Twenty-four hours in Rome

View of buildings and the sunset in Rome with big bold white text '24 hours in Rome' written over the photo

A guide to the best neighbourhood places to explore around Soho House Rome, with local member Carolina Sansoni

Words and photography by Carolina Sansoni

Soho House Rome member Carolina Sansoni was born and grew up in Rome. ‘I feel like Rome really does grow on you as you get older and more comfortable in your skin,’ she says. ‘You’ll find yourself ordering an espresso in a bar one morning, and the next time you’re there, you’ll hear the barista calling out your name and teasing you. Rome is the friend you always want at a dinner party: they are funny, they put you at ease, but are able to speak about more serious issues too. You love them so much that you’ll forgive their flaws.’  

As well as enjoying all the luxuries of a night’s stay at Soho House Rome (long baths and aperitivo on the terrace are mandatory), Sansoni checked out her favourite places to eat, drink and explore nearby. Read on for her top recommendations to the local San Lorenzo neighbourhood.

Black and white photo of the interior of a coffee shop
Big lettering on the side of a building reading: SAID
Photo of a tall building taken from the street below

Morning coffee at SAID
SAID has been making specialty handmade chocolates since 1923. Walking inside is like entering a real life Willy Wonka chocolate factory. You can’t leave without trying their different variations of hot chocolate. Sit down in the restaurant for breakfast, or pick out one of the many chocolate spreads, powders, truffles or liquors from the boutique to take home with you.

Text on the side of a building reading: Cerere
Shelves full of wine
Birds eye view of a table of food including bread and a glass of red wine

Lunch at Pastificio San Lorenzo
This is the place to be if you are in San Lorenzo - a contemporary osteria with a retro atmosphere, set in a former pasta factory. It is great for lunch, dinner, or aperitivo, but the thing I love most about it is the vibe. It is part of the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, and the art foundation’s creative energy seems to flow through the entire space.

Girl inside a stone building looking up and admiring the architecture
Girl laying on a big orange mat on the floor with her legs and arms outstretched
Text on a page taken from a book reading: Antonio Della Guardia. Per un Prossimo Reale. a cura di Vasco Forconi

Explore Fondazione Pastificio Cerere
Rome’s art scene is continuously growing and evolving, and Pastificio Cerere has been a central agent in this process ever since the 1970s, when the factory first became an informal studio and exhibition space for San Lorenzo’s artists. Check out the many galleries and courtyards – you could easily spend an entire afternoon here. Contemporary Italian artist Antonio della Guardia’s interpretation of William Bates’ studies is particularly interesting, offering a different perspective on technology and its consequences.

Girl sat at a table in a restaurant holding a cocktail looking at the view through the window behind her
Polaroid photo of a birds eye view of a table with three dishes of food and two hands either side doing a cheers with their glasses of cocktails
Black and white photo of a silhouetted girl stood on a balcony with a cocktail in hand facing the camera with a view of the city behind her

Aperitivo at the House
To my mind, Soho House’s Eastern Standard is their best kept secret. Tasting it on the terrace at sundown with views of the Eternal City is an absolute must. Make sure to try some of the different suppli on the menu – a traditional Roman rice cake made with mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Two platters of freshly made sushi
A chef in the kitchen cutting up fish for sushi
A sushi chef behind a counter of fish
Black and white photo of a sushi chef holding up a big knife
A single platter of freshly made sushi

Dinner at Kiko
Just a few hundred metres from the House is one of the best sushi restaurants in town. Informal yet reverent of tradition, it’s the perfect spot for a cosy night out in the neighbourhood. Kiko means ‘chrysanthemum’ in Japanese, an auspicious symbol of goodwill, which can be found decorating the placemats and menus of the minimal space. If you need a break from Italian dining, Kiko’s expertly prepared sushi, sashimi, teriyaki and tempura offers just the tonic.

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