Q&A with Daniele, General Manager at The First Luxury Art Hotel, Rome
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so we asked our GM at the award-winning The First by The Pavilions to share his best travel tips to one of the most sought out destinations in the world.
When is the best time to visit the city?
There is always a reason to travel to Rome “Caput Mundi” (Capital of the World). From colourful autumn foliage in Villa Borghese gardens to a warm summer culture packed city escape mixed with excursions to the seaside! But May and June are fantastic with spring in full glory, not too warm yet sunny, perfect for walking around in an open-air museum as Rome is and…tasting some of the best Italian gelatos!
What’s the best way of getting around to experience the real Rome?
Walking, hands down! There is no better to get a glimpse of the authentic Rome. Only as a pedestrian can explore the charming and narrow avenues, discover the local markets, galleries and non-touristy hidden churches. Make sure to pack comfy shoes!
What are your must-see places for a first-time visitor to Rome?
Start with the ancient Rome sights: The Colosseum, Palatino and the Roman Forum. Of course, you cannot miss St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican museums including the Sistine chapel. Close the Basilica, check out St. Angel Castle, initially built as a mausoleum for Emperor Adriano and became the Pope’s fortress in the XII century.
Everyone loves a view – what’s your favourite view of the city?
I personally love going to the top of St. Peter’s Dome, 130 meters high. Don’t forget that it was the tallest building in the world for years since the works were finished in the XVI century. It’s my go-to place whenever I have friends visiting Rome! Nothing beats seeing Rome “at your feet” with 360° view…every time I’m there is like the first time!
What about shopping in Rome?
Rome is less known than Milan for shopping, but rest assured, shoppers will find a range of local and luxury brands. Via Condotti, Via Borgognana, Via del Babuiono and the entire Spanish Steps district close to our hotel are full of fashion boutiques. Don’t forget that fashion “Maisons” Fendi, Valentino, Laura Biagiotti and others are headquartered in Rome. Make sure to visit local leather artisans, shoemakers and art galleries including ours, and bring to your home memories of your Roman retreat.
What’s the must try local specialities and authentic places to try them?
Many Italian specialities known worldwide like Carbonara, Cacio and Pepe, Amatriciana, Roman Gnocchi are originally from Rome. Be ready to gain a few pounds during your Roman vacation by spending a few evenings at Checchino al Testaccio, Felice a Testaccio or Taverna Trilussa. These places continue to shine as local Roman favourites for a hundred years+ for good reason!
Any new discoveries?
For old yet new – you must visit the Domus Romane beneath Palazzo Valentini. A treasure of archaeological remains of ancient Roman houses has given it a new life and now on permanent display. Close to Piazza Navona, visit the Stadium of Domiziano. It’s a lesser-known ruin that just reopened, and was the first Roman Stadium for athletic competitions commissioned in 80AD.
The First Luxury Art Hotel Rome
Via del Vantaggio, 14 – 00186 Roma
Phone: +39 06 45617070