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For more than 30 years, I’ve been


going back to many of the same res- taurants and find that they just get better with age. In New York, where I’ve been domiciled for most of the interim, restaurants and hotels come and go like weeds in your garden. In Rome, an establishment is usu- ally passed on to succeeding genera- tions. Running a good restaurant is more than a business: It’s an avoca- tion, a family heirloom to be nour- ished, improved and passed along to the next generation. Il Matriciano is a case in point. You can find it at 55 via dei Gracchi in the Prati section of the city, a well-maintained upper- middle class neighborhood that’s an easy walk from the Vatican. Il Matri- ciano is now in the hands of Alberto Colasanti, the sixth member of the family to captain the ship. Te buca- tini all’amatriciana is better than ever, and when the weather is nice, you can sit outdoors and watch the world go by. Te restaurant celebrated its 100th anniversary a few years ago.


Piazza Navona. | Photo by Suzanne Conway


I like the old section of the city


best. Te historic quarter bounded by the Tiber on the south and west, the Piazza del Popolo on the north and the Spanish Steps on the east. Tere are many marvelous hotels


is Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, an often-overlooked basilica from the 15th century built over the ruins of an antique temple. Te church’s facade is plain looking, but inside you’ll find a Michelangelo sculp-


I like the old section of the city best. The historic quarter bounded by the Tiber on


the south and west, the Piazza del Popolo on the north and the Spanish Steps on the east.


and pensione in Rome, but I’m a creature of habit and have been hanging my tourist hat at the Mi- nerva for many years. Its full name is the Grande Hotel de la Minerve, but it’s home as far as I’m concerned. When you step out the front door, you’re greeted by Bernini’s witty obelisk – an ancient Egyptian col- umn riding atop a baby elephant – that anchors the charming little Piazza della Minerva. To the right


ture and a richly rewarding Gothic interior, a rarity in Rome. My wife and I marked our 30th wedding an- niversary in a little side chapel where you can find a lovely Filippino Lippi “Annunciation” from the late 15th century. All of this is but a stone’s throw from the Pantheon, one of the architectural wonders of the world and always my first stop upon arriving in Rome. It anchors me as well as the bustling piazza around it.


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| Summer 2015


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