Residenza Santa Maria
Via dell’Arco di San Calisto 20, Trastevere – Rome
Housed in a 17th-century Trastevere palazzo, this refined hotel opened in summer 2007. Decorated with verve, it retains a historical feel thanks to the wood-beamed ceilings, exposed brick arches and terracotta flooring. Rooms are comfortable and have plasma TVs, wi-fi and free internet access.
To get the real historical lowdown on this place, go down the stairs (mind your head) to the breakfast room. This was once an ancient cistern and all the fragments of ancient sculpture you see were actually found here during renovation. Speaking of breakfast, it’s good here, with pastries bought daily from a local pasticceria. Back upstairs, there are six rooms in all, only one of which faces directly onto the street. But noise shouldn’t be a problem if the double glazing and thick walls do their job. Originally, there was an internal courtyard but this has been roofed over and now forms a pleasant seating area, decorated with a rather bizarre woodland fresco.