The Quartière Coppedé, one of Rome's most fascinating neighborhoods, is just a short bus ride from the heart of Rome's city center, or less than a half hour's walk following along the Villa Borghese park towards Parioli.
This often overlooked, but extremely beautiful and captivating quartière is named after the neighborhood's designer and architect, florentine Gino Coppedé. In 1919 Coppedé was given carte blanche to design the neighborhood of nearly twenty buildings, but unfortunately he died in 1927 before completion, and the project was then finished by Paolo Emilio André. Coppedé loved to use a lavish, spirited style infused with a touch of humor in his work. This neighborhood is thoroughly unlike any other you’ll encounter in Rome and absolutely merits a visit!
Apartments in the buildings are large and lavish, now owned by both residents and businesses. It's almost impossible to find an available apartment to rent or buy and if you do the prices are exorbitant.
The entire Coppedé neighborhood is worth exploring, but here are a few things you won’t want to miss.
The main access to the quartière is from Via Tagliamento off Viale Regina Margherita, heading along Via Dora under a massive arch towards Piazza Mincio.
Take your time to explore every detail along the way: the ceilings, chandeliers, fences, gardens and building facades. Each is abundant with a thrill of fun detail. Styles are a delightful mixture of Art Deco, Byzantine, Medieval and Classic. You'll find that certain decorative elements are recurrent, like bees.
The wrought-iron gates and fences are filled with delightful decorative twists and turns.
Just under the arch on Via Dora is a massive wrought iron chandelier you won’t want to miss. Also explore the ceiling detail around the chandelier.
Walk along Via Dora until you reach Piazza Mincio where you’ll see the Fontana delle Rane (the Frog Fountain), built in 1924, right in the center of the square. It’s one of my favorite fountains: eight large frogs spitting water into a central basin.
The Palazzo della Rana (Spider Palazzo) is at Piazza Mincio, 4. You’ll find a mixture of architectural styles in this five story building. Just above the entrance is a massive gold spider.
More building detail as you look above the spider...
As you stand in the entrance to the Spider Palazzo you can look out towards a lovely view of the Frog Fountain in Piazza Mincio.
Looping around the piazza to Piazza Mincio, 3 are the Fairy Cottages, my favorite in the Coppedé neighborhood.
Every detail is worth catching, from the fences and gates with their seahorse design,
to the plants in the garden around the cottages, to the exquisite detail you'll find on the Fairy Cottages facade.
Make sure you look at all of the Fairy Cottages which loop around onto Via Brenta and Via Aterno.
Gino Coppedé has decorated and frescoed the Fairy Cottages using many concepts and styles.
You’ll find a tribute to Gino Coppedé's home town Florence with frescoes of both the Duomo and the Palazzo della Signoria. There's also a wonderful fresco of a ship at sea.
Continue looping around the piazza to Piazza Mincio, 2 (just opposite the Spider Palazzo) where you'll find a beautifully designed, black and white themed entranceway. Note the exquisite archways and ceiling design.
Just as you enter the palazzo you'll read, looping across the entryway, the lettering Ospes Salve, latin wording for welcome. This palazzo, like all in the neighborhood, is unfortunately privately owned so it's only possible to enjoy its entranceway and facade.
Make sure you branch out throughout the Quartière Coppedé to find more of Coppedé’s work at Via Brenta 14 and 16, Via Ombrone 8-10 and 11, Via Serchio 2, Via Olana 7. There are a number of embassies in this neighborhood including South Africa, Poland, Marocco, Republic of the Congo. One of Rome's better known high schools, Liceo Scientifico Amedeo Avogadro, can be found on Via Brenta.
After your visit to the Coppedé neighborhood, which should take you a few hours to half a day, you might want to have a coffee and a pastry. Be sure to try the Pasticceria Duranti Valter, just a short walk away to Viale Regina Margherita, 25. They're opened every day but Wednesday.
And if you feel like lunch I'd strongly recommend one of these great restaurants, all within walking distance from the Quartière Coppedé:
Il Caminetto, Viale Parioli, 89. (twenty-four minute walk) Reservations strongly recommended, great food, extremely popular and very Roman (it's been packed every night for thirty years).
Il Cigno, Viale Parioli, 16 A/B. Tel: 06-808-2348 (fifteen minute walk) This is actually a pastry shop, cum coffee bar and lunch spot. It's fabulous and one of my favorites. Great gelato too.
Al Ceppo, Via Panama, 2. (fourteen minute walk) Fabulous restaurant, refined, reservations recommended.
Pescheria Rossini and Taverna Rossini, Viale Gioacchino Rossini, 48 and 54 respectively. (fourteen minute walk) Same owners and next to each other. Pescheria Rossini is mostly seafood and higher end, Taverna Rossini more casual, with a full Roman menu including pizza.
How to reach the Quartière Coppedé:
A 22 minute walk: Follow along the Villa Borghese Park on Via Pinciana for about 700 meters, turn right onto Via Giovanni Sgambati for 70 meters, and left onto Via Pò for 750 meters. Via Pò then changes name to Via Tagliamento, and after a short distance (80 meters) you will reach Via Dora. Just 110 meters along you'll arrive at the beginning of the Coppedé neighborhood.
From Piazza Barberini you can take either a #63 or #83 bus; otherwise a #80 bus plus a seven minute walk.
From Piazzale Flaminio take an #89 bus and walk six minutes; otherwise walk seven minutes, then take the tram #19.
And of course a taxi is always an easy option.