ROME - NEIGHBORHOODS
Ancient Rome (Historic District)
For those who want to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of ancient Rome, or those looking for romance. Because of its ancient streets, airy piazzas, classical atmosphere, and heartland location, this is a good place to stay. If you base yourself here, you can walk to the monuments and avoid the hassle of Rome's inadequate public transportation. This district is a maze of narrow streets and alleys dating from the Middle Ages. It is filled with churches and palaces built during the Renaissance and baroque eras, often with rare marble and other materials stripped from ancient Rome. Its heart is Piazza Navona, built over Emperor Domitian's stadium and bustling with sidewalk cafes, palazzi, street artists, musicians, and pickpockets. You're within walking distance of the Vatican and classical ruins, as well as many bars and cafes.
Via Veneto - Spanish Steps - Trevi Fountain
This is Rome at its most upscale, with luxury hotels, designer boutiques, and high end restaurants.
Via Veneto and Piazza Barberini are a beautiful and upscale commercial section, near some of Rome's best shopping, and the site of luxury hotels and elegant cafes and restaurants. The Spanish Steps have been a meeting place for visitors since the 17th century. Some of Rome's most high end shopping streets, including Via Condotti, fan out from here. The elegant Hassler, lies at the top of the steps. This is a great place to stay if you're a serious shopper.
The Vatican and Trastevere
Across the Tiber, Vatican City offers the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's, and the Vatican Gardens. The neighborhood around the Vatican called 'Borgo' contains some good hotels, but is far from ancient and Renaissance Rome, and getting to and from it can be time consuming. The area is rather dull at night and contains few, if any, of Rome's finest restaurants. But if the main purpose of your visit centers on the Vatican, you'll be fine here, and you'll be joined by thousands of other pilgrims, nuns, and priests.
Close to the Vatican, Trastevere is becoming more popular as an up-and-coming neighborhood where you can experience a true slice of Roman life. This once medieval, working-class district has been gentrified and overrun with visitors from all over the world. It offers dance clubs, offbeat shops, sidewalk vendors, pubs, and little trattorie with menus printed in English.
Parioli is Rome's most elegant residential section; it is framed by the green spaces of the Villa Borghese to the south and the Villa Glori and Villa Ada to the north. It's a setting for some of the city's finest restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs. It's not exactly central, however, and it can be a hassle if you're dependent on public transportation.
Termini and Santa Maria Maggiore
The main train station, Stazione Termini, adjoins Piazza della Repubblica. This is not the most charming location, and parts of the neighborhood are still transitional and edgy, but it has been improving. If you stay here, you might not get a lot of atmosphere, but you'll have a lot of affordable options and a very convenient location, near the transportation hub of the city and not too far from ancient Rome. There's a lot to see here, including the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Baths of Diocletian.