A day out in Rome’s historic and affluent Prati neighbourhood

A day out in Rome’s historic and affluent Prati neighbourhood

The historic town of Prati is one of the wealthiest and plushest of the Roman cityscape. Mostly populated with offices and affluent residences, this neighbourhood, situated in Rome’s Municipio I, is the Roman tourist’s dream destination when it comes to shopping for branded items, be it clothes or jewellery. The bustling Via Cola di Rienzo is one of the most famous boulevards of Rome, it ranks high among the most crucial shopping streets in the Eternal City.

Prati translates to ‘meadows’ and it was a flat marshland in the past. But post the 18th century, modern styled buildings began popping up in the area and today it is a series of beautiful tree-lined avenues with few ancient architectural marvels but many nice dining and shopping stops for those that can afford it. Because of his proximity to the Pope’s house, it is one of the safest neighbourhoods in Rome.

You could start your tour of the neighbourhood by visiting the neo-Gothic church, the Sacro Cuore del Suffragio where one can find a small museum of the souls of Purgatory. Legend has it that a fire in 1897 in the church claimed the lives of many, thus leading to the idea of a museum dedicated to the incident.

From there one can head to a beautiful location, especially if you are driving, the Dea Roma sculpture which stands romantically welcoming those entering Prati. The sculpture, in beige brown is that of a sombre face crafted by the Polish sculptor Igor Motoraj. It sometimes has the effect of a face weeping when water is released from a fountain installed at the sculpture.

There are many fascinating buildings to see in Prati. For instance, a few modern buildings play with glass and mirrors, such as the magnificent RAI (Italian Radio Television) Headquarters and the former District Hall building. Most of the fascist era buildings have large open courtyards which are a sight to behold. One can then head to the museum of Castel Sant’Angelo as well. The cycling tracks of Prati are a great place to start and end your tour at if you have rented a bike and want to tour Rome that way.

For eating out, there are many famous restaurants covering the sidewalks along the Cola di Rienzo, a perfect place for tired shoppers to call it a day. Among the famous places to eat, the L’Arcangelo is highly recommended. Here, traditional Roman dishes are served in a cozy interior. There are many wine bars as well and a quick web search will give you a list of great bars including the highly rated Del Frate.    Many tourists choose accommodations in Prati during their stay in Rome for it is just a stone’s throw away from the Vatican City and a lively and bustling professional and residential neighborhood. For a great experience and for the best Vatican City tours always remember to do a little research before your trip.