The Centro Storico, or ‘historic centre’, is the best area to stay in Rome thanks to its wealth of sights; after all, this is where many tourists focus their attention on while in Rome, and for good reason. Choose from hotels that are perfectly positioned or tucked away from the main sights, or opt for family-run hotels with elegant furnishings. If you can prise yourself away from your room, you’ll be spoilt for choice with where to start. There’s no such thing as getting lost, as every corner you turn, there’s something to see: the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Museo di Roma are all must-visits.
There’s more of a laidback, everyday scene to be had in the Campo de’ Fiori area of Rome. South of the Centro Storico, you can wiggle your way down the narrow streets which lead onto little piazzas, and buy fresh fruit and veg from the local stalls on the main square. Slightly further east is the Ghetto, another historic neighbourhood that is a pretty lively scene with the locals; while you’re here, check out the huge Synagogue, classical Isola Tiberina bridge and Roman temple remains in Piazza Bocca della Verita. There’s plenty of places to stay in this area, with hotels located on quiet side streets, above ancient theatres and close to transport hubs.
North of the city centre lies the Tridente, which traditionally was the artistic quarter of Rome. You can embrace its creative heritage at the likes of Palazzo Barberini with its displays of some of Rome’s best art. There’s also the Galleria Doria Pamphilj with its divine Renaissance art collections that cover seemingly every last inch of wall space. And, of course, you’re in the territory of two of Rome’s top highlights, in the forms of the iconic Spanish Steps and the monumental Trevi Fountain. Not sure where to stay in the area? There are more than enough options located off the piazzas, offering understated charm, Italian flairs and sophisticated bolt holes.
With affordable accommodation, Monti is the best area to stay in Rome on a budget (plus it’s close to the Termini station). There’s plenty of decent, intriguing historic sites here, such as the Domus Aurea, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme and Santa Maria Degli Angeli, but it’s not all about the sights, either. Browse homeware knick-knacks before stopping for a scoop of ice cream, and wind down the evening at budget-friendly pizzerias or opt for old-school classics; pretty much most of the shops, cafes and restaurants here are very good value for money.
Those looking for a spot of peace and quiet should base themselves at Celian Hill. Although it’s situated just behind the Colosseum, it’s the most southern hill in Rome, with a cluster of beautiful churches and a sprawling park to enjoy. Villa Celimontana spans most of the area; not only can you tuck into a picnic here, but you can listen to one of the regular jazz concerts held outside or even go for a pony ride. Mooch around the 6th-century Santa Maria in Domnica with its 9th-century mosaic, Santi Giovanni e Paolo with its colourful campanile and San Gregario Magno with its decorative floor. The hotels here are some of the most peaceful spots that Rome has to offer, making a stay here feel like you’re in your own Roman haven!