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.
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
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
OK, so it's Sicilian and we're talking Rome, but Capricci Siciliani delivers the best baby squid in the known universe. Fantastic seafood, excellent wine list, including many native Sicilian grape varieties, reasonably priced, and a warm and inviting staff. Over an 8-day visit, we actually had dinner here twice, and our 14-month-old enjoyed both the delicious bread and unending attention. Two truly memorable meals.
Via di Panico, 83 (near Piazza Navona;
tel: 06 4543 3823;
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