Guide to the Eternal City, Rome by YOLO Journal & DELSEY PARIS
DELSEY PARIS has partnered with the premium travel magazine YOLO JOURNAL to bring you monthly travel inspirations to the most beautiful places in the world. Yolanda Edwards, founder of Yolo Journal, will share with you her favorite places and secret addresses.
The Eternal City certainly needs no introduction, but definitely needs a curation of the multitude of options! I’ve been coming here for decades, and moved here last year–and these are my favorites that I’ve been collecting over the years.
SEE + DO
There’s obviously so much to see and do in this glorious city, but these are some of my favorites on repeat. The Palazzo Doria Pamphili is a 16th century palace which houses a museum with their vast private collection–over 500 pieces by artists like Titian, Bernini, Raphael, and Caravaggio. Besides their beautiful collection, I am always so inspired by the interiors–the way the art is hung (there are so many works that they hang them in multiple rows, completely covering all of the walls up to the ceiling), and the rich red interiors throughout. On the other side of the Tiber River, I love the Villa Farnesina, a Renaissance period villa, with its epic Raphael fresco. It’s a good launching point to explore the Trastevere neighborhood.
I could visit the Borghese Gallery every day and always discover something new. To see so many Bernini masterpieces, all in the space they were commissioned for, is just breathtaking. Lastly, one of my favorite Caravaggio works, The Calling of St Matthew, is in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, and I visit it every time I walk past the church.
Walking in Rome is one of my favorite things to do–along the Tiber River, and in the spring, to the 19th century Botanical Garden, an oasis in the city. Make sure you walk up to the Japanese Garden, from which you see Il Fontanone (The Big Fountain) just outside the garden’s walls, and have the most magnificent view of the city.
EAT + DRINK
Pierluigimay be my favorite spot in Rome, but I’m sure it’s the most universally beloved restaurant in the city. And how not–it’s on the most magical square, Piazza de’Ricci, where everyone gathers—be they local or from out of town. Just up the street is Caffe Peru, another gathering spot for locals, who stop in for a quick morning caffe, or a cheese toast for a quick lunch, or a post-work Negroni or spritz. For a sit-down cocktail, continue up the road to Piazza Farnese, and tuck into a perfect martini at Camponeschi. For old-school I love Nino for an elegant lunch. Even though it’s in the thick of the touristy area, right near the Spanish Steps, the staff are super kind and make great suggestions from their Tuscan meets Roman menu. La Campana is the oldest restaurant in the city–literally 500 years old–and while it certainly isn’t a secret spot, it definitely attracts the locals, who come for the polpette, the veal breast with potatoes (but don’t worry there are so many vegetarian options on the menu!), and some of the best desserts I’ve ever had. La Matriciana is a bit of a walk from the center, but it’s my favorite amatriciana in the city–along with everything else on the menu!
In Trastevere, everyone loves Da Enzo, which is incredible as the long line attests–but I prefer da Teo across the street, which takes reservations, and has no line. And I love Der Belli is great for the fish. My favorite spot for coffee is Caffe Portoghesi, where the owners are so warm, the panini fantastic, and they make an off-menu affogatto which is divine. Tell them I sent you! Lastly, on the gelato side of things: Neve di Latte is said to have the best quality gelato. No, it doesn’t look as cute as Giolitti, but my local gelato-maker friend swears it’s actually the best.
Chez Dédé should be your first stop–not only is it the most inspiring edit of new and vintage objets, books, and clothing–whoever is behind the counter of this incredibly chic shop will be able to tell you the best addresses in the city. Near the Pantheon are two of my favorite spots to pick up treasures for myself and friends. Gammarelli is the store where popes have been getting their clothes made for over 200 years, and while it feels a little funny going into a church clothing store just to look at socks, rest assured, the staff is used to it! Antica Cartotecnica is an old family-owned store that sells typewriters, pens, and inkwells, but I go for their new-but-vintage notebooks that have been in their stock for decades.
While it might seem strange to come to Rome for pajamas, Schostal dal 1870 has the best, as well as great socks and scarves. It’s a must to visit La Bottega del Marmoraro, the studio where Sandro Fiorentini carves words, sayings, or whatever you want, into pieces of marble.
The Locarno is a historic property (meticulously and carefully renovated) that has attracted the art/literary/cinema crowd for decades–with regulars like Fellini, Kerouac, and Basquiat–plus it has a lovely garden terrace which is a lovely place to unwind at the end of a long day with one of their incredible cocktails.
The Hotel Vilòn is a newer addition to the city, albeit in a beautiful historic building with rooms that overlook the private Palazzo Borghese. Smart interiors and incredibly attentive staff plus its location–on a quiet little street but right in the center of everything–make it a definite favorite. Hotel dei Barbieri is a small and deeply insider spot with 14 very chicly appointed rooms, close to Campo dei Fiori, which means you can pop over to the market in the early morning when the locals are there. Other favorites are G Rough , Il Mulino di Trastevere, Villa Spaletti Trivelli, Palazzo delle Pietre, Hotel Mediterraneo, Hotel de’ Ricci, and Palazzo Dama.
Yolanda Edwards is the founder of Yolo Journal, a weekly newsletter and seasonal print magazine devoted to the love of travel. Yolo gathers insider addresses and favorite destinations from its trust network of travelers in creative fields and shares them with a growing community of discerning global explorers.