Rome has dozens of districts, each with its own architectural quirks, monuments and atmosphere. So how do you decide which to visit first? We asked international travellers what their favourite thing was about every Rome district. This is what they said. *
The legendary Piazza Navona
Navona is one of Rome’s oldest neighbourhoods and there are enough dining options to stump even the most laid-back traveller. Start your exploration at the traditional Trattoria Da Tonino, or wander through the legendary Piazza Navona food market before heading to Ciampini for a scoop of raspberry or dark-chocolate gelato.
The Piazza della Rotonda
The Pantheon district is a highlight of any visit to Rome. The Piazza della Rotonda is located on the south side of the Pantheon, and a wide selection of trattorias offer the chance to admire the impressive architecture while sampling traditional Italian fare. Highlights include Ristorante Trattoria, L’Antica Salumeria and the luxurious La Rosetta oyster bar.
A cosy street in the Trastevere district
Trastevere has maintained its working-class roots, and travellers in search of an authentic Italian dining experience are spoilt for choice. Family-run trattorias sit beside artisanal breweries and tiny pizzerias, offering Rome’s signature thin crusts and hearty calzones. Visitors recommend the stylish Casa Mia In Trastevere for travellers interested in exploring the city’s culinary options.
The Baths of Diocletian garden
Rome’s largest hotel district, Stazione Termini, is heartily endorsed by history lovers for its connections to the city’s historical sites. And many of the hotels reflect this, with ancient buildings transformed into chic boutique-accommodations that overlook the Baths of Diocletian.
The 3rd-century Villa Gordiani park
The historic Prenestino district is a relatively unexplored part of Rome. Tourists who make the trip will find the ruins of some truly magnificent monuments in the 3rd-century Villa Gordiani park. The most impressive of which are the Mausoleum – a crumbling circular building – and the ominously named ‘Tower of the Slaves’.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo
The San Lorenzo district is a few minutes travel from some of Rome’s most impressive architectural sites. One particular monument stays in the mind long after you’ve gone home: the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Built in the 4th century, the church contains mosaics dating back to the Byzantine era and a 2nd-century pagan sarcophagus.
The Ponte Milvio bridge
Visitors to the Tor Di Quinto district cannot miss the Ponte Milvio, a bridge that was first built in 206 BCE and that played an important role in protecting the Roman Empire. Recent years have seen the Ponte Milvio become a place for romance, with couples visiting to attach ‘love padlocks’ to the railings.
Galleria Borghese in Villa Borghese
As the world’s tiniest sovereign state, Vatican City is rightly proud of its history and the Vatican Museums, which include world-renowned artworks and intriguing insights into Rome’s history. But the Vaticano Prati district is also worth exploring, especially the Museo e Galleria Borghese – offering a welcome respite from the busy city centre – and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna.
Rome's colourful Old Town
While most of Rome could be called the ‘old town’, the Aurelio district has an atmosphere similar to many of the Old Towns in Eastern Europe. Wandering through the streets, you’ll find traditional Italian architecture, family-run businesses and an established, friendly community. Live like a local for a few days by checking into one of the area’s many B&Bs.
The Gianicolense neighbourhood
The Gianicolense neighbourhood is home to the Gianicolo hill, a truly ancient part of Rome that helped defend the city against invading armies. Today the area is known for its carefully maintained walkways and impressive views of the city.
Style-spotting in Monti
The Monti district is ideal for sightseeing when you want to escape the bustling crowds Rome city centre usually attracts. Start your explorations at the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti and visit La Casetta, an incredibly photogenic 15th-century house. Or, if you prefer style-spotting to sightseeing, check out Rome’s alternative fashion hub at Via del Boschetto. Book a room with a view of the Coliseum at the Relais Terme Di Tito.
** The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the top endorsement for each of Rome's neighbourhoods. Read part one here.