Your Guide to Living, Eating and Shopping Sustainably in Rome
In a world that is rapidly changing, the environment remains a top concern for private citizens and policymakers alike. In support of the global movement for sustainability and low-waste living, we have compiled a list of the most eco-friendly restaurants, shops, and accommodations that Rome has to offer. We encourage you to keep our planet in mind as you enjoy all that the Eternal City has to offer, so we can keep it as just that – eternal.
Bio Hotel Raphael
The Bio Hotel Raphael is a 5 star luxury hotel in the heart of Rome. It is a work of the famous American architect Richard Meier and has been updated since its original construction to maintain its goals of being at the forefront of green design and sustainability. The hotel prides itself on its commitment to save energy and not release harmful fumes from building materials. When entering the hotel you are met with a green wall full of vegetation. Not only a means of increasing air quality and water runoff, but also a gorgeous facade to the luxury hotel. Another highlight of the hotel is the Mater Terrae Bio Restaurant, which features collaboration from Michelin star chef Pietro Leeman. The restaurant only serves sustainable, organic, vegan, biodynamic offerings. You sacrifice no luxury when staying at the Bio Hotel Raphael. It offers the highest quality amenities and service while also committing to a cleaner and more sustainable world.raphaelhotel.com
Eco Bed and Breakfast
Eco BNB is a website that helps conscientious travelers find places to stay with a higher focus on sustainability. The site works like airbnb in that it connects users to independent stays, but in this case they curate the offerings to be in structures that have features that promote sustainability and there are 11 locations within the metropolitan city of Rome. Features of their stays include reduced flow faucets, organic cleaning products, solar energy, bioarchitecture, organic food options, walkable locations, and water reuse systems. Each unit is different so not all have the same features but the website provides a report of which features are included on each property. Eco BNB is a great option if you want your own space in Rome while minimizing the environmental effects of your trip.
Co-living is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Shared living spaces require less energy and water than individual residences. Any Place is a
company that helps people find spaces for co living. It essentially finds places and organizes roommate arrangements. In addition to cutting down your emissions this
can also save you money. Any Place’s apartments are often furnished with top of the line appliances and don’t require long term leases. This is a great option if you
intend to stay for an extended period of time but still want the comforts of a home all the while saving money and reducing your footprint.
Meet Ginger, a brightly lit chic restaurant near Piazza di Spagna and Via del Corso. Ginger offers farm to table gourmet food much of which is grown at their own farm Le Masciare. They produce their own wine and olive oil, both of which are highly revered by their customers, and what they don’t produce themselves – they source from local farms that have a focus on sustainable farming practices. They filter and bottle water in house to reduce their consumption of single use plastics, and only use the most energy efficient appliances in their kitchen. This is a prime example of a restaurant that is walking the walk when they claim sustainability. They describe themselves as part of the slow food movement and it is evident that they mean what they say. They offer a wide variety of fresh and healthy foods experimenting with various cuisines.
Save food waste by using a meal prep subscription that provides the exact quantity of ingredients needed to make different recipes. HelloFresh, the world leader for meal delivery kits with over 7 million active customers nationwide, has just arrived in Italy. The service includes home delivery of a box with fresh, pre-measured ingredients and easy-tofollow recipe cards to cook tasty dishes step by step.An extensive variety of recipes are available, in both vegetarian and standard diet, ensuring that you never eat the same meal twice! Whether you are a busy parent with little time to create meal plans, or simply looking to spice up your weekday dinners, HelloFresh can help mix up your home menu with fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients and unique recipes catered to your dietary needs.
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Ciao Checca offers slow street food. It’s not too fancy and won’t blow your budget or take hours to enjoy, but the food is made with care and sourced from a small local supply chain. Located in Piazza di Firenze, Ciao Checca offers eat-in or takeaway dishes inspired by the Italian gastronomic tradition. The food is healthy and hearty, a good bang for your buck, and convenient! In addition, all of their appliances are energy efficient, their furniture is made from recycled materials, and they use nontoxic paint in the restaurant. This is a great option if you are looking for sustainable food on the go.ciaochecca.com
Imagine a meal prepared from organic, locally sourced produce, fresh from the kitchen of Monte Mario’s local farm-to-table restaurant, eaten in a greenhouse-inspired dining room with a clear glass ceiling that catches sunlight and casts it upon a multitude of potted plants that are scattered around the elegant tables. At Vivi Le Serre you can enjoy fresh dishes featuring produce from local organic farmers, personally selected by the restaurant’s founders Cristina Cattaneo and Daniela Gazzini. Sweets, pastas, salads, soups… this restaurant offers a variety of regional favorites as well as international recipes.vivibistrot.com
RE(f)USE | Carmina Campus
If you’re looking for a unique gift or other one-of-a-kind item, look no further than RE(f)USE in Via Fontanella Borghese. Carmina Campus is a concept project created to redirect materials set for landfills and give them new purpose in the hands of skilled artisans. Each item sold in the shop is unique, so no two products are alike due to the use of recycled, damaged, discarded, and worn-out materials that are transformed into cutting edge products such as bags, chairs, lamps, jewelry, and much more. Indeed, creativity is at work at RE(f)USE. The store works in collaboration with Socially MadeInItaly, a social organization that operates in prisons under the supervision of the Italian Ministry of Justice. RE(f)USE was created by Ilaria Venturini Fendi, daughter of Italian fashion designer Anna Fendi, in 2006 to combine luxury with sustainability. Fendi’s work proves that ethics do not need to be sacrificed to attain beauty; the two categories can be, as they are at RE(f)USE, harmonious.carminacampus.com/refuse/
Eco&Gea is a bio vegan boutique that promotes a sustainable lifestyle and ethical production of goods. The brand uses recycled materials and natural fibers to ensure that each product it sells has minimal impact on the environment. Located in Via Pietro Giordani, Eco&Gea sources artisanal goods from a variety of brands that meet their standard for sustainability, which must meet the criteria of using yarn from recycled materials, are certified as biodegradable, and do not test on animals. They offer a wide variety of products from clothing to jewelry to personal and home care
Sekki Design makes modernist designed furniture out of cardboard. They have a completely unique approach to furniture and home goods and are based here in Rome. Fabricating with cardboard reduces production cost and cost for the consumer. It also allows for products fully recycled and biodegradable should you ever choose to get rid of it. Sekkei makes products for the home and office with a nod to Japanese minimalism. Cardboard makes for a light, strong and versatile material that solves many of the needs of the furniture industry. In addition to solidifying the company’s outstanding code of ethics, 10% of proceeds are donated to La Via dei Colori onlus, a non profit organization that works to prevent infrastructural violence towards children. Shop at Sekkei Design and get a genuinely unique and beautiful piece of furniture from a company that is actually committed to ethical practices and sustainability.sekkei.store/
TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY
Rideshare Electric Scooters & eBikes
If you look just about anywhere in Rome you will notice dozens of electric scooters parked all about. These aren’t individually owned vehicles, but rather ride share devices that can be accessed at any time through various apps. Ridesharing electric vehicles are the future of mobility in urban areas. It allows anyone access to an electric vehicle without paying the upfront costs of buying it outright or keeping up with maintenance. Rome has plenty of competition when it comes to these scooters, it seems like each one is from a different company. It can be hard to decide which to use. If you want the most options you should download all of the apps: Dott, Lime, Bird, Link, Helbiz and Keri. They all go off a payment model of a fixed cost per minute plus an activation fee. In my experience Dott has the most reliable scooters and the best package deals as opposed by paying by the minute. They have an option that allows you to have two 30 minute rides within 24hrs for only €3 total. In addition to electric scooters there are also many eBike rideshare options as well, operating in the same way as the scooters.
Whether you own a bike or are using a rideshare eBike, if you spend much time in Rome you will know that the traffic can be treacherous. Thankfully, many major streets have bike lanes separated from traffic helping bikers stay safe. Many streets in Rome have lanes that are completely separated from traffic either by a barrier or a line of parked cars, and even the streets that don’t generally have an accommodating painted bike lane on the right most lane of the road. Aside from the bike panes on the major streets, there are also fully secluded biking and jogging paths along the Tiber river. These paths are convenient because they are completely secluded from auto traffic and they also have a great view. This can be a very useful way to get around Rome without adding to your carbon footprint and getting some exercise while you do it!
As we can see, Rome provides a variety of options to commute between destinations while minimizing one’s carbon footprint. One of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to get around is by bus, train, or train, which run all across the many neighborhoods of Rome. In 2019, the city approved a Sustainable Mobility Plan Initiative (SUMP), a dedication to establish “greener” public transportation. With the aim of creating a people-centered network of urban transportation, SUMP encouraged locals and visitors alike to transition away from private vehicle use and towards shared mobility to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.romeing.it/transportation-in-rome/
As the world continues to change rapidly and new globally relevant issues continue to emerge, we must be equipped to adapt to any necessary changes. Sustainability and carbon emissions are leading concerns within the European Union and are at the forefront of the global agenda. The increasingly prevalent concern of climate change is forcing cities across the world to adapt their lifestyles in order to preserve our planet and protect it from further change. As the Eternal City, Rome has a duty to remain true to its name, as it has for the previous centuries. Adapting sustainable practices and infrastructure will allow Rome to maintain its sense of eternity, and encourage other global cities to make the same changes necessary to keep our earth – the original Eternal City – clean, safe, and available for generations to come.
Contributors: Annelise Richardson, Jacob Sklar