LUXE City Guides - Rome - - Shopping Itineraries -

This an­cient neigh­bour­hood, while not re­ally there in the retail stakes, is ground zero for lo­cal vibe and fun for a wan­der ei­ther at lunch or par­tic­u­larly in the evening. The downer is that while there's heaps of char­ac­ter, there's also heaps of dog shit and the en­tire en­clave has been doused in graf­fiti on a here­unto un­prece­dented scale which truly spoils its love­li­ness. Who­ever is de­fac­ing this area should be strung up by their tiny coglioni or suf­fer the same fate as that of the gra­cious lady St. Agatha. Don't ask...

Al­righty, start your stroll at the Pi­azza San Cosi­mato, this tiny lit­tle mar­ket (closed Sun) is al­ways busy with lo­cals. Face the per­ma­nent green stalls at the back of the mar­ket, and head up the right side Via di San Cosi­mato. Stroll along un­til you get to pretty Pi­azza Santa Maria, walk di­ag­o­nally across and turn left onto Via della Paglia and right into Pi­azza di San Egidio, on the left is the Museo di Roma in Traste­vere / closed Mon / ad­mis­sion is free, which is just as well when you see the ropey man­nequins rep­re­sent­ing life in the C.19th. Head up Via della Scala, the street is pep­pered with shops, cafés, bars and churches. 200m up on the left is the Far­ma­cia di Santa Maria della Scala, it's one of the old­est in Rome. At the end, you have a choice, you can ei­ther zip un­der the arch onto Via della Lun­gara to find the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens on your left (up Via Corsini), which charges a scan­dalous 8 euros en­try fee and for some in­ex­pli­ca­ble rea­son is closed on Sun­days – duh, hello? Al­most op­po­site Via Corsini is Palazzo Far­nesina on the right at #230 – home to some saucy Raphael fres­coes and fun for a quick viz / 9am-1pm. Oth­er­wise, don't go un­der the arch, but head right around the hair­pin bend into Via Santa Dorotea. Sweet tooths wad­dle over to #10 Checco er Caret­tiere (see Coffee) for lo­cal pas­tries and gelato, while hops heads should stop at #23 Bir & Fud and #25 Che Si­ete Venuti a Fa on the left (see Bars for both). Carry on and the street widens into lit­tle Pi­azza Trilussa, twirl left and zip up the stair­case to reach Freni & Frizioni (see Bars), or along Via del Po­liteama is Tav­erna Trilussa (see Rest./Re­laxed). Oth­er­wise take the right fork onto Via del Moro, and tot­ter along brows­ing as you go, be sure to check out thigh-blaster Valzani at #37b / 06 580 3792 / they do a nice line in milk choco­late smoth­ered hazel­nuts, al­though their spe­cial­ity is sin­ful di­av­o­letti – a dark fudge-like choc flavoured with chilli. Spicy. Hang a right at the end of Moro and you'll find your­self again in Pi­azza Santa Maria. Well, you've done aw­fully well and de­serve an enor­mous bev­er­age. The best view of Santa Maria church and her fa­mous mo­saic gals is from Caffè di Marzio at #15, or mi­mosas from Caffè delle Arance at #2, or for a tip­ple with a de­cid­edly grit­tier lo­cal feel, face the church and exit left out of the pi­azza into Via L'Arco di San Cal­isto, for a hot choc n' whippy cream at so-re­laxed-it'salmost-prone Bar San Cal­isto. Fun and pop­u­lar at night, it doesn't get much more lo­cal than this. In choco ver­i­tas...

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