The wide, busy streets around Rome’s central train station feel much more urban than the rest of the city center. Traffic is heavier, 19th-century buildings are taller, and the overall feeling is gray and commercial—not the Rome of travel brochure fantasies. But the hotel density here is the highest in the city, and you’re assured of finding a room in a pinch. And parts of this area, such as Monti and San Lorenzo, have become popular with the hipster crowd thanks to abundant eateries (both Italian and ethnic) and funky wine bars. Although most travelers choose the area because it’s cheap, there are a surprising number of high-end hotels here as well, and if you’re looking for a luxurious room, the price-quality ratio here is better than in swankier parts of town.
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Things You Can't Miss
Linger on the Spanish Steps, throw coins in the Trevi Fountain and watch the sun set over red-tiled roofs from Janiculum Hill near Garibaldi’s statue.
Rome’s Left Bank, including the old Jewish quarter, is artsy, trendy and great for people watching.
AA World Travel Library/Alamy
From the morning market to the evening party crowds, this is Rome’s liveliest square. Nearby: antiques and fine craftsmen on the Via Giulia.
LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH/Alamy
Foodies rave about the meats, cheeses and produce in this working-class neighborhood. Stop at Remo for authentic rectangular pizza romana.
Buy a drink at any enoteca and enjoy a light meal during Rome’s version of the happy hour. Finish with gelato from Vice or Giolitti.
Masterpieces by Caravaggio, Botticelli, Raphael and Bernini are housed in a magnificent Renaissance villa. Rent rowboats at the park’s man-made lake.
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