This month we ventured to Rome to discover the city’s rich cultural heritage. The city contains a vast and impressive collection of art, sculpture, fountains, mosaics, frescos, and paintings, from all different periods. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and became the home of numerous artists and architects, such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Carracci, Borromini and Cortona.Whist on our trip we also visited the Roman branch of the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, Corso Rinascimento, 47, Rome. This store is a men’s grooming haven and slightly bigger than the branch in Piccadilly Arcade, St James’ London. The Rome store has a few more product lines available and is set in a bigger space. There are lots of natural perfumes and cosmetics as well as herbal infusions all displayed in wooden, glass-fronted cabinets. The original pharmacy was founded in Florence in 1612 by the Dominican monks of Santa Maria Novella, and many of its cosmetics are based on 17th-century herbal recipes. On our trip we also climbed the famous Spanish Steps and sat by the Trinita dei Monti church; both of which appeared in the recent The Man From U.N.C.L.E film. Our interest in this part of town was originally ignited by the recent Hawes and Curtis collaboration with the film, where the Jermyn Street brand created a stylish collection of ‘60s inspired outfits influenced by the movie [Click here to read more]. Rome is widely recognised as a world fashion hot spot, although not as prominent as Milan. Major luxury fashion houses and jewellery brands, such as Valentino, Bulgari, Laura Biagiotti and Brioni, are headquartered or were founded in the city.
We visited Fendi‘s headquarters which are nestled in the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana; the building was designed in 1937 to host the Mostra della Civiltà Romana during the 1942 World Fair by Italian architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano- the building is a symbol of EUR and of Fascist architecture. It’s quite a mesmerising structure because of its bold appearance and iconic status, the palace has appeared in a number of films including Zoolander 2 (2016).We stayed at the glorious five-star Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese– a serene oasis in the heart of Rome. We thought this was the best choice as we’re admirers of the Sofitel St James’ London hotel. It’s an enchanting boutique hotel set in an historic building dating back to the 1890s, the hotel enjoys splendid views over the Villa Borghese park only a few footsteps away. The hotel is positioned in a brilliant part of the city with the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto providing the backdrop to the area catapulted to fame by the 1960s movie ‘La Dolce Vita.’ Today it is the exclusive reserve of dazzling designer boutiques, restaurants and bars. The hotel’s award-winning restaurant, La Terrasse Cuisine & Lounge has amazing views across the city. Other stunning places we visited included the Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Campo de’ Fiori market; everywhere you turn there is something wondrous to look see.
Legend has it (as seen in the movies) that if you throw one coin over your right shoulder in the Trevi Fountain, you will return to Rome one day. Throw two coins, and a new romance will come your way. To throw three coins will lead to marriage.The Pantheon [pictured above] is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. He retained Agrippa’s original inscription, which has confused its date of construction as the original Pantheon burnt down so it is not certain when the present one was built. We couldn’t resist a visit to the enchanting Roman Forum; a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. One of our favourite restaurants in Rome was Vinando a Tor Margana, it’s off the beaten track but worth the walk. It overlooks one of the most aristocratic salons of Rome, Margana Square, an oasis of tranquillity just steps from Piazza Venice. The restaurant sports a generous wooden bar lit by small intricate hanging lamps crafted in Murano glass. The staff are welcoming and friendly and there is a lovely seating area outside.
We’d highly recommend a visit to Rome as there is lots to do and see. We are sure we’ll visit again soon! After all, we did throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
Campo de’ Fiori. Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 00186 Roma, Italy
Colosseum. Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma, Italy
Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (Fendi HQ). Quadrato della Concordia, 00144 Roma, Italy
Pantheon. Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma, Italy
Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 00186 Roma, Italy
Roman Forum. Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma, Italy
Santa Maria Novella. Corso Rinascimento, 47 00186 Roma, Italy
Sistine Chapel. 00120 Vatican City
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese. Via Lombardia, 47, 00187 Roma, Italy
Spanish Steps. Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma, Italy
St. Peter’s Basilica. Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
Trevi Fountain. Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma, Italy
Trinità dei Monti. Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 3, 00187 Roma, Italy
Vinando a Tor Margana. Piazza Margana, 23, 00186 Roma, Italy