4 Hot Spots in Rome
1. Eat It
Meat-and-rice-stuffed red pepper, followed by handmade pasta with eggplant and caciocavallo cheese, at Sicilian chef Filippo La Mantia’s restaurant La Mantia (dinner for two $208).
2. Buy It
Ilaria Venturini Fendi’s eco-friendly totes made from recycled airplane-seat fabrics and sold at her recently opened boutique Re(f)use (bags from $296).
3. See It
Twenty of Caravaggio’s greatest paintings, including Supper at Emmaus and Boy with Basket of Fruit, in a rare exhibition hosted by the Scuderie del Quirinale (February 18–June 17; $15 entrance fee).
4. Book It
The airy Frattina suite at the five-room guesthouse Crossing Condotti (doubles from $386), furnished with crisp white linens, coffee-colored silk curtains, and the owners’ heirloom oil paintings.
Run by Sicilian chef Filippo La Mantia’s, this restaurant serves up the food of his home island, including standout dishes like the meat-and-rice-stuffed red pepper and handmade pasta with eggplant and caciocavallo cheese. Set in a lavish dining room in the Hotel Majestic, the self taught chef relies heavily on traditional dishes and even street food, though tosses out stereotypes of Sicilian cuisine by serving them with creative twists and modern plating. Seats on the terrace that overlooks Via Veneto offer the best vistas.
This sustainable retail effort is fueled by designer Ilaria Venturini Fendi of the famed fashion family. The store, which looks more like a series of art installations and less like a retailer, sells eco-friendly bags, accessories, furniture, and home goods made entirely out of repurposed, recycled goods. There's jewelry made from oil filters and bags crafted from garden umbrellas; plus, almost all of the items are made by skilled Italian artisans (Fendi has a small UN-led project creating a line with African artists). Some accessories also benefit charitable causes. Retail karma doesn't come cheap, though: most bags cost £500 and up.
Scuderie del Quirinale
It took a decade to build the Scuderie del Quirinale (1722-1732) in Rome. Located next to the Quirinale Palace, it sits atop the ruins of the Roman Temple of Serapide and serves as an event, educational, and exhibition space. Spanning more than 3,000 square meters, this 18th-century stable hosts temporary exhibits of high-profile artists, such as Filippino Lippi, Sandro Boticelli, and Caravaggio in its wide-open, plain exhibit spaces. The facility was remodeled in the late 1990’s by architect Gae Aulenti, and audioguide tours are available in Italian and English.
Guest seeking privacy and discretion book one of the five rooms at this restored private townhouse. Located a few steps from Piazza di Spagna in an exclusive corner of Rome, this hideaway is dressed with hardwood floors, gilded mirrors, antique pieces, and crisp white linens. Crossing Condotti also keeps swank company with retail neighbors like Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Valentino. Guests receive keys to the house and have full access to a kitchenette and its many features: a Nespresso machine, refrigerator (with free soft drinks), snacks, and necessities to prepare hot beverages.