[an error occurred while processing this directive]Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn may have taken the cheap option on that Vespa in Roman Holiday, but in the real world a stay in the Italian capital could empty your pockets, especially if you're traveling with kids. A couple of double rooms in a decent, centrally-located hotel will set you back at least €400 a night.
So Residence Barberini is a pleasant surprise: for €250 to €375 a night, depending on the season, you get a suite of two rooms, a kitchen and a large marble bathroom, plus access to the guesthouse's funky art collection. Scattered throughout the 19th century mansion are contemporary works by the likes of American Spencer Tunick and Italians Franco Angeli and Mario Consiglio, which make a nice counterpoint to the classics that fill most of the city's other galleries.
Nestled on a landing is Maurizio Cannavacciuolo's sculpture of an Egyptian mummy, but my favorite is a statuette of Star Wars' Yoda wearing a Pope's miter by Australia-born Adrian Tranquilli. (Go to www.residencebarberini.com to preview some of the artwork.) The hotel is located off Piazza Barberini, just minutes from the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and a host of other Roman attractions. There are 11 suites, and a top-floor penthouse with a 100-sq-m roof garden shaded by olive and lemon trees. For more information call (39-06) 420 3341.