Rome Ciampino is technically the closest, but you’re more likely to be arriving at larger Fiumicino, one of Europe’s busiest hubs. There are direct flights to the latter from all over Europe and many larger US destinations. From Fiumicino, it’ll take around 50 minutes to drive to the hotel; give our Smith24 team a call if you’d like them to book your flights and transfers for you.
Rome’s main station, Termini, is 5km from the hotel. High-speed Trenitalia services arrive there from Milan, Venice, Naples and Florence. Once you’re at Termini, hop on the A line metro and ride it three stops to Spagna, a few minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Navigating Rome’s busy roads is a bit of a sport – sudden lane changing, speeding and liberal horn use are the norm here. Many people get by without a car, but if you do want to bring one, be aware that the hotel’s inside one of the city’s restricted zones, which you can’t drive in from 6.30am–7pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 7pm on Saturday; do so and you can face hefty fines. The closest secure car park is 10 minutes away; a valet can park your car there for €50.
Worth getting out of bed for
With the Spanish Steps practically on the doorstep and the rest of the centro storico within easy reach, there’s a lot to entice you out the door. The hotel does, however, have a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to a little down time. They can enlist the services of local therapists who do in-room massages, restoring limberness to anyone who’s been pounding the piazzas all day. If you want to give your feet a break altogether, hire a couple of the hotel’s e-bikes, which will streamline your sightseeing significantly. You can also arrange a private wine tasting in the library, where the sommelier will showcase vintages from small suppliers. The Keats-Shelley House, where John Keats lived out his final days, is at the foot of the Spanish Steps. It’s tiny as museums go, but full of fascinating memorabilia, manuscripts and paintings as well as a vast library of Romantic literature. If your visit has you hankering after lush meadows and shady woods, your best bet is to head to the Villa Borghese gardens, one of Rome’s largest parks. A stroll here will take you past the Borghese Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art (just across the road) and a full-size replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you’re in town for retail therapy, have your plastic at the ready for the fashion houses that line Via Condotti and Via Cola di Rienzo; for something a little more wallet friendly, try the Trastevere flea market, which runs every Sunday. If it’s your first time in town, it’s safe to assume that a trip to the Colosseum is on the cards. Ask the concierge to book queue jump tickets, as the wait can be over an hour in peak season. Your ticket will give you access to Palatine Hill, too, so be sure to keep it handy.
Ristorante Dilla, on Via Mario de’ Fiori, is one of of the best places to eat around the Spanish Steps. Toeing the line between rustic and industrial design, this modern taverna has a shorter menu than many of its nearby competitors, which may be why everything on it is so good. The staff are young, friendly and knowledgeable to boot, giving the place a vibrant and familial atmosphere. Book a table on the terrace for lunch at Osteria delle Coppelle, which sits in a small piazza of the same name. The long tables give the place a friendly, communal feel, and the menu celebrates all the best parts of casual Italian dining. You can’t go wrong with their cacio e pepe, a classic pasta dish made with pecorino and black pepper.
Terrazza Borromini is a rooftop bar with 360-degree views across the skyline, but unlike many similar spots, it draws a local crowd instead of camera-toting tourists. Be sure to book ahead, especially in summer, when the competition for tables can get fierce. Owned by a former model, cocktail bar Salotto42 is often touted as the trendiest in town. There are shelves filled with art and fashion books for you to peruse over one of their crafty creations, which are prepared and served with panache.