Casa Clementina, in Rome, is a design-lovers’ bar where you can drink, eat and listen to music. It is in via Clementina 9, between the Caelian and the Esquiline Hill, in Rione Monti.
The lower part of this neighborhood was once called Suburra, a name derived perhaps from the Latin ‘suburbia’. The word originally meant “place outside the city” (and indeed this area used to be outside of the capital) – only later did it become the eponym of the ill-famed areas in every metropolis.
Today Monti is part of the center of Rome, and as quiet locals and curious tourists roam the streets, Suburra remains only as a toponym from the past. More than a place outside the city, it now seems like a place outside of time. Casa Clementina is located in a basement that has the same structural feel of a great old country home. It is decorated with worn chairs, soft 1970s armchairs in brown imitation leather, a double bed with a coarse wood headboard, rickety fruit crates on metal bookcases that serve as filing cabinets, a videogame from the 1970s, and tokens of last century’s modern art scattered everywhere.
Sit down for some tea or an infusion, sip wine, try an aperitif or give in to cakes and cookies. And look around: you can buy what is on show, both vintage items and new creations by young fashion designers.
In the city, just outside of time.