The Edit

A neighbourhood guide to Coppedè in Rome

Hotel Eden
Just a 15-minute walk from Villa Torlonia, Coppedè in Rome’s Trieste district is a chic residential area dotted with palaces and villas set on quiet, tree-lined streets. Here we explore the unique architecture of this charming neighbourhood.

The history of Coppedè

Tucked between Via Tagliamento, Via Arno and Via Ombrone, Rome’s Coppedè quarter is named after Florentine architect Gino Coppedè. Construction on the neighbourhood began in 1913 and was completed after Coppedè’s death in 1927. Inspired by the playful designs of his contemporary, Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, Coppedè used the Art Nouveau-style arches, curves and mosaics popular in the early 1900s.

Golden hour

The main entrance to the neighbourhood is at the point of Via Tagliamento and Via Arno. An elaborate two-storey arch, topped with a leafy roof terrace, stretches across Via Dora, connecting two buildings. The honey-coloured exterior is best seen in the late afternoon when it glows in the sunshine, sparkling with carved flowers, cherubs and animals. Fans of art and architecture will appreciate details of a face in the centre and the Gothic wrought iron chandelier that hangs from the ceiling, its painted golden crests illuminated at night.

All roads lead to Piazza Mincio

Five roads converge on Piazza Mincio, a junction in the heart of Coppedè surrounded by houses, embassies and a school. In 1924, Coppedè designed the two-tier marble sculpture in its centre, blending Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Fontana delle Rane, or ‘Fountain of the Frogs’, features carvings of amphibians, nymphs and, most notably, a horsefly. If you’re interested in architecture, Palazzo del Ragno – a private home completed in 1926 and painted buttercup yellow – is another highlight. Look closely and you’ll spot a web on the stained glass window above the front door, which sparked the nickname, ‘Spider Palace’.

Spider Palace, 4 Piazza Mincio, 00198 Rome

House of Fairies

Known in Italian as ‘Villino delle Fate’, the House of Fairies is a charming trio of privately-owned mansions with fairytale-esque towers, turrets and arches. This architectural medley is a delightful blend of wooden pillars, wrought iron balconies and marble columns. The pasta-hued buildings are surrounded by a beautiful garden home to sculptures and frescoes depicting the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. A unique mosaic of three Roman girls playing the guitar and the lyre allows you to jump straight from a children’s storybook setting into Italy’s past.

3 Piazza Mincio, 00198 Rome

Film set heaven

With its enchanting beauty, secluded streets and quirky charm, it’s little surprise that Coppedè has been used as a backdrop for films. Director Dario Argento lives in the Parioli district nearby, and eagle-eyed film fans will note that Coppedè was used as backdrop for his 1970 horror, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. His 1980 film Inferno, along with the 1976 cult horror classic The Omen and the 1974 thriller The Perfume of the Lady in Black meanwhile all show the distinctive monochrome tiles that are arranged like Japanese fans in the entrance of the home opposite Spider Palace.

If you’re interested in unusual architecture, read about the optical illusion on Farnese Palace and more about the capital’s magnificent fountains. Further afield, let us spark your imagination with unusual architecture in Paris or London.