Rome’s most beloved sites are sparkling once again thanks to a concerted effort by cultural crusaders, which makes now the perfect time to (re)visit the Italian capital.
Fashion houses, like Tod’s, Fendi and Bulgari, have donated millions towards the restoration of Rome’s most-visited sites, after the Italian government admitted it was too cash-strapped to restore them themselves. From the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain and the mosaics at the Baths of Caracalla, these historical and cultural sites are in gleaming condition.
‘One of the reasons for doing the restoration was to emphasise the pride of being Italian and doing things for the country’ – Diego Della Valle, CEO of Tod’s
The Spanish Steps, too, have experienced a rejuvenation following a 10-month rehabilitation, repairing broken stone and cleaning off dirt and graffiti. Thanks to these generous donations and restoration (and a postrecession economy now showing signs of vitality), the Italian government’s coffers are filling up again, and historic sites are feeling the love. Which means, it’s time to pay Rome a visit.
Location, location, location
Check-in to these super-stylish hotels, perfectly positioned for seeing the sights.
Palazzo Dama Hotel
Perfectly located near the Piazza del Popolo
Overlooking the Tiber River, this gracious Roman villa has been revamped by Italian architect and hotelier Antonio Girardi. It tastefully combines sleek vintage furniture, decadent design and historic mosaics. Its USP – a courtyard garden with pool (set amongst olive and lemon trees) that, in addition to attracting an eye-pleasing crowd, offers the perfect respite from the summer heat.
Book at palazzodama.com
J.K. Place Roma
Shop your way down Via Condotti to the Spanish Steps
Housed in what was formerly the city’s school of architecture, J.K. Place Roma is the ultimate urban escape. With an almost-hidden entrance, the hotel’s striking interiors, by designer Michele Bönan, fuse bold colour with sophisticated sexiness. Wooden panelling pays homage to Tom Ford’s A Single Man, and the library, brimming with glossy hardcovers, is ideal for a cocktail.
Book at jkroma.com
A minute’s walk from the Trevi Fountain
Living like a local is key to the CasaCau ethos. Opt for one of six spacious apartments, all uniquely decorated, in this 17th-century building metres from the famous fountain. Apartments include daily fresh fruit and bread, and ingredients ideal for classic Italian pastas. Or eat out at either Stazione di Posta or the Michelin-starred Pipero al Rex, restaurants recommended by the friendly staff.
Book at casacau.com
Spanish Steps photography Dario Garofalo; Supplied