Courtyard seating. Images: Taneos Ramsay

Nestled away off the quiet, shaded courtyard of Harbour Walk, Mediterranean restaurant Aria provides diners with a feast for both the tastebuds and the eyes.

Opening its doors in March 2023, Aria joined sister restaurant Agua, boutique bar Next Door, and coffee shop and bakery Allora, under the Agua Hospitality Group umbrella.

Its offerings provide an authentic culinary journey to the Mediterranean, says Cristiano Vincentini, who owns the restaurant alongside Walter Fajette. That journey traverses through Morocco, Spain, Italy, France, Balkan countries, Mediterranean Levant countries and beyond.

“Our menu is a tribute to the rich history and heritage of each region, artfully combining traditional flavours with a fresh, modern twist,” says Cristiano. “It is like immersing yourself in a symphony of flavours that takes you on a gastronomic journey, where the soul of each country adorns your plate with every exquisite bite.”

Tiled walls create a dramatic effect.


Tundra grey marble contrasts with deep green accents in the bar area.

Spanning 2,500 square feet, Aria has the capacity to host around 70 guests indoors in the bar, wine room and dining areas, and 40 guests on the outdoor patio.

Despite being large, the restaurant retains a cosy and personal atmosphere due to expertly separated areas.

Fitting for a restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine, the interior design uses regional influences through its material choices, colour palettes, shapes and architectural features such as intricate columns and ceiling details.

“Our aim was to create a space that evokes the essence of the Mediterranean while also establishing visual links to our sister restaurant, Agua,” explains Cristiano. “This is evident in various design elements such as the wine room, predominant use of white colour, and window panelling, which collectively contribute to a cohesive and harmonious ambience across both venues.”

The Italian heritage of owners Walter and Cristiano leaves an indelible mark on both establishments, infusing them with an unmistakable Italian influence that enhances the dining experience.

Cristiano was actively involved in the design of Aria and worked closely with an Italian designer to bring his vision to life.

Ornate tiles draw diners’ eyes to various spots around the restaurant. These Gres tiles are imported from Italy, and designed to emulate the exquisite beauty of Carrara marble, a tribute to Cristiano’s hometown on the picturesque coast of Tuscany, Italy.

Tundra grey marble is used for the bar top, as well as the backdrop behind the bar. Sourced from Turkey, the light colour contrasts perfectly with the deep teal velour bar stools perched next to the barfront’s bold green tiles.

Running parallel to the bar area, tall pillars are encased in wooden frames and adorned with wooden panels for a sophisticated and cohesive design.

Above, the ceiling panelling is specifically designed not only for aesthetic purposes but also to serve a functional role by effectively absorbing sound, enhancing the overall look of the space.

Detailed design elements such as this, integrating with regional themes and authentic cuisine, provide a welcome sojourn from daily life, transporting diners to far flung shores and delighting the senses.

This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of InsideOut magazine, now available at magazine stands around the island.