It is not as big as some Roman rooftop bars, nor as flash. But it's on top of a lovely ivy-clad hotel on the corner of Largo Febo, steps away from the downtown heart of ancient Rome (Piazza Navona and Via del governo Vecchio) yet a world and a half away from all the tourist tat. Order a bottle of prosecco from the charming, friendly staff and, feeling thoroughly glamorous, watch the sun go down on St Peter's basilica and the rooftops of Rome. But that's not all - and this is what makes the Raphael the very best for rooftop tippling - when you're ready for dinner you can head back down to the filmset/fairytale little square below where Ristorante Santa Maria serves up excellent food and oodles of ambience. And you can round your evening off at any of the great bars nearby; Bar della Pace of Bar del Fico are just two within an easy totter.
Known to me, and many people as Bar Della Pace, this is a super stylish bar which manages to be incredibly trendy without even trying. It's a beautiful bar, where the service, the staff, the customers and drink selection are fantastic, and all combine to offer a welcoming and warm atmosphere.
I've only visited once, a few years ago but was blown away with how relaxing and enjoyable this bar was. Despite being so close to Piazza Navona, the prices were, in the main, reasonable and the welcome was warm. This wasn't the case in all bars we visited in the area.
The bar is enjoyable both inside and out - where you can watch cooler people than me enjoying the evening!
I've recommended Della Pace to many people and they have always been happy with the recommendation.
I remember there being an excellent wine list with a great choice by the glass. The coffee was as good as it should be.
I've just come back from a mini-break in Rome, and we stayed in Trastevere. This is a fantastic area of Rome, full of life and things to do. It is close to all the tourist sites, but you feel like you are seeing the real Rome. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes. Be warned though, drinks can be quite expensive. Search out for happy hours!
This great little cafe/bookshop is what all cafes in Rome should be like. Not perhaps as achingly scenic as some other cafes in Rome, it's nevertheless a good bet for a coffee, a slice of cake and a browse through the books.
Via dei Fienaroli 28 (across the river in Trastevere)
A beautiful bar, with huge, full length windows overlooking Rome. As the sun sets over the city, lights begin to pick out the landmarks and the Vatican shines in the distance. A truly wonderful place to watch the sun go down. Also, they have a great drink called 'Energy' to revive the spirits after walking up the hill to get there!
Via Ludovisi 49 · Rome 00187 · Italy
Phone: (39)(06) 478 121
A good, reasonably priced and atmospheric restaurant with a great location: at the top of the steps (go figure) just off Via Veneto. Get a seat outside, get your order in, sit back and take it all in.
Location: Via San Isidoro 5 (Top of the steps at the end of Via Veneto).
Telephone: (39-6) 4819264.
I had an image in my mind of the quintessential Roman pizzeria: a narrow side street, tables packed with locals, buzzing with conversation, great pizza and pasta at a reasonable price. And then, walking along Via Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle, I glanced left and there it was. Service was fast and unforgiving – you threw that order at a flying waiter and hoped it stuck – the decor simple and the demand huge, as locals lined up three-deep along the wall, looking enviously on as we lucky ones tucked into wood-oven pizzas and cheap beers. All the while the owner – only slightly less intimidating than Tony Soprano – directed the chaos like a cigar-chewing maestro. Great food, drink, company and entertainment. When in Rome...
Address: Vicolo Savelli 13, Rome.
Tel: (39-6) 6861877
Only in Rome does service barely above curt and drinks for a single-figure amount cause an enthusiastic stir. But Enoteca Antica gives both, and much more besides. Reasonable and tasty food, great Erdinger beers for 5 Euros, and – hang on to your seats – service that is genuinely friendly. And then there’s the location – a stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps, in an old wine cavern so atmospheric you can smell the Chianti in the air.
Address: Via della Croce, 76/b, 00187 Rome
Telephone: (39-6) 6790896
Fax: (39-6) 6797544
Subbass is a bar - only opens Fridays. It's smokey chaotic with live music being played by whoever decides to join in this spontaneous acoustic "thing". Clientele is made up of locals and expats from UK, US, NZ, Australia. It stays open till the last client leaves which is usually at the break of dawn. Only Japanese beer is sold and there's not a huge variety of alcohol brands but on average all tastes are satisfied. The atmosphere within is definitely worth a visit. Ring at the doorbell, it's not guaranteed that someone will open. Prices are low and service erratic but nonetheless it's worth a visit. Some evenings are quiet many others are a complete delirium.
Via della vetrina 7 - near Piazza Navona
A fabulous restaurant situated in the very vibrant and lively Piazza Navona. The food is delicious: 'crazy butterflies' - Farfalle in a rich creamy sauce, and you can't miss out on the taste of the Tartuffo - chocolate heaven. You can sit, eat and soak in the atmosphere and be spoilt by the wonderful waiters, for whom nothing is too much trouble.
Piazza Navona, 30
At night, Rome’s young intellectuals fill the city’s Centri Sociali, or social centres. These clubs and bars, many of which show films, host DJs and run dance or theatrical performances, began life as squats in run-down public buildings. Today there are ten or so in Rome, located in old schools, factories and warehouses. Brancaleone, on Via Levanna, is a particularly well-run one, with a cinema, café, shop selling organic goods and a variety of musical offerings. Go on Friday for the electronic vibe, Roman-style, or on Saturday for house.
Via Levanna 11, Montesacro, Rome www.brancaleone.it
A touch of New York with a dash of Scandinavian cool thrown in (a smorgasbord of Swedish nibbles is available). Laid-back boho coffee house by day-pick a title from the large collection of books on art, design, fashion and settle down in a comfy (probably designer) armchair-funky bar by night with loud music and cocktails. You’ll be surrounded by Rome’s trendy young things.
Piazza del Pietra 42, +06 678 5804.
A bar housed in a former garage - hence the name (Brakes and Clutches). Just across the bridge into Trastevere this small bar spills out into a little square, with candles burning and throngs of good looking people perched on the wall surrounding the square.
The bar had a real buzz, which is what first draws the attention from the bottom of the steps, I found it to be a really friendly little bar with a good mix of patrons, the staff were friendly too and only too happy to help.
Cocktails are a speciality and the mojitos were amazing especially on a hot summers evening - the whole cocktail list looked fantastic and there seemed a good wine list too, although regrettably I didn't sample any. There was also a very tempting buffet on offer which looked much better than the second rate tourist crap I'd just eaten.
The decor of the place was a juxtaposition between the futuristic and reclaimed which created a unique ambience.
Via del Politeama 4-6,
Tel: 06 5833 4210
The owner, Giovanni, is a Roman by birth, but was raised in Canada and speaks perfect English - well American English! He and his girlfriend, Simona, serve locals and tourists every night from 5pm - 2am. Great fun.
Via di Tor Millina, 32;
near Piazza Navona
A tradional bar which serves the best authentic home made tartufo ice cream (chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks). One is enough for two.
Piazza Navona 28 Phone: 39 066 880 1996 In the middle on the northern side of the piazza.
Is this the best bar in the world? Well, it is set in a beautiful crumbling piazza, serves Frascati that will amaze you, does a nice line in salads and shows the Italian football on the TV indoors. All this without attracting too many tourists.
Pop into the Museum of Trastevere opposite, clock the art, come here after and have some frascati with a pear salad while pretending to read La Repubblica over your fake Gucci sunglasses. Now that's civilised.
The bar staff are really sexy too.
Ordering drinks at tables in Piazza Navona, Piazza della Rotunda etc can be pricey. You won't save much by ordering a small beer or a cappuccino, so get value for money by ordering a Negroni - a cocktail made of three alcoholic drinks (Gin, Vermouth and Campari) The cost should be five to eight euros and you'll be bought some nibbles too.
My favourite place to sit and sip one is the bar to the right of the Pantheon. You'll take away an unforgettable memory of Rome - just don't drink more than two, or the memory will be lost in the haze.
This is Rome's oldest 'gelateria' (ice cream shop). They make the most delicious ice cream, so creamy and so many different flavours to choose from. Buy an ice cream and go to Piazza della Rotonda (where the Pantheon is) and enjoy it while watching the world go by. Not to be missed, not even in winter!
via Uffici del Vicario, 40
Sip a Campari at one of the tables outside Ciampini in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. The lower house of parliament is 200 yards in one direction. The main fashion thoroughfare, Via Condotti, is 50 yards in another. The houses in the streets and alleyways around are crammed with film stars, TV personalities and members of the so-called “black” aristocracy whose titles come from the Popes. The best possible spot for a close-up view of some of the best-dressed people on the planet.
Ciampini, Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina 29; Tel: 06 687 6606
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