Via Margutta is one of the most beautiful streets in all Rome, a narrow, cobblestone lane past ivy-covered, yellow, gold, and pink buildings. This area has traditionally been the home of artists, thanks in part to the development of a complex of art studios on this street. Many famous artists, composers, and writers have had their studios here: Debussy, Liszt, Wagner, Stravinsky, Picasso, and Truman Capote are just a few. The Master himself, Federico Fellini, had his home at number 110, with his adorable and talented wife, Giulietta Masina. For anyone who loves the film Roman Holiday, take a peek at number 51: this is where Joe Bradley, the journalist portrayed by the glorious Gregory Peck, had his apartment and where Audrey Hepburn’s sleepy princess spent the night in his pajamas.
Today, the street still has those same vine-covered art studios, as well as many art and antique shops. If it’s open, amble into the cluttered little shop Bottega del Marmoraro at number 53, where the gentleman will make you a custom marble sign to take home. Also check out Maurizio Grossi at number 109, filled with beautiful marble fruit, obelisks, cases, and mosaics. There are several nice restaurants along this street including the vegetarian “Ristor Arte” il Margutta at number 118 (at the end of Via Margutta closest to Piazza del Popolo) which offers a nice fixed price buffet.
Periodically the street hosts a free, outdoor art exhibition — the 100 Painters of Via Margutta. This is a delightful time to visit Via Margutta. If you are coming to Rome later this month, you are in for a treat — the next exhibition is April 24-28, 2013. Here’s a shot from last year:
Best of all, Via Margutta is only a few minutes from the Spanish Steps Apartment, so it fits in easily to a “La Dolce Vita” evening stroll through the Eternal City. While you wander, keep your eyes out for the whimsical artists’ fountain, with its palettes and paint brushes, the funny little plaque marking where Fellini lived, and this beautiful little shrine, which someone clearly loves and cherishes.