Deciding whether to visit Rome is a no-brainer. The Italian capital of more than 3,000 years is an endless offer of architecture, culture, and art. From the Sistine Chapel to the Coliseum, Rome ranks high up in every touristic checklist.
While it may seem chaotic at first sight, once you get the gist of the cosmopolitan city, it is all about enjoyment. Rome is divided into neighborhoods; each with its perks. Itis worth to say that it all depends on the type of crowd visiting it and the activities you want to do. The fantastic thing about Rome is that its downtown is quite compact; therefore you will cover a lot, and have plenty of sightseeing by walking around it.
Rome includes several hills, over which the Italian capital was erected: Viminal, Quirinal, and Caelian, Palatine, Aventine, Esquiline, two more added to the cityscape Pinician and Janiculum. Most of the sightseeing is encompassed between the Vatican –in the West –and Stazione Termini –to the East. The North bestows Villa Borghese –and extensive, magnificent park and to the South, you will encounter the quintessential Coliseum. In the areas bordering Via del Corso, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and many other fantastic monuments –like the Pantheon –attract hordes of tourists every year.
While there is a lot you will be able to see and experience by walking, Rome is vast –and busy –enough for you to require public transportation or taxis.
Here are the best areas to stay in Rome:
One word can correctly describe this area: enchanting. This district is awash with artisan boutiques, local markets, and quirky alleys; quiet and calm by day, whimsical and loud at night. One of the liveliest areas in Rome, Trastevere is located over the river from the historic center. The streets filled with cobblestone walkways are one of the most charming in the capital. The colorful lanes filled with nightlife, bars, and cafes make the place buzz, shimmer, and shine every night. Crowds of tourists and locals come here every night to take part in the celebrating vibes. From grungy cafes to hundreds of eateries and pizzerias, the area offers everything for everyone. Regardless if you are seeking for a Michelin-awarded excellent dining spot or a local eatery, you will find it here. Moreover, the fun extends daily until the small hours. But not everything is about nightlife; Trastevere includes some interesting sights, such as typical villas and splendorous churches. Quick tip if staying here! There is no metro stop here; therefore, you will have to become familiar with public transportation.
2. Aventine Hill
If Italy is well-known as a romantic spot, Aventine Hill is the place to fall in love. With its elegant Art Noveau Villas and set over a towering location, Aventine Hill is a preferred place by honeymooners or couples. You will not find much aside from the tourist path, and the area is not filled with hotels and tourists, which is precisely why it gives the sense of intimacy and exclusivity. Aventine it filled with important and beautiful monasteries and churches that few lucky tourists venture into. To catch a magnificent view of St. Peter’s Basilica go to Villa del Priorato di Malta. If you are ready for some serious sunset-watching with your loved one, do not miss it from the Orange Garden. (Giardino Degli Aranci). Aventine Hill is a place with great view spots, quiet and quite contrasting with –usually buzzing –Rome. Our recommendation for staying here? The Hotel Sant Anselmo sits across from the Basilica with the same name.
3. Centro Storico or historical Center
Any tour guide will advise you to stay here if this is your first time in Rome. It is the ultimate place to be to take part in the city action; like the heart of Rome itself. There are many advantages to staying here; first, the area can be easily walked. If you walk five minutes you will find yourself in front of the famous Trevi Fountain; if you walk the same amount on the opposite direction Campo dei’ Fiori will be waiting for you. Piazza Navona and the Pantheon are also a few steps ahead. And so many other attractions you will be tempted not to leave the cultural soul of Rome –which you shouldn’t do! There is so much else to see and explore! The beautiful, iconic district –depicted in many movies –is like a maze of cobblestone lanes and endless quaint piazzas. There is also plenty of shopping in this area, from fashionable boutiques to quirky shops to get souvenirs and cafes. Of course, there’s a full offer of pizzerias, trattorias, and restaurants to delight the strictest palate. The only drawback of staying here is that it is by far, not the cheapest choice, but its convenience makes it worth it.
4. Ancient Rome
Undoubtedly the best area for sightseeing is Ancient Rome and its surroundings. It encompasses three main areas: the Vatican, a top-tier spot for worshipers or otherwise, with the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica on the one hand and the Vatican Museums on the other. The Vatican is home for Michael Angelo’s most sublime work: the Sistine Chapel. The second area includes the Colosseum, which is Rome’s most famous historical ruins. The third area would be the Historical Center, which we described above. Ancient Rome offers more than just invaluable art and a torrent of culture. A quick hop away, Monti is a preferred spot for a laid-back crowd, looking to relax and partake on Rome’s boho vibe. While Ancient Rome has a thin selection of places to eat, Monti has plenty of excellent restaurants, fashionable bars, and hip boutiques. Via Leonina, Via Urbana and Pazzza Madonna Dei Monti are all in the must-visit list.
As is the name was trying to hint something if one of your main objectives is to taste and relish authentic Italian food. Filled with pizzerias, trattorias, and restaurants, Testaccio is an excellent choice to stay. Also known for harboring some of the fines Jewish restaurants –developed initially by cooks constricted to Rome’s ghettos. Good options at affordable prices, hardly anything to object here! Testaccio has been relegated out of the tourist radar, it was, after all a grungy industrial area. However, the whole place has revamped and keeps on the rise. If you wish to experience the “new” feeling of Rome, the upgraded local market, and some other exciting things to see, this is your spot. The area’s local discos and bars also attract crowds over the weekends mostly, although, it does not offer many accommodation options. Since it only has one hotel, you can check the many Arbn options to stay in this area. Another advantage of staying here is that the place has excellent transportation options, and you will not struggle to move out or in the district.
If the budget is one of your primary concerns, Esquilino is an excellent choice. Some people call it a melting pot of diversity, where modernism and the classic, ancient glamour of Rome collide. You will find every cuisine in the world here; since Esqulino is not very large, it is often overlooked by the crowds. In other words: it is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Honoring its essence, the area is saturated of backpacker hostels and inexpensive hotels for travelers who visit with a tight budget. To get to the city center, you only need to walk for a little while!
Here’s a quick summary that will help you make the decision.
Where to stay in Rome if:
- You are traveling with your family: Monti
- You are visiting Rome for the very first time: Centro Storico
- Your primary focus is to experience Rome’s nightlife: Trastevere
- You are on your honeymoon or coming with your wife: Aventine
- You are traveling on a reduced budget: Esquilino
- You want to taste the best Italian food: Testaccio.
It is hard not to fall in love with this majestic, ancient city. No wonder it welcomes over 4.2 million tourists every year, it is Italy’s biggest city –and the capital – and one of the most popular cities in Europe for vacation.
“The Eternal City,” “The City of Love” and other terms have been coined to Rome, a place where only a few steps are needed to stumble upon the next artsy boutique, the next majestic church, the next epic ancient ruin. What is not to love about a place that offers: unique sightseeing, world-class food (pizza, pasta, and gelato!), great nightlife, and the ultimate Italian experience?