I was walking down the street in Rome, Italy, when I saw this scene. I laughed outloud.The people looked like giants next to the tiny car. And the car’s been through hell and back, as if it were a toy Matchbox car. I also love the way the sky was reflecting off the blue paint. Sigh. I love Rome. Continue reading →
The Lowdown: Italian owners revamped this 103-room Art Deco diva on the famed Via Veneto just last year. Rooms boast period furniture and lacquered closets. And the new Panoramic Penthouse comes with a private rooftop hot tub and barbecue terrace.
Best for? Service. The bellman, the bartenders, all the way up to the gregarious GM—the best in town.
Insider Tip: The chic Brunello restaurant mustn’t be missed. But beware the sharp nails penetrating the undersides of the tables—ouch!
Caveat: It’s been ages since the Via Veneto was Rome’s most glamorous boulevard. Rates from $502; Via Veneto 72, +39.06.4540.3300 Continue reading →
Central Rome is packed with great trattorias and hosterias serving classic pastas like cacio e pepe (spaghetti with Pecorino cheese and black pepper) and bucatini all’amatriciana (in which the tomato sauce is amped with dried red chilies and cured pork jowl). I sampled too many cacio e pepe to count, and the best I found was at Maccheroni (Piazza delle Copelle 44), a brightly lit spot with an open kitchen, charming chef and pushy waiters on a well-trodden path between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. The walls are lined with wine bottles, including some great Chiantis and Super Tuscans. But beware, they often try to stick out-of-towners at the horrible tables in the hallway. Push back with “Are you kidding me?” and demand a seat in the middle of the action. Continue reading →
The mightiest trend in Rome? Tiny hotels with 15 rooms or less.
Dozens of these micro hotels have sprouted up in recent years, giving guests an intimate experience that’s more like staying in a private apartment but with all the modern conveniences of a luxury urban hotel. In the Via Condotti, the Ferragamo family built its Portrait Suites (rates from $514; Via Bocca di Leone 23, 800.337.4685) atop their flagship men’s store. To enter the 14-room townhouse, just ring the doorbell on a stoop between Ferragamo and Versace, and a butler traipses down the stairs to let you in. Guests help themselves to top-shelf liquors and wines at the rooftop honor bar overlooking the city. Pour yourself a drink, write down what you had (or as much as you remember) and sign your room number. Accommodations are small but posh, with an oversized photograph of a Ferragamo shoe hanging above the bed. Continue reading →