Postcards From… Rome
With well-dressed men riding bicycles to work, nuns eating gelato, students chatting on the Spanish Steps, the most elegant historical landmarks, endless fashion boutiques, and shops filled with Italian linens, Rome is everything you imagine it to be. You can walk everywhere and communicate just by using your hands (though it helps to speak the language). Of course, one of the best things about Italy is the food, and Rome certainly doesn’t disappoint. The tomatoes taste like candy and there are gallons of gelato and tiramisu to be had. Here are some not-to-be-missed places to stay, eat and play in one of the grandest cities in the world! Buon Viaggio!!
By Stephanie Steinman
HOTEL EDEN The Hotel Eden is without a doubt the chicest place to stay in Rome. It’s sort of like the Goldilocks of hotels, its not too big and overdone yet its not too small and boutique-like. Located about two minutes (on foot) from the top of the Spanish Steps, it’s part of the Dorchester Collection, and from the moment you walk through the door, you’ll feel like you’ve found the right place to stow your bags. Rooms are tastefully decorated with beautiful chandeliers and perfectly pressed linens, and at the end of a long day you absolutely must take a soak in one of the gorgeous marble tubs (don’t forget the bubbles–you’re on vacation after all). And don’t miss rooftop breakfast at Michelin-starred restaurant, La Terrazza dell’Eden. Once you’re sipping an authentic cappuccino and glancing out at stunning views overlooking all of Rome, you’ll know instantly how the hotel got its name.
NINO This is the place to have lunch in Rome (it’s been famous for decades), and it’s always my first stop when I’m in town. The waiters are pros and the food will blow your mind. It’s located near the Spanish Steps, so a meal can be bookended by lots of of shopping before and after a meal. Try the tortellini in cream sauce—though every dish is incredible—it’s literally the stuff of which dreams are made! Also, rumor has it that this is where the queen of Italian fashion, Miuccia Prada, lunches when she’s in Rome.
DA BAFFETTO It would be a crime to come to Italy and miss the best pizza on the planet. When I asked locals for favorite spots, everyone agreed that Da Baffetto is the best in Rome. This place is always packed—there’s usually a line forming before the doors even open—and after one bite you’ll know the reason why. Thin and crisp on the edges and doughy in the middle, this pizza is heavenly.
AL MORO Al Moro is one of Rome’s most beloved restaurants, and after one bite of Spaghetti al Moro (spaghetti carbonara), you’ll be hooked. The spot is amall and sophisticated, and the waiters are accommodating, friendly, and ready to suggest the freshest items on the menu. It’s great for a long lunch, but I prefer it for dinner, and I always ask for a table outside.
HOTEL DE RUSSIE The garden at the Hotel de Russie is one of the chicest places in Rome. This ideal spot for cocktails before dinner has the perfect mix of well-dressed travelers and well-traveled Romans.
FIOR DI LUNA It’s hard to make gelato recommendations—there is literally a gelateria on every block. One of my favorites is a tiny little place called Fior di Luna. All of the gelato is made on site and in small batches—molto buono!! Like everything in life, Rome is best enjoyed with a scoop of your favorite flavor in hand. I highly recommend getting one—or two—a day!
FONTANA DI TREVI There are so many historically important things to see in Rome including the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Vatican. But my favorite place in Rome is the Fontana di Trevi. I love its grandeur and splendor, but most importantly I love that people today still use it as a place to gather—just as they did hundreds of years ago—and many stay and gaze at its majestic beauty. It’s stunning in the daylight, but seeing it lit up at night is breathtaking. And of course you’ve got to throw a coin into the fountain (and make a wish) for good luck.
Pictured: Breakfast at the Hotel Eden in Rome.
Photo by Stephanie Steinman