Nomentano is famous for its green spaces, friendly atmosphere and beautiful piazzas. There are many hidden treasures here and fabulous food options everywhere you look – not to mention the architecture and galleries. This area is one of the most underrated in Rome so take the time to explore Nomentano using our neighbourhood guide!
Things to See & Do
Explore one of the finest art collections in the world at Galleria Borghese. It was once home to Cardinal Sciopione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V, who collected artworks by Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). Bernini was a leading sculptor of the Baroque era, having designed the Vatican’s Piazza San Pietro, the fountains of Piazza Navona and Piazza Barberini, to name a few.
The plans for Piazza Navona and an entire collection of Bernini’s artworks are on display in Galleria Borghese, curated over centuries by the Borghese family. His most famous work on display is the marble statue of Apollo and Daphne (1623-25). Caravaggio’s artworks, by contrast, depict lifelike scenes with stylistic dark shadows. His pieces are on display in the gallery alongside other famous pieces by Raphael, Rubens and Bellini.
To know before you go: Book tickets for Galleria Borghese online well in advance. Tickets are not available at the door and each ticket is valid for two hours in the museum. Try the early morning sessions to avoid the crowds.
Relax with a picnic in Villa Torlonia. Constructed from 1806 to the 1830s, the Torlonia mansion at the heart of these gardens was named after the wealthy Torlonia family and was rented by Mussolini from the 1920s to 1943, before being occupied by the Allied forces from 144-47 and abandoned. Renovations restored the building to its former glory in the 1970s. The Casino delle Civette (house of owls) is a quirky construction also on the grounds originally intended as a ‘Swiss cabin’ refuge from the main building, best known for the owls on the stained-glass windows.
Once you’ve toured the buildings, lay back and enjoy the gardens themselves. Food festivals, like the autumn Suppli festival, and evening music events occur sporadically throughout the year.
Take a stroll through the fairytale Coppede District on the corner of Via Tagliamento and Via Dora. Akin to Spain’s Gaudi architecture, the Coppedè district is a group of buildings designed and constructed by Gino Coppedè from 1913 to 1927 with a fairytale character that seems out of place in Rome. The district is home to some of the city’s most expensive apartments and villas, connected by the impressive ‘Arch between the palaces of the Ambassadors’ (Arco tra i palazzi degli ambasciatori).
Villa dora, Coppede District
Try your hand at modern art with a trip to the Macro Museum – Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art. With exhibitions that range from Pink Floyd to virtual reality and visualising poetry, this is a must-see! You can check out their exhibitions online before you go.
Shop at the first indoor local fresh food market in Rome. In Piazza Alessandria, Mercato Nomentano, is the first covered market in Rome and was built in the 1920s. The market is one of the friendliest with an open plan seating space to relax and chat with the local clientele who frequent this place daily. After a major restyling in 2016, the market has an enhanced sense of community, higher quality fresh produce, and free wifi, making it feel like an extension of your own home.
Places to Eat
Dolci (sweets) at Danieli
For the best sweets in Nomentano, head to Danieli on Via Regina Margherita and try to pick between the incredible white chocolate cornetti, the traditional Roman maritozzo – or have both!
Be sure to stop at Pasticceria Grue, Gelateria dei Gracchi and the Antica Pasticceria Regina Margherita for more dolci (sweets) too!
Aperitivo at Momart
Relax over the Italian tradition of Aperitivo… There are many great spots to choose from around Nomentano. Try the popular ‘Tribeca Café’ on Via Messina, a short walk from Mercato Nomentano, or Momart – arguably the best aperitivo in Rome. Pay 11 euros to enjoy a drink and food buffet with pastas, salads, fritti (fried snacks), woodfired pizzas and dessert bar whilst surrounded by fairy lights and fire heaters.
If aperitivo is not for you, any of the places surrounding the nearby Corso Trieste are also well-worth exploring. Numbs le Bistro, BucaVino and the Bakery House all serve delicious food and are located close by to the ‘build-your-own’ Tiramisu at Dolce to satisfy those post-dinner sugar cravings. For a relaxing late-night wine and live music, try Ivy on Corso Trieste to finish off the night.
Enjoy exploring and tell us about your favourite places! For other top spots in the area, head to the Top 10 gelaterias in Rome or find the top cafes with WiFi and don’t forget to follow What a Life Tours for more Nighbourhood Guides and top tips on getting around Rome!
For more information and itineraries contact us!