When in Rome: Elizabeth Rodini

Green tinted map of Rome from the medieval era

The focus of the regularly occurring series “When in Rome” is the city beyond the Janiculum, coming directly from those who have spent time in Rome—including fellows, residents, staff, and more. Selections typically include: quiet places or off-the-beaten-path locations; specialty shops or stores; cafés and restaurants; parks or green spaces; and views or vistas.

In this edition we highlight favorites of Elizabeth Rodini, who served the American Academy in Rome as interim Director for 2021–22 and as Andrew Heiskell Arts Director from 2019 to 2021. Rodini has returned to New York to pursue new research in museum studies and cultural heritage, including several projects she initiated in Rome. The Academy is grateful for her stewardship, resilience, and compassion throughout the challenging period of the last few years.

1. Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi

Via dei Portoghesi, 2
The interior of this Baroque church in the Campo Marzio features book-matched marble facings in an eye-popping array of colors and patterns. Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi has long been famous for its organ, now a state-of-the-art electronic instrument housed in its original case. Concert times and programs are posted on the front door of the church.

2. Il Goccetto

Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14
This charming enoteca in the Centro Storico offers wonderful local wines and delicious Roman snacks. Il Goccetto is the perfect place to stop for an aperitivo after an afternoon of browsing boutiques on the Via dei Banchi Vecchi, a street with— as its name suggests—a long history as a shopping district.

3. Libreria Casa dell’architettura

Piazza Manfredo Fanti, 47
Located in the Victorian-era ex-aquarium of Rome (notable for its unusual oval shape), this shop in the Esquilino offers a wide selection of books, guides, and souvenirs. Libreria Casa dell’architettura opens onto a pleasant, shaded garden where you can enjoy reading your new purchases.

4. Otaleg

Via di San Cosimato, 14a
Gelato spelled backward. I learned about this Trastevere favorite from a kitchen intern who had done a careful study of the best pistachio ice cream in town. Otaleg usually has two types to try, along with wonderful sorbetti. It’s just down the hill from the Academy, convenient for regular visits.

5. Innocenzi

Via Natale del Grande, 31
A family-run drogheria just off Piazza San Cosimato in Trastevere, Innocenzi is a one-stop shop for all the things you can’t find anywhere else, from classic American condiments to loose tea, beans, and grains. It’s hard to resist the bountiful holiday displays of Christmas panettone and Easter eggs.

6. Centrale Montemartini

Via Ostiense, 106
Centrale Montemartini offers a dramatic installation of Roman statuary from the Capitoline collection set inside an early-twentieth-century power station in Ostiense. In 2013, the museum presented its first exhibition of contemporary work, by the artist Patricia Cronin (2007 Fellow).

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