We have been looking for Casa Margutta for nearly 30 years. Something in the heart of Rome, ideal for two couples traveling together and looking for upscale digs with equal bedrooms and baths and good separation between sleeping quarters. Casa Margutta is it, and it is very special indeed.
The location? Just off of — and removed light-years away from, in terms of sound — Piazza di Spagna. In fact, it overlooks charming Via Margutta, mecca since before Audrey Hepburn for artists, gallery-owners, and their customers. Fellini and Giulietta Masina lived La Dolce Vita right here. And in the apartment itself, you really have the feeling of what it’s like to live the life of a Roman noble family.
Taking a place in this neighborhood means you can really recapture its allure at hours of the day when it’s still empty of interlopers. If you’re an early riser, you can be there to enjoy the coffee bars when they’re frequented by people not speaking languages other than Italian, like the neighborhood shopkeepers whom you can then follow as they walk to their places of business, raise the shutters, tack on their smiles, and open up. This is a magical neighborhood at such moments. Just stroll the little streets like Via Belsiana, Via Borgognona, and Via delle Carrozze, to see what we mean, not to mention the Via Margutta itself, right out your own front door!
Things to do? Well, before we move on to the most obvious, you’ll want to know about two delightful but unvisited places right there, wihin 2 minutes’ walk: the Keats-Shelley Museum, and the Casa di DiChirico, home to the famous surrealist painter-sculptor. Both of these are well worth your time. We had been DiChirico fans for years but were mostly unaware of his wonderful sculptures, several of which are on display here.
And we don’t want to neglect mentioning the Villa Medici, at the top of the Spanish Steps, home to the French Academy, with delightful gardens, as well as frequent art exhibitions and cultural events like theater and cinema, in French.
Of course, the most obvious lure in this neighborhood is shopping. This is one of the world’s great shopping magnets. Valentino, Dior, Chanel, Zegna, Prada, Armani, Borsalino, Gucci, Bulgari, Chopard, Frette, Tiffany, and dozens of others have flagship stores dotting the narrow lanes between the Spanish Steps and Via del Corso. Via del Corso itself is lined with shops of all sorts, many offering surprisingly low prices. Boggi in Via del Babuino is particularly good for men’s clothing. Just across Via del Corso, we love Tebro, in Via dei Prefetti, for fine linens.
Another extremely convenient feature of this location is the Spagna subway station, from within which a series of escalators will whisk you up in stages to Rome’s most famous park, the Villa Borghese. Once up there, you can, after strolling through the park and — with your advance reservation — visiting the Caravaggios at the Galleria Borghese, meander back down the legendary Via Veneto to your flat, stopping for a well-deserved aperitivo on your way.
The Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza del Popolo are just a few of the other famous destinations within walking distance of the Casa Margutta.
And of course, there are dozens of dining options, in all price ranges, from Michelin-starred palaces to a stand-up tramezzino in a coffee bar. Not to mention the nearby taxi stand, newsstand, post office, banks, tobacconist, and so on ad infinitem.