Gay Guide to Rome by Mr Hudson

Gay Rome Rome City Guide

In a word, Rome is dramatic. It’s Audrey Hepburn hitching up her dress and climbing onto a Vespa in Piazza Navona. Anita Ekberg dancing in the Trevi Fountain. Charlton Heston wearing a toga. As anyone who has set foot on these seven illustrious hills will confirm, the basic cinematic assumptions are no exaggeration. But the drama isn’t just immortalised in the excessive number of films set in Rome. There’s drama in the grand scale of its ancient ruins, Baroque churches and Renaissance palaces. And there’s drama in the Roman people who enjoy la dolce vita with enthusiasm — often conveyed loudly and in their language of hand gestures. Because Rome is chock-a-block with things that have seemingly lasted or existed forever (it’s not called the Eternal City for nothing) many travellers get lost in the vast ruins of the Roman Forum and the incredible details of the Colosseum. But as this Rome travel guide will reveal, those who go beyond the basics will discover that Italy’s chaotic capital is transforming into a modern metropolis — one that’s wonderfully cosmopolitan yet quintessentially Italian. 

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The best hotels in Rome

Housed inside a former boarding school, the 5-star Hotel Vilòn is an art-filled boutique with a Roman twist, located on the doorstep of the Palazzo Borghese. The boutique’s 18 refined rooms feature striking artwork and marble bathrooms, while upgraded rooms boast whirlpools, living rooms and furnished terraces that overlook the Palazzo Borghese’s stunning gardens. A seasonal bar in the courtyard serves drinks from 10:30 am. Another top boutique in Rome is The Fifteen Keys Hotel, where 18 blue or grey rooms in a rejuvenated townhouse feature modern minimalist furnishings. While there’s no restaurant, there’s a cool and casual bar with live jazz musicians, and you can eat a breakfast banquet in the dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows or the leafy courtyard. If you’re looking for a slightly smaller boutique, try the art-filled Piazza di Spagna 9, which offers guests the choice of six uniquely decorated rooms in what is just as much a gallery as a hotel. When you need some well-deserved pampering, you can relax in Piazza di Spagna 9’s spa and Turkish bath. Hotel Chapter Roma, which occupies a neoclassical building on the doorstep of the Testaccio and Trastevere neighbourhoods, is minutes from the iconic Pantheon, the Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia and the Campo de’ Fiori square and market. Private guest rooms are minimalist in appearance and modern in gadgetry, with amenities such as TVs and Bluetooth speakers. In the upgraded rooms, you’ll find private bars, living rooms and city views. On offer for all guests are facilities like a rooftop Mexican bar, a wood-panelled café and an industrial-chic lobby.

Rome | Photo: Gloria Cretu

Photo: Gloria Cretu

G-Rough may be nestled into one of Rome’s prime tourism spots, but with art installations and furnishings made by mid-century Italian designers including Silvio Cavatorta and Ico Parisi, this elegant hotel screams authenticity. Inside this transformed 17th-century building, you’ll see exposed beam ceilings with parquet floors and a mix of modern and vintage avant-garde suites, with kitchenettes and terraces available. The 5-star palace-turned-hotel Palazzo Dama showcases a marble-lined rooftop pool, a basement nightclub, a landscaped garden, and a Peruvian-Asian restaurant illuminated by ornate chandeliers. Hotel Artemide occupies a 19th-century building, and being ten minutes away from the Termini station and central tourism areas makes it ideal for privacy-seekers, especially with its soundproofed rooms and on-site spa, though the rooftop terrace, refined bar and chic restaurant provide plenty in the way of food and entertainment.

Photo: Reisetopia

Photo: Reisetopia

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