The Best Hotels in Rome

Updated: November 10, 2017

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Rome Tips and Recommendations

  • When is the best time to visit Rome? Rome is a great year-round destination – but the best months are April, May, September, and October.
  • The best neighborhoods for visitors to Rome are Historic Center & Jewish Ghetto (ancient sights, atmospheric streets, shops, restaurants), Ancient Rome & Monti (the Colosseum et al, trendy village vibe in Monti, bars and boutiques), Trastevere (picturesque area, lively restaurant and bar scene, walking distance to the center), and Vatican & Prati (St Peter’s, Sistine Chapel and great restaurants in Prati).
  • The absolute best hotels in Rome: Hotel Hassler (for luxury and personal service) • Villa Spalletti Trivelli (old world charm and a stately setting) • Hotel Campo de’ Fiori (prime central location, fun, quirky decor) • Portrait Suites (a romantic boutique bolthole)
  • The best restaurants in Rome: Armando al Pantheon (for classic Roman cooking by the Pantheon) • Romeo (modish eatery and contemporary creative cuisine) • L’Asino d’Oro (mid-range Monti restaurant specialising in Umbrian dishes), • Aroma (only in Rome – Colosseum views and Michelin-starred food)
  • Best place for gelato (Fatamorgana – creative flavours in branches across the city), bakery (Forno Roscioli – a heavenly find in the historic center), cheese (Volpetti – a historic deli in the Testaccio neighbourhood), wine (Trimani – has a huge selection of international wines near Termini), cafe (Caffè Sant’Eustachio – central cafe famous for its coffee), pizzeria (Da Remo – no frills Testaccio place specializing in Roman-style pizza), takeaway (Pizzarium – gourmet sliced pizza near the Vatican Museums), chocolate (Confetteria Moriondo & Gariglio – magical confectioners’ in the historic center).
  • Best Things To Do in Rome: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s (3 hours/skip the line) • Ancient Rome & Colosseum Tour (3 hours/skip the line) • Food Tour of Roman Neighborhoods (3.5 hours) • Pizza-Making & Market Tour (3.5 hours) • Espresso and Gelato Tasting Tour (2.5 hours) •

The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in Rome

  • Inn at the Roman Forum – Ancient Rome
    Hotel phone: +39 06 6919 0970
    An elegant boutique hotel offering stylish rooms, a quiet back street location, and its own ancient ruins – it sits over a 1st century BC tunnel. Rooms are individually decorated with a mix of contemporary décor and original fittings, and there’s a lovely panoramic terrace. The forums and Colosseum are an easy walk away.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Hotel Campo De’ Fiori – Historic Center
    Hotel phone: +39 06 0608
    Right in the heart of the action, this welcoming four-star enjoys a prime setting just off Campo de’ Fiori. Inside, the look is modern baroque with dripping chandeliers, bold colours, plenty of gilt and quirky contemporary touches. Up top, a terrace offers unforgettable rooftop views.
    Best boutique hotel in Rome.
  • Palazzo Cardinal Cesi – near Vatican
    Hotel phone: +39 06 684 0390
    On the monumental approach road to the Vatican, this four-star is just a stone’s throw from St Peter’s Basilica. It’s a traditional affair with classically-styled rooms and a lovely internal cloister.
    Best luxury hotel near the Vatican
  • J K Place Roma – near Trevi Fountain
    Hotel phone: +39 06 982634
    Since opening in mid-2013, this uber-stylish boutique hotel has won many plaudits. Its magazine-worthy decor marries comfort with a contemporary design aesthetic, and its location is excellent, near top shopping strip Via dei Condotti.
    Best luxury hotel in Rome
  • Villa Spalletti Trivelli – Villa Borghese
    Hotel phone: +39 06 4890 7934
    A stately mansion set in the middle of Rome, this is an oasis of old-fashioned charm and calm. It’s a picture of classic elegance with antique furniture, polished wood and traditionally furnished rooms. Outside, the manicured gardens are a lovely place to relax.
    Best luxury villa in Rome
  • The St Regis Rome – near Termini
    Hotel phone: +39 06 47091
    An opulent five star housed in a 19th-century palazzo near Piazza della Repubblica. Much loved by rock stars – both Madonna and the Rolling Stones have stayed in recent years – it has classically styled interiors, a popular butler service, and a wonderful in-house spa.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Palazzo Montemartini – near Termini
    Hotel phone: +39 06 45661
    A recent opening, Palazzo Montemartini is a modern five-star near Termini station. The surrounding area is not the most interesting but the hotel scores for its bright, naturally-lit rooms, sharp contemporary design, and decadent spa.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Hotel Hassler – near Trevi Fountain
    Hotel phone: +39 06 699340
    The elder statesman of Rome’s hotel scene, the Hassler continues to impress. As well as old-school luxury and all the five-star trappings, it boasts a spectacular location at the top of the Spanish Steps, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Imàgo.
    Charming boutique hotel in Rome.
  • Eden Hotel – Villa Borghese
    Hotel phone: +39 06 478121
    A friendly five-star just off Via Vittorio Veneto, the Eden is walking distance from the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese park. Service is excellent, rooms feature antiques and deep carpets, and there’s a great rooftop restaurant with fabulous views.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Hotel Raphael – Historic Center
    Hotel phone: +39 06 682831
    The ivy-clad facade of this historic hotel is a landmark in central Rome. Inside, it’s similarly striking with a collection of Picasso ceramics in the lobby, a floor of minimalist Richard Meier designed rooms, and a spectacular rooftop restaurant.
  • Portrait Suites – near Trevi Fountain
    Hotel phone: +39 06 6938 0742
    More a luxury guesthouse than traditional hotel, this discreet hideaway offers 14 suites in the heart of Rome’s swish shopping district. Owned by the Ferragomo fashion house, it’s a masterclass in modern styling and boasts unforgettable views from its rooftop terrace.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel – Villa Borghese
    Hotel phone: +39 06 854421
    A little way out of the centre, this is a large five star on the edge of Villa Borghese park. Unlike many more central hotels, it has an excellent swimming pool, as well as high class spa facilities. The overall décor is traditional.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Grand Hotel de la Minerve – Historic Center
    Hotel phone: +39 06 695201
    Occupying a grand 17th century palazzo near the Pantheon, the five-star Minerve is one of Rome’s longest-standing hotels. Its public rooms are glamorous, particularly the glass-ceilinged Art Deco lobby, whilst guest rooms reveal a sober, restrained look.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Hotel Majestic Roma – Villa Borghese
    Hotel phone: +39 06 421441
    The neoclassical Majestic is one of several hotels on broad, tree-lined Via Vittorio Veneto. Rooms are individually styled but most come with parquet floors and traditional décor. Barberini metro station is a short walk away.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome
  • Hotel de Russie – near Trevi Fountain
    Hotel phone: +39 06 328881
    From Picasso to Leonardo DiCaprio, artists and actors have long appreciated this legendary hotel near Piazza del Popolo. Rooms are modern and understated, there’s a beautiful garden bar, and the hotel’s spa is reckoned to be one of the best in Rome.
    The Best Luxury Hotels in Rome

Historic Center & Jewish Ghetto

The best hotels in central Rome.
Bulging into the Tiber west of Via del Corso, Rome’s historic center is the core of the city and one of its most beautiful neighborhoods. Amidst its labyrinthine alleyways and romantic piazzas you’ll come across headline sights such as the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, as well as a whole host of churches crammed with artistic treasures. In fact, pop into almost any church around here and you’ll come across a masterpiece or two. The area is made for leisurely strolling and there are many captivating streets to explore, such as Via del Governo Vecchio, a handsome cobbled lane lined with fashion boutiques and vintage shops. Over on the other side of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Giulia is another charming strip with its orange trees, private galleries, and discreet luxury hotels. At some point, you’ll almost certainly end up in Campo de’ Fiori. By day, this buzzing piazza hosts a colorful produce market but at night it transforms into an open air pub and its bars and cafes fill with hard-drinking tourists and young locals. For a more relaxed drink, search out Sant’Eustachio, a cafe which serves some of the best coffee in town, or Barnum Cafe, a favorite of mine which does great cocktails. Another lively spot is Via del Portico d’Ottavia, the main drag in the atmospheric Jewish Ghetto. This heats up in the evening as crowds of diners flock to its many restaurants and trattorias to sample the city’s best Roman-Jewish cuisine.

The Best Hotels in the Historic Center

    The Best Restaurants in the Historic Center

    Emma (chic pizzeria; Roman thin-crust pizzas; international craft beers)
    Roscioli (upscale restaurant in a historic deli; classic Italian food; booking essential)
    Armando al Pantheon (local institution near the Pantheon; traditional Roman cooking; reservations recommended)
    Casa Coppelle (charming central location and intimate atmosphere; Italian-French food)
    Piperno (formal, old-fashioned Ghetto restaurant; authentic Roman-Jewish cuisine)

Vatican & Prati

The best hotels close to the Vatican.
Whether you’re a first time visitor or a seasoned Rome veteran, it’s impossible not to be dazzled by the Vatican and its treasures. Technically, the Vatican is a separate country – it has its own army (the Swiss Guards), its own official language (Latin), and its own king (the pope) – but in practice it’s a neighborhood in northwest Rome. The quickest way of reaching it is by metro to Ottaviano, but for a more dramatic approach, walk in via Ponte Sant’Angelo, the monumental bridge that crosses the Tiber by Castel Sant’Angelo. Once you’ve crossed the bridge, look left and there, at the end of Via della Conciliazione, is St Peter’s Basilica. The huge basilica is a thrilling sight from outside but it’s even more impressive inside, and it’s well worth braving the queues to enter and see the lavish marble interior. If you’ve got a head for heights, you can also climb the dome and admire the amazing views. Adjoining the Basilica is the Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano, seat of the pope’s official residence and the Vatican Museums. This vast museum complex is laden with world-famous masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s legendary Sistine Chapel frescoes. After you’ve covered the main sights, you’ve pretty much exhausted the Vatican. At this point, I’d recommend heading over to nearby Prati. An elegant district of straight avenues and upmarket residential blocks, Prati has some great shopping on and around Via Cola di Rienzo, as well as a vast number of restaurants, trattorias and takeaways. These get very busy at lunchtime when the lawyers and media execs who work in the area emerge for a bite to eat. The atmosphere quietens at night, although you’ll still find pockets of life. One of these is Alexanderplatz, Rome’s most famous jazz club, where big-name Italian and international musicians regularly perform.

The Best Hotels near the Vatican

    The Best Restaurants in the Vatican & Prati Area
    Pizzarium (Rome’s best sliced pizza; creative toppings and premier ingredients)
    Settembrini (trendy upscale restaurant; contemporary Italian food and classy wine list)
    L’Arcangelo (perennial favorite; onus on traditional Roman fare but also innovative modern dishes)
    Romeo (modish eatery; everything from takeaway panini and pizza to upmarket restaurant food)
    Il Sorpasso (hip restaurant-bar with cool white tiled look; popular with local lunchers)

Ancient Rome & Monti

The best hotels in Ancient Rome neighborhood.
Wherever you go in Rome you’ll come across reminders of the city’s ancient past. But the greatest concentration of ruins lies in the area southeast of the historic center. Here you’ll find the Colosseum, gleaming after a multi-million euro clean-up, the Forums, and the Palatine, where Romulus and Remus supposedly founded the city in 753 BC. Nearby, the Capitoline Hill is home to one of Rome’s top museums, and the mammoth white Vittoriano looms over Piazza Venezia. Once you’ve checked out these awe-inspiring sights, head down to Monti, a cool enclave sandwiched between Via Cavour and Via Nazionale. In ancient times, Monti was Rome’s red-light district but it’s far from seedy these days. It’s now a favorite haunt of Rome’s young, creative set and exudes a laid-back village vibe. Fashionistas come here to shop at the hip boutiques on Via del Boschetto and to bargain hunt at the Mercatino di Monti. This weekend market is a browser’s delight with stalls selling everything from objets d’art to second-hand books and vintage clothes. Students and trend-conscious drinkers meet at popular bars such as Fafiuché and Ai Tre Scalini, whilst tourists and in-the-know diners flock to the many excellent restaurants. The center of action is Piazza Madonna dei Monti, but there’s also plenty going on around Via Leonina and Via Urbana.

The Best Hotels in the Ancient Rome Area

    The Best Restaurants in Ancient Rome & Monti
    L’Asino d’Oro (highly rated Monti restaurant; great Umbrian food)
    Terre e Domus (modern restaurant near the Imperial Forums; regional Lazio food and wine; busy at lunch, quieter at dinner)
    Aroma (rooftop restaurant of five-star Palazzo Manfredi hotel; creative cuisine and Colosseum views)
    Trattoria Valentino (classic trattoria; bustling atmosphere; traditional Roman staples)
    Cavour 313 (historic Monti wine bar; huge choice of wine; platters of cheese and cured meats)

Tridente & Trevi Fountain

The best hotels near the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Named after the trident shape formed by the three roads that converge on Piazza del Popolo (Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso and Via del Babuino), this is a posh, touristy part of town. There are several big-hitting sights such as the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, but the main activity here is shopping. The area’s upmarket streets are awash with designer boutiques and flagship stores selling everything from top of the range homeware to killer heels and diamond-encrusted watches. If you’re in the market for a Prada bag or a Bulgari bracelet, Via dei Condotti is the place to go, but you’ll also find plenty of shopping action on Via del Corso and Via del Babuino. In the heart of the district, Piazza di Spagna buzzes throughout the day as tourists mill around the square and footsore visitors rest up on the Spanish Steps. To escape the throngs, search out Via Margutta, filmmaker Federico Fellini’s former home street which is now lined with art galleries and antique shops. From Piazza di Spagna, it’s about a 15-minute walk down to the Trevi Fountain, Rome’s largest and most extravagant fountain. There are always crowds here but don’t let that put you off. It’s an impressive sight and tradition holds that if you throw a coin into the fountain you’re sure to return to the Eternal City.
As well as sightseeing and shopping, this neighborhood boasts several historic watering holes. There’s the Antico Caffè Greco, the one-time haunt of Casanova and Goethe, and the Canova Tadolini, a cafe housed in the former studio of sculptor Antonio Canova. For cocktails and an A-list setting the Bar Stravinskij in the swank Hotel de Russie is hard to beat.

The Best Hotels near Trevi Fountain

    The Best Restaurants in the Tridente and Trevi Fountain Area
    Enoteca Regionale Palatium (smart wine bar serving regional Lazio specialties – cured meats, wines, cheese)
    Il Margutta RistorArte (arty decor and high-end vegetarian cuisine; good value weekend brunch)
    Gina (designer cafe popular with well-heeled shoppers; panini, pastas, and posh salads)
    Dal Bolognese (historic restaurant on Piazza del Popolo; draws a moneyed, good-looking crowd)
    Antica Enoteca (popular wine bar near Spanish Steps; frequented by tourists and the occasional local)

Trastevere

The best hotels in the trendy Trastevere neighborhood in Rome.
With its colorful buildings, picturesque streets and vibrant piazzas, Trastevere is one of Rome’s best-looking neighborhoods. In a former life it was a working class district, but these days it’s gone cosmopolitan and it’s now home to a multinational crowd of artists, expats, and students from the American St John’s University. Entering the neighborhood from Viale di Trastevere, Via Lungaretta leads down to Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, the charming main square and a popular hangout. Fronting onto the piazza, the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of several historic buildings containing fantastic art treasures. Two others worth searching out are the Chiesa di San Francesco a Ripa, which has a stunning sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Villa Farnese, famous for its Raphael frescoes. The district’s medieval alleyways are also a sight in themselves, and it’s always enjoyable to stroll around, browsing the small artisan shops and lapping up the bustling local vibe. For a change of pace, head up Via Garibaldi to the Janiculum Hill where you can admire unforgettable views over Rome’s higgledy-piggledy rooftops. Trastevere is great to explore by day but it comes into its own at night when it turns into party central. Popular bars such as Freni e Frizioni burst into life and the district’s many restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias fill with tourists and Romans out on the town. Things can get pretty hectic, though, especially on hot summer nights when the festive atmosphere lasts well into the small hours.

The Best Hotels in Trastevere

    The Best Restaurants in the Trastevere
    Glass Hostaria (Michelin-starred restaurant; creative fusion fare from one of Rome’s top chefs)
    Paris (formal old-school restaurant; traditional Roman cooking; charming al fresco terrace)
    Osteria La Gensola (stylish trattoria known for its quality seafood)
    Fatamorgana (fabulous gelateria; classic Italian flavors and original gourmet creations)
    Pizzeria Ai Marmi (authentic old-school pizzeria; marble topped tables and no frills)

Villa Borghese, Barberini & the Quirinale

The best Roman hotels near Villa Borghese.
Whilst still prime tourist territory, this extensive area is less frenetic than many other parts of town. The crowds are less overbearing and while there are shops to browse, the main draw is Villa Borghese. Once the private estate of a 17th-century prince, Rome’s most famous park is a great place to slow down and enjoy a relaxed wander. There are several excellent museums dotted around the greenery, including the awesome Museo e Galleria Borghese. This is one of Rome’s best art museums and it’s well worth the hassle of having to pre-book your ticket. For wonderful rooftop views head to the Pincio section of the park. From Villa Borghese, Via Vittorio Veneto snakes down the hill back towards the center. This tree-lined boulevard was the epicenter of Rome’s dolce vita in the late 1950s and early 60s. And while it no longer pulls in the celebs like it used to, it still looks the part with its five-star hotels and swish pavement restaurants. The area south of Piazza Barberini features some of the city’s finest baroque architecture. A spectacular example is Palazzo Barberini, home to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. An easy walk away, Palazzo del Quirinale is another striking baroque building. This is the official residence of the Italian President, and visits are by guided tour only. If that doesn’t appeal, there are magical views to be had from the piazza outside.

The Best Hotels near Villa Borghese

    The Best Restaurants in the Villa Borghese Area
    Colline Emiliane (specializes in food from the Emilia-Romagna region; expect egg pastas and rich meat sauces; book ahead)
    Ristorante Oliver Glowig (two Michelin starred restaurant in the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese hotel; superlative contemporary cuisine and prices to match)
    Casina Valadier (upmarket Villa Borghese restaurant; classy location, refined cuisine and stunning views)

Termini & Around

The best hotels near Termini train station in Rome.
Centered on Rome’s principle transport hub (Stazione Termini), this is not the most attractive part of town. But give it a chance and you’ll discover that it has some terrific museums and churches, as well as several cool eateries and bars. Overlooking the bus station on Piazza dei Cinquecento, the Museo Nazionale Romano: Palazzo Massimo alle Terme is one of my favorite museums in Rome. It has some amazing ancient sculptures and a series of sensational Roman mosaics. If you’re into mosaics, you’ll also enjoy the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica di Santa Prassede, a little known church hidden away in a quiet back lane. East of Termini, San Lorenzo is a studenty area full of bars and underground clubs. Another ‘in’ neighborhood is Pigneto, situated between Via Prenestina and Via Casilina. Once the haunt of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, this graffiti-clad area was a non-descript suburb until the hipsters moved in and transformed it into a happening nightlife zone. The hub of the action is Via del Pigneto, scene of a lively daily market, but you’ll also find bars and restaurants in many of the surrounding streets. Places to try include Co.So, a trendy cocktail bar, and Necci, a historic local hangout.

The Best Hotels near Termini

    The Best Restaurants in the Termini Area
    Trattoria Monti (relaxed, highly-rated trattoria; regional food from Le Marches; booking essential)
    Agata e Romeo (high end restaurant; modern takes on classic Roman dishes)
    Panella L’Arte del Pane (a cafe, fast-food set-up; great choice of pastries, panini, sliced pizza)
    Primo al Pigneto (trendy, brasserie-style Pigneto restaurant; creative Italian cuisine)
    Pasticceria Regoli (old-school pastry shop; delicious traditional dolci)

Testaccio & Ostiense

The best hotels in Testaccio in Rome.
A little off the tourist radar, Testaccio and environs are well worth exploring. For sightseers, the main draw is the Cimitero Acattolico, a lovingly-maintained cemetery where Romantic poets Keats and Shelley are buried. Overlooking the site, a large 1st-century pyramid makes for an unusual landmark in the midst of the traffic. Uphill from Testaccio, the Aventine is a much sought-after residential district that boasts one of Rome’s great curiosities – a perfectly framed view of St Peter’s dome through the keyhole of the Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta. Foodies will love Testaccio. For centuries the area was home to Rome’s main slaughterhouse and many of the city’ signature dishes were developed by cooks using cheap off-cuts from the butchered carcasses. The graffiti-splayed former abattoir now houses the MACRO contemporary art gallery at the bottom of Via Galvani. Testaccio is also home to a lively covered market and one of Rome’s best delis, the fabulous Volpetti. For night owls, the area is a nightlife hotspot and young party-goers swarm to the clubs on Via di Monte Testaccio. Extending south of Testaccio, the former industrial zone of Ostiense is one of Rome’s hottest neighborhoods. Some of the city’s top clubs are here, set in abandoned factories and warehouses, and a large student population ensures there’s always a buzz. You’ll also find fashionable foodie outposts such as Eataly, a giant gastro mall dedicated to Italian food, and Porto Fluviale, a vintage-styled restaurant and bar complex.

The Best Hotels in Testaccio & Ostiense

    The Best Restaurants in the Testaccio & Ostiense Area
    Da Felice (popular local institution; classic Roman food; reservations a must)
    Flavio al Velavevodetto (laid-back trattoria; earthy, no-nonsense pastas and hearty meat dishes)
    Da Remo (no-frills pizzeria; excellent thin-crust Roman pizzas; expect queues)
    Checchino dal 1887 (formal restaurant; meaty Roman staples such as coda alla vaccinara – oxtail)
    Eataly (modern food complex with a range of restaurants, wine bars, pizzerias)

See Also



67 Questions and Comments

  1. Moderately Priced Hotel in Rome

    Hi Dave,

    Your guides are amazing! Do you have a recommendation for a hotel in Rome that is approximately $200 per night?

    Thanks,

    Frank

  2. Best Hotels near Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain

    Appreciate your knowledge. Visiting Rome in July, 4th visit for me but my brother’s first so I want him to really have a great time. Would like to stay in hotels near the Spanish steps as I like to hang out between there and Trevi Fountain after dinner. What would be your top 3 hotels? I like nice hotels and willing to pay more as long as it is definitely worth it. Usually do a top grade room in a nice hotel vs. the basic room in the best hotel.
    Thanks!
    Anita Jenkins

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Housed in an 18th century palazzo, the Inn at the Spanish Steps enjoys a prime location on Via dei Condotti, Rome’s premier shopping strip. It has a range of stylish, individually-decorated rooms with the best offering fabulous views over Piazza di Spagna. Another top option is J.K. Place, a boutique five-star in the historic center. It’s about five minutes’ walk from the Spanish Steps and sports a striking contemporary look that combines traditional luxury with a more restrained modern aesthetic. For somewhere more traditional, the Hassler is one of Rome’s historic hotels. Boasting a superlative location at the top of the Spanish Steps, it offers impeccable service, elegant rooms and a panoramic Michelin-starred restaurant. Alternatively, the Hotel de Russie by Piazza del Popolo is another long-standing favourite, much beloved of visiting VIPs.

  3. Artemide Hotel in Rome

    I didn’t see Hotel Artemide in Rome listed as a top on your lists, but it seems very highly rated on Trip Advisor. Do you have any thoughts on that hotel? Melissa

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Very nice luxury hotel. Convenient location near the train station. Neighborhood is fine but not like staying near Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain, though those sights are within walking distance.

  4. Good Italian Hotel and What To Do in Rome for Two Days

    Will be staying in Rome for two days with my family June 19th to 21st (4 of us – my daughter-in-law. Granddaughter and girlfriend – both 16 yrs.), departing on a Mediterranean cruise on the 3rd day. Would like your recommendation for a nice Italian flavored hotel – max $500/night. And what highlights should we hit while in Rome? – realizing time is limited. I read your column and appreciate your expertise in all areas. Many thanks Dave.

    Susan from Boston

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Three suggestions for hotels. Near the Colosseum, the Hotel Lancelot is a friendly family-run three-star on a quiet street. It’s a bit out of the way for nightlife in the historic center but it offers a warm welcome and comfortable rooms. On the other side of town, the Hotel Bramante is another good option, housed in a historic building within walking distance of St Peter’s Square. A step up in budget, the Hotel Campo De’ Fiori is a great four-star right in the heart of the action. It has a range of rooms, including some mini-apartments that might work well for you.

      As to what to see and do in Rome, I’d concentrate on three main areas: the Colosseum district; the Vatican; and the historic center. Spend day one visiting the Colosseum, Palatine and forums, then hit the historic center for the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona. On day two take in St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, home of the Sistine Chapel – to avoid long queues here book your Vatican tickets online and in advance. Once you’re done in the Vatican, head over the river to check out the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese park.

  5. 10 Days in Rome, Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast, and Capri

    Hi Dave, my name is Tina Ho. I want to go to Italy with my family for 10 days. We have from June 8 – June 18, 2017. I would like to go to Rome, Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast, and Capri. Is 10 days enough to go to all of those places? If not, which place should I take off my list? Also, since I’m from Las Vegas, which places should we go first or what would be the recommended order we go in? Can you please plan or make my trip easier for me, since we’ve never been to Italy before?
    Well, we like to go sightseeing, go shopping, eat at good restaurants, so where should we stay and do in each place? Can you please, please, please reply to this comment? I’d really appreciate it.
    Thank you so much 😉
    Tina

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Yes, that’s too much for 10 days. Capri is the most obvious one to drop as it requires a ferry from Naples or Sorrento (the ferries are just 30 to 60 minutes but it’s still one more thing that cuts into your time). My other tip is to try to fly into and out of different cities. For example, fly into Venice and the fly out of Naples. This will save you a day of travel so you don’t have to retrace your steps to your arrival city. Also, you absolutely have to book hotels well in advance but you can buy train tickets on your first day in each city (so, about 2 days in advance). This will retain some flexibility for you. Lastly, walking food tours are a great way to get off the beaten track in all of those places.

  6. Getting to Bomerano in Amalfi

    Hi, my husband and I will be doing a walking holiday on the Amalfi Coast, and we have to get from Rome to a village called Bomerano. The train from Rome to Naples seems straightforward, but after that it becomes a bit tricky. Any help would be great, the month we are arriving is last week of August 2017, long way off, but i do prefer to get my head around these things, many thanks, Louise Jones

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      As you say getting to Naples from Rome is straightforward – there are frequent trains from Termini station to Napoli Centrale. For the onward journey, you’ll need to get a bus. The one you want is the Sita Sud 5080 service which departs from Via Depretis near the port. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always stop at Bomerano so your best bet would be to get off at Agerola (S. Maria) and walk the final 1.5km or so to Bomerano. See this page for more info.

      1. Louise

        Thanks for your help, really appreciate it. Hopefully we won’t turn into an urban myth, the lost walkers of Amalfi, who appear dragging their bags every full moon, cheers

  7. Ravello, Rome, and Hotel Hassler

    We are doing three nights in Rome and three nights in Ravello. Should we do a day trip to Florence? Is the Hassler worth the money? I am worried about choosing a lesser hotel and being disappointed. Your thoughts? Nan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      When you say 3 nights in Rome, I’m going to assume you mean 2 full days – in which case you’re better off spending both those in Rome. If you do have a 3rd full day then a day trip to Florence might be worth it (it’s an easy 90 minute trip by highspeed train and the train station in Florence is very central). Hotel Hassler is wonderful. Great location, old world charm.

  8. Family Holiday with Mom in Rome

    Hi SantoriniDave, my sister and I are going to take our mum on a family holiday to Rome, thinking of spending 7 nights there. Priority will be to go to Vatican City. Is it best to stay around there or somewhere like Termini? Mother is 80 years old so happy to walk around at the sights but best if have access to good public transport to get around from the hotel itself. Hotel recommendations would be appreciated. And if we were to take a day trip somewhere outside Rome, what would you suggest? Pretty views and general relaxed trip would be great. Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Vatican area is an excellent place to stay. There’s a wide selection of hotels and it’s well served by public transport – it’s just three metro stops from Ottaviano (the station for St Peter’s Basilica) to the Spanish Steps. There are also frequent buses and trams to the center. If you enjoy your food, the nearby Prati neighbourhood boasts some wonderful restaurants and cafes. For a place to stay, the Hotel Bramante is a lovely three-star near the Vatican walls. Housed in a historic, centuries-old palazzo, it’s a friendly place with elegant décor. Alternatively, there’s Relais Vatican View, a stylish boutique hotel near St Peter’s Square. There are some wonderful day trips from Rome, but for a relaxed experience, I’d recommend two. For wonderful views, head up to Castel Gandolfo, a pretty hilltop town overlooking a volcanic lake in the hills south of town. Here you can visit the pope’s summer palace, the Palazzo Apostolico. For details of guided tours to the palace and its gardens, see http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-Info/MV_Info_Servizi_Visite.html#castelgandolfo. Castel Gandolfo is accessible by train from Termini Station. To the east of Rome, Tivoli is a classic day trip destination. The highlight is Villa d’Este, a Renaissance villa with magnificent landscaped gardens and extravagant fountains. Also in Tivoli, but harder to get to by public transport, is Villa Adriana, the one-time country estate of the emperor Hadrian. To get to Tivoli, take the bus from Ponte Mammolo metro station.

  9. Hotels near Rome Airport

    My wife and I have 4 nights in Rome and we’re staying at the St Regis. We have an early morning flight home to London (8am) and I wonder if we’d be better staying a night at a hotel near the airport. We don’t mind switching hotels. Do you think we should stay near the airport? Are there any good hotels near or in the Rome (Fiumicino) airport? What time do the trains start to the airport in the morning?

    Thank you,
    Leonard

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Getting to the Leonardo da Vinci airport early is not impossible. There are trains which will get you there at around 6am. One leaves Roma Ostiense at 5.17am, getting in at 5.48. Another departs from Termini at 5.35am, arriving at 6.07am. Alternatively, consider a taxi. You’ll save the hassle of getting to the train station and there’s a convenient set fare of €48. This compares to €28 for two train tickets from Termini. I don’t think you’d need to switch hotels but if you’d feel more comfortable overnighting near the airport consider the four-star Hilton Garden Inn which is about five minutes from the terminals.

  10. Cheap and Clean Hotels in Rome

    Hi Dave, Thank for the website! I want to stay in the City Center/Jewish Ghetto at the end of June. I’m looking for very inexpensive, clean, and comfortable. Don’t need much frills, but I really want location and cleanliness. Any ideas?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Three suggestions. Hotel Pensione Barrett is a popular, family-run pension on Largo di Torre Argentina, a busy square about halfway between the Pantheon and the Ghetto. It’s easy to get to – most buses that pass through the center stop in the Largo – and within walking distance of pretty much everywhere. Rooms feature elaborate stucco work, statues, and potted plants. On the northern fringes of the historic center, Okapi Rooms is a decent bet. There’s nothing fancy about the rooms, which can be small, but they’re comfortable enough and the location near Piazza del Popolo is good. Just over the river from the Ghetto, the vibrant Trastevere neighborhood is always a great place to stay. If that appeals, consider Arco del Lauro, an excellent B&B in a centuries-old palazzo on a cobbled back lane.

  11. Day Trip to Naples

    The current plan is to make a day trip from Rome to Naples. Is one day better than any other for seeing Naples, eating out at a lively restaurant, and visiting Pompeii?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Pompeii is busiest on the weekend, so try to avoid visiting on a Saturday and Sunday. In Naples, Tuesday is not a great day, as two of the city’s must-see sites are closed: the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which has some spectacular works of classical art; and the Cappella Sansevero, an ornate baroque chapel with an extraordinary sculpture known as Cristo velato (Veiled Christ). Note also that some Naples restaurants are closed on Sundays. One such is Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, my favourite place for authentic Neapolitan pizza, which opens Monday through Saturday.

  12. Amalfi Coast vs Cinque Terre

    What are the differences between the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre? Which would you recommend for honeymoon/romantic getaway? We only have 3 days for this part of the trip (also spending time in Milan, Florence, and Rome) so not sure if that lends itself to one or the other. More interested in beauty than swimming and beaches.

    Thank you very much.
    Remy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both are spectacular stretches of coastline. The main difference is scale. The Amalfi Coast is longer and its various small towns are linked by road. Conversely, there’s no connecting road between the five minuscule village that make up the Cinque Terre. To travel down the coast, you either have to take the train, walk, or jump on a summer-only boat. Given your travel plans, the Cinque Terre would be easier to get to. From Florence, you can get to Monterosso by train, changing at Pisa. To get to the Amalfi Coast you’d have to get a train from Naples or Salerno, and then an onward bus. That said, if it were me choosing, I’d try for the Amalfi Coast. As well as mesmerising views and excellent food, it has some magnificent hotels, ideal for a honeymoon getaway. And few places are as romantic as Ravello on a warm summer’s evening.

  13. Hotels in Rome, Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini

    First off, love your site! A friend recommended it and it has been so helpful.
    My Fiancé and I are going to Rome for 4 nights, then Athens for 3 nights, Mykonos for 4 nights, and Santorini for 4 nights for our honeymoon. We are in our late 20’s and are looking for a few days of tourist site seeing and then some relaxing days just hanging out and exploring. Does this timeline sound well-balanced?
    We are deciding between the following hotels. Any recommendations?

    Rome-
    Palazzo Navona
    Boscolo Exedra Roma Marriott
    Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora

    Athens-
    Playa Hotel
    Electra Palace
    Grande Bretagne

    Mykonos-
    Myconian Ambassador
    Myconian Imperial
    Petinos Beach Hotel

    Santorini-
    Cosmopolitan Suites
    Canaves Oia Suites
    Andronis Luxury Suites
    Mystique

    Also, any recommendations on activities to do at each location would be great!
    We want to do some walking tours in Rome and Athens as well. Do you know of any company that we can book one?
    Lastly, any recommendations on how to get from place to place on our itinerary…plane or high speed boat?

    Thank you!!
    Lauren

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Rome:
      If you want to be in the heart of the action – and that would be my choice – go for Palazzo Navona. A modern design hotel near Piazza Navona, it has pretty much everything on its doorstep – sights, restaurants, bars, shops – and the surrounding area is atmospheric and lively.For somewhere more relaxed, the Marriott would be a good bet. Overlooking Villa Borghese, Rome’s most famous park, it’s a bit further out from the main sights, but still within striking range of the center. The Exedra occupies a historic building on Piazza Repubblica. A stately five-star with smart rooms, various bars and restaurants, and a small rooftop pool (open May to September), it’s the most visually impressive of the three. It’s also conveniently situated near Termini train station and Repubblica metro stop.
      Regarding tours, The Roman Guy is an excellent outfit offering a range of group and private tours. Another good choice is A Friend in Rome, run by Silvia Prosperi who organizes private tailor-made tours.

      Athens:
      I have not heard of Playa hotel but both Electra and Grande Bretagne are excellent. The Grande Bretagne is on a busy square while the Electra is down a quiet side street steps from the Plaka and 5 minutes closer to the Acropolis. Both have rooftop pools but the view from the Electra is more impressive (the GB also has an indoor pool).

      Mykonos:
      The Myconian Ambassador is the most luxurious of those 3. Nice location in Platys Gialos, 5 minute walk from the beach and bus stop (for Mykonos Town which is a 12 minute ride away). Petinos Beach Hotel is right at Platys Gialos beach (and the bus stops just out the door), so it’s a little closer to everything but not as relaxing. Myconian Imperial is a great hotel as well. Located on quiet Elia Beach it’s 25 minutes from town by bus (hotel has a free shuttle bus). Not a lot of eating options nearby. This can feel perfectly secluded or much too quiet depending on your tastes.

      Santorini:
      These are all wonderful hotels. Cosmopolitan is in Fira and great if you want to be in the center of the action. Clubs and nightlife are nearby. Lots of shops just out the door. Canaves and Andronis are in Oia which is a little quieter (though very busy before and after the sunset) and has very little nightlife. Andronis is a little closer to the center (the entrance to the hotel is often very crowded with tourists but once you enter the property the crowds are left behind). Mystique is on the far footpath in Oia, meaning it’s quieter than the others but you also need to walk on a busy road for 2 minutes to get to the main walkway into Oia.

  14. Getting Around Rome

    A few questions about Rome transportation for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teenagers). We are in Rome for 5 days and staying at a hotel near the train station.

    1. Are there any subway tickets for saving money? Multi-ticket, day passes, week passes?
    2. How do you buy subway/bus tickets?
    3. Do subway tickets work on buses or do you need a new ticket?
    4. Is the subway useful for tourists and tourist attractions? (I ask, because I’ve been in cities where the subway/train is more for commuters and doesn’t service the top attractions.)
    5. Are taxis good for a family of 4? Big enough?

    Thanks,
    Arn

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1. Yes, there are passes for 24 hours (€7); 48 hours (€12.50); 72 hours (€18); 7-days (€24). Single tickets cost €1.50 and are valid for 100 minutes from the time you first convalidate it (stick it into the yellow machine on buses or trams; into the gate barrier at metro stations).

      2. You must buy tickets before getting on buses/trams/the metro. Get them at newsagents (shops with a white T outside), newsstands, or vending machines at main bus stops and metro stations. Some of the larger metro stations also have staffed ticket offices.

      3. Buses, trams and the subway are all covered by the same tickets. All passes are valid on all forms of public transport within the city center, but not for journeys to/from the airport. Single tickets cover one metro trip and then as many bus or tram journeys as you want within the 100-minute time limit. Every ticket should be convalidated at the beginning of the first journey.

      4. The metro is useful for some of the main sights. On line A, use Ottaviano-San Pietro for the Vatican, Barberini for the Trevi Fountain and Spagna for the Spanish Steps. On line B, Colosseo serves the Colosseum. Buses are generally better for the main historic center.

      5. Taxis vary in size but you shouldn’t have problems finding one to take a family of four.

  15. Unsafe Areas of Rome

    We’re searching for budget hotels in Rome (cheap but not super-cheap) and that seems to bring up many spots that are not right in central Rome. Are there any neighborhoods of Rome that aren’t safe and we should avoid?

    Thanks,
    Cyndi

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Rome is a safe city. In fact, more than dodgy areas the most intimidating thing is its chaotic traffic, which can make crossing the road a pretty adrenalin-charged experience.

      As in all large cities, there are some difficult areas but they are a long way from the center and unless you actively go searching for them you’re unlikely to end up there. Neighbourhoods you’re likely to be looking at will be fine.

      Much of the city’s budget accommodation is in the area around the main train station, Termini. This is not Rome’s most attractive neighbourhood and some streets west of the station, such as Via Giolitti, are not very appealing. That said, the Termini area is not as bad as it’s often made out to be and it has some very decent hotels and pensioni.

      Don’t worry about being out of the center. There are excellent hotels all over, and staying in a less touristy neighbourborhood will give you the chance to see a more authentic side of the city.

  16. Great Restaurants for Outside Dining in Rome / Pizza in Rome and Naples

    We’ll be in Rome in early June for a weekend and then move to Naples before flying back to London. It will be my wife, two sons (ages 10 and 12), and myself.

    Four questions:
    1) What restaurants would you recommend in Rome for outside dining with good to great food?
    2) In early June should we expect Rome to be busy or not quite at peak tourist?
    3) We’d love to have fantastic pizza. Should we go in Rome or Naples (or both) for the best quality? Any recommendations?
    4) What are drinking rules for kids in Italy. Can they have a little wine with dinner when we’re out in public? Are kids allowed everywhere or are there clearly bars/pubs that kids can’t go into, even in the afternoon?

    Thanks,
    George

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1) Surprisingly, it’s not that easy to find a restaurant with great outdoor seating and excellent food. Deep in the historic center, Pierluigi is a smart seafood restaurant with tables set on a charming cobbled piazza. For somewhere more down to earth, try Da Francesco, a popular trattoria-pizzeria in the atmospheric streets west of Piazza Navona.

      2) Rome will be busy in June, and hot. Consider booking tickets to big sights like the Colosseum and Vatican Museums (for the Sistine Chapel,) and make sure to bring caps/sun hats as many of the ancient sites have very little shade.

      3) On the Rome vs Naples pizza question, it’s really a matter of taste: Roman pizzas have a thin, crispy base, whilst in Naples, the base is taller and chewier, more deep-pan in style. To taste classic Roman pizza try Pizzeria da Remo, a busy, no-frills pizzeria in the Testaccio neighbourhood. In Naples, the awesome Pizzeria Sorbillo serves incredible pizzas with delicious local mozzarella.

      4) Romans are very relaxed about kids. No one will mind if you give your kids a drop of wine with dinner or take them to a cafe/bar in the afternoon. In the evening, pubs tend to be for young adults but you’ll find plenty of places where you can all stop off for a drink or ice cream.

  17. St. Regis, Westin, or Eden Hotels

    My husband and I are doing a 14 day journey through Italy in late April. We are in our late 30s and though we have both been to Italy before we have not spent any significant time in Rome.

    A few questions:

    1) We are trying to decide between between the St Regis, Westin, and Eden (all Starwood hotels). Which is the most luxurious and “special”?
    2) Does one have a better location than others for seeing the sights?
    3) We arrive by train from Florence and fly home from Rome after 5 nights. Is one better located for train and airport travel?
    4) Would love to be close to good restaurants. If past travels are a rule then we usually spend the whole day sightseeing, return to our room for a quick shower and freshen up, then walk for dinner and usually stay pretty close to our hotel. So a good location for dining is important. Any preferences?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1) They’re all 5 five star but the St Regis probably tops it for opulence. Its interiors are classic with an abundance of glass chandeliers, artworks, period furniture and acres of polished marble. It has a popular butler service and a wonderful in-house spa. There’s also the possibility of bumping into an A-lister or two – both Madonna and the Rolling Stones have stayed there in recent years.

      2) Of the three, the Eden is the best placed for sightseeing. It’s just off Via Vittorio Veneto and walkable to both Villa Borghese, Rome’s most famous park, and Piazza di Spagna, home of the Spanish Steps.

      3) Location-wise, the St Regis is the nearest to Termini station where you’ll arrive from Florence and can take a train to the airport. There are also a few excellent museums in the vicinity but most of Rome’s main sights are a metro/bus ride away.

      4) To be honest, none are perfectly located for restaurants but of the three I’d go for the Eden. There are some fine restaurants and eateries in the streets around Piazza di Spagna, and the hotel itself has a great rooftop restaurant with fabulous panoramic views.

  18. Best Day and Time to Visit Pompeii

    We’re planning a day trip to Naples and Pompeii and wondering about the best day to visit Pompeii (which largely means least busy, though maybe there are other factors too) and also what time of the day (I know some attractions get somewhat quiet in the late afternoon – is this the case with Pompeii?).

    Thanks,
    Noelle

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Pompeii is busiest on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, so try to visit on a weekday if possible. As to the time of day, afternoons are quieter than mornings. The critical time to avoid is between about 10am and 11am when the tour buses arrive and long queues form at the ticket office.

      If you’re going in summer, you’ll also need to consider the heat. It gets extremely hot at Pompeii, particularly in the early afternoon, and there’s very little shade on site. Ideally, you’d want to visit in the late afternoon when temperatures have cooled and the crowds have thinned out.

      Whatever time you go, make sure to take bottle water and wear comfy shoes – the cobbled streets are very uneven and you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Sunscreen and a hat are also essential in hot weather.

  19. Best Area of Rome for Foodies

    What area of Rome would you recommend for great food and restaurants? I know Rome is pretty easy to get around but I also know that my husband and I invariably eat within about a 5 minute walk of our hotel. So good choices nearby is what I’m looking for. Thanks

    Elia

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Two areas: the Jewish Ghetto and Testaccio.

      Rome’s Jewish community is one of Europe’s oldest and over the centuries it has developed its own characteristic style of cooking known as cucina abraico romana. Deep-frying is a specialty, appearing in many dishes including the cuisine’s signature carciofo alla giudia (fried artichoke). For a taste head to the Ghetto, an atmospheric area to the southeast of Campo de’ Fiori. You’ll find loads of restaurants on its central strip, Via del Portico d’Ottavia.

      Further to the south, Testaccio is another foodie hotspot. Rome’s traditional cuisine developed here, and still today it’s an excellent spot for classic Roman cooking. That means mainly pasta and meat dishes, so if you’re a vegetarian stick to pizza. Down by what was Rome’s slaughterhouse but is now a contemporary arts complex, Checchino dal 1887 is a historic restaurant specializing in neighbourhood staples such as oxtail and sweetbreads.

  20. Should We Stay near the Vatican?

    Our main interests are focused around the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. We have 3 nights in Rome, should we stay near the Vatican? Can we fill 2.5 days with Vatican related attractions? Are there good restaurants near the Vatican (or too touristy)? If you say yes on the area, any good 4 star hotels near the Vatican that have some character? Thank you much.

    Thom.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      You’d be fine staying near the Vatican. There are plenty of decent hotels and the area is well connected with the rest of Rome. The Hotel Alimandi Vaticano offers four-star comfort and a prime location opposite the Vatican Museums. Another great option is the three-star Hotel Bramante, housed in the palazzo where 16th-century architect Domenico Fontana once lived.

      There’s a lot to a see in the Vatican. As well as St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, there’s also Castel Sant’Angelo nearby. You can explore these on your own but some areas can only be accessed on guided visits. Two tours worth considering are to St Peter’s Tomb beneath the Basilica, and to the Vatican Gardens.

      With 2.5 days you’ll have enough time to cover these places, and then some. If you find yourself at a loose end, scoot over the river and you’ll find yourself in Rome’s historic center where there’s plenty more to keep you busy.
      Restaurant-wise, there are plenty of tourist traps around the Vatican but the nearby Prati neighbourhood (around Via Cola di Rienzo on a map) has some great restaurants and cafes – try Sciascia Caffè for some of the best coffee in town.

  21. Inn at the Spanish Steps or Inn at the Roman Forum

    Debating between the Inn at the Spanish Steps or Inn at the Roman Forum. Both look like wonderful hotels (as far as I can tell). Is one location more enchanting than the other? Want central but not chaotic. Thank you.

    Vincent

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both are great hotels but for location I’d go for the Inn at the Spanish Steps. It’s situated on Via dei Condotti, Rome’s premier shopping strip, and is within easy walking distance of many top sights and restaurants. The surrounding area is prime shopping territory and attracts crowds of tourists and locals during the day but quiets considerably at night.

      The Inn at the Roman Forum is slightly out of the main historic center, in a quiet back lane. That said, it’s well placed for the Colosseum and Forums, and there’s plenty of life in the nearby Monti neighbourhood.

  22. Rome or Florence as a Base

    We are visiting Italy in April on our way from France to Greece. We have 3 full days to split between Rome and Florence. Would you recommend basing ourselves in Rome and doing a day trip to Florence, or basing ourselves in Florence and doing a day trip to Rome? Which has more to see for the average tourist?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I’d definitely stay in Rome. It’s by far the bigger city and one day is not enough to do it justice. Even with two days you’ll only be scratching the surface, but you’ll have enough time to see the big sites – the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain.

      There’s also plenty to see in Florence but it’s a more compact city and distances are smaller. On a day trip you could take in the main highlights – the Galleria degli Uffizi, the Duomo, the Galleria dell’Accademia – and still have a little time for wandering the historic center.

      Two tips: 1) Avoid going to Florence on a Monday as many top museums are closed. 2) Book tickets to the Uffizi and Accademia in advance on firenzemusei.it – it’ll save you frustrating (and valuable) queueing time.

  23. Inexpensive Hotel near Rome Termini Station

    We’ll be arriving at Rome Termini late at night (early May) from Naples. We have a food tour that starts the next morning near Termini. So we need a good inexpensive hotel near the station. Any recommendations? We’ll only be there about 10 hours so it need not be anything special. Just safe, clean, and moderately priced. Thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hotel Welrome is an excellent family-run budget hotel near Termini. It’s a fairly basic affair but the rooms are clean, and the friendly, English-speaking owners Mary and Carlo extend a warm welcome.

      For a hotel near Termini that’s a little more upmarket, try the Hotel Columbia. An elegant three-star, it has decent rooms, glass Murano chandeliers, and a lovely panoramic roof terrace.

  24. Quickest Way from Airport into the City

    My wife, daughter (age 9), and myself are staying at the Hotel de Russie. We land at the Rome international airport at 3pm. How best to get to our hotel – train, bus, or taxi? We are looking for the quickest, easiest way into the city. Cost is not a factor.

    Thanks, Russ.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I assume you mean Leonardo da Vinci airport (also known as Fiumicino) not the smaller Ciampino airport. The easiest way to your hotel would be by taxi. There’s a set rate into the center of town (€48) which covers up to four passengers including luggage. Just make sure to get an official white taxi.
      Alternatively, Airport Shuttle does private door-to-door transfers for €13 per passenger. You’ll need to book this in advance. By public transport, take the train into Termini and then line A of the metro to Flaminio-Piazza del Popolo. From there it’s a short walk to your hotel.

  25. Best Located Hotel in Rome for Fun and Food

    We have only 2 nights in Rome and really want to make the most of them. We have a walking tour planned on our one full day. We feel we might be too tired to venture too far from our hotel on our 2 nights. Could you recommend 1 or 2 hotels that are smack in the middle of a lively area with multiple restaurants? Want to be able to walk out our door and find good food and good fun within no more than a five minute walk. About us: We are in our 70s, don’t speak Italian, budget not an issue. Thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Location-wise few hotels can beat the Albergo del Senato. It overlooks the Pantheon on Piazza della Rotonda. The surrounding streets are lively and there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from – try Armando al Pantheon for classic Roman cuisine or Caffè Sant’Eustachio for superb coffee. The hotel itself is a classically styled three-star with comfortable rooms in an elegant 19th-century building.

      Another Rome hotel with a great location is the Hotel Campo de’ Fiori. This is a stylish boutique hotel with imaginatively designed rooms just off Campo de’ Fiori, one of the liveliest squares in the historic center. Again, you’ll find a great choice of restaurants and trattorias on your doorstep and plenty going on in the area.

  26. Best Beach near Rome

    We will be in the Rome area for 2 days. One day we’ll do the major attractions of Rome. The other day we would like to go to a beach. I know, this is probably not the best use of our time, but we will be at the end of a 3 week trip through Europe with our 2 kids yet we will not have been at a beach (London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome are our major stops). So we really have to make some beach time happen.

    1. What is the best beach (or beaches) that are within a few hours of Rome? (We will not have a rental car, so I assume we’ll be taking the train.)
    2. Given that there is something relatively close, would you recommend doing a day trip (out in the morning, back at night) or spend a night, enjoy the beach, and then return to Rome (our flight leaves early on the morning of the 3rd day).

    Thanks!
    Martin

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      To the north of Rome, Santa Marinella is a pleasant resort town with an excellent sandy beach. It’s easy to get to by public transport and makes a wonderful day trip. But note that it’s very popular and gets rammed on summer weekends. To get there, take a train from Termini (journey time approx. one hour) and then walk to the beach.

      Harder to get to but worth the hassle is Sperlonga. About 120km south of Rome, Sperlonga has a great strip of golden sand and a charming whitewashed centre, picturesquely set atop a small hill. Consider overnighting at Sperlonga as it takes some effort to get to (try the Hotel Corallo in the historic centre). You’ll need to take a train from Termini to Fondi-Sperlonga (about one and a quarter hours) and then a connecting bus.

  27. Inn at the Roman Forum or Hotel Raphael

    Trying to decide between the Inn at the Roman Forum or the Hotel Raphael. Looking for a boutique hotel that is a short walk away from restaurants and lively squares. Any advice?

    Jason

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      If you want to be in the heart of the action, go for the Hotel Raphael. It’s just off Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most famous squares, and the surrounding streets are atmospheric and full of restaurants, trattorias, and bars. The hotel itself is a historic landmark with a distinctive ivy-covered facade. Inside, standout features include a floor of contemporary rooms designed by architect Richard Meier and a spectacularly-sited rooftop restaurant.

      The Inn at the Roman Forum is a much more intimate place. Tucked away in a quiet back lane, it has contemporary styled rooms, a roof terrace, even its own ancient ruins – look near the reception area. Location-wise, it’s well placed for the Forums and Colosseum, but slightly out of the main historic center. That said, the nearby Monti neighborhood (within easy walking distance) is a trendy area with a bohemian village-vibe and a good selection of restaurants, bars, and cafes.

  28. Good Nightlife Area in Rome

    Is there a good area for fun lively nightlife in Rome? Looking for relaxed, beer or wine bar with a local feel (but a little touristy is OK too). Not looking for sophisticated clubs.

    We are mid-30s, love good food, and on our honeymoon, if that helps.

    Thanks,
    Sophie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      There are hundreds of bars and cafes dotted around the Campo de’ Fiori area. Personal favorites include Open Baladin, a laid-back bar specializing in craft beer, and Barnum Cafe, a cool hangout with vintage furniture, smooth tunes, and excellent cocktails. Further out from the center, the Testaccio neighborhood is something of a nightlife hotspot. Romans of all ages come here for its authentic, down-to-earth trattorias – try Flavio al Velavevodetto for classic Roman fare – whilst young, party-goers flock to the mainstream clubs on Via di Monte Testaccio. A fun drinking spot is Rec 23, a trendy bar-cum-restaurant good for an early evening aperitif and occasional live music.

  29. Luxury Hotels in Trastevere

    We have 4 nights in Rome while honeymooning. From a brief stay I had in Rome 2 years ago we’ve focused our search on Trastevere.
    – Do you think this is a good choice for honeymooners?
    – Is the area safe? (It seemed lively while I was there but I remember one turn I took off the main street and it felt a little sketchy.)
    – Are there any luxury hotels in Trastevere? It seems like every hotel is either budget or mid-range. Any recommendations for 4 or 5 star hotels in the area?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Trastevere would be wonderful for a honeymoon. It’s one of Rome’s most beautiful neighborhoods and its cobbled lanes lend themselves to relaxed exploration. For an unforgettable experience, head up to the Gianicolo Hill – it’s a short but steep walk – and enjoy sensational views over Rome’s rooftops. When it comes to eating and drinking, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are any number of bars, pizzerias and restaurants to choose from, including the Michelin-starred Glass Hostaria. Afterwards, you could catch some jazz at Big Mama, a historic basement venue. Trastevere is also perfectly safe.

      For somewhere to stay, the four-star Hotel Donna Camilla Savelli is an atmospheric oasis housed in a converted 17th-century convent.

  30. Day Trips close to Rome

    We have 5 full days in Rome in May. We have a food tour planned one day, a walking tour another day, and a free day for the third. The other two days we would like to do a day trip. We’re open to anything, and really just looking for something great. We know Pompeii is a full day trip but don’t mind that if it’s worth the effort. What are the top day trips near Rome that you would recommend to a first time visitor?

    Thanks,
    Rosie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Pompeii is absolutely worth the effort – but it is a long day. Plenty of agencies organize trips from Rome to Pompeii. If you want to get to Popeii on your own (good explanation here about the Rome to Pompeii train), get a fast train from Stazione Termini to Naples (about 70 minutes, the first SuperFast train leaves at 7:35am) and then a Circumvesuviana train to Pompei-Scavi-Villa dei Misteri (35 minutes, but not all trains to Circumvesuviana stop at Pompeii – only those with final destination “Sorrento”).

      Nearer to Rome, Ostia Antica is a much easier option (good day trip info here). The site contains the ruins of what was once ancient Rome’s seaport and is like a mini-Pompeii with its intact streets, amazing mosaics, and fabulous amphitheater. (This is not only a shorter trip than Pompeii but also much less expensive as it doesn’t require taking an expensive Superfast train.)

      Another classic day trip is Tivoli. The two main attractions here are Villa d’Este, a Renaissance villa famous for its garden fountains, and Villa Adriana, Emperor Hadrian’s vast country estate. The ancient ruins here are truly incredible, especially in spring when the wild flowers are out in full bloom.

      And there is also Cerveteri. 35km north of Rome, this small town is home to one of Italy’s greatest Etruscan sites, a strange, fascinating Necropoli (necropolis) full of circular, grass-topped tombs.

      All of these day trips are accessible by public transport, so you won’t have to hire a car or contend with traffic or driving directions.

  31. Early July or Late August in Rome

    My husband and I are planning a trip around Europe for the summer of 2016. Our plan is to start or finish in Paris and Rome with an extended stay with family in Poland in the middle. Paris we know well and are comfortable visiting any time but are wondering if early July or late August would be the best time to visit Rome. Our main interests while in Rome would be (in order): great food, walking tours of the top sights, museums. Is there any difference between these two months?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      It depends what you mean by late August. August is the traditional holiday month in Italy and many Romans leave the city for the sea or mountains. As a result, some restaurants and family-run shops close for a couple of weeks, usually around the 15th, a day known in Italy as Ferragosto. Most places would probably have re-opened by the last week of the month, but there are no hard and fast rules on this. On the plus side, public transport is less crowded in August and there are plenty of outdoor events going on. You’ll also have no problem with museums and tours, as it’s business as usual for the city’s tourist sites. July is high season in Rome and the city is busy. That said, everything is open and the summer festival season is in full swing. If you plan on shopping, the summer sales generally start on the first Saturday of the month. But whichever month you choose, it will be hot. Watch out when planning visits to the ancient sites where there’s little shade, and to St Peter’s Basilica where you’ll probably have to queue under the sun in St Peter’s Square.

  32. Rome or Venice

    Hi again! Not sure how much you know about Venice vs Rome but would you personally stay longer in Rome or Venice? Thanks!

    Jes.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Rome is more deserving of time than Venice. There’s much more to see in Rome and way better food. For example, if I had 5 days to split between Rome and Venice I would spend 1 full day in Venice and the rest in Rome.

  33. Food Tour in Rome

    Visiting Rome in May on my honeymoon. Can you recommend a food tour on the best of Rome restaurants/food? Would prefer a walking tour in small group. Thanks, Anna.

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