Where to Stay in Rome for First Time Travellers

Are you planning a trip to the Eternal City and wondering about the best areas to stay in Rome? Look no further; we've got you covered.

Find the best place to stay for your trip to Rome

Trastevere: The Bohemian Heart of Rome

Trastevere is one of the picturesque areas to stay in Rome situated on the west bank of the Tiber River. Known for its narrow, winding streets and vibrant atmosphere, it’s a haven for artists, musicians, and romantics. Stroll along the cobblestone streets, visit the Basilica of Santa Maria, and savour traditional Roman dishes in cosy trattorias.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Don’t miss trying the mouthwatering “Cacio e Pepe” at the iconic Da Enzo al 29. It’s a classic Roman pasta dish featuring cheese and pepper. For dessert, indulge in the heavenly tiramisu, prepared with a secret family recipe.

Local Gem that you should check:  Explore the charming Villa Farnesina, an exquisite Renaissance villa adorned with frescoes by Raphael and other famous artists. Marvel at the intricate details of the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche, a masterpiece of Renaissance artistry.

Campo de’ Fiori: The Market Square

Just a short walk from Trastevere lies Campo de’ Fiori, a bustling square that transforms into a lively market during the day. It’s the perfect place to experience the essence of Roman life. Try fresh produce, local cheeses, and exquisite wines. In the evening, the square comes alive with vibrant bars and restaurants.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Head to Roscioli, a renowned bakery and restaurant, for their delectable Roman-style pizza and a wide selection of cured meats and cheeses.

According to locals, pairing your meal with a glass of locally produced Frascati wine is a must-do while in Rome!

Local Gem that you should check:  Visit the statue of Giordano Bruno, the philosopher, and martyr, which stands in the centre of the square, a symbol of freedom of thought. Climb the steps of the statue’s monument for panoramic views of the lively square and surrounding historic buildings.

Monti: The Boho-Chic District

Nestled between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Monti is a hip and trendy neighbourhood. Its narrow streets are lined with boutiques, art galleries, and vintage shops. After a day of shopping, relax in one of the charming cafes or wine bars. Don’t forget to visit the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, home to Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Enjoy a traditional Roman-Jewish meal at Ristorante da Giggetto, famous for its fried artichokes and delicious pasta dishes. Be sure to try the “carciofi alla giudia”, crispy deep-fried artichokes, a local specialty.

Local Gem that you should check:  Explore the ancient Trajan’s Forum and Market, an archaeological wonder, and the beautiful Trajan’s Column that narrates the story of Emperor Trajan’s victory in Dacia. Take a moment to reflect on the intricate bas-reliefs that adorn the column, illustrating ancient Roman life and battles.

Testaccio: The Culinary Hub

For food lovers, Testaccio is a must-visit neighbourhood. Known as the heart of Roman cuisine, it offers an array of authentic trattorias and local markets. Sample Roman classics like cacio e pepe and tripe while sipping on wine from nearby vineyards.

Make sure to stop by the MACRO Testaccio, it’s a contemporary art museum, which will add a modern twist to your trip in Rome’s culinary haven.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Sample the Roman specialty “Soffritto” at Flavio al Velavevodetto, a cosy restaurant located in the shadow of Monte Testaccio. Complement your meal with a glass of bold and earthy Cesanese del Piglio wine, a regional favourite.

Local Gem that you should check:  Discover the ancient Monte Testaccio itself, an artificial hill made of broken amphorae, which offers a unique glimpse into Roman history. Explore its pathways, and imagine the bustling port activities that once surrounded this remarkable archaeological site.

Aventino: The Quiet Oasis

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city in Aventino, a tranquil neighbourhood with lush gardens and stunning views of Rome. Explore the peaceful Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci) and the charming Rose Garden (Roseto Comunale). Aventino is also home to the famous Keyhole of Rome, offering a unique perspective of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Savour a romantic dinner at the renowned Aventino Restaurant, known for its panoramic views and delectable Mediterranean cuisine.

You must try the “Filetto di Baccalà,” a tender codfish fillet, or the “Cacio e Pere,” a delightful pear and pecorino cheese pairing. A recommended dish by the locals!

Local Gem that you should check:  Visit the Garden of the Oranges (Giardino degli Aranci) during sunset for a breathtaking view of the cityscape, including the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Afterward, explore the nearby Basilica of Santa Sabina, one of Rome’s oldest Christian churches, with its beautifully preserved fifth-century interior.

Pigneto: The Hipster Hideaway

Pigneto has emerged as Rome’s hipster haven, characterised by its colourful street art and eclectic vibe. This offbeat neighbourhood is filled with trendy bars, vegetarian restaurants, and live music venues. Embrace the alternative scene and discover the city’s underground culture.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Try some gourmet street food at ‘O ver, where you can enjoy Neapolitan-style pizza with creative toppings in a chic atmosphere. Pair your pizza with a craft beer or a cocktail from their innovative menu.

Local Gem that you should check:  Explore the street art scene in Pigneto, known for its vibrant murals and graffiti, offering a unique perspective on Rome’s artistic culture. Wander through the neighbourhood’s streets, where every corner seems to hide a piece of urban art waiting to be discovered.

Vatican City: The Holy Enclave

No visit to Rome is complete without exploring Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world. Marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica, climb the dome for panoramic views, and visit the Vatican Museums to witness iconic artworks like the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo.

Insider’s Culinary Tip:  Indulge in a memorable meal at La Pergola, the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome, located in the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria. Experience a gastronomic journey through exquisite Italian and Mediterranean cuisine while enjoying breathtaking views of the city.

Local Gem that you should check:  Don’t forget to climb to the top of St. Peter’s Dome for awe-inspiring views of Vatican City and Rome. Inside the Vatican Museums, explore the lesser-known treasures, such as the Hall of Maps and the Gallery of Candelabras, in addition to the renowned Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms.

Rome’s neighbourhoods offer a captivating blend of history, culture, and contemporary life. Whether you’re wandering through the narrow streets of Trastevere, savouring the flavours of Testaccio, or exploring the art scene in Monti, each neighbourhood provides a unique perspective on the Eternal City. So, take your time, immerse yourself in the local culture, and let Rome’s diverse neighbourhoods enchant you on your next visit to this magnificent city. Enjoy the culinary delights and cultural wonders that the Eternal City has to offer!

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