While wandering through the twisting, cobbled streets of Rome's historic center one evening, we stumbled upon a tiny wine bar called Baronato Quattro Bellezze. With its dim lighting and barely-discernible sign out front, we could have easily passed right by without noticing it. But, being on vacation, we were in the habit of noticing things, and decided to head inside. There, four tables fit snugly inside the bar's main room, which is presided over by a fantastical 18th-Century carousel horse. Thick velvet drapes frame the horse on either side, and lend a decidedly theatrical vibe to the spot (something we discovered was no coincidence, since they sometimes stage small performances right there on the bar - one of which we had the pleasure of attending the next night!). Cozily tucked into a corner table, we sipped wildly popular spritz cocktails (wine, Aperol bitters and soda water) to a soundtrack of Frank Sinatra and other nostalgic tunes.
If you go, don't forget to take a peak inside the adjoining room, which boasts a see-through plexiglass floor through which you can glimpse an ancient stone staircase Littered with large pieces of old marble and limbs of long-broken statues (seriously), the staircase is like a glimpse into antiquity.
Baronato alle Quattro Bellezze - Via di Panico, 23, 00100, ROMA, Italy - 066872865 ;- Open Tues - Sun