Rione Monti is Rome’s oldest neighbourhood, it is even said that Julius Caesar was born here. For centuries, this lower part of the city – the suburra- was home to the ‘plebs’  – the lower-class and the poor. Emperors and other high officials lived in the surrounding higher parts. Consequently, rents were relatively low in Rione Monti, which, as in many large cities, had a magnetic appeal to all kinds of creative souls and other innovators. And now, Rione Monti is one of the most attractive and hip neighbourhoods of Rome.

Giuseppe was one of the people who instantly  fell for this area’s charm. Before coming to Rome, he led a  completely different life. He worked as a barrister in Naples, his birth town, but wasn’t happy in his job and decided to do some travelling, for instance to New York.  The idea came to him to start his own boutique Bed & Breakfast. Initially, the plan was to do so in Naples, but he ended up in Rome, where he opened Cibele Bed & Breakfast, named after the Cybele, Mother of the Gods who was also a fertility and nature goddess. Cibele Bed & Breakfast only has three rooms on the second floor of an ancient building right in the middle of one of Rione Monti’s main streets, after all, it’s all about location!

From the first e-mail I received from Giuseppe, I knew that I had found a true Local Hideaway. His e-mails were full of passion and individuality, and my instinct was confirmed when I arrived. Giuseppe put such a great amount of care and attention into designing and furnishing his Bed & Breakfast. All three rooms are beautifully decorated, and all are dedicated to one of the natural elements. I’m staying in the Deluxe Room Maia – Earth, which is decorated in quiet colours and is very comfortable. Spacious and airy, with some wonderful decorations by local artists. The temperature is very nice when I’m here, it is 38 degrees out in Rome, and double glazing makes sure the street noise is kept out. The bathroom, equipped with a large rain shower, is perfect.  There is also a Deluxe Room Egeria – Water, which is decorated in various shades of blue and has the same facilities. And finally there is a Standard Room Aurora – Air, which is somewhat smaller but certainly worthwhile, if only for the gorgeous lamp/object behind the bed with dried Gingko Biloba leaves designed by Giussepe himself. The rooms share a common area, where you can have breakfast or make yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Not only is Giuseppe a perfect host, he will also tell you all the best places to visit in the area. For Rione Monti, with all sorts of lovely and different little shops, bars and restaurants, may be right on your doorstep, but the Colloseum and the Forum Romanum are also just around the corner. A bit further off, you will find the other highlights of the city. In other words, Cibele B&B is your perfect starting point. And don’t forget to eat some ‘tonnarelli cacao e pepe con tartufo’ in Giuseppe’s favourite restaurant: La Taverna dei Fori Imperali. This pasta dish is simply devine! Cibele Bed & Breakfast is a true Local Hideaway……and it goes without saying: Psssst, don’t spread the word!!!

Read more about Rome in my Blog: Rome 2.0!