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Central Hotel in Rome - Where to stay in Rome's Historic Center

Looking for a central hotel in Rome? 

Figuring out where to stay in Rome's Centro Storico, or Historic Center can be daunting. Don't worry, that's what we're here for!



Central Hotel in Rome - our picks for every area of downtown Rome

Where to Stay in Rome's Historic Center

Hotels in Rome's Historic Center

I think the most popular request is for where to stay in Rome that's “central”. This covers a pretty large area and set of neighborhoods.

I'd consider a neighborhood to be in "central Rome" if you can walk easily to at least two major sights

What is the Centro Storico of Rome?

Rome's Historic Center, Centro Storico refers to those 22 areas (called rioni) enclosed between the Aurelian walls and the Gianicolense walls.

The word rione derives from the Latin word regiones, which were subdivisions first defined by Roman king Servius Tullius, around the 6th century BCE. They were originally four.

They have evolved and grown since then and today there are 22.

Some neighborhoods you know today, such as the Jewish Ghetto, may include parts of various Rioni.

A map of Rome's "rioni", or neighborhoods, by Alessio Damato on Wikimedia Creative Commons.
When you walk around Rome, you will see signs for the "rione" you are in. There are 22 of them, and these make up what is known as the "centro storico", or historical center of Rome.

Rome's center itself is made up of lots of neighborhoods that vary quite a bit from each other, in a 2-block area.

On this page, we'll describe the most central Rome neighborhoods briefly, and offer some suggestions for where to stay in Rome in each of these areas.

The below neighborhood descriptions were written by Rome native Alessandro

Piazza Barberini/Via Veneto/Trevi Fountain

PIAZZA BARBERINI

Piazza Barberini is in the heart of the historic center of the capital, in the Trevi district.

Piazza Barberini is one of Rome's most famous and most beautiful piazzas. Its crowning jewel is the Triton fountain by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

It's perfectly located at the bottom of the famed via Veneto and at the top of the well-known via del Tritone, which leads directly to via del Corso, the nerve center of city shopping. Barberini has its own Metro stop, and the Trevi Fountain is just a few minutes' walk away. This combination of factors makes Piazza Barberini one of the best locations for staying in a central hotel in Rome.

The piazza owes its name to nearby Palazzo Barberini.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near Piazza Barberini include:

VIA VENETO

Famous around the world as a symbol of the dolce vita, via Veneto still dominates the “Olympus of architectural pearls”, a rare example of historic buildings, today home to prestigious luxury hotels.

Staying at a central hotel in Rome's Via Veneto neighborhood will allow you to soak up all that "dolce vita" ambiance, so famous in the 1960s.

Via Veneto harks to an era of glamour that no longer exists, once THE place to see and be seen in Rome.

While strolling along this broad, sweeping boulevard, you may still come across a few elegant landmarks, those frequented in the 1960s by movie stars and prying paparazzi.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome on or near Via Veneto include:

TREVI FOUNTAIN

The Trevi Fountain, Rome's most iconic fountain, is named after the Rione Trevi (a rione is a way to designate a Rome neighbourhood).

This small but iconic area of Rome's historic center is most famous for its eponymous fountain.

It also has a particular character, which tries to resist the advance of a frenetic (and inevitable) loss of the "slow-motion" rhythm of life that once was part of Romans' DNA.

Marked by its narrow cobblestone streets filled with ice cream shops, trattorias, and throngs of people, the Trevi neighborhood has its own unique feel and charm, almost as if you are in a village of Rome rather than Rome City Center.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near Trevi Fountain include:

The Spanish Steps/Piazza del Popolo area is one of the most central places to stay in Rome. (It also falls into the "luxury neighborhood" category.)

Both the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo have a convenient Metro stop, and can also be easily-reached by the Barberini Metro. 

Spanish Steps/Piazza del Popolo

PIAZZA DI SPAGNA/SPANISH STEPS

This piazza takes its name from the Spanish Embassy to the Holy See, located just a few meters/feet from the bottom of the famous steps.

In the center of the square, at the foot of the 135-step staircase, you can spot the fountain known as the Barcaccia, designed by Pietro Bernini and his more famous son, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The name of the fountain derives from the boats that used to ship wine from the port of Ripetta.

Staying in the Spanish Steps area puts you smack in the middle of Rome's top shopping district. Some of the most popular city shopping streets include Via dei Condotti, Via Frattina and Via Borgognona, well known for their exclusive boutiques and antique shops.

And there are plenty of options for places to eat nearby.

Staying at a central hotel in Rome near the Spanish Steps puts you smack in the best shopping zone of Rome, not to mention one of the most luxurious areas of the city.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome at the Spanish Steps include:

PIAZZA DEL POPOLO

Located near the northern city gate, Piazza del Popolo was once the entrance to Rome during the Roman Empire.

Piazza del Popolo is one of Rome's most famous piazzas. You can enjoy a view from above on the Pincio, sit or stroll in the piazza itself, or take in the view from one of the cafés nearby.

This piazza is the nexus of an important intersection. Three arteries branch off from the south of the piazza, forming what is known as the tridente, or trident: Via del Babuino, on the left, Via di Ripetta on the right, and in the center Via del Corso, one of the most popular shopping streets of the city.

In the middle of the piazza, stands the 24-meter tall Egyptian obelisk dedicated to Ramses II, known as the “Flaminio Obelisk”.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near Piazza del Popolo include:

Pantheon/Piazza Navona/Campo dei Fiori/Jewish Ghetto

The neighborhoods of Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo dei Fiori, and Jewish Ghetto are not all the same, obviously.

You can stay in any one of them and be a stone's throw from another. They are all in a small congested area right in the heart of Rome. And yet they all have very distinctive neighborhoods and feels. 

PANTHEON

The Pantheon is one of the wonders of Rome's historic city center.

It was built and rebuilt between the 1st and 2nd centuries in Ancient Rome. The word pantheon derives from Greek and means "Temple of all Gods".

Staying at a central hotel in Rome near the Pantheon puts you in one of the most convenient areas in Rome's historic center.

Take a stroll around this tortuous and intricate maze of streets and passages, where it’s easy and delectable to get lost, where the most skilled ice cream masters still make “artisanal gelato” full of taste and aroma, or where you can indulge your palate with a strong Italian espresso.

Staying in the Pantheon area guarantees an unparalleled experience, and memories you will hold dear for a lifetime.

All about the Pantheon
Best coffee near the Pantheon
Best gelato near the Pantheon
Best shopping near the Pantheon
Best restaurants near the Pantheon

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near the Pantheon include:

PIAZZA NAVONA

When I look at a map of my city, I rediscover with amazing clarity what exactly Piazza Navona is to Rome - its core, its heart, full of energy and life.

Piazza Navona is one of Rome's most beautiful squares. Whether you stay in this area or not, this is a must-see.

Located in Campo Marzio, where the Roman legionaries trained, this spot was chosen as the site of Domitian’s Stadium to host races and Greek games in honor of Capitoline Jupiter. 

Later it would become the most endearing “parlor” of the Roman Baroque period, the spot where generations of Romans have gathered, strolled, listened to music, or even found the love of their life. For many, it was their first and last backyard.

Click here to read more about Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona offers one of the best options for those seeking all the advantages of a central/iconic landmark, but with accessible services and competitive rates.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near/at Piazza Navona include:

CAMPO DEI FIORI

History and legend, faith and heresy are intertwined in this famous piazza of Rome.

If you look carefully, you'll find evidence of a city that's changed and evolved over the centuries: once a place for business meetings, a cultural and social hub, a berth for merchants to trade a bit of everything, even a stage of social events attended by nobles and common patrons alike.

Campo de' Fiori had also a dark side, embodied in the bronze statue still standing in the center of it, in memory of the philosopher Giordano Bruno: the piazza in fact became the stage of capital executions and torture during the Inquisition.

Philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in 1600 in Campo fi Fiori, once the site of brutal executions. The statue of him in the center exonerates him, as he glares across the River towards the Vatican.

Today, Campo de' Fiori is a very popular spot for tourists and Romans alike: it's a daily hangout for thousands of tourists, bustling with a mix of sophisticated restaurants, casual Roman-cuisine trattorias, offhand bars, and shopping for every taste, from the extravagant to the funky to the artisinal.

Wend your way along the tiny streets leading away from the main piazza, and you will find yourself in a Rome neighborhood that feels as if it stepped back in time. Grandmas sit outside on wooden chairs, wood-working shops and antique sellers abound, and every turn of the corner brings a surprise.

When the sun goes down, Campo de Fiori comes to life - the perfect setting for those looking for fun and ambiance.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near Campo de Fiori include:

JEWISH GHETTO

The Ghetto is a small district of Rome whose borders were marked in the 16th century by a papal decree, within which all Roman Jews were forced to live.

Over time much of this area was demolished, but there are still some remnants that can be visited with a suggestive walk through narrow streets and small piazzas of uncommon architectural beauty.

Staying at a central hotel in Rome's Jewish Ghetto will allow you to walk to most of the major sites in the city.

On this terrain, emperors, patrons, patricians, and nobles of Rome raised buildings of various types and functions. In the Middle Ages it hosted the most important fish market in Rome.

Today the neighborhood is important not only as the focal point of the Jewish community of Rome, but it has also become a crossroad for thousands of Romans, thanks to its distinctive shops, sophisticated vintage boutiques, wine-bars, and above all, restaurants.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome near/at Jewish Ghetto include:

TRASTEVERE

I know I know, Trastevere is on the top of most blogs about where to stay in Rome. I love Trastevere, and I don't even mean from a touristic point of view. It's a really fascinating, historic neighborhood with a lot to see and do. 

Trastevere also has a high concentration of wonderful places to eat and drink.

As places to stay in Rome go, Trastevere is pretty particular. I think this is a great area of Rome to stay in if you've been here before, if you prefer something a little off the beaten track, and/or, if you are looking specifically for quaint/cute/old-world-feeling.

A few ideas for a central hotel in Rome in Trastevere include:

Central Hotel in Rome - What Matters Most to You?

During the 18 years we ran our B&B in Rome, people asked us often about following factors. So, on this page we based our suggestions for where to stay in a central hotel in Rome on these criteria:

  • How easy is it to get to the major sites?
  • How noisy is it?
  • How close is it to public transportation?
  • Are there good restaurant and eating options nearby?
  • How safe is it?
  • We were asked often if we had rooms with a view. We did not. While it's not actually that easy to find rooms with a view in Rome (until we get into expensive territory), some of the places we suggest do have options for a room with a view. You may find it's easier to find a hotel with a common roof or terrace where you can enjoy a view than finding a specific room that has a nice view.
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