When in... Rome, Italy
When in... Rome, Italy
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti — poet, editor, and founder of the Futurist movement, whose 100th anniversary Modern Painters pays tribute to in its February issue dubbed Milan “the central power plant of the energies and optimism of Italy.” But this month, we’re smitten with Italy’s capital city. Rome’s cultural repertoire is exhaustive but never exhausting, from ancient ruins to vital 21st-century art (see Artinfo’s Q+A with Francesco Vezzoli, the subject of a current show at Gagosian Gallerys Italian outpost). Indeed, contemporary work is thriving there, increasingly drawing the interest of international collectors eager to find new surprises amid Rome’s classical splendor (read all about it in Art + Auctions February feature “Italy Rebooted). Herewith, a few of our favorite haunts in the Eternal City.
This 370-room Waldorf-Astoria Collection resort, with a newly renovated spa and recreational facilities, has been one of the more elegant lodgings in Rome since it opened in 1963. Three miles outside the city center, the hotel houses a world-class art collection in the lobby, including a Tiepolo triptych valued at a reported $8 million and a rare, sprawling 18th-century Beauvais tapestry. It’s also home to Rome’s only Michelin three-star restaurant, La Pergola, whose panoramic views from the city’s highest hill are as unrivaled as chef Heinz Becks Mediterranean menu.
101 Via Alberto Cadiolo
39 06 3509 1
Doubles from $1,185
The recipient of much praise from guidebooks and in-the-know Italophiles alike, Casa Howard is a stylish but affordable option. Spread across two locations, both in close proximity to the famed Spanish Steps, the hotel’s 10 themed rooms are awash in upscale kitsch — Shanghai Tang red silk curtains and Asian-inspired brocade bedding outfit the Via Capo le Case branch’s Chinese Room, for example. And the design pedigree of the Via Sistina locale is impeccable: Tommaso Ziffer, the man responsible for the look of Rome’s exponentially more expensive Hotel de Russie, designed it in 2002.
18 Via Capo le Case and 149 Via Sistina
39 06 6992 4555
Doubles from $221
ST. REGIS GRAND HOTEL
Designed by the iconic hotelier Cesar Ritz, this 19th-century palace underwent a recent $35 million restoration, which made the already posh address that much more so. Inside, the hotel’s 161 rooms come complete with Murano glass chandeliers, hand-painted frescoes, Pratesi linens, and claw-foot tubs.
3 Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
39 06 4709 1
Doubles from $430
Arguably the best enoteca in Rome, this wine bar inhabits the ground floor of a 16th-century palazzo. Lunch is a luxe antipasto buffet of cured meat, fresh cheese, and roasted vegetables. Underfoot is the wine cellar, surrounded by Ancient Roman walls; the space can be rented for private parties.
Via del Teatro Valle 48/49
39 06 6865 970
BIR & FUD
More than 100 varieties of artisanal beer and a dozen or so pizzas dreamt up by trusted baker Gabriele Bonci — famous for the crisp, organic crusts he first introduced to the Roman foodscape in 2003 through his takeout joint, Pizzarium — fill the menu at this unassuming trattoria in Trastevere.
23 Via Benedetta
39 06 5894 016
FILIPPO LA MANTIA
According to the Rome-based writer Elizabeth HelmanMinchilli — whose home-décor book, Casa Rustica (Artisan Books), is due out in October — the “hot opening” this spring is Sicily-native Filippo La Mantia’s eponymous restaurant in the Hotel Majestic, scheduled to debut in March.
50 Via Vittorio Veneto
39 06 4214 41
FONDAZIONE ROMA MUSEO
The Honolulu Academy of Arts in Hawaii has one of the best collections of prints by the Japanese woodblock master Utagawa Hiroshige, and they’re loaning more than 200 examples — including depictions of snowy mountains and decoratively feathered birds in flight — to this centrally located institution, formerly known as the Museo del Corso. The exhibition will be on view from March 17 through June 7 before traveling to London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery in July.
320 Via del Corso
39 06 6786 209
Following Francesco Vezzoli’s run at the gallery, which ends on March 21, an important showing of new sculpture by the German artist Anselm Kiefer — best known for his paintings that employ unusual materials, raw textures, and grand themes — takes center stage from April 3 through May 21.
16 Via Francesco Crispi
39 06 4208 6498
There are few better places to frolic in Rome than the Piazza Navona. At its epicenter is Berninis 17th-century Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi), which emerged from scaffolding in December following a two-year-long restoration. Commissioned by Pope Innocent X, the work’s corners are capped by figures representing the greatest rivers in the world that were known to cartographers at the time: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube, and the Plata.