where to stay in Rome guide
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10 Great Neighborhoods To Stay in Rome (+ Skip These Others)

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When planning your first visit to Rome your main focus is likely finding a good base that’s close to the city center and within budget.

That’s the same for anyone else who has never been to this city before. 

Unless you have someone who can point you in the right direction, you’ll have to walk through the various neighborhoods of Rome before you fall in love with specific areas, so much so that you’ll want to stay there on your next visit.

That in itself is beautiful, and it’s something I suggest doing if you have the extra time during your visit to the Italian capital.

However, if you are here it’s because you want someone to point you in the right direction. That’s exactly what I am here to do. Keep reading this Where To Stay In Rome Guide.

In this post, I will show you different areas of Rome worth staying in (a mix of neighborhoods and rioni), share pictures and notes about each one, and tell you my favorites.



How is Rome Divided

Before sharing the top neighborhoods and places to stay in Rome, it’s best if I help you understand how Rome is divided. 

Rome includes 288 neighborhoods. One of those is Centro Storico, the central historic part of the eternal city. The latter is subdivided into 22 areas, called Rioni.

Rome is also divided into so-called “municipi” which are administrative divisions of the territory, suburbs (“suburbi” – areas outside the neighborhoods), and areas (“zone) in Agro Romano.

That’s all you need to know about them since you’ll likely be focusing your attention and time on Rome’s Centre and surrounding neighborhoods.

Should you want to learn more about that, here’s a great Italian resource – • Suddivisioni di Roma.

Rome neighborhoods
Rome neighborhoods map – Centro Storico



Centro Storico Areas

As I mentioned earlier, Rome’s center is divided into 22 Rioni or areas. When you are there, you’ll get to walk through many of these and put a picture of their names. For now let me just give you the list:

In a minute, I will be sharing which ones of the above I suggest staying in and why.



Neighborhoods In Rome Other Than Centro Storico

Centro Storico, the most central part of Rome, is by far the best area to stay in Rome. However, if you find its accommodation prices too high or can’t find anything you like (which is what happened to me), you can venture out of the center and choose a nearby neighborhood.


35 neighborhoods in Rome surround Centro Storico beyond the Aurelian Walls. Here is the list with their names:



where to stay in rome - 10 best neighborhoods
Best Rome neighborhoods

10 Best Areas to Stay In Rome For The First Time

Now that you know how Rome is divided, both inside the center and the surrounding neighborhoods, I can start listing the best areas you should consider staying in. I will divide them into two – those located in the center, and those just outside it.


Inside Centro Storico

  1. Prati
  2. Vatican (quiet, elegant, close to attractions, and affordable)
  3. Trastevere (for food & late nights)
  4. Campo Marzio (especially near Ponte Cavour, Lungotevere and Bulgari Luxury Hotel > quiet, elegant but central)
  5. Piazza di Spagna (Rione Colonna)
  6. Regola
  7. Sant Eustachio (Torre Argentina area)
  8. Parione
  9. Monti (closer to Termini)


Outside Centro Storico

Della Vittoria (less expensive)

I have also heard good things about Flaminio and Trieste neighborhoods but I haven’t explored them. 



Where To Stay In Rome On A Low Budget?

Della Vittoria is the neighborhood I chose for my last stay in Rome. In all fairness, I thought I was staying in Prati because that’s how the accommodation was advertised, but when I looked on Google Maps after booking it, it showed it was actually in the nearby neighborhood of Della Vittoria.

I was initially disappointed since it wasn’t the neighborhood I thought I had booked, plus it was 20 minute walk further out from the center of Rome. However, we ended up loving this neighborhood.

Why did I choose this area of Rome?

As I mentioned I had chosen Prati but ended up in Della Vittoria. The reason for choosing this particular accommodation was that it was much more affordable, and since I left it till the last minute to book it was the only good and available option.


How is Della Vittoria Neighborhood?

The moment we arrived we fell in love with the neighborhood and our building – an old elegant building with a red-carpeted entrance, two 100-year-old elevators, and a concierge.

Our only worry was that it was going to be too far to walk since we usually prefer walking everywhere.

We solved that issue by taking the bus to the center and back and then walking the rest of the day. We also walked once into the center from our apartment and it was fine, but not something to be done twice a day. 

We appreciated how elegant and quiet the neighborhood was, but definitely not dead and boring. Although mostly a residential area, it was still lively, especially at the weekend, and near piazzas.

This neighborhood has some great restaurants and cafes we want to go back to, even if we stay in another part of Rome. And there were tobacco shops for bus tickets and supermarkets.


Where to Eat in Della Vittoria Rome

Dolcemascolo Cafe

Caffe Sciascia Piazza Mazzini

Pizza e Bolle S. Isidoro


Walking time from Main Attractions

Vatican – 43 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 30 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 44 mins walk

Pantheon – 40 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 35 mins walk

Colosseum – 1 hr walk



Prati: Best Neighborhood For Mid-Budget

This is the neighborhood I thought I was staying in, as I explained earlier. We did get to walk once through its streets and I think it’s a lovely neighborhood to stay in.

It’s the outer rione (areas of the historic center), in fact, it’s the number XXII.

Yet, it’s still relatively close to the top attractions, especially the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo.


Overall Impressions

It’s another very elegant neighborhood that’s slightly livelier than the one we stayed in, but still quiet at night.

The architecture is gorgeous and there are great food spots which I suggest trying.


Places to Eat in Prati

Pinsa’n Po (read my review)

Maritozzo Rosso (read my review)


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican – 30 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 15 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 30 mins walk

Pantheon – 25 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 25 mins walk

Colosseum – 49 mins walk




Vatican Neighborhood (Elegant & Central)

When I was looking for accommodation in Rome I came across different offerings, but I wasn’t sure whether this would be a good area to stay in. After exploring it, I can confirm this is a lovely area.

Firstly, you would be staying near the Vatican. You could walk into the Vatican every day and night, and be the first to enter St. Peter’s Basilica when it opens at 7 am.

Other than that, there are some lovely restaurants and cafes, and it’s also close to areas like Prati, Sant’Angelo Bridge & castle, and the River Tiber. 


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 5 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 20 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 40 mins walk

Pantheon – 30 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 40 mins walk

Colosseum – 1 hr walk



Should You Stay In Trastevere?

While Trastevere is a lovely area of Rome, one that everyone should definitely explore and dine in, I wouldn’t personally consider staying there. That’s because its center is full of restaurants and bars, so I am sure it gets very loud at night.

The reviews of all the accommodation I found in the neighborhood were complaining about the noise, but one should expect it if staying in that area.

If you, like me, want peace and quiet, you can enjoy visiting it, but avoid staying in this part of the city.

If, on the other hand, you like that busy lively aspect, and want to stay somewhere you can quickly reach after dining and drinking, then consider staying here.

Of course, Trastevere has less noisy areas, especially the main street on the modern side, but I personally didn’t like the way the area looked and felt. Let me just say, I wouldn’t feel safe at night there; plus there are more beautiful parts of Rome.


Where to Eat in Trastevere

If you are staying in Trastevere, chances are food is a big part of the reason behind it. If so, you must read my Trastevere Food Guide. Of course, you’ll find it useful even if you are just visiting this area of Rome.


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 40 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 35 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 35 mins walk

Pantheon – 25 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 40 mins walk

Colosseum – 40 mins walk



where to stay in Rome - near Ponte Cavour

Campo Marzio (My Favorite)

I fell in love with the area around the Ponte Cavour bridge. It’s close to the Pantheon, Piazza di Spagna, and Piazza Navona, but it’s not the busiest of areas.

It’s also near the Prati neighborhood and most importantly it’s close to the river.

I liked the grand European architecture of the buildings along Lungotevere Marzio. So this is definitely an area I would look into staying in next time I go to Rome.


Where to Stay in Campo Marzio?

If you want to splurge, consider staying at the Bulgari Hotel.


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 40 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 17 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 10 mins walk

Pantheon – 7 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 7 mins walk

Colosseum – 30 mins walk



Piazza di Spagna (Best Luxury Area in Rome)

This is one of the best areas to stay in Rome for shopping and eating great food if you can afford it.

It’s also one of the most elegant and beautiful neighborhoods in Rome. Imagine waking up and opening up your window overlooking one of these stunning streets. You could walk to Piazza di Spagna before breakfast daily.

I will definitely look into what accommodation is available, but I am pretty sure the prices are going to be astronomically high.

It’s also close to other central attractions like the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain.


Breakfast in Piazza di Spagna

Consider experiencing Antico Caffe Greco, but read the review first (it’s really important!).


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 40 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 20 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 10 mins walk

Pantheon – 15 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 5 mins walk

Colosseum – 30 mins walk




Regola Rome neighborhood

Regola

The next three neighborhoods are all close to each other and they are very central. They also feel very Roman and have those authentic cobbled streets we all love.

What I love about Regola is that it’s located along the river, on the other side of Trastevere. Yet, it’s not as noisy as that area of Rome.

It’s also a perfect base for a shopping and foodie weekend. And my favorite cafe in Rome is located here. Read this Breakfast In Rome article to find out which cafe I am referring to.


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 30 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 15 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 20 mins walk

Pantheon – 10 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 25 mins walk

Colosseum – 30 mins walk




Sant Eustachio Rome

Sant’ Eustachio (Central & Quaint)

While I didn’t explore Sant’Eustachio long enough, I can say it’s very quaint and charming, with small streets and piazzas, including Sant’Eustachio square.

It’s also very central and close to attractions, and just a few steps away from great cafes and restaurants.

This one too makes a great base for both sightseeing and shopping in Rome.


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 30 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 15 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 10 mins walk

Pantheon – 5 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 15 mins walk

Colosseum – 30 mins walk




Parione (Heart of Rome)

This neighborhood is full of attractions, including the famous Piazza Navona. It’s also close to popular spots like the Pantheon and Piazza di Spagna. It’s also a great area if you want to be near the Colosseum and Ancient Rome ruins. So if you want to be truly in the center, see what accommodation you can find in this neighborhood.

I can imagine the prices are going to be high, but maybe not as high as Piazza di Spagna.


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 30 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 10 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 15 mins walk

Pantheon – 10 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 5 mins walk

Colosseum – 30 mins walk




Monti Neighborhood Rome (Close To Rome Station)

This is another neighborhood I briefly explored after visiting the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. 

It’s a nice neighborhood but didn’t wow me. I also think it’s not as close to the main attractions, other than the Basilica and the Colosseum, as the ones I just listed. So if you are going to stay in the center, I would suggest the other ones.

However, it made it onto this list because it’s a safe neighborhood that’s also close to Rome’s Central Station, Stazione Termini.

If you plan to use Rome as your base and take many day trips to other Italian cities, you will appreciate being able to walk to the station and back, rather than taking a taxi every time like we did (we did that for our Gaeta Day Trip).


Distance from Main Attractions

Vatican City – 20 mins walk

Castel Sant’Angelo – 40 mins walk

Trevi Fountain – 20 mins walk

Pantheon – 25 mins walk

Piazza di Spagna – 25 mins walk

Colosseum – 10 mins walk

Stazione Termini – 15 mins walk



Avoid These Areas In Rome

Since Rome is a big city, you might be worried about it not being safe. It happened to me too before my last visit. However, I can assure you that if you choose a good area to stay in, and you are just as cautious as you would in any other new place you don’t know, you’ll be fine.

Just avoid staying out at night too long, especially in less crowded areas. Always be mindful of your belongings and your surroundings.


Here are the areas of Rome to avoid:

Esquilino

San Basilio

Corviale

Centocelle

All Torre & Tor Areas

Those are known as drug dealing & clan hanging areas. 

You should also be careful around the stations at all hours, including the main one – Roma Termini. Just pay extra attention!




Final Thoughts & More Resources

Choosing the right neighborhood is always an important part of planning a trip, and that’s the same when it comes to Rome. It’s especially important to keep in mind which areas to avoid, and which areas are best for different activities.

There are foodie-focused areas like Trastevere, very central ones like Parione and Piazza di Spagna, and more logistically wise ones like Monti. 

Only you can say which one is right for you. Consider your needs and budget, and then think about what you like to do the most. Also, plan your itinerary and calculate the distance for each day.

If you want one that’s done for you, check out this 5-Day Rome Itinerary.

And if you are curious, these are my favorite neighborhoods in Rome. I will be looking into staying in one of these, next time I visit: Campo Marzio, Prati, and Piazza di Spagna.

Check out this article next – How Many Days Should You Stay in Rome?


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