Above: The view from the terrace of Italy Perfect's Fresco apartment in the Prati neighborhood of Rome

On my recent visit toRome, in addition to researching hotels, I decided to spend a week in an apartment, experiencing life as a Roman citizen. In search of authenticity, and in order to escape the tourist throngs, I chose to stay in the residential neighborhood of Prati. The name means “meadows,” and 150 years ago, Prati was a flat, marshy area, bounded by the Tiber to the east and the Vatican to the west. Today it is a grid of tree-lined streets with grand, mostly 19th-century buildings. The area is popular with lawyers, politicians and affluent professionals of all stripes. Because Prati is relatively new, by Roman standards, it has no monuments or churches of significance. However, it is home to many of the city’s best food and wine stores, as well as a number of notable restaurants and trattorias. Whether or not you actually stay there, it is certainly an area worthy of exploration.

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Above: The view from the terrace of Italy Perfect's Fresco apartment in the Prati neighborhood of Rome

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