Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Piazza Barberini

Besides being the home of the Fontana del Tritone and the gateway to Via del Tritone, the road leading to the Trevi Fountain and other must see sights in Rome, such as the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, Piazza Barberini is gateway to the upscale Via Veneto. It also serves as an important transportation hub with its many buses and the B Metro Line. Gian Lorenzo Bernini produced the fountain as his last commission from Pope Urban VIII in 1642, however, he was not paid with any of the vast Vatican wealth, but with a right to water for the two houses he built in the area. Fontana Del Tritone is considered a masterpiece, but if you’d like to see an exquisite Bernini just walk up Via Veneto to the Borghese Gardens and into the Borghese Museum to see his Apollo and Daphne; that is truly a masterpiece. Bernini’s The Rape of Proserpina is also there. That statue makes the differences between flesh and marble blur to the point where you may believe there’s no difference at all.

The area is home to many restaurants and businesses including La Piccola Maison, a nicely designed B&B I discovered on www.LateRooms.com, my favorite hotel finding website. At the time, I negotiated a lower rate with the young owner by paying cash and opting out of breakfast, so the hotel, and its location on Via Cappuccini one block north of the piazza and just off of Via Veneto, became very affordable. They have been fully booked ever since, so I have not been back. Here are some photos of room #5 and Giorgio, the young owner, who was responsible for the design of the lovely 5 room property.


Just around the corner, directly on the north side of Piazza Barberini, SNACK BAR was happy to provide us with an inexpensive breakfast (see complete review on RestoReco) as well as a small break for drinks on our last trip. The diminutive TRATTORIA BARBERINI, with only eight tables, 4 on the ground floor and 4 in the small cellar is also just off the north side of the piazza on Via Di Purificazione ( RestoReco, linked on the top right, has the complete review). Directly on the pricy Via Veneto we discovered a moderately priced meal at IL PEPERONE (also reviewed on RestoReco). Then the famous CAFE De PARIS that I believe was featured in the Italian film La Dolce Vita, is also on Via Veneto and they have a lively bar scene and excellent gelato.


One place that I did not yet try looked very appealing, Pepy’s Bar on the south side of the piazza as it becomes Via Del Tritone. Take a look at these “patterned” tramezzini and tell me you’re not interested in trying them too.


A block further down is Via Del Boccaccio and my favorite carbonara restaurant in Rome, Hosteria Romana. Again the full review is on RestoReco, but here are a few photos to whet your appetite. They start you out with piazza bianca and rosetta rolls, then offer you a croquette or suppli (no charge), and off you go to the antipasti, primi and secondi. You are looking at spaghetti carbonara and roasted baby goat.


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