Inn at the Roman Forum
This 12-room, ivy-draped hotel sits in the crook of a tiny lane between the busy Via Nazionale and the Forum. Ignore the cramped reception area and peek into the cavernous, 2,000-year-old crypt behind the concierge desk, on which the 17th-century building stands. Take the spiral marble staircase up four floors to the spacious classic doubles with high coffered or pitched oak timber ceilings and richly patinated terracotta flooring. The interiors are fitfully, rather than uniformly, tasteful—certain lampshades resemble English ladies’ hats, and some of the beds are festooned with swaths of metallic silk. And every room has a wall-mounted flat-screen TV, for those who can deny the siren’s call of the Eternal City.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss the minuscule shady walled garden on the top floor; the terrace, with its warm pink walls visible beneath trellises of jasmine, gives on to a view of the top reaches of the imperial Forum.
Room to Book: Book adjoining (and spacious) master garden rooms for a full-blown apartment with private patio, entrance, and balcony.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.