Rome, Italy

La Scelta di Goethe

Rates from (ex tax)$1,234.35

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR1,152.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

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Glamorous former garret


A trot from the Tiber

Judging by the discreet front door on Via del Corso, you’d never guess the incredible apartments hidden behind it: boutique stay La Scelta di Goethe, in central Rome, is ideal for aspiring tortured writers and contessas-in-waiting alike. Even the Pope might feel at home in these wood-and-marble-lined, antique-strewn suites (where the eponymous German writer did some serious brooding), with city-wide views from private balconies – and a Jacuzzi-topped roof terrace, which we suspect arrived after Goethe's time here. Friendly touches – like fresh flowers and working fireplaces – are a welcome addition, and the imaginative concierge can book city tours in a helicopter or the best museum slots and supper spots.


Smith Extra

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Free bike hire throughout your stay


Photos La Scelta di Goethe facilities

Need to know


Two suites.


11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.


Double rooms from $1234.35 (€1,047), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR1,152.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include Continental breakfast, served in your suite.


In-room massages, beauty treatments and even an on-call hairdresser are available on request. Showers in suites are equipped with enough settings to make Cleopatra proud: aromatherapy and chromotherapy keep things sweetly scented and colourful, or get hot and steamy with the hammam setting.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, laundry and valet parking. In suites: 24-hour butler service; fresh flowers; daily newspapers; bottle of champagne; box of chocolates; fruit basket; minibar and free bottled water; air-conditioning; and Santa Maria Novella bath products. Villa Medici has a private dining room; Trinità dei Monti has a rooftop Jacuzzi.

Our favourite rooms

Either one of these refined, old-school suites will suit discerning travellers; within, antique furnishings and 17th-century artwork in heavy, gilded frames add a regal air to white walls and wooden flooring. Romantics should book the Trinità dei Monti suite for its rooftop Jacuzzi; channel your inner writer and poet in its well-stocked library. Larger parties can hold intimate dinners in Villa Medici’s dining room, before retiring to the beam-bedecked living room. It’s also possible to rent all 260sq m of Goethe’s former abode; drift between the two apartments via a sweeping marble staircase.

Packing tips

If you stay between May and September, bring as many floaty sundresses as you can, and a hat: Rome is sweltering in the summer. Winter can be chilly, however, so pack a coat and some woolly jumpers. Whatever the month, a pair of trainers won’t go amiss; you’ll walk for miles around the Pantheon (and the shops).


Children are very welcome at La Scelta, and the staff couldn’t be more accommodating. However, these antique-strewn apartments are probably best left to grown-ups, unless your children are saints.

Food and Drink

Photos La Scelta di Goethe food and drink

Top Table

Have dinner on your private balcony. If you're staying in Villa Medici hold a banquet in the dining room.

Dress Code

Waft around the apartment in your best silk robe.

Hotel restaurant

La Scelta doesn’t have a restaurant, but there’s a private chef on hand to cook you whatever you’d like and send it up to your suite; put your meal requests in with the concierge at any time. If you find yourself feeling peckish throughout the day, ask for a charcuterie and cheese board to be brought to your room or balcony, and nibble fresh mortadella while looking out over the Basilica. Breakfast is no stale-croissant-and-coffee affair: fresh fruit juice, pancakes, cereals and organic yoghurts are laid out in a huge spread alongside home-made cakes and pastries. Those looking for something meatier can order sausages or pork-laden platters, with organic eggs any-which-way.


Hotel bar

Each suite’s minibar is fully stocked with soft drinks, beer, water and spirits – if you’re hankering after something in particular, the concierge can send up bottles of wine and house cocktails.

Last orders

The concierge is on call round the clock for food orders; however, between 10pm and 7am guests are limited to cold meals or pasta.

Room service

La Scelta’s Continental breakfast is delivered to your suite every morning between 7am and 1pm; just let the concierge know when you'd like it to be delivered.


Photos La Scelta di Goethe location
La Scelta di Goethe
Via del Corso, 107


Rome’s Fiumicino Airport – well-served by British Airways and EasyJet – is just under an hour’s drive away, and La Scelta can organise transfers in a private car from €80 for up to three guests. Frequent Ryanair flights arrive at Ciampino Airport, which is the same distance away by car. La Scelta can arrange pick-ups from here, too, for the same price.


Roma Termini train station is just 15 minutes’ drive away from La Scelta. Hail a cab from the taxi rank outside the station (watch out for touts trying to charge a higher fare). Radiotaxi 3570 ( are said to be the city’s most reliable firm.


If you’re brave enough to contend with the Italians’ honking horns, hire a car from the booths at both airports. From Fiumicino, take autostrada A91 to reach central Rome, or arrive via autostrada A90 from Ciampino.

Worth getting out of bed for

It's tempting to take a cue from Johann and waft around in your pied-à-terre, sporting a cravat and ruminating on verse, but Rome awaits… Big-hitters like the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum are must-sees for first-timers; but if you've been there, done that, got the magnet with a picture of the Pope on it, then head to the Villa Borghese for its lush gardens and colonnaded pavilions – a welcome retreat throughout boiling July and August. Churches are the secret to seeing Renaissance art without museum crowds: Santa Maria in Trastevere and the Tempietto di Bramante are two of the best. When it feels like you’ve done classical art to death, take a trip to the National Museum of Pasta, a 10-minute taxi ride away on Via Flamini, a one-of-a-kind temple to carbs and cooking. You don't even need to leave your room to have the concierge plan a fun-filled day out: chat to him using your interactive TV. He can arrange a limousine to ferry you to the best museums; a private tour of the churches and palazzos; a visit to the nearby golf course; or even a helicopter ride over the city. Or, if you want to make the most of your hideaway, book a wine-tasting session or private cookery lesson (usually around three hours). La Scelta is just a short walk from the boutiques selling Italian cashmere, linen and leather on Via della Croce, and the designer shops on Via Condotti. 


Local restaurants

Nearby Casa Coppelle in its namesake Piazza is beloved by Hollywood royalty and the Italian cognoscente; order the salt-and-pepper lobster and saltimbocca from the French-tinted menu. For a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Pierluigi in Piazza dé Ricci. Ask for a table outside on the quiet, cobbled street, and savour the fresh seafood that’s made this eatery a favourite among locals. You won’t be short of something to drink, either: the wine cellar holds more than 600 labels for you to work your way through.

Local cafés

For stubborn homebirds missing the comforts of good old Blighty, a trip to Babington’s Tea Rooms, just around the corner in Piazza di Spagna, will turn that stiff upper lip into a smile. Hidden at the foot of the Spanish Steps, Babington’s has been around since 1893; it’s testament to the café's excellent eggs Benedict and wonderfully English tea. If you find yourself on the other side of the river (which isn’t more than a half-hour walk from the hotel), pop into Biscottificio Innocenti on the Via della Luce for some of the best pastries in the city. Not sure what to pick? In February and March, go for the Carnival-inspired frappe (heavenly strips of sugar-dusted fried dough); year-round, order the jam tarts or ground-almond biscuits.

Local bars

Hip bar in Piazza di Montevecchio has organic wines, small-batch beers and an all-natural, healthy menu. Have the steak tartare or a generous charcuterie board while sipping on an icy Birra del Borgo, and admire the stripped-down decor. Just a 15-minute walk away is picturesque Piazza del Fico, named after its fig tree that’s been there for longer than most can remember. Charming drinks spot Bar del Fico (+30 06 6889 1373) takes its name from the same tree, but also the Italian fico, which translates as ‘hip’ and ‘cool’. Living up to its moniker, the bar doesn’t try too hard: pitch up here for an Aperol spritz and a game of chess with the regulars, and maybe a few light bites from the aperitivo buffet.


Photos La Scelta di Goethe reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from their stay in these ravishing historic apartments in Rome and unpacked their Santa Maria Novella bath goodies and finest Italian cashmere, a full account of their pasta-and-gelato-filled city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside La Scelta di Goethe in Italy

Only a discreet set of wooden doors on busy Via del Corso marks the entrance to boutique hotel La Scelta di Goethe; it's set high above Rome, on the penthouse level of a townhouse with original baroque features and a literary past. The hotel's two, high-ceilinged, marble-clad suites once formed a rather grand garret, formerly inhabited by legendary German poet JW Goethe. There's unlikely to be much Sturm and Drang though, with a private chef and butler at your service 24 hours a day, a rooftop Jacuzzi to soak in as you watch Rome go by, and a shower where you can be steamed, scented and entertained by colourful lights – possibly all at once, if you so desire. One of the suites has a library if you want to spend the stay with your head in a book, and there's an elegant dining room to hold lively salons in; but if you do decide to explore the city, use the interactive TV to demand helicopter tours, gelato tastings or prime museum time-slots of your concierge (politely, of course…). Take it from old Johann Wolfgang – when the time comes to check out, you'll be brokering a Faustian pact for just a few more days in your new Roman home


The Guestbook

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