The Edit

A neighbourhood guide to Rome’s Ludovisi district

Hotel Eden
A leafy boulevard, crowned by an ancient Roman gate, snakes its way through Ludovisi – the historic district surrounding Hotel Eden. Here we share five of our favourite local highlights for you to discover.

Porta Pinciana

Modern-day Romans may zip past this ancient gate without a thought, but for visitors, it’s a fascinating insight into the city’s past. In the 3rd century, Emperor Aurelian built a 20km/12-mile boundary – the Aurelian Walls – around Rome’s seven hills; Porta Pinciana was originally an entrance within it. Emperor Honorius transformed it into a gate in the 5th century, converting its square tower into a semi-circular one, and adding a round tower on the left. Today the well-preserved gate, opposite Villa Borghese, features the traditional characteristics of a castle such as tooth-like merlons and arrow-slit windows.

Via Vittorio Veneto 196, 00187 Rome

Gardens of Sallust

Vines cascade down crumbling walls and a path winds through a tangle of plants leading to an arch, the entrance to a cavernous hall. Concerts and private dinners abound here, letting guests walk in the footsteps of Rome’s first emperor, Julius Caesar, the original owner in 49 BC. The emperor sold the estate to historian Sallust, while subsequent rulers added a racecourse, temple, baths and fountains. While many of the artworks have been moved – the Spanish Steps’ obelisk is from here – the ruins reveal a dome, mosaics and frescoes. Following a renovation, the gardens will reopen in late 2022.

Piazza Sallustio 21, 00187 Rome

Via Vittorio Veneto

Once a magnet for stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel in the 1950s, this pretty boulevard is full of terrace cafés and architecture from the 1880s. Named after a World War I battle against the Austrian-Hungarian military, the street was immortalised in Federico Fellini’s 1960 drama La Dolce Vita. Start from its southern end to see the shell-shaped, marble Api fountain and early 16th century Capuchin Crypt, decorated with skulls. The sunset on Porta Pinciana is a marvellous sight, enhanced by a cooling gelato. Harry’s Bar, a historic music venue, is opposite.

Teatro Sistina

Originally a cinema, this two-tier theatre was designed by the Roman architect Marcello Piacentini, an advocate of the Fascist architecture that was popular between the 1920s and 1940s. In keeping with the periods’ style, the 1949 building sports an unadorned, symmetrical exterior painted cream. Today it hosts classic shows such as Swan Lake and modern-day musicals including Mamma Mia!. While most performances are in Italian, everyone can understand the language of the classical concerts also on show here.

Via Sistina 129, 00187 Rome

Villa Maraini

Perched on Rome’s second highest hill,  this villa opposite Hotel Eden offers 360-degree city views. Swiss architect Otto Maraini designed the property with columns and balustrades in 1905 for his entrepreneurial brother Emilio and his wife. When the couple passed away, it became the Swiss Institute in Rome, which now hosts two annual contemporary art exhibitions. There are open-air concerts by emerging Swiss and Italian musicians in spring and visitors can enjoy regular guided tours of the marbles, stuccos and frescoes inside the villa before ambling around the garden, which is flanked by palm trees.

Via Ludovisi 48, 00187 Rome

The fascinating history of Ludovisi is easily explored from Hotel Eden. During your stay you may also be interested in discovering Rome’s Coppedè neighbourhood, or travel further afield to explore the charming villages of Tuscia.