Boston Traveler: Rome, Italy
Come for the pasta, stay for the bellezza. This summer, the Eternal City is a visual feast of history, culture, and style.
Take the Alitalia nonstop overnight flight from Boston: The eight-hour trip will have you arriving in time to taste la dolce vita with a typical Roman lunch of spaghetti alla carbonara and house wine.
Immerse yourself in the city’s charm with a room at the Hotel Eden. Perched on the edge of Villa Borghese Gardens, the newly updated rooms celebrate Italian design with marble bathrooms, tall ceilings, and art depicting ancient architecture. With two rooftop restaurants and a cushy spa, no one would blame you for enjoying a morning or evening in.
Do as the locals do and start the morning with a caffè and cornetto (the Italian version of a croissant) at La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro al Pantheon, which opened in 1946 in Rome’s historical center. Then it’s time for some shopping: HB Roma treats the senses to a mix of stunning art and luxury perfume brands, while the high-end department store La Rinascente offers several floors of Italian clothing and furniture (not to mention a still-functioning ancient Roman aqueduct in the basement). Take a break from the action with traditional fried artichokes and other seasonal delights at Osteria Chiana, then spend the afternoon strolling the Centro Storico’s cobblestone streets to see such iconic sights as the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza di Spagna.
The holiest of happy hours happens Friday evenings through October, when you can sip aperitivi with a side of art history inside the Vatican Museums’ manicured Pinecone Courtyard. When it’s time to eat, take the 10-minute cab ride to Trastevere, a charming medieval neighborhood where the locals gather. Tuck into homemade tiger-prawn tortelli with asparagus and other Roman classics at Antico Arco, followed by an Italian film under the stars at L’Isola del Cinema, an outdoor festival that runs through mid-September on the nearby island of Tiberina. Or simply grab an overstuffed cone of small-batch gelato from the excellent Fiordiluna and end your jaunt to Italy’s capital city on a sweet note.