It all started from Mrs Howard’s visionary idea, when guesthouses did not exist yet in Italy. Casa Howard is a place where intimacy and character win you more than the many comforts of an anonymous luxury hotel in the city centre. It has no sign, just a writing on the intercom, as if the Howard family lived here. You step into the building’s hall and leave behind a bright Roman sunset…
Roscioli is one of the most prestigious bakeries in the capital, and a cabinet de curiositès devoted to Italian and international gastronomy. As if this was not enough, it is also a little inspired bistro – one you would be glad to discover just around the corner. You can sit among the shelves – crowded with precious salts, homemade preserves, bronze-died pasta – and the cheese and cold cuts counter to taste delicacies belonging to the Italian tradition, and sometimes revised with flashes of the appropriate creativity. A temple of flavours for anyone who thinks of cuisine as a continuous, intriguing, minute research.
by Francesca Romana Fontana
Francesca Romana and I meet at the corner between via Cavour and via Amendola, on a sun-kissed Roman afternoon, while a gentle zephyr blows. She was born and raised in Rome…
Via Giulia 100, Rome. It’s a gentle autumn afternoon that feels like spring. This time, our secret address is Il Mezzanino, a maison de charme located in a historical building dating back to the XVII century in the heart of Rome. This uneven, poetic pied-a-terre is what we would dream to have in the Marais, Dalston or Brooklyn. Fifty square metres wisely divided and surrounded by ancient walls. Only sparse furniture, all vintage, a minimal steel and marble kitchen, elegant home fabrics, small knick knacks from Porta Portese market (when it was still authentic), old postcards of the city taped on the walls, books, indie magazines, flowers, a tart under the bell jar, a glimpse of San Biagio degli Armeni’s church from the window and Rome, authentic, noisy, bubbly, that invites you to go out and be part of its great beauty.
We believe that the real marvel of a place is defined by its soul. This is why Hotel Locarno, founded in 1925 by a Swiss couple, is our first choice for a getaway in the capital. It is a historical residence in a secluded central street that has been welcoming enlightened tourists, passing-by artists and habitués for decades. A hotel with a distinctive atmosphere, through whose rooms one can breathe the magic of art, the enchantment of beauty and the respect for history. Emotion greets you at the entrance, where a generous wisteria plant embraces the façade and courts the Art Nouveau glass windows, and accompanies you in the hall, in the bar, up the stairs and in the rooms. Authenticity is a constant, even where a conservative, appropriate, inspired restoration was carried out. In the warmest mornings, we suggest having breakfast in the romantic outside area of the hotel, between wrought-iron furniture and Roman skies, and using the bicycles at the guests’ disposal to tour the city. At sunset, do not miss a drink on the roof garden with its loving view on Rome’s house tops.