This article is part of a new guide to Rome from FT Globetrotter

Travel plans may be put on hold, but travel planning doesn’t have to be.

Call it optimism or just escapism — but collecting ideas for where to go when the world returns to normal offers a bit of reprieve from these restricted times.

Paris may always be a good idea, but Rome, by all means, Rome! The Eternal City has it all, with fantastic restaurants, incredible architecture, thousands of years of history on display and stunning places to stay, from gorgeous palazzos to trendy boutique hotels.

But in a city set up to accommodate more than 9m tourists per year — and with more than 700 hotels to choose from in the historic centre alone — narrowing down the list of options can be overwhelming. So we asked FT readers to share their favourite small but perfectly formed hotels in the Italian capital. Here are a few places to make note of.

Small is bellissima

© Elena Rosignoli

Casa Montani is a very small hotel indeed, with just a few rooms. It is family-owned, and the owner, Giuseppe Montani, is always at hand to help, with a lot of attention to detail.

The location is wonderful: a few steps away from Piazza del Popolo, so everything is very close. The price is rather moderate, even for the suite.

Because of its size, it feels like home — and there is no hotel sign on the building, just the name on the doorbell (of course, you have 24/7 access), and no common spaces (like a lobby or café). The good-quality breakfast is served in your room.

— Kristina Sukhotina, lawyer, Moscow, Russia

Moderne love

The Relais Trevi 95 Boutique Hotel, located near the Trevi Fountain, offers an exquisite experience. It has modern, stylish rooms alongside great food. And best of all: a communal rooftop, which has breathtaking views of the city. [Prices vary], but rooms start around 95 euros per night.

— Ewan Birnie, senior financial analyst, Solna, Sweden

Where the heart is

After a day strolling around the Eternal City, Villa Spalletti Trivelli feels likes you are returning to your home, not a hotel. There are many common spaces throughout the hotel to sit, relax and enjoy, either in solitude or with other guests. The rooftop is great also. A bit pricey but worth it.

— Jerry Hartnett, finance, USA

A real Roman G-whizz

G-Rough is a boutique hotel in a stunning historic building and probably one of the few truly “boutique” spots in Rome. It has an amazing design, rooms are cosy despite the building being narrow and tall and it’s close to many historical sites and restaurants that are not to be missed. The bar is absolutely excellent (even if its service is a bit “distracted”).

Another place I've recently discovered in Rome is Marcantonio, a family-run boutique hotel near St Peter’s. I love the design and, at the moment, staying in Rome many days each month I appreciate the well-equipped rooms (suites have a microwave, sink and fridge) and being able to get around by the Metro, which is a few steps away. Breakfast is delivered to your room each morning. And it’s great value for money.

— Tommaso Pondini, PR

The Spanish Steps at your feet

The Inn at the Spanish Steps was the perfect Roman-hotel experience. We were upgraded to a Panoramic Suite, with a view of the Spanish Steps. In fact, even the small windows in our room offered magical views of the rooftops of Rome. It was a truly unique experience to watch the city wake up as the sun rose, the colours got brighter and the streets slowly filled up with people. We had breakfast on our terrace and enjoyed the Italian sunshine. The terracotta tiles, the lemon trees in oversized pots, the flowers and the rooftop are all wonderful memories.

— Merve Erdil, communications, Paris, France

R&R meets SPQR

Albergo del Senato. Amazing location, super-friendly, comfortable and clean, and great value. Our home away from home in Roma.

— Natale Labia, private equity, Milan, Italy

Fit for royalty

Suite Livia Borghese: this is a place where not only are you at the heart of the heart of Rome, but you feel gently intimidated by the majesty of Palazzo Borghese, a highly private place only residents and members of Circolo della Caccia can access. You can either request breakfast or enjoy nearby Ciampini, one of Rome’s institutional cafes. For joggers, the river is nicely nearby.

— Michele Petochi, manager, Geneva, Switzerland

Rome with the FT

In a series of articles this week, FT Globetrotter is launching a new guide to Rome, celebrating the joys of city life — and offering some much-needed escapism — with expert advice on eating and drinking, exercise, culture, navigating the new normal, and more.

Mon: Where Rome’s politicos lunch in style

Tues: The most beautiful 5k running routes

Thurs: Tips from the top: Orson Francescone’s address book

Fri: Classic cocktail bars without the crowds

Sat: La dolce Vespa: the delights of discovering Rome by scooter

Sun: Why locals are finally dining out in Rome’s most famous square

We're looking for your best tips about the Italian capital. Tell us your favourite places to visit, eat, drink, exercise, sightsee, and more

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