Surround yourself with art
If you’re going to spend the night in one of Europe’s arts capitals, you might as well make your stay count. Buonanotte Garibaldi is a gorgeous artist’s home and studio in laid-back Trastevere, transformed into a three-bedroom guesthouse with a verdant courtyard perfect for breakfast. Local artist Luisa Longo’s paintings and beautiful silk prints adorn the walls, making this a space fit for an aesthete.
Or if you like your room with a little more history, Roma Luxus Hotel is a romantic bolthole carved from a former convent, in the hip Monti neighbourhood. The corridor and 30 individually designed rooms (above) are hung with intricate Asian-inspired drawings, while third-floor suites boast terrace gardens.
SEE ALSO: How to act like a local in Rome in 5 steps
Eat like a Roman
In an alley near Trevi Fountain, Trattoria Al Moro is perhaps Rome’s most famous trattoria. The intimate wood-panelled space has served superb old-school Roman classic dishes to generations of illustrious Italians, including director Federico Fellini. Try their eggplant parmagiana (below) and gnocchi with white truffle.
Another excellent choice is Terre e Domus, which specialises in dishes using only seasonal Roman produce. Grab a lunch table near the towering windows for views over Trajan’s Column and the Forum. Do note that kids’ menus are rare in the country – Italians believe children should eat the same portions as adults. But most restaurants will gladly do a mezza porzione (half portion), especially at typical family mealtimes around midday or before 8pm.
SEE ALSO: 6 restaurants in Rome with a superb view
Immerse your family in culture
Not many know that John Keats passed away in Rome, at the age of just 25. Visit The Keats-Shelley House, where he spent his final days. The mini museum explores great literature through two of England’s greatest Romantic poets’ passion for Rome.
And cultural spaces can be exciting for kids too. The Centrale Montemartini Museum (above) is housed in an old electrical power plant, where Imperial Roman statues brood on past glory amid giant turbines, blackened engines and colossal steam boilers.
Pick up a souvenir crafted by an artisan
On a picturesque street famed for artisan workshops, La Bottega del Marmoraro offers striking – and affordable – inscribed marble tablets. Choose from classic Latin/Italian inscriptions or create your own customised wording. If you prefer slabs – of the sweet, edible variety – the 19th-century Moriondo e Gariglio (Via del Piè di Marmo, 21/22; above) offers over 100 types of handmade confectionery. Look for chocolates filled with giandua (a velvety hazelnut cream) and lip-smacking fruit gelées made with natural pectin.
SEE ALSO: How to avoid Rome’s tourist crowds
Catch a football game
Watch a match played by Rome’s football giants Roma (below) and Lazio – then bag some merchandise to flaunt at your fellow football fanatics. The best Lazio store is near Stadio Olimpico (Via Guglielmo Calderini 66), or hit the Roma shop (Piazza Colonna 360) near the Pantheon.
– TEXT BY NORMAN MILLER
PHOTOS: ROMA LEXUS HOTEL, AS ROMA, 123RF.COM, TRATTORIA AL MORO
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.