Via Margutta

After a long day walking around Rome, I’d often headed home from the Spanish Steps area. And if I needed a few minutes of decompression, I often found myself headed over to Via Margutta. This is a small, narrow street that runs parallel to Via del Babbuino – almost from Piazza del Popolo and almost to the Spanish Steps. I suppose many people have headed to Popolo from the Spagna area on Via dei Corso or Via del Babbuino, never knowing of this hidden treasure. For me, when you walk on this street, you could be miles away from Rome – perhaps in a small village or hilltown. The traffic noise seems to die away, filtered by the narrow street lined with ivy, art galleries, and boutique hotels.

IMG_8998aIMG_8992Magutta fountain

La Fontana delle Arti,designed by the architect Pietro Lombardi, was built in 1927. It is one of many fountains built by the City of Rome wanted to celebrate the capital’s neighborhoods and crafts.The fountain is thus topped by a bucket of paint brushes!

Back in the day, this area was known as the “the foreigner’s quarter”, where many artists lived and worked. Today it’s quite the fashionable street – but simple. It became known to many Americans from the movie Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. You see, Via Margutta, 51 was (and is) the address of Joe’s (Gregory Peck’s) apartment in the film. See the picture below, taken from the film Roman Holiday, of Audrey leaving through the doorway at Via Margutta, 51 – followed by my Audrey Hepburn standing in the same doorway – Note her “Audrey Hepburn style” sun-glasses! That movie to a springboard for the street as it became more exclusive.

Audrey Hepburn - Roman HolidayIMG_8993

Truman Capote and the painter Novella Parigini lived on this street. Stravinsky and Puccini composed on Via Margutta. Picasso painted here. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love reportedly stayed here – and not at the Via dei Portoghesi corner apartment where Julia Robert’s resided in the movie. At the far end of Via Margutta, closest to Piazza del Popolo, is the home of the great Italian movie director, Federico Fellini, director of La Dolce Vita, and the love of his life, the legendary Italian actress Giulietta Masina. His apartment, at Via Margutta, 110 is marked by a humorous pictorial sign outside – He used to hang out at Caffe’ Canova, just around the corner in Popolo.

If you’re in Rome at the end of October and beginning of November, you should swing by Via Margutta to see the festival, Centro Pittori Via Margutta, (100 painters on via Margutta). This exhibition started again in 1953 and features many different painting styles. It is a well established event and an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work. Local authorities support their efforts and cultural and often political ‘heavy weights’ make themselves seen. The picture below is from their website at

Margutta paintings

At 53B on Via Margutta is La Bottega del Marmoraro,, like walking into a different era. In this little shop Enrico Fiorentini, the owner, will chisel any words you want onto a piece of marble. His shop is decorated with many, many signs already completed and ready for sale. One day I was walking through Margutta and stopped in. Mr. Fiorentini was cooking baccala on a small grate in his fireplace… and graciously offered me a taste!

La BottegaChris Warde-Jones for The New York Times

If you get the opportunity – or you just need to get away from it all, like I often did in the chaos of Rome – there’s no better place than Via Margutta.

Magutta night


Some videos on Via Margutta:

Click on any of the imported photos to see website and/or photographer


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6 Responses to Via Margutta

  1. Jane Watkins says:

    In the run-up to our recent trip to Rome, I visited your site a lot and got tons of extremely useful information that helped to make our week there really special. We visited Rome in March and saw most of the major sites, so our late-September trip was more about getting to the heart of the city and getting to know it in a different way. I adored our little detour down Via Margutta, which was especially welcome as the day was baking hot and the crowds in the street annoying, and we would never have known it was there with out. Grazie mille!

  2. Veneas says:

    Read your suggestion here and decided to see this street myself. Wow! You were right. Once there the chaos and noises were gone. This was definitely one of the best moments of my Italy trip. Thank you for such a great suggestion!

  3. Ron in Rome says:

    Cham – Very easy to find on Via Margutta – Try this listing:

    La Bottega del Marmoraro
    53B Via Margutta
    Rome, Italy 00187
    Tel: +39 06 320 7660

    “Usually” open Mondays through Saturdays 8:30 am to 7:30 pm, but times do vary…

  4. Cham Ster says:

    Hi Ron in Rome,

    I’m looking to visit Rome around 19th November. I have read some great reviews about La Bottega del Marmoraro and wanted to purchase one of the famous marble stone carvings from the store. I have looked on the web for a contact telephone number for them but cant’ seem to find one. I want to get a stone carving ready for when I get there as I plan to propose to my Girlfriend while were out there and I thought this would be a nice touch to the proposal. Do you have any contact details for La Bottega del Marmoraro and a good set of directions to get there from a milestone? or will asking locals where “53B on Via Margutta, La Bottega del Marmoraro” be sufficient?

    Best Regards

    Cham Ster

  5. Ron in Rome says:

    Each year the Trenitalia website uploads new schedules and prices in June and December. New schedules for June will be uploaded for June 12 and after sometime in May… so you’ll just have to wait until that time frame. You can also look a few days in the future (from now) as both prices and schedules never change that much. Good Luck!

  6. Jai says:

    Ron, my question is offtopic but I hope you can help me.

    I am planning to visit Rome for a week in the second week of June. When I try to look up train timings (e.g. June 12 Rome to Florence), the DB site is showing only evening trains (after 1905). Is this because of any train interruptions or a glitch on the web site?

    Thanks a lot!

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