Little London in the heart of Rome
For those English tourists suffering homesickness on a trip to the Italian capital, we have the perfect solution! Over the years as the numbers of British expatriates in Rome have increased one street in particular has become known as the place to go if you’re searching for a fix of all things British. Known as “Piccola Londra” or “Little London”, this tiny avenue is only 200 metres long but the resemblance to the English capital is striking.This fascinating boulevard is a leftover token from the period in the early 1900s when Rome aspired to become a true European metropolis, and it was built by architect Quadrio Pirani. You’d be forgiven for thinking the wooden doors that line this street, raised on white pedestals above the pavement, were those of Downing Street itself. This tiny paradise for tea-lovers is situated on Via Bernardo Celentano, between Via Guido Reni and Viale del Vignola in the heart of the Flaminio and it is one of the best-kept secrets in Rome. If you ask locals who live in this neighbourhood, they’re sure to be able to point this little street out to you, but ask anywhere else in the city and you’re likely to be met with blank stares.
This is the perfect spot for a retreat from the famed hustle and bustle of Rome’s city centre: an oasis of pastel coloured houses, Victorian street lamps and tiny gardens. You’ll be instantly charmed by the peace and tranquility of this street, which brings to mind the hushed boulevards of London reserved for the city’s elite, Chelsea and Mayfair. This old-fashioned cobbled street is impeccably clean, and you’ll stumble upon a tiny bar with white parasols outside that is utterly charming. Sip a restorative herbal tea (our favourite is jasmine!) in this little cafe and perhaps treat yourself to a sweet treat too.
It’s very simple to reach this pretty little street, the only reason it is difficult to find is because it seems like it shouldn’t be open to public access. If you walk down Viale del Vignola towards the Teatro Olimpico, you’ll spot a tiny opening on your right and when you peer round the corner, we’re sure you’ll recognise this tiny corner of imitation London. While strolling through this area north of Villa Borghese, you shouldn’t miss out on the chance to wander down a street that seems so at odds with the rest of this quintessentially Italian capital.