When June concludes, film director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Sofia Coppola will pack her bags and depart from Rome, where she has been directing La Traviata at Teatro Dell’Opera Di Roma for the past month. This has been her first extended stay in Italy’s capital — until now, her most lasting memories of the city there were made during a family Christmas trip when she was around 9.
Her parents taught her to cultivate a few favorite places in the city, where citizens just elected their first female mayor. “I remember going to Caffe Greco — it’s an old place for a cappuccino that’s near the Spanish Steps,” she said. “That’s still there, but I remember going as a kid because my parents always like to go, and my dad always had the cups — he brought cups back to Napa.”
“I love Rome,” continued Coppola, who lives in Paris. “There’s always a few spots that if I come I want to go to.” Here’s her list of nine (mostly) dining and shopping havens where she’d send a friend bound for the Eternal City:
Located between a palace and a church on the ruins of a BC-era circus, this restaurant dates back to 1860. Various pasta dishes are served, though Piperno is perhaps best known for its Jewish artichokes. “It’s nice to go at lunchtime and sit on the terrace,” Coppola said.
9 Via Monte Dè Cenci
Coppola and her family are in the midst of a “pizza and gelato tour of Rome,” and Ciampini was home to her favorite sweet treat. “I think it’s famous for the pistachio gelato, but I like chocolate always myself,” she said. In early April, a technical fire tore through the 26-year-old establishment, resulting in the death of one employee. ( Go Fund Me campaign was quickly launched to raise money for both the victim’s family and the shop’s staff, who are currently out of work.)
29 Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina
FG Rome Albertelli
“Albertelli is the shirtmaker that my brother [fellow director and screenwriter Roman Coppola] and I have always gone to, and I think it was Marcello Mastroianni’s shirtmaker,” Coppola said. The namesake, Piero Albertelli, opened his original shop in 1967, and very little has changed since he sold it to the men’s brand Flanella Grigia in 2006. According to the clothier’s website, every facet of its garments can be customized, “from pattern design to buttonhole borders.” “It’s always fun to order a shirt there,” said Coppola, who is also a fan of their pajamas.
9B Piazza del Parlamento
Hours before the Cut caught up with Coppola, she visited the Karl Lagerfeld–helmed design house’s new residence, which opened in October at the Palace of Italian Civilization (a six-story piece of Fascist architecture designed for the 1942 World’s Fair). “The building’s really beautiful,” she said, as are the nearly three-dozen Carrara marble statues around its base. “For the splurge trip to Rome I would go to Fendi, and you can order a custom fur coat.”
Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana at 3 Quadrato della Concordia
By the Spanish Steps, Coppola favors this “little, kind of old-fashioned linen shop where you can buy hand-embroidered napkins and baby things. I always love to get tablecloths there.” For those seeking to enrich their shopping excursions with a pre-dinner drink, she also recommends the neighboring Hotel de Russie, “which has a nice terrace for aperitivo and people-watching.”
11 Piazza Barberini
Trattoria Al Moro
Coppola recently dined at this circa 1929 eatery, close to the Trevi Fountain and dubbed by Conde Nast Traveler “one of those places to see and be seen for politicians and local power brokers.” Says the director, “It’s a really classic place and I’ve heard it has the best carbonara in Rome. But everything there is delicious.” Hence the usual lunchtime line out front.
13 Vicolo delle Bollette
Friends of Coppola’s staying at the four-star Hotel Locarno have spoken highly of its antique-strewn, Art Nouveau bar on the ground floor. Besides boasting a fireplace and proximity to the Piazza del Popolo, the bar is “much loved and frequented by actors, cultural figures and artists,” according to its website.
22 Via della Penna
“I also like the J.K. Place hotel,” Coppola said, citing the 30-room sibling to lodging destinations in Capri and Florence, completed in 2013. Previously, the University of Rome’s architecture school was housed inside this building’s 19th-century exterior, overlooking the Tiber River. The Australian newspaper called the J.K. Roma “arguably the most elegant of all hotels in the Eternal City, maybe even Italy.”
30 Via di Monte D’Oro
Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Compared to our Metropolitan Opera House, Coppola said Rome’s counterpart is “like a little jewel box” for 1,600, “all gold and red velvet.” “It’s really beautiful, and I drive to the opera house from where we’re staying, past this big park — Villa Borghese,” where she plays with her two young daughters. “Driving through the city you pass so many beautiful buildings everywhere you go — it’s just fun to drive to work.”
7 Piazza Beniamino Gigli