Martius Private Suites is part of the Palazzo Lavaggi, a Renaissance palazzo in the heart of Rome’s historic centre.
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 45 minutes to drive to the hotel; give our Smith24 team a call if you’d like them to arrange 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 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Navigating Rome’s busy roads is a bit of a sport – sudden lane changing, speeding and liberal horn use are par for the course here. Many people get by without a car, but if you do want to bring one, be aware that the hotel’s within one of the city’s restricted zones. Private vehicles are banned from 6.30am–7pm Monday to Friday, and 10am–7pm on Saturday; if you’re caught behind the wheel, you’ll face a hefty fine. The closest secure car park is 10 minutes away, and costs €40 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
Most guests use the hotel as an opulent base from which to explore the Eternal City – after all, the Pantheon is a five-minute walk away, the Trevi Fountain a mere seven. The hotel’s proximity to the city’s best bars and restaurants is second to none, but that’s not to say you’ll want to leave in a hurry – the grandeur of the larger apartments rivals any cocktail bar in the city, making them a worthy spot for sundowners. For everything else, speak to the concierge team, who are only too happy to arrange gelato-making classes, private tours of the Vatican and wine-tastings in the surrounding hills.
Many a tourist has spent long, hot hours trudging from one iconic Roman landmark to the next, which isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable way to see the city. If you prefer to rest your feet and like to feel the wind in your hair, consider a Vespa tour, which will give you a snapshot of the city’s most famous sights in a quintessentially Italian fashion. One sight that is worth walking to is The Pantheon, a mere five-minute stroll from the hotel. Once you’ve looked inside the vast, open-topped dome, cross the square to Antica Salumeria, a traditional deli crammed with cured meats, fine cheeses and all the building blocks of a rustic Italian meal. Most of the products are meant to be taken home, but they also have tables set up for sampling antipasti platters and sipping Aperol spritzes. Set in meticulously maintained grounds that are owned by the Vatican, the American Academy was established at the end of the 19th century by a group of American artists, sculptors and architects. Thanks its famous scholarship program, the academy has played a role in the development of some of the most distinguished American artists of the last century, including poets, painters and sculptors. The academy hosts concerts and cultural talks in Villa Aurelia, originally built as the palatial home of a cardinal.
Gelateria Giolitti is literally next door, and is one of the best there is. Go early as there’s almost always a queue – their pastries are a hit too. For a casual lunch, order slices of pizza from Antico Forno Roscioli, who make it their mission to satisfy the exacting standards of the locals – which they do and then some. Their long, rectangular pizzas are cut to order and sold by weight, making it easy to mix and match. If you’re hankering after desert, walk round the corner to the local market, where the stalls are piled high with fresh fruit. Ristorante Dilla, on Via Mario de’ Fiori, is one of the best places to eat near the Spanish Steps, serving rustic classics in a room with an industrial finish. For something more formal, book a table at Antica Pesa, a mainstay on Rome’s fine dining scene for over 100 years. The dishes have a classic lean and are served in a room that’s covered with the work of established Roman artists. In summer, ask for a table on the terrace, where the roof slides back to reveal the sunset.