ROMA

Rome' symbol:  S.P.Q.R.

Rome's symbol is the same from antiquity: Senatus PopulusQue Romanorum - The Senate and the People of Rome

Centre North South East West

Detailed map of Rome centre

MUSIC    


AVENTINO. Nowadays an elegant residential area. It is one of the Seven Hills of Rome, bordering the Circus Maximus, and hence adjacent to the Palatine. The housing was built especially in this century. Fine though expensive residential area, as it is removed far enough from the more densely populated parts of the centre,which are at walking distance. Small food shops and open  markets. Heavy traffic in some areas, but generally there are tree-lined streets and free street parking. Good public transport (including the metro Linea B, Circo Massimo stop) and recreational facilities. One foreign school (St Stephen's). Good parks. The Food and Agricultural Organization (F.A.O.) has its headquarters in the adjacent area, and the Aventino is a highly desirable location for the organization employees. Click here to see the photo of the quarter, which is at the left of the Circus Maximus in the picture.

COLOSSEUM/MONTI. Situated between the Coliseum and St. Mary Major. One of the most ancient quarters in Rome, where there once stood Trajan's market, Nero's Domus Aurea and the Esquilino hill (on top of which the Basilica was built). One can find many nice and characteristic areas secluded from car traffic. In the main streets around the quarter there is heavy traffic, but also excellent public transport. Small food shops, open markets, many cosy restaurants. In this bohemienne quarter some young Italian physicists, the so called "Ragazzi (boys) di Via Panisperna" (Fermi etc.), in an old building contributed to the discovery of nuclear energy and of the atomic bomb. In the same quarter there lived the famous sculptor Bernini (he made the colonnade of St. Peter, two fountains of Piazza Navona, the Triton fountain in Piazza Barberini etc.).  
At the Eastern limit of the quarter there is probably the most beautiful  basilica in town (Santa Maria Maggiore). Perhaps only in Rome such unusual historical combinations can happen. In this quarter nowadays it is still possible to find the characteristic, romantic Roman combination of history, art, joy and pleasure of living.
Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Monti Colosseo quarter (the above presentation was just a concise one).

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ESQUILINO. S. MARIA MAGGIORE. TERMINI. PIAZZA VITTORIO.
A particular combination of grandiose ancient monuments and basilicas on one hand, and of congested quarters on the other. The Esquilino is one of the seven hills of ancient Rome, on top of which the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore was built. Dedicated to Mary in the place where, according to a tradition, it snowed in August, it is perhaps the most beautiful basilica in town, and surely the most sober. G.L. Bernini is buried in the church, which has the best Cosmati pavement, and beautiful side chapels.
Many popes are buried in the basilica, which is visited by the Pope the 5th of August and the 8th of December every year. Click here to go to the page with photos.
Nearby there is the Stazione Termini, Rome's main train station, surrounded by a myriad of hotels, mostly inexpensive "Pensione", and by a vast array of shops, generally little. The concentration of the latter is higher in Piazza  Vittorio, where one can find in the morning of working days a popular  market, with a very good offer of local and also foreign food, particularly  cheap, and also crowded. A few cheap department stores can be found, as
"MAS".

The cost of housing in this area is reasonable, the transportation is needless to say excellent for the nearby train station. Click here to see the photo of the station.

NAVONA, PANTHEON, TREVI FOUNTAIN, CAMPO DE' FIORI.
Housing built from Renaissance onwards on top of impressive ancient Roman monuments. These three zones are among the most famous for tourism and nightlife. Small food shops, open markets, boutiques and craft shops. Traffic restricted to permit holders. Paying car park for permit holders. Good public transport and recreational facilities. Expensive housing. A brief description of the zones follows.
The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is probably the nicest fountain in the world. Its history dates back to ancient Rome, and it was re-built several times until its final version, made by architect Francesco Salvi in the 17th century. It is a masterpiece mesmerising visitors from all over the world. In the neighbourhood around the fountain there are many cosy restaurants, cafes (with wonderful "gelato") and shops, all very convenient.
Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Trevi Fountain - Spanish Steps quarter (the above presentation was just a concise one).
Piazza Navona was built on top of the ancient Domitian Roman Stadium (that seated more spectators than the Coliseum: 55,000). The Piazza is nowadays probably the most perfect example of Baroque architecture applied to a square. It still maintains the shape of the Roman stadium.
Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Navona quarter (the presentation above was just a concise one).
The Pantheon is the best preserved monument of antiquity. It is also the most ancient monument in the world that maintained its original function: a religious temple (first pagan and then Christian). It has the largest dome in Rome (larger than S. Peter's: 43.30 Mts. - !). An engineering marvel of the Romans which was transformed into a church and national monument hosting the graves of Raphael and of the former Italian Royal family. It still mantains the original ancient Roman character. Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Pantheon quarter.
Piazza Campo de' Fiori ("Flowers field") was in the ancient times a place hosting subsidiary premises of the Roman senate. It was here that Julius Caesar was murdered. Also Giordano Bruno, the philosopher who preached the separation of power between the Church and the State was burnt alive here during the Inquisition. A bronze statue can be found nowadays celebrating
him and remembering his trial and execution.
Quite on the contrary of these historical episodes, the Piazza is one of the most characteristic and amiable places in Rome, with a romantic atmosphere. It hosts in the morning a popular market and the quarter around is a fashionable and trendy place to live. Expensive housing.
Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Campo de' Fiori quarter (the presentation above was just a concise one).

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PIAZZA DI SPAGNA. Around the Spanish steps. Luxury housing. Plenty of hotels. Expensive food shops and boutiques. Traffic restricted to permit holders. Good public transport and recreational facilities. Good parks. Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Spanish Steps quarter (the presentation above was just a concise one).

PIRAMIDE/TESTACCIO. The western edge of the historic centre near St Paul's outside-the-Walls and the slopes of the Aventino hill. Housing built at beginning of 20th century. Formerly a popular quarter (the football team "Roma" was founded here), today is a residential area. Small food shops, open markets, supermarkets. Heavy traffic, metered street parking. Good public transport and recreational facilities.

PIAZZA DEL POPOLO. The Northern border of ancient Rome and of the Aurelian walls, restyled by Valadier. Near the Villa Borghese park and the Spanish steps. Housing built from Renaissance onwards. Small food shops, open markets and boutiques. Traffic restricted to permit holders. Good public transport and recreational activities. One foreign school (primary section of  French Lycèe Chateaubriand). Click here to see the photo.

PIAZZA VENEZIA: it was the centre of ancient Rome, as there is here the Capitol Hill. It is still officially the centre of Rome, as on the same hill there are now many premises, including town hall. You also find (among other things) an important museum (Museo Capitolino), a church (Ara Coeli), the Vittoriale or Altar of the Fatherland (there rests the body of the unknown soldier of WW1), a beautiful palace (Palazzo Conservatori) and an even more beautiful square, with a genial and elegant flower/star design by Michelangelo. Capitol Hill is spelled in Italian Campidoglio. In the square you can also find Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Pope Julius II, later former see of the embassy of the Serene Republic of Venice and of the embassy of Austria. The palace hosted afterwards the headquarters of the fascist government, and presently is the Ministry of Art Treasures.
Click on the underscored names and the photos will appear.

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PORTA PIA. Housing built from late 19th century onwards. Small food shops and open markets, some supermarkets. Heavy traffic and very difficult parking. Good public transport and recreational facilities. Two foreign schools (secondary section of Lycée Chateaubriand, Scuola Svizzera).

ROMAN FORUM. Near Piazza Venezia you find the Roman Forum. It covers a large area. Actually there are two Forums: the Imperial Forums (left going to the Coliseum: of Trajan, Augustus and Vespasian) and the proper Roman Forum (Monarchic and Republican period of ancient Rome, to the right going towards Coliseum. In the area you find of course the Coliseum, the Domus Aurea of Emperor Nero, the Circus Maximus and the Palatine Hill (at the right of the Circus Maximus in the photo). Click here to go to the page with many photos presenting it.

SAN GIOVANNI. The fringe of the historical centre to the South, around St. John Lateran, the Basilica which was the residence of the Popes before they moved to the Vatican. Commercial and residential area. Small food shops, open markets and supermarkets. Heavy traffic and metered street parking. Good public transport and recreational facilities. Reasonably priced housing.

TRASTEVERE (from Latin "Trans Tiber", across the Tiber). Housing built especially during the 17th and 18th centuries. Picturesque quarter where the "Roma sparita" (the colourful 17th - 19th century Rome embedded in human qualities that vanished) is still somehow in the air and in everybody's memory, generating a nostalgic attitude.
A beautiful church (S. Maria in Trastevere click here to see the photo), characteristic cafes and restaurants. Traditionally, it is one of the quarters of the artists. Small food shops, open markets and supermarkets. Traffic restricted to permit holders. Excellent public transport in the surrounding avenues. Excellent recreational facilities, it is Rome's best quarter to enjoy nightlife. Two foreign schools (Ambrit Rome International School, Liceo Espanol Cervantes). Good parks. Rather expensive housing, still it is less expensive than other central quarters, and somehow affordable.
Click here for a detailed description and many photos of the Trastevere quarter (the previous presentation above was just a concise one).

VATICAN (BORGO) / ST PETER'S. Situated close to the Vatican Walls. Housing built mainly during this century when many of the older buildings were destroyed. Nowadays it is a residential area, but many offices, companies and schools have their premises in the quarter. There are small food shops (some big and with international quality food, like "Castroni" in Via Cola di Rienzo. It is an excellent shopping area, especially during Christmas. In the major avenues there is heavy traffic, and it is very difficult parking.
Very good public transport, also with the subway line A. Few recreational facilities. Relatively expensive housing, still less expensive than other central quarters. Click here to see the photo.

VIA VENETO. Headquarters of the US army after the liberation of Rome and later location of the US embassy. Centre of night life after WW2 (as shown in Fellini's "Dolce Vita"), today it is a luxury residential area. Luxury hotels.
Expensive food and clothing shops. Heavy traffic. Metered street parking and large underground car parks. Good public transport and recreational facilities. Nearby there is a beautiful park, Villa Borghese (the Borghese Gardens). Click here to see the photo.


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