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When in Rome | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Rome
Cultural Currents

Night and daylight. Flames and love. The dual souls of Rome, the city with an ancient heart and modern brain. Cars and scooters hurtle along the sanpietrini-paved roads, old churches adjacent to new boutiques, flashing lights mirrored in the River Tiber. Just a short walk from the river along Via del Mascherone you reach Campo de’ Fiori - one of the most famous squares of Rome – on a typical sunny morning you’ll be surrounded by the loud voices and vibrant colours of the mercato (street market). Food is a big deal for Italians and locals come here every day to buy their fresh fruit and vegetables at really reasonable prices. Attracted by the delicious smell just around the corner, they’ll then drop into the ancient bakery La Renella for a slice of the best Pizza Bianca in the city.

As the sun slowly goes down, many locals can be found "in Piazzetta de’ Monti" (literally "in the little square of Rione Monti") enjoying a beer or a glass of wine bought from one of the many bars surrounding the square. This is such a Roman habit – no matter what the season you’ll always find a crowd gathered around the fountain in the centre of the square, standing in groups or sitting on the fountain steps, socialising late into the evening.

 
 
 
 

Night and daylight. Flames and love. The dual souls of Rome, the city with an ancient heart and modern brain. Cars and scooters hurtle along the sanpietrini-paved roads, old churches adjacent to new boutiques, flashing lights mirrored in the River Tiber. Just a short walk from the river along Via del Mascherone you reach Campo de’ Fiori - one of the most famous squares of Rome – on a typical sunny morning you’ll be surrounded by the loud voices and vibrant colours of the mercato (street market). Food is a big deal for Italians and locals come here every day to buy their fresh fruit and vegetables at really reasonable prices. Attracted by the delicious smell just around the corner, they’ll then drop into the ancient bakery La Renella for a slice of the best Pizza Bianca in the city.

As the sun slowly goes down, many locals can be found "in Piazzetta de’ Monti" (literally "in the little square of Rione Monti") enjoying a beer or a glass of wine bought from one of the many bars surrounding the square. This is such a Roman habit – no matter what the season you’ll always find a crowd gathered around the fountain in the centre of the square, standing in groups or sitting on the fountain steps, socialising late into the evening.

an interesting thing to do

Rome was built on seven hills, one being the Aventine Hill, an upper bourgeoisie residential district and also the setting for a few scenes from Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty. It has always been an esoteric and magical place in the Roman imagination. Take a good map and head to the top of the Aventine Hill near to the beautiful Orange Garden (from where the view of Rome will leave you speechless), next to the Basilica of Bonifacio and Alessio and behind the Villa of the Order of the Knights of Malta. Here you will find the most beautiful keyhole you’ve ever seen. You might think this is a crazy suggestion but as soon as you get there you’ll see a long queue in front of the locked door. While you can’t open the door, what you can see through the secret keyhole is a wonderful view of St Peter’s Cupola, perfectly framed by the trees along the avenue of the gardens of the Order of the Knights of Malta. This is a really exciting experience both day and night and an unexpected treat for those not aware of it.


Rome was built on seven hills, one being the Aventine Hill, a upper bourgeoisie residential district and also the setting for a few scenes from Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty. It has always been an esoteric and magical place in the Roman imagination. Take a good map and head to the top of the Aventine Hill near to the beautiful Orange Garden (from where the view of Rome will leave you speechless), next to the Basilica of Bonifacio and Alessio and behind the Villa of the Order of the Knights of Malta. Here you will find the most beautiful keyhole you’ve ever seen. You might think this is a crazy suggestion but as soon as you get there you’ll see a long queue in front of the locked door. While you can’t open the door, what you can see through the secret keyhole is a wonderful view of St Peter’s Cupola, perfectly framed by the trees along the avenue of the gardens of the Order of the Knights of Malta. This is a really exciting experience both day and night and an unexpected treat for those not aware of it..

One local brand

In the heart of the vibrant Trastevere district, Piazza di S. Cosimato is home to Cinema America where a new brand has emerged around this historic building. The cinema operated from 1955 to 2000 when a private buyer wanted to demolish it and build residential flats and a car park. However, such was the architectural and artistic heritage of this much-loved venue that locals created a committee to ‘Save the Cinema America’. This put paid to the redevelopment and the cinema was then abandoned again until 2012 when a new group of young people took on ownership. ‘I ragazzi del cinema America’ (the lads of the Cinema America) wanted to restore the cinema to the magical days of its prime and provide entertainment for as many locals as possible. Due to the small size of the cinema they established ‘Pirate Screens’, with films projected on the walls of Piazza di S. Cosimato to create huge, free public screenings. They also invited directors and actors who had influenced the history of Italian Cinema to come and give talks. Il Cinema in Piazza was born as a vibrant local brand, blending the best of heritage and modernity.

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With thanks to Martina Bocchetti for her unique, cultural insights.