- Park life is the essence of the Pinciano and Parioli area, an elegant neighbourhood slightly north of the historic centre. With Rome’s favourite park Villa Borghese as its focal point, this area is known for its genteel lifestyle and residential atmosphere. Often considered the more ‘snobby’ area, the Pinciano/Parioli is the traditional neighbourhood of Rome’s nouveau riche. Palazzos are modern, and so are the shops and restaurants. Here, it’s easy to forget the Eternal City’s history for just a little bit.
A walk in the park
Pinciano/Parioli is the neighbourhood immediately north of the city centre and just outside the ancient Aurelian walls. With the Tiber River as its western border, the following roads define the district: Via Maresciallo Pildsudski to the north and Viale del Parioli and Via Salaria in the northeast. The southern border is marked by the Corso d’Italia/Via del Muro Torto continuation, which is also noted by the presence of the Aurelian walls.
The neighbourhood is best identified by the Pincio hill, which overlooks Piazza del Popolo. The nearly 150 acres of Villa Borghese greenery are located on the Pincio. In fact, Villa Borghese makes up almost half of Pinciano/Parioli, and the rest of the area is made up of the descending hills lined with busy streets. Additional neighbourhood landmarks include Gallery Borghese, a 17th-century villa/art gallery within the park, and the National Gallery of Modern Art.
Bordering the area are southern neighbourhoods Ludovisi and Campo Marzio, while Nort is its northern expanse. Ludovisi is known for the elegant hotels on Via Vittorio Veneto. Meanwhile, Campo Marzio is a mix of luxury hotels and shops, and lovely residential palazzo.
Know your neighbours
Pinciano/Parioli is a very local neighbourhood, and if renting an apartment in the area, be prepared for lots of staring - you will definitely be the ‘new kid’ on the block. The best way to get to know your neighbours is to say hello and politely ask questions. Buon giorno, grazie and piacere will get you far with this very etiquette-based area. Looking for friends? Bring a ball to Villa Borghese on any Saturday or Sunday afternoon. You are bound to meet new people.
Unbeknownst to many, Parioli is a secret shopping mecca. Almost every shop found in Rome’s historic centre is found here. And we bet you can find a Parioli boutique that carries whatever brand you’re looking for. Since the area is very local, there are several supermarkets, boutique grocers, interior design shops, automobile dealers, bars and restaurants. Piazza Euclide and radial streets Via Civinini and Via Antonelli make a great shopping area with less hassle than Centro. Likewise, Viale del Parioli has an excellent selection of shops, restaurants and bars, though it is far more chaotic due to recent street construction. Via Salaria has several shops, usually less expensive and more generic.
Pinciano/Parioli may be outside the walls, but it’s actually quite easy to get to and from the historic centre on foot and by public transport. It is an easy walk from Campo Marzio and Ludovisi neighbourhoods, but you may want to take public transport if you do not know the neighbourhood well, or do not have a good map.
Buses 52, 53, 88, 490, 495, 910, 360, M link to Prati, Piazza Mancini, Centro, Termini and Tiburtina stations. Tram 19 runs to Prati and links with Tram 2, a short ride to Auditorium and stadium. Tram 3 connects the neighbourhood with San Lorenzo, Coliseum, Testaccio and Trastevere. Metro A stops Piazza Spagna/Veneto/Borghese and Flaminio connect to Termini and Vatican. Parioli also connects the city with the northern neighbourhoods via two local train stops at Piazzale Flaminio and Piazza Euclide.
- Pinciano/Parioli has the remarkable ability to be entertaining to every age group and genre. The area has a vast range of things to do from museums, parks and outdoor activities to shopping, restaurants and cafés. Though it is not the picturesque Rome that you know and love, the area will definitely have something for you.
Imagine Villa Borghese as an all-ages entertainment centre. The area has several attractions for children such as an interactive play area, cinema and puppet theatre as well as entertainment for adults. For the sporty, there are running groups, and bike and roller blade rentals. The park’s grounds have several museums: Villa Giulia (Italy’s national Etruscan museum), Galleria Borghese (a Renaissance and baroque collection), the Bilotti Chapel (modern and contemporary art and the reconstructed Globe theatre with summer play). There is also the Casa del Cinema with indoor and outdoor screenings, and Museo Canonica, a fortress like building housing Pietro Canonica’s art.
Outside of Villa Borghese and immediately across the street (north) is the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, a national art collection. And likewise there are several cultural academies from countries such as Egypt, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Austria, which have cultural exhibitions and events.
Eating out and night life
Another secret to Pinciano/Parioli is its restaurant scene. The neighbourhood can boast two Michelin-starred restaurants, All’Oro and Oliver Glowig, along with up-and-comer Metamorfosi. Viale del Parioli has reincarnated itself as a restaurant destination. The street is lined with hip, Roman restaurants like Celestina, Molto and Dukes. For nightlife, Pariolini (what Romans call Parioli locals) seem to head to Ponte Milvio, across the river or else to the centre.
Pinciano/Parioli is the best area for those with children. Being within walking distance to Villa Borghese means you have everyday entertainment for your children. Villa Borghese’s acreage includes a children’s park with old-fashioned puppeteers, lake with boats, bike and roller blade rentals, children’s cinema, a bouncy castle and Casino di Rafaello - a children’s play house. The BioParco (zoo) is located on the north-eastern area of the park with animals and events. Below the park, on via Flaminia is Explora, the children’s museum is filled with interactive games.
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