Behind the graffiti: Eternal Rome
In the southwest part of the Eternal City, just steps away from Sapienza University, is a neighbourhood void of tourists. It is a rebellious, mysterious place. Graffiti and street art cover walls everywhere you look, creating a joyous, colourful chaos. But behind the anarchistic-looking facades you'll find the real Rome, a city of osterias and traditional Italian bakeries.
From Augustus to street art
Let's start our journey at the Porta Tiburtina near the Roma Termini train station. This monument was built during the reign of Augustus and marks the entrance to the San Lorenzo neighbourhood. Wind your way east through the maze of tiny streets and pastel buildings. As you wander past Via dei Sardi and then Via degli Ausoni, you can admire work by street artists from around the world. One of the most magnificent is on Viale dello Scalo San Lorenzo, at no. 93. There, Spaniard Gonzalo Borondo created one of his most emblematic graffiti-style paintings of a giant hand covering a fragmented face in pale shades of pink and gray. In all of his work, the artist strives to render and refine emotions through powerful faces on high walls.
San Lorenzo for foodies
For the food lovers, San Lorenzo is teeming with incredible places to try that remain unknown to the tourist hordes. Osteria da Marcello offers a taste of typical Roman home cooking. This restaurant, which opened in 1961, serves fresh, flavourful ingredients such as octopus, tomatoes, courgette and salmon. The dishes taste as amazing as they smell.
When it's time for dessert, make your way to Pasticceria Paci to devour the best fresh pastries available in the city. Romans go crazy for the chocolate, pistachio and lemon tarts – not to mention the many other treats – from this neighbourhood mainstay.
Osteria da Marcello
Via dei Campani, 12
Zona San Lorenzo, Roma
+39 06 446 3311
Via dei Marsi, 33
+39 06 495 7804
Rome's younger side
After getting your sweet tooth, why not pop into a museum or two? San Lorenzo has plenty to choose from. Into math, anthropological origins, contemporary art, zoology? There's something for everyone. Or perhaps you'd rather enjoy the fresh Roman air – explore the San Lorenzo fuori le mura basilica and its large tree-filled park.
In the evening, head to the inimitable Lupolo12 which serves craft beers. Locals congregate there to enjoy a cheese plate and a pint. Enjoy a complete Roman experience. When in Rome…
Via dei Marrucini, 12,
+39 380 348 8696