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Q&A by Ilona Kauremszky

Q: When in Rome, we’d like to stay near the Spanish Steps. Can you recommend a place or provide a web site where we can check on accommodations in Italy?

A: Well, if you wish to splurge there’s always the luxe Hotel Hassler, the latest haunt of celebrity couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Hollywood’s dynamic duo ventured here in late April for Cruise’s red carpet walk at the David di Donatello Awards where they were met by a wall of paparazzi.

Perched atop the Spanish Steps, the historic hotel is easily situated near the metro station Spagna and walking around the neighborhood lined in cobblestone streets is reminiscent of an old Fellini film. Plenty of fountains, beautiful window displays and chi chi boutiques make having an espresso here a sure delight.

Visit hotelhasslerroma.com/ for more details. If you wish to avoid the potential paparazzi at the Hassler, try a few streets away where the Hotel Eden has been welcoming tourists since it first opened in 1889. Over the years, Goethe and as of late Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are just some of the many celebrities who love to stay at this luxury property which is ranked as one of the leading hotels in the world.

A few blocks from the Spanish Steps, the historic hotel is sandwiched between the green gardens of the Villa Borghese, Villa Ludovisi and Villa Malta with awesome views of the Seven Hills, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here’s a quick list of some other landmarks nearby: Trevi Fountain (1.5km), Pantheon (.8km), Colosseum (3.5km), the Vatican (5km) and Piazza Navona (2km). For reservations and more information, visit www.hotel-eden.it.

Another great resource not widely known is a hotel reservation call center where you can book the hotel you want, where you want and at the most convenient price. Known as the “Hotel Resrvation” call center, the capital’s hotel consortium lets you book your stay in any of over 1000 hotels in real time from both Italy and abroad. This service is available seven days a week including Sundays and holidays from 7am to 10pm.

This is a free service and is also available for accommodation reservations in 10 other cities including Florence, Venice, Naples, Milan and Siena. For more information visit www.hotelreservation.it

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