STAY in Rome:
From the outside, the Pulitzer looks like a modern apartment in a more distinguished neighbourhood. The surprise awaits inside: If there was a Pulitzer for design, the Spaniard Lazaro Rosa-Violan would have won. With his love of the 70s he kept cool and stuck to the lines, while others indulged in Roman opulence. The result is refreshing and helps one concentrate, which the clientele appreciates: It's mostly business people that come to the former exhibition neighbourhood. Today the Euro has replaced the arts in the southern part of the city centre, so if one is looking for historical distinction, it will be in vain in the Hotel Pulitzer. Yet for those who love black ceramics, LC and Puritanism will love it and its minimalistic cocktailbar. Whether or not there are any Pulitzer prize winners on the Pulitzer guest list we could not find out. Double starting at 150,- Euro per night.
San Carlo Suite
They are small and luxurious, the new guest houses in the Italian capital. To reside classically is out of date, it's way more cosier to check into a mini hotel where you can feel better than at home. No surprise, given the location and its equipment! The San Carlo suites on Via del Corso in the historic part of Rom are situated on the second floor of a historic palazzo. On the one side you'll find the Piazza del Popolo, on the other one the Via Condotti. It really doesn't get any better as regards location. By the way, the interior is dominated by elegant designer furniture, an electric fire, crystalline room dividers and a bath tub with hydro-massage function. In addition you're provided with information touch screens and a virtual reception. Nothing stands in the way of some intimate togetherness. The continental breakfast includes eggs and bacon. The round-the-clock Open Bar in the lounge area offers snacks and drinks. In case that all suites are booked, don't worry: a few streets further down, near the Piazza Navona, you'll find the Gigli d'Oro suites - run by the same management. The boutique hotel with unfinished wooden floors and high-tech elevator spreads across three floors of a venerable renaissance palace. An the interior? Luxurious - what else?
The Italians got style. How nice when they pass it down to others. Luisa Longo does so. The artist and textile designer has opened her house-atelier Buonanotte Garibaldi in Rome and rents out three different rooms for selected design aficionados. The luxurious B&B hotel in Trastevere used to be Longo's parental home. Today you'll find an inner courtyard with orange trees and palms as well as three rooms to retreat behind the green ivory gate. The rooms are adorned with a mix of antiquities from the 19th and 20th century and textiles individually designed by the owner. There you'll find, for example, the Chocolate Room with golden and coppery-coloured shades. The citrus fruits and their fresh colours have been integrated by the Roman into the Orange Room. In the Rome Room she's draped hand-painted silk and satin. She serves house-made cakes and marmalade. And during the night a fine bevvy accompanied by Bach or Händel.
EAT in Rome:
Up and down the steps, nothing to see but sights: The Spanish Steps are surly THE starting point for all the attractions of the city. The locals know that, too, congregating there for wine, women and La Dolce Vita. Warm summer nights see the young sitting on the steps and celebrating late into the night. So sit down and take in the view! Turn one way and you see the church Trinità dei Monti at the upper end. Turn the other way and the ship shaped Fontana della Barcaccia bubbles along in its pomp. On the right hand side there is the Keats-Shelley museum, where John Keats lived and died. To your left Babington's Tea Room invites you to have a tea at English tea time. When you get up and follow the Via Condotti you'll be surrounded by the most exclusive shops and restaurants in the city. Can you pass this by? Just stay for a little while longer. Enjoy your vino. Enjoy the Dolce Vita with the Romans. Sightseeing can wait!
The Pommidoro is all game: Grilled meat on the menu includes deer, wild boar and so forth. The classic: Pappardelle, that is tagliatelle in wild boar sauce or fettuccine with vegetables from the garden. Talking of which: Pommidoro means pomodoro in Rom, that is tomato, and is the nick name of the owner named Aldo. Whether or not he is just as red and round as his namesake, we couldn't determine.However, the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung dedicated a whole page to his wife Anna, who has served no less than 160,000 meals to her guests, filled with good, Roman specialties and lots of game. She and her husband seem to attract wild spirits: The restaurant is Roberto Benigni's and Pedro Almodovar's favourite, and no one other than Pier Paolo Pasolini enjoyed his wild boar here.
The Trattoria pre-empts demanding guests and their complaints, letting them decide what to eat: If you desire you can put together your own menu. The kitchen can be observed through a glass window, so you can verify that the Trattoria is only using the finest ingredients for its creations.Onion and garlic are rather rare, while citrus is more common as a flavour enhancer. The ambiance is classy, too: The Trattoria occupies two floors of a 17th century palace, while the inside is decorated with much glass, chrome and modern furnishing.
SHOPPING in Rome:
Not all ways lead directly to the goal: the Roman Micaela Calabresi Marconi made a detour and studied law. Only afterwards she was certain: she needs something where she can build and maintain relationships, a job in communication. Armani, Pucci, Zegna and Versace crossed her way, and she eventually opened an own event agency. But that wasn't enough. At the peak of the economic crisis Marconi took over Saddlers Union and together with her brother Paolo she dusted off the forgotten brand that specialises in historic, handmade leather articles. The new address? Via Margutta 11, the street of craftsmen, similar to Montmartre in Paris. Federico Fellini had his residence here - and for Marconi it was the ideal spot for a Saddlers Union boutique. Today only those who know where they want to go will find Saddlers Union. A door plate is missing - it's a cosy, private house with a workshop where favourite pieces can be repaired on the spot if need be. Marconi found her calling.
A concept store should have a clear concept. The weTAD founders knew from the beginning that they wanted to open a flower shop. Still, you have to put them into something and so they also started to sell vases. And once there is such a nice smell, why not sell a few beautifully scented cosmetics along with it? O.k. And a hairdresser would also go well with the cosmetics. Wearing artistic creations on your head, why not put some on the wall, too? Oh, you look tired, how about an espresso in our café? Or just lay down for a bit on our sofas here, which, by the way, are also for sale. This is how it probably happened, because today the weTAD Concept Store sells just about anything: Flowers, modern art, furniture, coffee and night lotions. And, of course, fashion, preferably from Vivienne Westwood and Alexander Wang. Never seen anything like that? Then it's time to take a look into the weTAD Concept Store, which has everything except for a concept.
Attention: There is nothing to drink at the bar - in the L'Olfattorio Bar you are served neither whiskey nor beer, but scents. This is how it works: Go into the bar and order Eau de Toilette. Then pick the scent that you like most.The perfumes on offer are from small manufacturers, and you can test them for free. When you like a scent, you receive the address in Rome where you can buy that perfume. The innovative business concept works, because it allows small producers to introduce themselves and to compete against the big ones.Aside from perfumes you can also purchase scented candles and all sorts of other olfactory delights. Just don't stay for too long, you might get dizzy from all those scents.
SIGHTS in Rome:
Lazio vs. Inter
In Milan, Inter and the AC are at war in the San Siro, in Rome Lazio fights against Roma in the Stadio Olimpico. The four teams have one thing in common: They are all brilliant, at least from an Austrian point of view. Inter brought home the Champions' League with its proven defensive technique, AC Milan got that sought-after title seven times in total, Roma is playing with Francesco Totti, who won the World Cup in 2006, and Lazio counters with the Argentinean master Mauro Matías Zárate.Real fans should not miss the popular derby in the Stadio Olimpico. In contrast to some of the players, the audience is anything but defensive, and quickly boils over when the blood is stirring. Small advice: If you buy a ticket for one of the popular games, make sure you to sit with the Roma fans, not with Lazio - unless you tend towards the extreme political right.
Who's better, the Swedes or the Italians? Last year most would have said that it depends on your tastes. The Italians have traditionally specialized in baroque knickknacks, lots of brocade and kitsch ribbons, while the Swedes swore by practical, striped and minimalist furniture. Now everything is different, because today everyone agrees: Back to the roots, charming and cosy furniture made of precious wood should help you live the easy life! Europe is finally united. Each year more than a thousand visitors storm the Moa Casa. Some are there to evaluate the trends and others to buy the newest in interior design. 200 exhibitors work their customers on 20,000 square meters. If you need a break from all the furniture, you don't need to walk very far: Next to the MOA Casa the MOA Gustibus offers tastes of traditional Italian specialties, and naturally for purchase, too.
It took ten years, various culture secretaries and 150 million euro to complete the eccentric building designed by star architect Zaha Hadid. She especially put emphasis on the interaction between glass, fair-faced concrete and metal. Once again it becomes obvious: it's not only art, but also architecture which is maximal here in the Flaminio quarter. The 27.000 square metres of the area with its 20 metres high entrance hall forms an open, urban space and guides the visitors along curved walls and interwoven levels on unexpected paths through five galleries. In the well-lit museum (thanks to the glass roof) we find the two museums MAXXI art and MAXXI architecture. The house is devoted to preserve and conserve the cultural heritage by means of exhibitions, workshops, performances and (educational) projects. But more: it offers space for experimenting and exploring modern aesthetic contents. Tickets for 11 euro (reductions possible).