From the Raphael’s rooftop terrace, guests enjoy a panoramic view of the eternal city. As one gazes upon the city, the cupolas, the bell towers, the graceful palaces and the ancient monuments are awash in colors, shifting and blending ever so softly as if by a watercolorist’s brush. In season, the multi-level terrace, otherwise known as the Roof Garden “Bramante”, named after the nearby Cloister of Bramante, is open for lunch and dinner.
Whether dining on the terrace with its spectacular views or in the ground-floor restaurant “Relais Picasso,” one should not miss the chance to savor the cuisine of Raphael’s noted chef, Jean-Francois Daridon. The indoor restaurant name’s pays tribute to Picasso, whose original ceramic works grace both the dining room and the entrance lounge of the hotel. These precious ceramics are part of a vast art collection of inestimable value, collected by Spartaco Vannoni and now on display at the hotel.
Influenced greatly by Picasso’s style and color palate, the dining table décor is delightful. The chef’s wife, Franca, has created and hand-painted each ceramic dinner plate in vivid colors and whimsical designs, giving an air of festivity and elegance to each table. It is not easy to choose from Jean-Francois’ culinary creations, but we chose to select from his Mediterranean temptations. The saltimbocca nearly leaps into one’s mouth as it should, but start, as we did, with his signature fettuccine verdi with mushrooms and peas. And don’t end the evening without trying his famous apple Tarte-Tatin, a dessert that has been on Raphael’s menu for thirteen years.