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- #1View all PhotosRome1.4 miles to city center#1 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (212)Free WiFiRead More
Since opening its doors in 1889, Hotel Eden has served as a temporary home in central Rome for everyone from foreign aristocrats to renowned celebrities to typical tourists. Recent visitors said that this incredibly luxurious (and expensive) property practically exudes elegance thanks to its 17-month renovation, which was finished in 2017. The hotel's lobby (where the classy La Libreria bar is located) features marble floors, high-end furniture and an abundance of gold accents. Its 98 rooms and suites offer a similarly neutral but sophisticated aesthetic. All of the accommodations include artwork, complimentary Wi-Fi access, Nespresso coffee makers and flat-screen TVs. Plus, butler service is available upon request. Standard bathrooms are covered in marble, mirrors and gold, and guests can expect to find luxury amenities like Italian Bottega Veneta toiletries. After settling into their lodgings, visitors can enjoy gourmet meals and panoramic views at La Terrazza, Hotel Eden's top floor restaurant. For a more relaxed vibe, Il Giardino Ristorante & Bar has both classic Italian fare and healthier menu options. Despite its opulent design, stellar location and high-class restaurants, previous guests were most impressed with Hotel Eden's exceptional employees and service.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #2View all PhotosRome1.7 miles to city center#2 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (540)Free WiFiRead More
Located in the heart of Rome's fashion district, J.K. Place Roma is filled with designer furniture, rugs and lighting by Michele Bönan. Notable artwork hangs from the walls and royal blue velvet sofas complement the ultramodern yet elegant vibe. The hotel has 30 rooms and suites, the most basic of which feature LED TVs, gilded mirrors, free Wi-Fi access, complimentary minibars and balconies with Eternal City views. Master Rooms include hardwood floors, rosewood canopy beds, Italian marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. Nestled on top of the hotel is the J.K.Cafe, a venue that houses a lounge, bar and restaurant. Recent visitors said the bountiful breakfast served inside is a treat, and many diners appreciated that the chefs had options to satisfy vegan and gluten-free diets as well. The Italian restaurant is also open for brunch, lunch and dinner. Another highlight worth noting is the personalized service; past guests said they had never stayed at a hotel with such friendly helpful staff members. The one downside to this property is the steep cost, though travelers point out that prior stays here were more than worth the price and recommend saving up to splurge on a suite. And as a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this property participates in the Leaders Club rewards program.
- #3View all PhotosRome1.5 miles to city center#3 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1215)Free WiFiRead More
Situated at the top of the Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome's historic downtown, Hassler Roma offers visitors prime access to the Trevi Fountain and a variety of shops and restaurants. You can also reach other attractions like the Colosseum and Santa Maria della Vittoria by taking the metro from Spagna station, which sits about a block away. But this property offers more than just a central location: Past guests praised the hotel's top-notch service and delectable breakfast buffet. However, while visitors said they found their accommodations to be comfortable and beautifully decorated, many noted that the standard room size is small for the price paid. Regardless of whether you choose a classically decorated room or a recently refurbished suite, you'll find marble bathrooms and in-room amenities like minibars and free Wi-Fi. The property is also home to a spa, a hair salon, two bars and three restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Imàgo, which offers panoramic views from the sixth floor. If you time your visit between October and April, consider grabbing a drink at the wood-centric Hassler Bar – a recommendation from recent guests. When Hassler Bar is not open, sip on a cocktail in the outdoor Palm Court. Part of The Leading Hotels of the World, the property participates in the Leaders Club loyalty program.
- #4View all PhotosRome1.9 miles to city center#4 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1560)Free WiFiRead More
For superb service and elegant yet comfortable accommodations, visitors suggest staying at Hotel de Russie. Like other properties associated with the Rocco Forte Hotels brand, Rome's Hotel de Russie sits within a traditional building fitting of its locale. Classic Italian features like Carrara marble bathrooms with Roman-style mosaics can also be found in all of the hotel's 86 guest rooms and suites. But should you desire modern conveniences like iPod docking stations and coffee makers, the property will provide them upon request. According to past guests, standard rooms are a bit small, though space was not an issue for travelers staying in suites. And in upgraded suites, visitors will enjoy additional perks like one-way airport transfers in the property's Mercedes-Benz, personalized concierge services and complimentary breakfast for each day of your stay. After familiarizing yourself with your digs, enjoy a meal in the garden at Le Jardin de Russie (which diners note as worthwhile despite the occasionally slow service) before walking to nearby attractions like the Spanish Steps and the Galleria Borghese.
- #5View all PhotosRome3.6 miles to city center#5 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (6522)Free WiFiRead More
Carrying the Waldorf Astoria brand name, Rome Cavalieri lives up to expectations with its elegant accommodations and plentiful on-site amenities. Rooms here feature a warm golden and navy decor, work desks and marble bathrooms. Additionally, all rooms and suites feature private balconies, seating areas and views of the surrounding neighborhood or the city center. Outside of the property's accommodations, guests will find Rome's only three-star Michelin restaurant, La Pergola. Recent guests said their meals here were divine and highly recommend dinner at the rooftop restaurant one night. Rome Cavalieri also houses an additional restaurant and a few bars. Aside from eateries, the property features an extensive art collection, a top-notch spa, tennis courts and several pools. While recent travelers appreciated the amenities available, some were disappointed with the additional fees required at a hotel of this caliber. (Charges apply to use the pools and their lounge chairs, to access the spa and to play on the tennis courts.) You'll find this property nestled into a hilltop overlooking Rome, about 5 miles northwest of the city center; there is a seasonal shuttle that takes guests into town Monday through Saturday from April to October.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #6View all PhotosRome0.9 miles to city center#6 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (3295)Free WiFiRead More
Located in central Rome by Piazza della Repubblica, this luxury hotel is housed in a late 18th-century building near the former Baths of Diocletian and the Michelangelo-designed Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels. Inside, the hotel has two restaurants, multiple bars, an outdoor terrace and a swimming pool that overlook the city, as well as a business center, a full-service spa and 238 guest rooms and suites. All accommodations feature neoclassical interiors with mahogany, marble and hints of beige throughout, as well as amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and floor-to-ceiling windows. Select accommodations offer additional perks, such as separate showers and soaking tubs and lofts. Recent guests raved about the hospitable and attentive staff, beautiful decor, prime location and pool, though several remarked they found the pool to be on the smaller side. And because the property is part of the Marriott Bonvoy program, members can cash in points when staying here to reduce hotel expenses.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #7View all PhotosRome1 mile to city center#7 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (2174)Free WiFiRead More
Built as a grand palace in 1894, The St. Regis Rome is still filled with ornate treasures from its heyday. Some of the property's most exquisite original details include Murano glass light fixtures, a handcrafted stucco staircase and the famous Ritz Ballroom, which features Italian frescoes, chandeliers, gilded mirrors and candelabras. Superior Rooms offer wooden inlaid furniture, antiques acquired from state residences and velvet armchairs, while suites come with The St. Regis brand's legendary personal butler service – a hallmark of the brand since 1904. Outside of the property's accommodations, guests will find CÆLUM Lounge & Bar, an upscale restaurant and bar designed to match the hotel's Belle Époque period details that serves Mediterranean cuisine. The hotel also houses Di...Vino, a private wine cellar with over 500 labels in an alcove of the Baths of Diocletian. Recent guests appreciated the hotel's prime location near Rome's Piazza Della Repubblica and that Marriott Bonvoy members can earn and redeem points here.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #8View all PhotosRome1.9 miles to city center#8 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (962)Read More
Visitors say this hotel sets the bar extremely high thanks to its central location, convivial staff members and delightful rooftop lounge. The Acquaroof terrace provides sweeping views of Rome and welcomes guests for dining (lunch and dinner) and drinks. Other on-site eateries at this The First Hotel Roma include the Michelin-starred Acquolina, which dishes out gourmet seafood, and the Lounge Bar, which offers small bites and beverages. What's more, the hotel draws on its rich, cultural surroundings and displays more than 150 contemporary pieces of art. When it's time to rest, guests have their choice of rooms or suites, all of which include modern Italian artwork, LED TVs and marble bathrooms, and are outfitted with neutral decor and bold royal blue accents. Some accommodations offer terraces with a Jacuzzi and lounge chairs, while others may include a fireplace. You'll find The First Hotel Roma in central Rome, within walking distance of the Spanish Steps and several restaurants and boutiques.
- #9View all PhotosRome0.9 miles to city center#9 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (7608)Free WiFiRead More
Centrally located on Via Nazionale about a half-mile east of the Trevi Fountain, the Hotel Artemide acts as a good (and luxurious) home base for sightseeing in Rome. Recent guests said they were pleased with everything from the Italian fare at the Ambrosia Restaurant to the attentive staff to the comfortable accommodations. The guest rooms feature neutral tones and white linens, as well as flat-screen TVs, soundproof windows, work desks, complimentary Wi-Fi access and free minibars that are restocked daily (a traveler favorite). Guests can also enjoy the hotel's breakfast buffet, take advantage of the 24-hour fitness center or get treatments at the Artemís Spa, which previous visitors said offers services at affordable prices. Plus, the spa is equipped with a Turkish bath, a large whirlpool, a Finnish sauna, an ice room and complimentary bathrobes, towels and slippers for use. If the weather is nice, travelers can sip coffee, tea or cocktails on the hotel's terrace. According to recent guests, the only drawback to a stay here is that some rooms do not offer city views.
- #10View all PhotosRome1.3 miles to city center#10 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (981)Free WiFiRead More
Recent travelers say that the Baglioni Hotel Regina sits in a pretty sweet spot in Rome. From the hotel, Piazza di Spagna (home to the Spanish steps), Galleria Borghese, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon are all within a mile radius, making it easy to explore some of Rome's most stunning assets. Though the Baglioni is an eyeful in its own right: Guests found the hotel to be just beautiful, frequently complimenting the Old World decor that permeates the interiors, especially in the lobby (think cascading staircases, marble columns and tiered chandeliers). Rooms are a little more toned down though still elegant, equipped with modern amenities such as high-speed internet access and televisions. As for on-site facilities, the hotel has its own spa outfitted with a fitness center, beauty room, sauna, Jacuzzi and Turkish bath. There's also a full-service restaurant, the Brunello Bar and Restaurant, which serves dishes infused with Mediterranean flavors. While guests appreciated the extra amenities, the biggest standout for many was the hotel's top-notch service. Lodgers lauded the staff for their accommodating nature and overall friendliness and highlighted the concierge as being very helpful for navigating the city.
- #11View all PhotosRome2.4 miles to city center#11 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1670)Free WiFiRead More
Located less than a mile from the Vatican in the exclusive Villa Agrippina area, the Gran Melia Rome offers a relaxing retreat from the city, while still being within minutes of Rome's top attractions. The serene grounds feature gardens and a pool surrounded by daybeds; for even more relaxation, visitors can enjoy the on-site Spa My Blend by Clarins. Recent guests said the service here is unparalleled, as Melia is known for its glamorous red glove service (a glamourous twist on the traditional white glove service). From the moment you arrive, the red-dressed concierge will be able to help you with any task large or small. Guests also praise for the on-site restaurants, especially Viva Voce, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. Guests can also visit The Library, which serves tea and cocktails in what used to be a 19th century church. When you're ready to retire for the day, you'll find the rooms and suites decorated in a Spanish and Italian theme, with hardwood floors, tan and red decor, Nespresso coffee makers, Wi-Fi access, Clarins toiletries, minibars and flat-screen TVs. While some recent guests thought splurging for a Red Level room was worth it (these category accommodations come with butler service, a private lounge and other perks), others said they thought the room rates were a bit overpriced.
- #12View all PhotosRome1.8 miles to city center#12 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1582)Free WiFiRead More
If you're looking for romance in Rome, the Hotel Raphael is a great start. This Relais & Châteaux property is tucked away along a narrow, cobblestone alleyway just blocks from the enchanting Tiber River. Along with its close proximity to the river, the hotel's location puts guests a short walk from Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. The Hotel Raphaël also received praise from recent lodgers for its accommodations. Rooms are outfitted in rich color palettes, classic wood furnishings and Old World artwork, and equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi access. And with its various amenities inside and outside the rooms, indulgence is easier than ever. Whether it's with a late-night drink from the in-room minibars or with organic breakfast atop the flower-filled Bramante rooftop terrace. Visitors were unsurprisingly taken by every aspect of the hotel, but noted the Raphael's attentive staff helped make their stay in Rome a special one.
- #13View all PhotosRome1.2 miles to city center#13 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (269)Free WiFiRead More
Aleph Rome Hotel's central location in Rome makes it a popular option for sightseers. This Curio Collection outpost sits within walking distance of several can't-miss sights, including the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. For farther locales, visitors can rent a bike from the hotel or sign up for a sightseeing tour at the concierge desk. Back on the property, travelers can lounge by the rooftop pool or smoke cigars in the Cognac Lounge. When it's time to eat, guests can enjoy breakfast at the 1930s Restaurant; finger foods on the pool terrace or at ONYX Lobby Lounge; and contemporary Roman cuisine at the Sky Blu rooftop restaurant. All of the 88 guest rooms and suites boast neutral color palettes with modern perks, such as complimentary Wi-Fi access, Nespresso coffee makers, 55-inch HDTVs, walk-in showers and 24-hour room service. Plus, Hilton Honors members can earn or use points while staying here. Most travelers heaped praise on this hotel, citing its tasty breakfasts and top-notch customer service as highlights. However, a few lamented the lack of space in standard rooms.
- #14View all PhotosRome2.6 miles to city center#14 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (536)Read MoreYou won't have to go far from your Eternal City base camp at Residenza Paolo VI to see many of Rome's prominent attractions. The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel sit just a few minutes from the property's doorstep on St. Peter's Square. While travelers have the option to walk from Residenza Paolo VI to various city highlights, guests can also enjoy many of the sites from the comfort of this hotel. The Residenza Paolo VI's terrace offers views of St. Peter's Basilica and the Apostolic Palace, where guests can see the pope recite the Angelus prayer over crowded streets. Past visitors also enjoy the terrace for its drinks, which include tea, aperitifs, coffee and bar service, plus candlelit dinners. Guests recommend booking a spot in advance though, as the terrace gets crowded quickly. When it comes to accommodations, this boutique hotel's 35 comfortable bedrooms range from cozy rooms to more spacious junior suites. All rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi access and bottled mineral water, minifridges, flat-screen TVs and complimentary access to the breakfast buffet. What's more, for any assistance you may need, both inside the hotel and out, the staff members will be at your service.4.0-star Hotel Class
- #15View all PhotosRome1 mile to city center#15 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1692)Free WiFiRead More
Nestled in central Rome near famous landmarks like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Museums, it might not surprise you to learn that The Inn at the Roman Forum also houses Roman ruins within its walls. In fact, the hotel is home to a cryptoporticus, or stone gallery, with engravings that date back more than 2,000 years. You'd hardly be able to tell how old the building is, though, as rooms and common areas have been expertly renovated and restored. Guest rooms and suites have modern amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs and minibars. All accommodations boast designer marble bathrooms, some with Jacuzzi tubs, and a complimentary breakfast buffet is included in the room rate. Additionally, the property has a rooftop terrace that overlooks Rome's ancient sights and offers a variety of cocktails. Though recent guests appreciated the welcome platter of cold cuts and complimentary bottle of wine that were waiting for them upon arrival, several wished the hotel had a full-service restaurant.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #16View all PhotosRome1.6 miles to city center#16 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (84)Free WiFiRead More
This small boutique hotel looks out onto – you guessed it – Rome's infamous Spanish Steps. The chic accommodations here include marble bathrooms and free Wi-Fi access, while some rooms and suites include Jacuzzi bathtubs, balconies or terraces, kitchenettes and fireplaces. Keep in mind, some rooms are located in the main inn, while others are situated down the street in a separate building. Previous guests recommend requesting a room with a view of the Spanish Steps, saying the splurge is worth it. A stay here also comes with an afternoon snack buffet and a complimentary breakfast buffet, served daily on the rooftop terrace. There are limited hotel features on-site (no gym, restaurant, spa or pool, for example), but the hotel's location puts visitors among the designer shops in Rome and just a short walk from top attractions like the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona. Travelers also say the concierge is extremely helpful in suggesting dinner options and setting up reservations.
- #17View all PhotosRome0.8 miles to city center#17 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1372)Read MoreIn Rome's old-school Esquilino neighborhood, The Britannia Hotel is what many previous guests call a "little gem" in the heart of the city. The gracious staff will happily suggest scenic routes to the nearby Santa Maria della Vittoria church, Museo Nazionale Romano and the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Guests can also navigate to other sights via the Termini station of the Rome Metro, which sits half a mile from the property. Back at The Britannia Hotel, 33 rooms blend classic British style with modern elements and feature complimentary Wi-Fi access, kettles for hot drinks and flat-screen TVs. Past visitors said they appreciated the fresh morning breakfast spread, calling it a great way to start the day. The hotel's expert staff recommend indulging in the nearby Diana's Place Volturno for an unforgettable gastronomic experience, whether you opt for a quick lunch or romantic dinner. While recent guests enjoy the hotel atmosphere and friendly service, they recommend coming in the cooler months, as many experienced hot and stuffy accommodations during the summer.
- #18View all PhotosRome1.8 miles to city center#18 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1795)Read MorePast travelers rave about Hotel Ponte Sisto's rooftop views of Tiber River, along with the elegant breakfast served in the charming garden courtyard. The cobblestone streets surrounding the property lead guests to the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the ancient street of Via Giulia. The hotel is also a convenient walk from Campo de' Fiori, a square with many shops, restaurants, wine bars and pubs. Back at the hotel, guests have a variety of rooms to choose from, ranging from classic single rooms to a luxury suite with a private fitness studio inside. All accommodations come with flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access and cozy linens. Although some travelers say the mattresses could be a bit more comfortable, guests appreciate the reasonable price and overall quality of services here. When it's time for a drink, travelers can enjoy a glass of Italian red wine at the on-site Lounge Bar Nerone. Groups have the option of reserving a meal at the hotel's Restaurant "Il Gladiatore," while property's conference spaces can host up to 100 people.
- #19View all PhotosRome1.9 miles to city center#19 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1110)Read MoreBabuino 181 is a boutique hotel with rich-colored contemporary rooms, which past guests say offer maximum comfort. Each rooms and suite is equipped with a separate shower and bath, a Nespresso coffee machine, a flat-screen TV, 24-hour concierge service and complimentary Wi-Fi access. The range of digs accommodate different types of travelers, and connecting rooms are an option as well. Recent reviewers note that two buildings make up the hotel, and many advise booking accommodations in the main building (which guests say is better lit and closer to the hotel amenities) for the best experience. Outside the rooms, previous guests enjoyed the rooftop terrace, which offers a continental buffet breakfast and cocktails in the evening. When it comes to exploring the city, visitors say that their favorite places to see and eat were recommendations from the hotel reception staff. Between Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps, Babuino 181 is also a great starting spot for an easy, attraction-filled stroll. From the hotel, it's just a short walk to the Trevi Fountain and some of the city's best gelato shops. The property's sister hotel, Margutta 19, sits about one block away and houses the Roman cuisine restaurant Assaggia, which boasts a Michelin-starred chef. Members of the INVITED program or can earn or redeem reward nights by staying at either Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.
- #25View all PhotosRome1.3 miles to city center#25 in Best Hotels in RomeTripAdvisor (1240)Free WiFiRead More
Hotel Majestic Roma enjoys a prime location in central Rome, putting guests within walking distance of the Spanish Steps, Galleria Borghese and Villa Medici, among other Eternal City sights. Its location was one of the main selling points for travelers – that, coupled with the "efficient and helpful" hotel staff, are major reasons why recent visitors said they'd absolutely return to this hotel. The property's Majestic Ristorante Bistrot serves up traditional Italian fare for lunch and dinner and offers a daily breakfast buffet. Room service is also available 24 hours a day. Other hotel features include a small fitness room, a business center and a concierge who is able to assist with things like restaurant reservations and guided tours. As far as accommodations go, rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi access and spacious Calacatta Gold marble bathrooms. Some note that the standard rooms are on the smaller side and suggest upgrading to a suite for more space. Additional perks like private terraces and sundecks with sweeping city vistas are available as well in the Saint Isidoro and Via Veneto suites.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
Neighborhoods in Rome
With miles of winding streets, along or between the city's historic seven hills, Rome is a lot to maneuver almost any way you look at it. Understanding the Eternal City's layout can help you from becoming eternally lost.
Rome and all of its world-renowned attractions are split up by the Tiber River. West of the Tiber River is the center of Catholicism and the world's smallest country: The Vatican. Located east of the Tiber is many of Rome's most famous districts and attractions, including the ancient city.
Accessible via the Colosseo and Circo Massimo metro stops.
The crumbling yet still magnificent Ancient Rome is at the center of the city, in part of a larger area called the Centro Storico (or historic district). View the Colosseum, which centuries ago, would host spectator sports – think Russell Crowe in the film "Gladiator." Consequently, Romans donning gladiator costumes fill this area and will solicit many euros for a picture taken with them. Other attractions in the area include Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.
When you've finished touring the nearby Capitoline Museum (Musei Capitolini), make sure to check out the Michelangelo-designed Piazza del Campidoglio.
Accessible via the Barberini and Spagna metro stops.
North of Ancient Rome are the districts of Corso and Spagna, but more importantly, the home of the Trevi Fountain. Corso begins at the grand Vittoriano, or otherwise known as the Altar of the Fatherland. The grand structure is dedicated to Italy's first king, Victor Emmanuel II, but now houses the Museo Centrale del Risorgimento, which documents the history of Italian unification. Along with a healthy dose of Italian history, the Vittoriano has a lookout spot at the top, the Roma dal Cielo, providing panoramic views of the city.
Walk straight ahead through Plaza Venezia and travelers will reach one of Rome's most central streets: via del Corso. Along with various trattorias and shops, this street leads to the neighborhood's main attraction, and easily one of Rome's top sights: the Trevi Fountain. The fountain features breathtaking architecture, and was featured in Fellini's iconic film "La Dolce Vita," but it's most famous for its wish-making. To make a wish to return to Rome, toss a coin into the fountain over your left shoulder and with your right hand. Each year the city collects more than 1 million euros from the bottom of the Trevi, most of which is given to charity. An excellent gelato shop, the Gelateria San Crispino, backs onto the Piazza di Trevi, but beware, it is usually crowded.
Located north of the Trevi is Piazza di Spagna, known most for its 18th-century Spanish Steps, another iconic attraction in Rome. A great meeting place for Romans and visitors alike, the Spanish Steps are an excellent place to simply kick back, relax and watch the world go by, preferably with a coffee or gelato in hand. Below the steps is the beginning of a series of high-end designer stores, including Italy's very own Prada and Missoni.
Keep heading north and travelers will likely hit Villa Borghese. A sprawling park, Villa Borghese has three museums, as well as numerous beautiful fountains surrounded by winding footpaths.
Accessible via the Barberini metro stop.
Navona and Campo are located to the northwest of Ancient Rome and brim with ancient palaces, from Palazzo Altemps to Palazzo Farnese, as well as churches, including the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. The former pagan temple, otherwise known as the Pantheon, rises in this corner of Rome and even after hundreds of years, fits Lord Byron's description: "Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime."
Travel experts say the Piazza Navona – the baroque-style square, filled with fountains, sculptures and people enjoying gelatos or coffees at the numerous indoor and outdoor cafes – is a good place to rest after a hard day of sightseeing. Located south of Piazza Navona, the pedestrian square Campo de' Fiori is also a sight to see as it has two faces: vibrant market in the mornings and a youth-filled nightlife hangout in the evenings.
Accessible via the Repubblica metro stop.
The districts of Repubblica and Quirinale are located northeast of Ancient Rome, and only a few blocks from Rome's Termini train station. The area is devoid of attractions as renowned as the Trevi or Colosseum but the neighborhood contains many striking palazzos, piazzas and churches. One of the more famous churches, the Santa Maria della Vittoria, holds Bernini's famous Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.
A quick walk southwest and visitors can find one of Italy's most important residences. The Quirinal Palace is the official residence of the Italian president. The building originally acted as a summer home for popes, but was later turned over to Italy's kings. Now it belongs to the Italian state.
Located southeast of Ancient Rome along the low-lying slopes and valley of the Esquiline Hill, Esquilino and Celio are known for their dead. The Tomb of Cecilia Metella (Tomba di Cecilia Metella), the Catacombs of St. Callixtus (Catacombe di San Callisto) and the Catacombs of St. Sebastian (Catacombe di San Sebastiano) are all burial grounds located in these districts.
Trastevere is located west of the Tiber River and south of Vatican City, far enough from the hustle and bustle of central Rome, but still close enough not to be qualified as out of the way. Lined with cobblestone streets and flanked by colorful architecture throughout, the area features plenty more mom and pop restaurants and shops, making it easier to practice some Italian and eat a hearty plate of authentic pasta. Along with the general charm and respite from the crowds, Trastevere's main attraction is the Santa Maria in Trastevere, located in the Piazza di Santa Maria, which is also a hub for nightlife.
Accessible via the Ottaviano and Cipro metro stops.
Northwest of Ancient Rome and across the Tiber River sits the independent city-state of Vatican City, which provided inspiration for Dan Brown's bestsellers, "Angels & Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code." The pope's home, as well as the worldwide headquarters for the Catholic Church, Vatican City contains Basilica di San Pietro (St. Peter's Basilica), the famed Sistine Chapel (with Michelangelo's painted ceiling), and the extensive Vatican Museums, in which hangs Raphael's School of Athens, among other famous pieces. Bernini's Colonnade in St. Peter's Square provides a beautiful optical illusion, and the Vatican Gardens offer respite from art-overload. Note that guards will "shush" you if you're being too loud or reprimand you for trying to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel.
About 20 miles east of Rome is Tivoli, made famous for its Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este – two UNESCO World Heritage sites. The hilly city, crawling with narrow streets and steep cliffs makes for an ideal countryside daytrip. The Villa Adriana belonged to the second century Roman Emperor Hadrian, while the Villa d'Este was the old residence of a governor of the town, but is most known for its gardens.
Just 15 miles southeast, the small town of Marino is best known for its Sagra dell'uva or Harvest Grape Festival. In October at the festival, the fountains of Marino are known to spurt out wine rather than water. The small city also shelters a handful of historic churches.
As always, visitors should use common sense when traveling and watch out for pickpockets on public transportation or in and around heavily touristed attractions. Due to an increased number of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent years, the U.S. State Department advises travelers to be on alert in tourist locations, transit hubs and markets.
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