The mini-guide on Rome

Rome is the city of the four seasons, it is always loved by people, and even if it murmurs of voices, the reflections of the shadows on the majestic Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi of Piazza Navona gives a religious inner silence, where you can see all the eyes that have crossed it during Roman history.

Rome is a simple man with a distinct and elegant suit, the museums and palaces that pass through it speak for themselves, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes touched by time, but always retaining some virile dignity. To be able to look into Rome you need a thousand eyes and a lot of heart; the straight line that connects one’s gaze to space must rise to the sky, where solemn columns rise to form what were once the homes of Roman emperors. The more you open, the more Rome gives beauty, but also for those who have little time, to take it in pinches and bites, Rome gives small goodies where you can stop for a two-day full immersion.

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

MAXXI Museum – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts 

“About the spiritual matter of art” is the collective present at MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI century arts, in which nineteen internationally renowned artists participate, called to tell the theme of the spiritual through their contemporary gaze. Yoko Ono, among these, responds with a project in which spirituality is sharing and asks us to create the work with her, a common search, with different answers and paths.

The search for spirituality is a reflection that has long been followed in the history of art, which has almost always seen the attempt to represent the unrepresentable through the abstraction of art; Yoko Ono instead puts the material element at stake, asks to transform a thought, a dream, a word, into something visible, and then the white space takes shape, shows up, and to do so we have colors and brushes available and all our creativity.

The exhibition is open until March 15, 2020

Palazzo Barberini 

Palazzo Barberini is located in via Quattro Fontane and houses the important National Gallery of Ancient Art where the greatest masterpieces of pictorial art are kept together with Palazzo Corsini. Until 1949 the palace was the historic home of the Barberini family and was then sold to the Italian State; the famous helical staircase by Borromini connects the floors of the current museum where the famous fresco painted between the end of 1632 and 1639 by Pietro da Cortona, the “Triumph of Divine Providence“, extends to the main floor. 400 square meters of ceiling with a vortex of figures, natural and architectural elements that involve the viewer in an extraordinary visual and emotional adventure. The theme was elaborated by the court poet Francesco Bracciolini from Pistoia under the pontificate of Urban VIII, and tended to exalt the Pope, his family and the Church.

In the first rooms, a “Female Nude of the Back” by Pierre Subleyras (c. 1740) welcomes us; we are not given the name of the subject, nor can we recognize it or sense it, as often happened with the clothes, tinsel, symbols or iconography; identity is a mystery but the presence of this woman, in the complete nakedness of the body, makes one feel and anticipate by a century the embarrassment that another Frenchman, the painter Eduard Manet, will cause more sensation with the portrait of Olympia.

“Female nude from the back” by Pierre Subleyras 1740

In the hall dedicated to Caravaggio, there are three fundamental works of the great artist: Giuditta cuts off the head of Holofernes, Narcissus and San Francesco. The first, circa 1600, depicts the killing of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the hand of Judith, as narrated in the Old Testament among the Deuterocanonical texts (Judith, 13.9-10). For those unfamiliar with history, Giuditta is a young Jewish widow who lives in Betulia, a city attacked by Assyrian troops, led by Holofernes. To save her country Giuditta boldly decides to seduce the man and then kill him in a moment of weakness, while drunk he falls asleep, beheading him. In the painting, Caravaggio perfectly describes the features that animate the heroine, the same emphasis that pushes the brush to draw fear into Holofernes’ eyes. In the background of the scene, a fiery red cloth accentuates the theatricality of the gesture, amplifies the sensationalism of a surprise attack, an object that Caravaggio will often use in his other works.

Identical scene seen by the hand of Francesco Furini (Giuditta and Oloferne 1630-1635), with the addition of ambiguous and sensual details, framed under a tent in the middle of the night, such as Giuditta’s bare leg and the foot that indicates the sandals at the bottom loose, as the biblical text says: “his sandals kidnapped Holofernes’ eyes” and with these weapons, the conqueror was conquered.

Since 2011, the second floor of the building has hosted some works from the frivolous 18th century, such as “The little gardener” by Francois Boucher and “Girl out of bed” by Jean Frédéric Schall.

Madeleine, Via Monte Santo, 64 

Madeleine is a belle époque style bistro located in the Prati district of Rome; to pronounce it immediately comes to mind that French dessert savored by Proust who brought it back to involuntary memories. But not only madeleine, the restaurant welcomes guests from breakfast to dinner, it starts with a pain au chocolat, tarts, Saint Honorè, saffron macarons, cassis and pistachio, tarte citron meringuée, millefeuille with chantilly and berries, and we move on to the art of mixology with a five-piece arrondissement made of gin, elderberry, lime, simple syrup and red wine, to conclude with a stuffed rabbit roll, mushrooms, parmesan and puntarelle. On the walls could not miss the portraits of the great writer who inspired them, Proust precisely, and a collection of teapots that would drive Csaba dalla Zorza crazy. Downstairs, chinoiserie-style wallpaper and butterfly collections, useful as an excuse to invite a gentle lady to dinner.

PACIFIC Restaurant

At Palazzo Dama, one of the 5-star hotels in the capital, the second “Pacifico” has opened, a restaurant with Peruvian-Nikkei cuisine, after the success of the first Milanese space.
Jaime Pesaque, PACIFICO Corporate Chef, is considered among the best Peruvian chefs in the world and is the creator of the rich and delicious menu called “the highest expression of Nikkei cuisine in Italy”, dominated by ceviche, revisited tiradito, tacos and anticuchos, raw Italian-Japanese and a wide selection of Dim Sum accompanied by Peruvian sauces.

The ocean, as an element of union between countries, has taken on the intense blue color of the draperies and armchairs; the large chandeliers illuminate the rooms with a perfect light for a tête-à-tête dinner, soft and warm, so it must be; the lacquered glass tables, the brass details, majestic palm trees and the view of the swimming pool surrounded by a fruity garden, give the room an elegant and exotic air.
Until late in the evening, for nocturnal animals, the Palazzo Dama bar becomes the Pisco Bar, where you can enjoy the homonymous cocktail with dance steps.

Hotel Lord Byron, via Giuseppe De Notaris, 5 

Ancient patrician residence in the elegant Parioli district, the 5-star Hotel Lord Byron is the most exclusive and reserved place to stay during your stay in the capital. 

Close to the splendid Villa Borghese and a few minutes from Piazza del Popolo, this historic Art Deco-style villa offers the impeccable and discreet service of a hotel and the warm and caring welcome of a private home. 

Once the illustrious characters of the aristocracy used to stay here, today, in secret, politicians, actors and the jet set of Italian and international cinema gather in the halls of the restaurant. 

Suites, lounges, common areas are linked by a common denominator: the woman. Delightful female portraits accompany the halls of Lord Byron in a march that is a hymn to the woman. They are women in dresses with an elegant and refined feature, with cute hats and 1930s dresses; all ages of life pass, we are not given their identity, but we know that among these is hidden the face of the owner, who occasionally wanders around the walls of the villa, in disguise.

The Panoramic Suite offers a wonderful view of the Villa Borghese park; it is furnished in the Art Deco style of the early 1900s with fine mahogany and rosewood furniture, marble bathrooms, a complete courtesy set for Etro‘s body and hair, fine fabrics for bed linen and it is illuminated by day. A rich glass fruit bowl welcomes you to the room, overflowing like a sparkling Caravaggesque still life.

Jerry Thomas, speakeasy

A dark wooden door is waiting for you secretly to be opened, to do so you will need a password that you will find on the site of the restaurant (obviously hidden), having crossed the threshold, after having pronounced it in a low voice, the 1930s await you in full Prohibition, when alcohol is banned. Here there is only one rule: drink well. Jerry Thomas is, in fact, the first Italian “speakeasy” that falls within the “50 World Best Bar” ranking; it takes its name from the greatest American bartender who, thanks to his creative spirit, has been nicknamed “the father of the art of mixing cocktails”.

Mixology is the graduation of the components of this “secret bar“, an oasis of peace and ecstasy where you can ask for the scenic “Blue Blazer“, a preparation by the historic Professor based on Scotch whiskey and boiling water, the drink icon, the absolute king, a fiery rainbow that passes from one mug to another five times to be well mixed, a perfect dose of exercise and spectacularization.

Jerry Thomas is not a simple place, it is an experience to live, you are greeted with a mini glass of champagne with two drops of bergamot bitters and you feel immediately pampered; it is no coincidence to find starred chefs at the counter who refresh themselves with a Martinez cocktail and faithful compañeros who return for “the usual”. The clientele is international, talking in a low voice; the staff is trained and speaks five languages, I highly recommend an evening at the counter for those interested in the magical world of mixology; to taste a dish without knowing what you are eating you only enjoy it halfway.

The light is suffused and accompanied by the warm light of the candles; on the red walls, the portraits of the greatest gangsters in history; the famous “Professor’s Vermouth” is due to the founders of the restaurant, the first product of a long series, the result of a creative laboratory between the brand and the Quaglia distilleries. Jerry Thomas is the ideal place to turn the tide of an evening!

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