Whether you want history, tranquillity or the full shopping experience, this guide on where to stay in Rome will help you find the right Rome hotel to book.
East of the River Tiber, Rome's historic centre is a compact enclave of Renaissance palaces, churches and museums. Café-lined squares like the oval-shaped Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori market square are a short walk from the river, and the domed Roman Pantheon is a little further east. Photogenic fountains are a feature of this popular area full of hotels: one of the most charming is the Tortoise Fountain, south of the Pantheon, while the world-famous Trevi Fountain lies to the east. Cobbled streets stretch north from the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps leading up to the Pincio Hill.
The elegant Via Veneto winds north-east from Piazza Barberini to the old city walls, separating this part of the city from the Borghese Gardens. The famous street remains an enduring symbol of Rome's café-society dolce vita (good life), lined with exclusive Rome hotels and restaurants. Via Sistina leads north-west from Piazza Barberini to the Spanish Steps, where Prada, Gucci, Armani and other designer boutiques make Via dei Condotti a magnet for style-conscious customers and window-shoppers.
The cavernous Central Station is east of the historic centre, several streets south from the Via Veneto. It's a popular choice for reasonably priced central Rome hotels and traditional trattoria restaurants, with direct train links to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport. Easy-to-navigate straight roads like Via Nazionale and Via Cavour run south to the Colosseum area, passing the ruined remains of the Baths of Diocletian and magnificent Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica.
Directly south of the centre, the city's most famous cluster of ancient ruins and monuments is a romantic choice when deciding where to stay in Rome. The Colosseum and Arch of Constantine monument guard the eastern edge of the Roman Forum, with its fallen pillars and temples, and Michelangelo's Campidoglio Square caps the Capitoline Hill to the west. The remains of the Circus Maximus run along the Forum's south-western edge towards the River Tiber. The ruins of four other imperial forums -- Trajan, Augustus, Nerva and Caesar -- are separated from the Roman Forum by Mussolini's Via dei Fori Imperiali.
On the River Tiber's western bank, the streets surrounding the walled Vatican City are a tranquil choice when deciding where to stay in Rome. West of the Vatican, Aurelio is a quiet residential area with good-quality hotels, leafy streets and neighbourhood shops. It's an ideal base if you want to get into the Vatican museums early and avoid the legendary queues.
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