A shining accolade for the city's architecture and style scene, these districts have so much to see. So we picked out the best, just for you.
Rome’s Square Colosseum
Often referred to as the ‘Colosseo Quadrato,’ or Square Colosseum, the colossal Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana is one of Rome’s most iconic buildings and an excellent example of the city’s rationalist architecture. The enormous edifice is located in the city’s southern EUR neighbourhood, short for Esposizione Universale Roma, where Benito Mussolini planned to host the 1942 World Fair as a tribute to 20 years of Fascism. The event never took place and the Neoclassical buildings serve as a reminder of Rome’s history during this time period and EUR is now considered as Rome’s business district. The palazzo is made entirely of travertine marble and, like the Colosseum, it features a number of arched loggias repeated over multiple rows. Italian fashion house Fendi is currently headquartered in the palazzo and hosts free, temporary art exhibits in the lobby as a way to give back to the city of Rome and allow visitors to experience a unique part of history.
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Ara Pacis Museum
The Ara Pacis Museum caused a stir when it was first built in 2006. Designed by American architect Richard Meier, the museum is a contemporary glass house that prominently features the Ara Pacis within it, a 2,000-year-old ‘Altar of Peace’ built during the reign of Emperor Augustus in 9BC. The museum was the first architectural space to be created within the historic centre since the end of the Fascist era in 1945 and citizens were wary of the modernisation of the city. Today, however, it serves as an example of how ancient history can coexist with modern times: a powerful metaphor for the future of the Eternal City. With its clean, white lines and enormous windows offering views to the Tiber River just outside the museum, Meier’s minimalist structure both protects and exalts the sacrificial altar, letting it shine in its own right and creating an atmosphere of contemplation in front of the ornamental work of art. The museum also hosts a number of rotating exhibitions in its basement level and has recently rolled out an augmented reality tour in the evenings called ‘L’Ara com’era’ that guides visitors through ‘The Altar As It Once Was.’ Museo dell’Ara Pacis Quando venne costruito, nel 2006, il Museo dell’Ara Pacis fece scalpore.
Tucked away on Via Margutta, Babette is a charming little gem that offers creative dishes inspired by French and Italian cooking. With its checkered floor and rustic-chic accents, it is once cosy and elegant – appealing to well-established locals in the city. The menu features the kind of comforting but refined family recipes that you might find at a vintage garden party, such as broccoli rabe soufflé with a heart of brie, creamy potato soup with almonds and cinnamon, pork fillet with apple sauce and mushrooms. For dessert, you can't miss the famous Tarte Tatin, expertly baked and caramelised to perfection following the original recipe. Babette also has a large patio area that is perfect for a leisurely Sunday lunch or a romantic dinner. Nascosta in via Margutta,
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The area encompassing Piazza di Spagna is synonymous with high-end living: the streets are home to high-end Italian fashion brands and their expertly curated storefronts will you have window-shopping for days. Although less visible, this area also boasts a number of local boutiques sandwiched between household names: Perlei is one of these gems that you’d be wise to seek out on a trip to the capital if you’re in the market for small gifts or looking to treat yourself. This Roman jewellery brand has funky, one-of-a-kind works of art that are more wearable than you might think. Covering a range of pieces from rings and earrings to bracelets and necklaces, many of the creations are voluminous and asymmetrical but their careful crafting and mixed media materials render them exceedingly light and modern. From sterling silver and precious stones to silk and silicone, the pieces are truly inventive and made with careful attention to detail; styles range from minimal and subdued to more loud extravagant so there’s sure to be something to suit all tastes and styles.
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For more ideas on how to Do, Dine and Spend in Rome and beyond, visit our Destinations pages.