Domina 2018: The Garden of Delights

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

String lights, couches and cocktails at Trastevere’s Borgo Ripa

Summer time in Rome has always been one of the preferred seasons by both Romans and visitors alike. Thanks to its great weather, outdoor activities are the perfect way to spend the day. So what’s better than finding a cool, hidden garden down in Trastevere to spend the evening in?

Recently, I had the fortune of trying “Domina”, the summer version of Argot; one of our favorite speakeasy bars in Rome. Domina 2018 is hosted in the beautiful Borgo Ripa structure, and is less than 10 minutes away by foot from Piazza Trilussa. If you’re looking for that one place that will change up your aperitivo routine, you’re going to the right one.

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

As I walked into the huge garden right off of Lungotevere Ripa, I was welcomed by a magical setting. Right as you walk in, the bar is the first thing you notice thanks to its central placing and elegant build. The garden is adorned with string lights, vintage couches and armchairs, and a personal favorite of mine: Parisian style iron tables and chairs. As I was escorted to my table, I could not stop noticing all the little details that make Borgo Ripa even more special.

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

The garden is called “Giardino delle Delizie” which translates to Garden of Delights. Dating back to the 1600s, the borgo belonged to the Doria Pamphilj family, one of the most powerful and famous in Rome. Specifically, the garden was owned and cared for by Donna Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj, one of the most respected and clever women of her time. Also known as the “papessa” (lady pope), rumour has it that Olimpia was Pope Innocent X’s lover (who was also her brother-in-law), reason to why she had so much power over Rome’s social scene during his papacy.

Nevertheless, thanks to the papessa, we were left with one of the most delightful gardens in Rome! The signature cocktail menu Domina offers is tasteful and unique. The menu offers six signature drinks, two of which follow an ancient technique that consists in leaving the ingredients mixed together so that they can blend to the fullest; Domina calls it “pre batch”. I recommend the #6 “Ultimatum” drink, a fabulous concoction for those of us that love ginger!

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

And in case you’re hungry, Domina has you covered on that too. With a rich assortment for the buffet, you can also choose to order one of the original pizza options. You can choose between getting either: any drink along with the buffet for €15, or a bottle of wine for €30 plus an extra €5 each for the buffet. If you were to choose the first option, keep in mind that the cost only includes one visit to the buffet- each visit after is €5. Personally, I’m a big pizza fan, and had the “Ripagrande” off the Domina menu. If you like eggplants as much as I do, Ripagrande has your name all over it. Other than the drinks and food, I also highly recommend you call and make a reservation.

Domina 2018 at Borgo Ripa Rome

Domina 2018 is a great place to choose when you want to get away from the city’s bustling inner streets and enjoy the wonderful Roman weather. Thank you, delightful Donna Olimpia, we the aperitivi lovers thank you!


Lungotevere Ripa, 3 (Trastevere)

Opening times

Monday – Saturday from 7.30pm – 2am


+39 388 8816897 – (keep in mind that reservations are done by messaging the number instead of calling. In your message make sure you list the day, time, and number of people you are reserving for and they will get back to you with your confirmation).

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