Comfort Zones

If You Love… The North End

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Go To Rome For… A lifetime supply of romance, pampering, and pasta

By Janice O’Leary

If the North End’s narrow streets, wafting scent of garlic, and stylish café crowd make you long for la dolce vita, there’s no better place to visit than Rome. Set against a backdrop of storied architecture, Italy’s capital has plenty of culture and artsy flash, a hint of urban grit, and one of the world’s greatest food scenes.

Ancient Rome, or the centro storico part of town, is home to the Pantheon and the Colosseum. Stroll through the neighborhood at night, when all the historical sites are closed but lit up. In the twilight, the fountains seem more romantic, the piazzas even more intimate. Stop in at Al Bric, a wine bar near the Campo de’ Fiori, for homemade pasta dishes, artisanal cheeses, and one (or two) of the thousand vino selections (39-06-6879533, albric.it). Farther afield but worth the walk is the Glass Hostaria in the medieval neighborhood of Trastevere. Ultracontemporary and hip, the restaurant serves innovative fare like monkfish in hazelnut powder (39-06-58335903, glass-hostaria.com).

When you’re ready to retire, hole up in the St. George Roma near the Vatican. Sleek and sparse, it’s a nice counterpoint to the over-the-top historical opulence for which Rome is famous. Its small but lovely day spa can help you unwind from the wedding (39-06-686611, stgeorgehotel.it). Or take sanctuary in the pool within the Rome Cavalieri across the Tiber (39-06-35091, romecavalieri.com). The hotel’s rooftop terrace, with its three-Michelin-starred restaurant, La Pergola-and its wide view of St. Peter’s Basilica-is divine.

When you’re ready to take on the throngs of tourists once more, stop at the rustic L’Enoteca Antica di Via della Croce for some excellent people-watching, as well as a glass of grappa and great advice on where to dine next (39-06-6790896). And don’t miss Villa Borghese Park, not far from the St. George Roma hotel. Like a Roman version of Central Park, it’s an anti-sightseeing haven, and the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Pack a picnic of panini and a bottle or two of Italian wine. Now that’s amore.

 

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