Below are three in the historic city centre. As it’s hard to find a good restaurant in this area, we’ve also given you some great recommendations, including where to find the best gelato in Rome…
This hotel dates from 1925 and many of the original elements remain: an art nouveau birdcage lift, parquetry floors and 1920s-era Tiffany lamps all combine to make the traveller feel as if he’s stepped into another era. Rooms have a wonderful art deco feel, and those in an adjacent palazzo have high, ornate ceilings and early 20th century marble bathrooms. The two buildings are connected by a wisteria-clad patio garden, there’s a roof terrace with panoramic views of Rome, and a ground floor bar that heaves with life at aperitivo time on Thursdays and Fridays.
You’ll feel like you’re staying in an elegant private residence rather than a hotel; indeed, most of the five rooms have kitchenettes and although small they are well designed. This is the perfect option for those who prefer a more hands-off type of hospitality (you get your own key, and reception is open during the day only) and the convenience of a kitchen.
This is a more modest establishment than the two above but is praised highly for its warm and helpful service. Don’t let the poor photographs on our site (and theirs!) put you off: rooms are comfortable, with all modcons, and the hotel has a bar (with weekly drinks parties for guests on weekends) and a garden.
Where to eat
The set-up here is pretty simple: between 1 and 2pm only, a choice of only two kinds of pasta dishes are served up, with free wine and water, for €4. It’s first come, first served, so when it runs out that’s it. Be prepared to sit elbow-to-elbow with office workers, workmen, students and other tourists.
Fontana di Venere
We’ll be honest: you’ll be surrounded by other tourists here, but it doesn’t matter. Typical Roman and Mediterranean dishes are executed well, service is efficient and friendly (not a given in Rome) and the prices very reasonable (there’s no service charge, for one).
Al Moro first opened in 1929 and is now run by Moro’s son, Franco. He’s a glowering presence at the front desk, the menu isn’t available in English, and non-Italians are placed in the back of the three dining rooms, but that aside, the food is delicious (try the spaghetti al Moro, the restaurant’s version of spaghetti carbonara). You’ll be rubbing shoulders with members of the Italian film industry, who have been coming here since the 1970s – and the place hasn’t really changed since then.
The gelato here is a strong contender for the title of “best in Rome” – which is really saying something. Try the marron glaces (chestnut) paired with dark chocolate, or the mango flavour. It’s more expensive if you sit down (inside or outside), but you can get a takeaway from the counter at the back.