The Capitoline Museums will host The Age of Balance exhibition until 4 May 2013. The exhibition focus on works of the Roman Empire’s golden age from 98-180 AD.
The basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano at the Roman Forum is home to the famous Neopolitan Crib, which holds a handcarved, 18th-century nativity scene.
La Barrique, a long-established wine bar, recently added a kitchen and full menu to complement its extensive Italian and French wine list.
Wrap up the meal with a homemade dessert or stroll over to Fatamorgana for creative winter gelato flavours such as pumpkin with caramelised seeds and chestnuts with Sardinian liqueur.
Al Vino Al Vino serves excellent wines by the glass, paired with cheeses, cured meats and Sicilian favourites such as the house speciality of caponata – a caper-spiked aubergine stew.
There’s nothing fancy about Qui Se Magna, and therein lies its charm. Locals clamour for rustic and cheap pasta dishes such as classic carbonara and trippa alla romana (tripe cooked with tomato and mint). This is Roman comfort food at its finest.
Antico Forno Roscioli is a historic bakery selling breads, pizza by the slice and sweets by weight. Try the classic pizza bianca (olive oil-brushed flatbread sprinkled with salt) for a morning or afternoon snack. At lunchtime, moderately priced pasta, roasted vegetables and simple meat dishes are available from the counter at the back. There’s no table service, so place your order, find a seat and dig in to the fresh, piping-hot food.
Il Pigneto has become an open-air gallery for street artists, with an impressive line-up of stencils, graffiti and posters along Via del Pigneto, the area’s main thoroughfare. As with everywhere in Rome, watch your bag carefully.
From 26 November until 6 January, Piazza Navona is home to a Christmas Market. Stalls fill the square, and there are games and rides for children.
Hotel Ponte Sisto (rooms from €136) is set in a quiet building near the Tiber river. Its outdoor courtyard is a lovely retreat after a day’s sightseeing.
The Inn at the Roman Forum (rooms from €166) is a small, luxurious affair with an ancient cryptoporticus passageway in its basement and polished, antique-style décor in its rooms; head up to the roof terrace for sweeping views over the old city centre.
American expat Jessica Harris sells her exquisite womenswear at her hole-in-the-wall store Leopardessa, alongside accessories made by fellow artists.
Beer may not be the first tipple that springs to mind when you think of Italy, but Rome is the nation’s capital of craft beer consumption. Birra + serves domestic and international beers on tap, and has an impressive selection of bottles from the world’s top craft producers.
The world of Italian wine is vast and intimidating. At Il Goccetto, owners Sergio and Anna bring it down to human scale with a well chosen list of wines by the glass that highlights the country’s great producers. Cold snacks are served at the counter to the front of the bar.