Thursday, February 4, 2010

Escape like Princess Hepburn did with Peck

My first accommodation recommendation is a hidden gem, run by the family of a friend of mine, who inherited their rooftop apartment, from an ancestor who was a well-respected artist of his time. It's called "The Episcopo Lipinsky Bed and Breakfast." I know what you are thinking; not a very Roman name, sounds like an ex-president's church-going lover but bear with me.

Recently I watched Roman Holiday again and for the first time I recognised the rooftops outside Gregory Peck's escalator sized apartment where Audrey Hepburn sleeps in his pjs and quotes Shelley. Much of the film was shot in a tiny, hidden backstreet called Via Margutta in central Rome. Gregory's neighbours back in the 50's would have included Federico Fellini and the aforementioned artist's family. This tastefully refurbished B&B shares the same views and street as Gregory's place.

From street level, all a passerby sees is a ceramic wall-mounted Madonnina ( little statue of the Madonna), half- hidden under creepers, next to a large racing green wooden door, which seems to be the entrance to the period apartment building but in fact leads you into a secluded, lush courtyard garden full of palms, creepers and a number of blissed out cats. The apartments are behind the garden, backing onto the Borghese Gardens, Rome's largest central park. The location feels like a secret garden in a capital city centre and the views over Piazza del Popolo are a favourite with George Clooney, a regular guest at nearby Hotel di Russie.

So check it out on TripAdvisor. Reviews all fair in my opinion, even the American guest's negative review. It seemed almost apologetic for not appreciating the beauty and pedigree of the place. For sure, more luxury could be purchased elsewhere on the same budget but magic is priceless if you are a romantic such as myself, isn't it? A B&B in Rome means you can live like an aspiring Roman; you may see the bins by the entrance, wonder if the Hercule Poirot epoque lift will make it to the top floor, but you'll also feel the atmosphere of a genuine Roman Holiday gone by. Book well in advance as there are only two main suites and I can't keep my mouth shut about this place forever. Metro: Spagna
at the top of this website on the right. No post, no email. 
Ice cream's on me in Rome!

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