Osteria delle Coppelle (Sant'Eustachio): Amazing pasta in Rome. The restaurant has a beautiful rustic ambiance but it's also nice to grab a table outside in the Piazza delle Coppelle.
Baccanale (Parione): Stop here for a delicious takeaway sandwich.
Trattoria Lilli (Ponte): Quieter, neighbourhood spot right near the Tiber river with great pasta & amazing tiramisu. For any Torontonians reading this, Enoteca Sociale dubbed this the best Bucatini all’ Amatriciana in Rome.
Ginger (Sant'Eustachio): A nice spot for breakfast before exploring the city. Lots of healthy options on the menu like smoothies, eggs, organic pancakes and huge fresh fruit platters.
Gina (Campo Marzio): Great spot for a light lunch on the Piazza di Spagna if you are looking to take a break from all the pizza and pasta. They make great salads and the ambiance is chic and minimalist. Head over to the Spanish Steps post lunch.
Giolitti (Colonna): The oldest gelateria in Rome, since 1900.
Forno Campo de' Fiori (Parione): Delicious bakery in Piazza Campo de' Fiori.
Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè (Sant'Eustachio): One of the most famous cafes in Rome known for their espresso and creamy cappuccino.
Bar del Fico (Parione): Tucked-away cafe/bar drawing bohemians & locals to it's great happy hour scene. Shabby chic interior, offbeat vibe, free pizza bread to snack on and great cocktails.
Club Derrière (Sant'Eustachio): Speakeasy cocktail bar with a cheeky title. Enter by ringing the doorbell of a private door in a little alley or through a cupboard located in the back of Osteria delle Coppelle.
Blackmarket Hall (Monti): Chill cocktail bar nestled in Monti with cool rooms and a super cute back patio.
Colosseum (Celio): Iconic ancient Roman amphitheater once used for gladiatorial games.
Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria (Sallustiano): Intimate, Baroque 17th century church housing Bernini's dramatic carving, "Ecstasy of Saint Teresa" in the Cornaro Chapel. Bernini transforms a painted altarpiece into a sculpted one, thereby breaking the paragone by making sculpture do something that paintings can do: the medias engage with each other like a performance. The viewer is prompted to have a meditative experience of their own. This is a chapel in which a lot of boundaries have broken and things have changed. Traditionally in Italy, altarpieces were always large scale paintings and you usually don’t get sculpture as altarpiece. Bernini is trying to give you an experience of sharing ecstasy.
Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza (Sant'Eustachio): The exterior has little to do with the interior because the passageways don’t give you a sense of the grand plan. The ceiling is very anti-Classical; being Borromini who loved to offset concave and convex forms, the triangles are snipped off to balance the lobes of the petals. There is a juxtaposition between straight lines and curved lines, where the sharp points are offset by smooth curves, leading your eye up to the divine light.
Sant'Agnese in Agone (Parione): This is a much narrower church, and, being Baroque, there is a sense of height which Borromini balanced with the two towers. Borromini uses this scooped out concave façade to offset the convex pushing out from the dome. The most radical thing is that he is fooling your eye as the sides are part of the neighbouring palace.
Propaganda Fide Palace (Colonna): Here, Borromini makes the central part of the façade push out into the street by using a very dramatic entablature with a pronounced cornice on top but it is completely anti-Classical. The scooped out and pointed treatment of the entablature grabs your attention and gives it a sense of movement, this is an example of mixtilinear contour as opposed to curvilinear because it has straight parts and curved parts. The variety of the façade is meant for close looking because it is in a busy area so there are more details included: triglyphs and metopes and the palm reefs.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Parione): First ever truly Baroque fountain. Here Bernini brings all the media together: painting techniques, sculpture and architecture. He creates a sense of miraculous that this massive Egyptian obelisk sits on emptiness as the centre is hollowed out. It creates open and closed spaces which is very Baroque. You walk around it and the gestures derived from the theatre open up and increase in emphasis.
Pantheon (Pigna): Landmark Iconic Roman temple and historic Renaissance tombs (including Raphael's).
Sant'Andrea al Quirinale (Monti): Baroque church known for its oval form, designed by Bernini for the Jesuits. The Pinkish marble with white in the interior gives us a sense of fire; marble is used to express the fervent quality of death and transfiguration going on inside. You can see Saint Andrew dying on the cross in a very three dimensional painting, then once he has died, his body transforms to stucco and the pediment pushes back to allow him to come through it and he bursts through the clouds and into heaven, represented by the dome. Bernini tried to make something look big that was small, the stairs that come to edge of the road and the inclusion of the giant order gives the impression of two-story building and makes it seem taller than it actually is.
Spanish Steps (Campo Marzio): 18th century iconic Baroque stairway and meeting place. Try to go at off-peak times.
Chiesa del Gesù (Pigna): Element of surprise as you walk in and suddenly the ceiling fresco opens up like a vision. Bacciccio’s The Triumph of the Name of Jesus gives the impression of heavens bursting into the church and figures are flying down into our space. Like Bernini, Bacciccio blended architecture, sculpture, and painting to create a single moment.
Trevi Fountain (Trevi): Beautiful Rococo architecture in Rome. Classic Lizzie McGuire moment. Try to visit at off-peak times.
Chiesa di San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane (Monti): Major Borromini motif here: the church is on a narrow street and he has to catch your attention as a pedestrian. He does this through pushing out the curvilinear entablature causing a very forceful presence on the street and a claustrophobic energy. When he has to work within constraints, he does something very radical and messes with the classical tradition by creating a giant order in a mocking way. Borromini painted his interiors white, he didn’t like anything to take away from the architecture. There is no sense of a drama or a narrative taking place within Borromini’s interior. He used the trick of one-point perspective to manipulate your eye to make you think things are longer, bigger and higher than they actually are.
Chiesa di Sant'Ignazio di Loyola (Pigna): 17th century Baroque church featuring Andrea Pozzo’s Allegory of the Missionary Enterprise of the Society of Jesus. This ceiling fresco gives the impression of swimming up to the top in a vortex, it gives the appearance of moving upward but it's really the fake architecture that springs out of the real architecture.
Santa Maria della Pace (Ponte): 1400s church with the façade reworked some centuries later by Pietro da Cortona. He wanted it to be visible from a great distance to draw the pedestrian toward it, the light shines down onto the upper part of the façade and reveals the details using a chiaroscuro painterly effect. This is the best example of outdoor composto because it interacts with you. The upper story has a bookend motif that pushes the central part of the façade inward and makes it bulge outward. The pedestrian is welcomed by the columns that pull aside like a drape so you can enter.
Weekend Getaway: Sorrento + Positano
Casa e Bottega: Once you get off the shuttle and have arrived in Positano, Casa e Bottega is a great spot to grab breakfast/lunch while on your way down to the beach. Lots of fresh, healthy options here with locally-sourced ingredients like smoothies, eggs, salads, fish, pancakes, etc. Super light and sunny interior with lots of white walls and floral, beachy accents.
Ristorante Max: Definitely one of the more expensive meals you will have while on the coast. Max doesn't have a sea view but a stunning backyard garden patio and delicious fresh pasta and fish.
Positano Spiaggia: It doesn't get much better than Italian beaches.
Ristorante Bar Bruno: A great meal and view.