Rome is one of those cities that always warrants a repeat visit. The ancient ruins, designer shops, captivating museums and toothsome pasta are just a few of the reasons we keep returning.
To find out what to do in Rome, we turned to Francesca Mortale, a member of the Lifestyle Team at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Portrait Roma — Lungarno Collection. Mortale has worked at the utterly fashionable Ferragamo-owned hotel for eight years and has called the city home for 27 years.
She revealed everything from where to find the best pizza, pasta and pastry to hidden galleries that are worth your attention.
What is the best way to spend one day in Rome?
By Vespa or golf car. Using one of these modes of transportation, the beautiful, narrow streets of Rome and the farthest special sites will be easy to reach, from the hidden piazzas to the beautiful view from The Orange Garden at the Aventine Hill, or the Janiculum Hill.
The first scene of Oscar-winning Italian movie The Great Beauty opens on Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, a highlight at Janiculum.
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What are Rome’s most underrated attractions?
Palazzo Altemps is part of the complex of Museo Romano and is located a few meters from Piazza Navona. When I visited, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it is. Right now there’s a beautiful exhibition of Italian designer Piero Fornasetti.
Another favorite place is Galleria Doria Pamphilj. It is located on a very commercial street, and lots of tourists pass by it. It hosts beautiful frescoes and artwork by Caravaggio, Bruegel, Tiziano, Velázquez and many more.
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What are the hottest restaurants right now?
Rome is excited about Luciano Cucina Italiana, the recent opening from Luciano Monosilio, the star chef who came from Pipero restaurant. It is a new pastificio [“a place where pasta is made”], and he’s considered the king of carbonara!
Another super place is Rimessa Roscioli. It is the new wine temple. They also serve mouthwatering delicacies representing the best gastronomy of Italy: cheeses, cold cuts, bread and sott’olio [vegetables preserved in olive oil] coming from the best local producers in each region.
What are some great bars?
Jerry Thomas has been featured on the World’s 50 Best Bars list! It’s a speakeasy where a password is needed to get in. Try the mezcal from Cuba. It’s a small but unique place, and it is not far from beautiful Via Giulia.
Club Derrière is located near the Pantheon. The mixologists are great and the low-lights ambience is ideal for a relaxing night out. During the weekend, it becomes super crowded. If you go there, pull the bookshelf for hidden secrets.
What is the best place for pastries?
Pasticceria Bompiani. It’s ideal to go there when visiting the Appian Way and the catacombs area over there. The pastries are of the highest quality, and the cakes and minicakes are heaven!
Give us your favorite insider tip.
Pizzarium is a pizza place by famous baker Gabriele Bonci. The flour and ingredients used are top quality, and you’ll want to try all of the different types! It is not far from the Vatican Museum. It’s great for an easy lunch option.
Spezieria di Trastevere is where, in the 16th century, the friars prepared ointments and medicines for the ancient pharmacy of Trastevere called Farmacia della Scala. It still functions as a pharmacy in the original space.