Rome is known as the Eternal City, and for good reason. Whether judged using myth or science, few cities on the planet have deeper roots.Less
One of Central Rome’s largest and oldest parks, this 197-acre former Borghese family estate near the Spanish Steps is best known for its masterwork-filled art museum, the Galleria Borghese. It’s also home to a zoo, English gardens, a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and the Salita del Pincio, which offers fantastic views of the city.
Blanketing a hillside above Trastevere, this park boasts the Orto Botanico di Roma, a former papal garden where the Sapienza University of Rome now cares for 3,000-plus species of plants. Climb to the top of the hill, and you’ll reach the Belvedere del Gianicolo viewpoint, a Giuseppe Garibaldi monument, and a 19th-century cannon that’s fired daily.
Just south of the city center, a 10-mile section of the ancient Appian Way that connected Rome to Brindisi is preserved as a park. Sights range from millennia-old catacombs and aqueducts to biodiverse wooded areas to the marvelously engineered stone road itself. Rent a bike from the Appia Antica Caffè to see it all.
Located just a few feet from the Spanish Steps, this Rocco Forte Hotel, which opened in 2019, is a short walk from the Villa Borghese gardens and the luxury retailers of Via Margutta, Via dei Condotti, and Via del Babuino. The lavish decor in the 104 rooms and public spaces features carefully curated artwork and furniture, although the boldest eye-opener is the view from the Cielo Terrace Bar.
The only five-star hotel within walking distance of the Vatican, this 2-plus-acre urban estate on Gianicolo Hill boasts landscaped gardens, a showstopping pool, 110 luxurious rooms and suites, and a summertime kids club. The hotel, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, recently opened a new fine-dining restaurant, Follie, helmed by chef Luciano Monosilio, aka “the King of Carbonara.”
The Grand Hotel, as this property was known when it opened in 1894, was Rome’s first modern five-star hotel and a roughly $40 million renovation spearheaded by Pierre-Yves Rochon in 2018 is keeping it on the cutting edge. The 161 rooms and suites are splendid, but the place to be is the lobby bar, Lumen, for a Red Admiral (the signature Bloody Mary) in the morning or live music at night.
The Spanish Steps are one of the Eternal City’s signature sights. These Steps are a 300-year-old terraced stairway that climb from the Piazza di Spagna to the Trinità dei Monti church.
Antico Caffè Greco has been serving coffee on Via dei Condotti since 1760, and the vibe inside is about as Old Europe as it gets. While sipping cappuccinos and eating cannolis, admire the Renaissance-style oil paintings on the walls. You can see why everyone from Mark Twain to Friedrich Nietzsche has stopped in here—it feels like you’re having your morning joe in the Louvre.
In the 1953 film, “Roman Holiday,” Gregory Peck’s Joe Bradley brings Audrey Hepburn’s Princess Ann back to his apartment at 51 Via Margutta. The building is unremarkable, but cobblestoned Margutta is one of Rome’s most charming laneways, swaddled in green vines and lined with antique stores and galleries.
Keep an ultra-modern theme by popping over to Monti for a cocktail at Drink Kong, a Japanese-futurist lounge that placed 16th on the most recent World’s 50 Best Bars list. You’ll be surrounded by stylish young Romans, a neon sign proclaiming “It was beauty killed the beast,” a poster of Rutger Hauer on the set of Blade Runner, and vintage arcade games.