City of love rome

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Paris — city of lovers. Well, that's how it has sold itself, as the amorous capital of the world. But ask yourself how passionate a place it really is: that frigid architecture, those superior shopgirls, that all-too-British weather. What we want from love is not a calculated seduction, but a spontaneous release — the urge to dance in fountains, to throw off convention and jump on a motorbike.

If it's true romance you want, it has to be Rome. For me — and I've loved in both places — the Italian capital beats its French rival hands down for sex appeal. Artists, writers and dreamers from the Romantic poets onwards have chosen to become Latin lovers — and with good reason. Rome has the head-turning City of love rome that only two millennia of architecture can bring, reliably gorgeous weather outside of sweltering August, when the city largely shuts downwarm-hearted and generous people, and good-value restaurants and hotels.

Paris is rain falling on the Seine; Rome is bell towers and jasmine and laughter. And all this generates something that few cities can — a sense of wellbeing, of heart-singing pleasure, that you want to share with someone else. There are some cities where one feels happy alone New York and London, in my experience. Rome makes you want to hold hands, whether City of love rome skipping together down the Spanish Steps or sauntering through the Borghese gardens. Below are my suggestions for a perfectly romantic time, and whether or not things work out in the long run, at least you'll still be able to say: "We'll always have Rome.

Love on a budget.

City of love rome

Hotel de Russie Beautifully sited on the Piazza del Popolo, this was a favourite haunt of Picasso and Stravinsky, who were enchanted by its terraced gardens. These are magical at night, lit by candles and flooded with scents of rose and citrus. The rooms have been recently and tastefully redecorated in s style by Olga Polizzi, while the spa is among the swankiest in town. Via del Babuino 9 06 ; www. Hotel Sant'Anselmo A charming and elegant hotel in the city's most upmarket neighbourhood, high on the blissfully fresh Aventine hill. A City of love rome sanctuary.

Piazza Sant'Anselmo 2 06 ; www. The Keats-Shelley House For sheer atmosphere, nothing beats the two apartments in the house next to the Spanish Steps in which Keats died in The one above the poet's rooms is almost unchanged since the City of love rome of the Grand Tour. Filled with antique furniture, it sleeps four and is available through the Landmark Trust in the UK ; www. Il Palazzetto This has just four rooms, but a wonderful position overlooking the Spanish Steps. The bedrooms are not large, but they are classy, comfortable and surprisingly quiet. Vicolo del Bottino 8 06 ; www.

Agata e Romeo The raffish area around Santa Maria Maggiore, near the main station, is home to Rome's Chinese and Somali shopkeepers, as well as this intimate bottle-lined rendezvous.

City of love rome

The dishes are contemporary Italian, and specialities include broccoli and pasta in skate soup. For adventurous lovers and gourmets alike. Via Carlo Alberto 45 06 ; www. Closed at weekends. Hotel Forum If you want to declare your undying devotion in a restaurant, this is the place to do it, aided by the most seductive panorama in the city: the Roman forum, the Capitoline hill, moonlight… Maestro, more violins please.

You're paying for the view as much as for the cooking, but try the Sicilian-style swordfish or the saltimbocca — veal wrapped in ham and dressed with sage. Via Tor de' Conti 25 06 ; www. The cuisine served in the handkerchief-sized dining room is Roman and robust. Don't miss the tonnarelli alla cuccagna — thick spaghetti with pig's cheek, sausage and walnut sauce — and coratella, lamb's offal.

Food with passion. Via Ponte Quattro Capi 16 06 ; www. Closed Sun. Kick off your shoes and feel your celestial harmonies align. Vicolo della Cancelleria 7 ; www. Great location, great for people-watching, iffy attitude. But get there at dawn for an early espresso after a long night of stolen kisses, and it has all the effortless, scruffy beauty of the Eternal City. Via della Pace 06 Hotel Eden Classy, old-style rooftop bar with rhapsodic views over Rome and a talented pianist.

The place to come for an aperitivo — try a fresh peach Bellini, or the mint and ginger — or to pretend you're both starring in a Fellini film on the nearby Via Veneto. Dress smartly. Via Ludovisi 49 06 Salotto 42 Dark and tiny deer bar tucked behind Italy's parliament that's ideal for practising your chat-up lines before or after hitting City of love rome town.

Plush fabrics, funky tunes. Piazza di Pietra 42 06 ; www. San Crispino The best gelati in Rome. Pure, intense seasonal flavours, unclouded by artificial additives or even by cones — cups only. Just right for sharing with someone you fancy, or meet in the queue. Via della Panetteria 42 06 Open until midnight, closed Tues. Tazio Surprisingly stylish Champagne bar in an improbable location — on the busy roundabout of Piazza della Repubblica near Termini station — named after Tazio Secchiaroli, the model for the original Paparazzo in Fellini's La Dolce Vita.

The individual booths for two are lined with his s photographs of the likes of Sophia Loren and lit by chandeliers. Piazza della Repubblica 47 06 The Aventine hill This cool and leafy quarter has been home to the City of love rome classes since Roman times. Amble around the orange trees in the Parco Savelli, gaze at the pristine allure of the Basilica di Santa Sabina, and in the Piranesi-deed square of the Knights of Malta marvel at his stupendous conjuring trick — the dome of St Peter's seen through the keyhole of a garden door.

Botanic Garden The very English sprawl of grasses and trees, managed by the University of Rome, offers a welcome escape from the crowded streets of Trastevere. Wander along its shady paths towards the nearby Acqua Paola fountain or listen to the wives of prisoners in the neighbouring Regina Coeli prison calling endearments to their loved ones. What could be more romantic? Largo Cristina di Svezia 24 Tues-Sat 9am The Janiculum hill The Gianicolo Janiculum has the best view over Rome, and the capital's courting couples come here at night. It was also the site of Garibaldi's stand against the French in His partnership with his remarkable Brazilian wife, Anita, was among the most celebrated of the great age of romanticism, and fittingly she is among those commemorated by statues here.

Ponte Milvio The huge success in City of love rome of Federico Moccia's novel Ho voglia di te I Want You in the past couple of years has given rise to one of the most unusual sights in the city — a lamppost on this ancient bridge over the Tiber bedecked with hundreds of padlocks. Like characters in the book, lovers come here to add a chain inscribed with their names — City of love rome then throw the key into the river.

City of love rome

But hurry if you want to follow suit. The weight of the locks is bending the post, and there are now calls for the custom to be banned. The fountains of Rome The city has an unmatched collection of fountains — notably those in piazzas Navona, Trevi and Barberini — which are best seen when lit up at night.

City of love rome

If you can get beyond thoughts of Anita Ekberg frollicking City of love rome the Trevi don't try — you'll be arrestedalso search out some of the lesser-known ones, such as that in Piazza Mattei in the Ghetto, said to have been built in a single night as a romantic gesture and decorated with tortoises by Bernini. The Protestant Cemetery The pretty burial place of Keats and Shelley is currently closed for repairs, but it makes a good spot for a picnic once it reopens. Acanto Spa At the heart of this mixed day spa, built around Roman remains near the Pantheon, is a spacious hammam.

Piazza Rondanini 30 06 ; www. Open 10am-9pm, closed Mon in winter, Sun in summer. La Bottega del Cioccolato This French-run emporium, done up in heart-red in the fashionable Monti district near the Forum, has a dazzling selection of sophisticated chocolates. Just the place City of love rome embarking on a new love affair, or for consoling yourself at the end of one. There are also mini-Colosseums in chocolate, if you must. Via Leonina 82 06 ; www. Galleria Borghese Newly refurbished, this 17th-century villa houses the city's most sensuous art trove.

Highlights include Canova's marble likeness of Napoleon's sister Pauline, intended to be seen by candlelight, and Bernini's Apollo and Daphne, in which the nymph is turning into a laurel tree even as the god's fingers grasp at her thighs. Art as lust. Piazza Scipione Borghese 5 06 ; www. Open 9am Tickets must be pre-booked. Zou Zou You can find the usual brands of Italian lingerie all over Rome, but this recently opened box of delights has an international collection of more daring garments, as well as other items guaranteed to pep up your love life.

Vicolo della Cancelleria 9 06 ; www. Rome travel guide. Romantic hotels. The food of love. Love potions. Romantic strolls. Sensual pleasures.

City of love rome

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Is Rome is the city of love?