait for Anita and Nicola,” Eleonora Pratelli says.
Amidst the leafy garden on Via Flaminia, this cozy birchwood bar specializes in light, Mediterranean cuisine. In the warmer months, parents can sip cappuccinos in the sun while their children enjoy the play area nearby. For a night without the kids, go on a Monday for delicious aperitifs, free tapas, and even a DJ set.
This children’s museum near the Piazza del Popolo is a nice place for kids to unwind, especially after a day of seeing historic sites that sometimes go unappreciated by the under-ten crowd. There’s a bus that kids can “drive,” a supermarket, and various hands-on exhibits and workshops about health and the environment. Talking Books, a reading series on topics ranging from food to philosophy, meets every Saturday afternoon. Parents of the very young don’t have to worry about the boisterous big kids. There is a separate “soft-play” area for babies.
Casa del Cinema
Within the expansive grounds of Villa Borghese sits the Casa del Cinema, which shows movies old and new, many of which got their start at the Venice Film Festival. The center, decorated with portraits of screen icons past and present, also hosts speakers, exhibitions, and press conferences on all things cinematic. Even non-movie lovers will enjoy the Casa del Cinema, as it also functions as a café with patio seating and a great weekend brunch!
Hotel de Russie
After seeing Rome’s attractions, you should retire to a place equally grand, not to mention convenient. The five-star Hotel Russie, located between the Spanish steps and Piazza del Popolo, has got you covered on both counts, and its terraced “secret garden” is itself a site to see. “To Elena, it’s like an enchanted forest!” says Vittoria Puccini of her daughter. The hotel’s spa and workout facilities are top-notch, but locals like Puccini come more often for the bar and restaurant.