Seen the Colosseum? Sat on the Spanish Steps? Then it’s time to discover a different side to the Eternal City. Rome’s most happening neighbourhoods contain plenty of surprises, from hip vermouth bars and quirky cat bistros to amazing street art and great vintage shopping.
Whether you’re a design maven or a foodie, looking for nightlife or travelling with the kids, these are the best neighbourhoods in Rome when finding your home away from home...
Best for families: Trastevere
Its bars and restaurants have long made Trastevere a buzzy night-time destination but it’s also a wonderful neighbourhood for families to explore. Kids can run free in the Botanical Gardens, explore the maze of vicoli (alleys) and marvel at the ornate Fontana dell’Acqua Paola atop the Janiculum Hill.
Hang out with the locals at Piazza San Cosimato and start your day at the playground or the lively morning market, which sells everything from cheese and olive oil to fresh flowers. Return in the evening for an aperitivo at Bar Il Siciliano and post-dinner gelato at Fatamorgana Gelato.
Stay: With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, this classic Airbnb apartment on Campo de’ Fiori offers families plenty of room to spread out.
Best for culture: Prati
Prati’s grid of wide streets and art nouveau buildings makes it feel more like Paris than Rome. Delve into contemporary art at Restelli Art Co and Basement Roma, catch some jazz at Alexanderplatz Jazz Club or savour a slice of torta di noci (walnut cake) in an old-school cafe such as Sciascia Caffe or Antico Caffe Ruschena – once a favoured haunt of Italian director Federico Fellini.
Stay: Old-school elegance is the name of the game at Hotel Farnese, with its velvet curtains, ornately-framed mirrors and rooftop breakfast room with views of St Peter’s Basilica. Book using Qantas Points at Qantas Hotels.
Best for design: Monti
Tucked between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia, Monti squeezes a lot into a compact space. Come here for vintage shopping (try Pifebo on Via dei Serpenti and Moll Flanders on Via Urbana) and artisanal jewellery (top picks include Maria Greca and Argentia Jewels).
Fuel up at the vine-covered La Casetta a Monti or unwind at one of Monti’s cool bars, such as art-focused Sacripante Gallery or the rooftop cocktail bar Mùn (above), where you can enjoy a glass of franciacorta wine while overlooking the grand dome of the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Stay: Housed in a former convent, the boutique Roma Luxus Hotel has rooms decorated in jewel tones, and is walking distance from several fine dining restaurants.
Best for nightlife: Pigneto
Like Shoreditch in London, Pigneto has shed its industrial past to become one of Rome’s liveliest after-dark districts. Start the evening with a meal at the cosy Mile, with its ever-changing menu, or Bosco, known for its truffle dishes, before indulging in a little bar hopping. Kick off at the vermouth bar Mezzo Vermuteria or sip a carbonara sour at Co.So Cocktail & Social, where vodka is infused with guanciale (pork jowl) and spiked with egg white and black pepper. Wrap up the night with some tunes and a glass of wine at the laid back Bottigleria Pigneto.
Stay: This light-filled Airbnb loft blends designer touches – including a cherry-red Smeg fridge – with cosy additions, such as plenty of leafy house plants and a sunny terrace.
TIP: Dream home or dream Roman holiday? Why choose when you could have both. Earn 300,000 Qantas Points when you switch or apply for an eligible ANZ Home Loan of $300,000 or more and LVR of 80% or less. Apply by 19 August 2022 and settle by 31 January 2023.1 T&Cs apply. Find out more.
Best for foodies: Testaccio
Formerly home to the city’s slaughterhouse, Testaccio has been reborn as every foodie’s favourite neighbourhood. Beyond Rome’s largest food market, which showcases around 100 stalls and is open six days a week, are celebrated restaurants such as Felice a Testaccio and Taverna Volpetti as well as some of Rome’s best street food. Be prepared to queue for the pizza at CasaManco n.4 or the pizza pockets at Stefano Callegari’s Trapizzino.
Stay: Perched on the hill above some of Testaccio’s best restaurants, the Hotel San Anselmo has opulent interiors accentuated by plush velvet furnishings and regal bed canopies, an art deco breakfast room and a courtyard garden. Book using Qantas Points at Qantas Hotels.
Best for artistic masterworks: Campo de’ Fiori
This lively neighbourhood is known for its nightlife and its market, where the stalls range from fashion to farm-fresh produce. A lesser-known secret is that some of the city’s most remarkable artworks can also be found here.
Palazzo Spada (above) displays works by Titian and Artemisia Gentileschi, as well as Borromini’s remarkable Perspective Gallery, while Michelangelo and the Carracci brothers worked on the ornate Palazzo Farnese. For Caravaggio fans, the church of San Luigi dei Francesi is home to no fewer than three of his paintings.
Stay: With its ivy-covered façade, its Pompeii-red walls and decadent canopy beds, the Boutique Hotel Campo dé Fiori will seduce anyone who loves a touch of grandeur. Book using Qantas Points at Qantas Hotels.
Best for the hipster crowd: Ostiense
They do things differently in Ostiense. As Rome’s street art hub, it’s also home to the Centrale Montemartini (below), a former power plant displaying ancient Roman art, and the city’s favourite cat cafe, Romeow Cat Bistrot, as well as the massive Eataly complex – four storeys dedicated to the best Italian foodstuffs.
There are some great Asian restaurants to try, including Ramen Bar Akira and Porto Fluviale, where seating options include the courtyard, the trattoria and the “living room”. If clubbing is your thing, head to Circolo degli Illuminati.
Stay: Convenience and character combine in this one-bedroom rooftop Airbnb apartment, perched near the metro station, which is crowned with a rooftop terrace.
Dream home or dream Roman holiday? Why choose when you could have both. Earn 300,000 Qantas Points when you switch or apply for an eligible ANZ Home Loan of $300,000 or more and LVR of 80% or less. Apply by 19 August 2022 and settle by 31 January 2023.1 T&Cs apply. Find out more.
You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn and redeem Qantas Points. Membership and points are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
2. Examples are a guide only and subject to change. Taxes, fees and carrier charges of $489.14 apply. Based on 2 adults and 2 children Economy return from Sydney. Equivalent Value based on a sample of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards that could be obtained by redeeming through the Qantas Frequent Flyer program and will vary depending on how and when points are redeemed. Classic Flight Rewards seats subject to limited availability and some flights may not have any Classic Flight Reward seats available. Points required, taxes, fees and carrier charges and equivalent value accurate as at 20 May 2022 and subject to change.