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As mentioned, the central quarter has great character. Its people are very friendly, and have at the same time great personality. There are many art shops, craftmen, charming restaurants and cafes. There are many gracious zones secluded from car traffic. Art and history seem to be everywhere, yet there is a very enjoyable atmosphere, also with a sort of "bohemienne" look.
The hospitality of the quarter is renowned since many centuries. The famous sculptor Bernini (columnade of St. Peter, two fountains of Piazza Navona, the Triton fountain etc.) lived here, together with his father, a sculptor himself.  Michelangelo worked here (in the church of St. Peter in Chain). Much later, some young Italian physicists, the so called "Ragazzi (boys) di Via Panisperna" (Fermi etc.), contributed to discover the nuclear energy and the atomic bomb. 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, love for life. Last and not least you still find the original friendly inhabitants, who give to the quarter its authentic character. In many other central quarters this ended after WW2, or at the latest in the 60es.

The centre of the quarter is Piazza Santa Maria dei Monti:

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Piazza S. Maria dei Monti. The Ukraine seminar, and people sitting around the cultural centre.

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Opposite view: the church of S. Maria dei Monti

The Piazza is very charming. One finds here the central church of the quarter ("Santa Maria ai Monti"), the Catholic Ukraine seminar of Rome, the cultural and recreational centre of the quarter, a nice fountain. There are also some interesting shops, a restaurant, a "gelateria" - ice cream cafe-, a pastry shop...and lots of people enjoying themselves.
You can find more photos in the page presenting the churches (please click the underscored text).

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Monti: newstand in Via degli Zingari

In the quarter there are many charming streets and corners with no traffic. In the left photo you can see the Via degli Zingari, with its characteristic newsstand, its open- -air bars, and 17th century palazzi.
The right photo shows the "Salita dei Borgia" (Borgia's climb), bringing to the compound of convents where the church of St. Peter in chain can be found. In the last palazzo, presently a convent, you can see surrounded by ivy the balcony of Lucrezia Borgia.

                   Right photo: Salita dei Borgia

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The little enjoable streets of the quarter have each a distinct personality, and are considered by its inhabitants as places to use for different purposes. They include also different facilities.
Via dei Serpenti (Sirpent st.) has three pastry shops, a great ice cream cafe ("Il Gelatone", please visit the page of the restaurants and cafes), charactful bars, the best Indian restaurant in town ("Maharaja"), a herbal shop, a chemist shop, boutiques.

Monti: the little electric bus 117

Monti: the little electric bus 117

In particular there are old fashioned and family-run "Alimentari" (grocery stores), the ones with all the kinds of pastas, all the very special cheese, the sauces etc. These shops are unfortunately disappearing in Italy, while in the Monti quarter they are still a reference.
Via Urbana is a quiet, ivy-clad residential street.
Via dei Serpenti

Via dei Serpenti

Via Urbana

Via Urbana


Via Panisperna is a charactful and charming street bringing from the Basilica of St. Mary Major to Trajan' Forum. It has many cozy restaurants.

Via del Boschetto has countless craftmen shops with artisan working around the clock, and also art shops, antiquaries. It is also a favourite place to stroll.

The little yet frequent and silent bus 117 circulates around the quarter, and then  goes to the Trevi fountain and to the Spanish Steps.

Via Panisperna

Via Panisperna

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Via del Boschetto