Known for its non-traditional avenues, upscale shops, and modern restaurants, Prati is one of Rome’s upper-class residential neighborhoods and business hubs for a more corporate world in the center of the Eternal City.
When you cross one of the bridges from the booming and charming Trastevere, the first thing you will notice is a significant decline in tourists. While the flocks of tour groups and travelers will definitely fill the streets of San Pietro and the Vatican, as well as the surrounding area of Castel Sant’Angelo, once you approach the metropolitan Piazza Cavour, you will feel the fast pace of the locals and unique personality of this neighborhood.
Women in high heels walk briskly and flawlessly through the smooth walkway—something very uncommon in a city constructed of uneven cobblestone jutting out every which way, slick marble, and weathered grooves in ancient pavement. Men in suits holding briefcases pass by with purpose on their lunch break. Everyone has somewhere to be, creating a metropolitan, up-and-coming atmosphere, a new scene. There is something trendy about the lifestyle in Prati. There is no shabbiness: no broken bottles or cigarette butts fallen in between the cracks of the cobblestones, no remnants of “last night out at the bar.”
This piazza is a world of its own: a paradoxical land where people come and go caught in the hustle and bustle of the modern and young people’s working world, and yet there is also a sense of familiarity, nostalgia. People are not rude; they just have somewhere to be, and this green, palm-tree covered haven is their stop in the middle of their day’s journey.
Keep strolling and you will find Via Cola di Rienzo—a less crowded version of the shopping street Via del Corso—where you can find many high-end and affordable Italian and international brands. You will be able to enjoy a slower-paced version of shopping, exploring, and even stopping for lunch in a modern fusion restaurant without being overrun by tourists.
Piazza dei Quiriti—a charming little oasis in the midst of beautifully painted residential blocks is the perfect spot to stop and have a quick gelato while checking out the fountain in the center of it. The circular raised pool drips and splashes water to the bottom part of the fountain, which makes this quaint piazza even more relaxing.
Prati is only one example of the extremely diverse Roman identity made up of many different rioni and neighborhoods. Its organized grid layout and elegant style are two of the many reasons you won’t regret stepping into this world when you venture to the other side of the Tiber.
Alexa (Shearer) Vujaklija
Class of 2015
Grew up in The United States, Germany, The Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria