Biblioteca Vallicelliana

This 17th-Century library, part of a complex designed by Renaissance master Borromini, ignites a child-like awe every time I step inside. The grand main room, where medieval manuscripts line dark wooden shelves, could be the set of a Harry Potter movie. Upon entering the Oratorio it is housed in, be sure to read the informative panels before ascending the stairs to the left of the courtyard. I highly recommend visiting …

Masto Testaccio

Rita, from the Amalfi Coast, runs a small gourmet salumeria which serves food at lunch and in the evening, including aperitivo hour (when I first visited). On a recent lunchtime visit with students I tried a mixed cheese and salami platter and risotto with asparagus and pacchino tomatoes, both excellent. The best thing about Masto’ is Rita herself and her staff, passionate about food, sharing stories of its provenance and …

Costaguti Experience

I recently dropped by to check out Rome’s newest luxury accommodation, in the 16th century Palazzo Costaguti. Anyone who has been to Rome knows the building from the piazza it faces onto: Piazza Mattei, and the delectable “turtle fountain” at its center. But few have had the privilege of entering Palazzo Costaguti, not to speak of the glorious piano nobile. The lavish apartment has been expertly renovated and furnished to …