Is the Trevi Fountain neighborhood a good place to stay?
You might be surprised to find that besides the eponymous fountain, there are many things to see, do, and explore right in this fascinating rione of Rome’s Centro Storico (historic center).
Besides being a gorgeous backdrop for Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, and a “bucket list” fountain to take your picture in front of, there is much more to this compact area of Rome.
This is a great place to stay in Rome if you:
It may seem like just a really busy and crowded touristy spot in the heart of Rome.
But if you stay in this area, you will be blessed with a wide variety of excellent places to eat, a fantastic location that puts you within easy walking distance to many other of Rome’s must-sees, and an extraordinary wealth of things to do.
You can explore ancient Roman history, underground ruins, stunning art, beautiful churches, and a wide variety of architectural styles. Start here:
The Trevi Fountain really is right in the heart of Rome’s historic center, so is within walking distance of many “must-see” sites.
In about 20 minutes' walk you can reach Piazza del Popolo or the Colosseum.
Rome has nearly 1,000 churches. A majority of these contain works of priceless art or could be considered masterpieces themselves.
There are some stunning churches right in the Trevi Fountain neighborhood that are worth visiting. A visit inside these churches doesn’t need to take long so even if you have limited time in Rome, you should try to visit at least one or two of them.
Some of the highlights of the churches in the Trevi Fountain neighborhood are:
The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome's most iconic landmarks, but do you know why it's so well-known?
With this eBook, find out what makes the Trevi Fountain special, plus extensive information about the Trevi neighborhood (Rione) - where to shop, see unusual things, enjoy beautiful views, and much more!
Topics covered include:
What else is included in this e-book?
So much of what we think of as Ancient Rome lies beneath the Rome you see today. Everytime they dig, they find something from antiquity. This is one reason we have so many fantastic things to see underground in Rome.
In the Trevi Fountain neighborhood there are only a handful of underground sites you can easily visit, but they are quite special.
The site of Vicus Caprarius is my top recommendaton for visiting an underground site in the Trevi Fountain neighborhood.
It's a very cool underground spot around the corner from the Trevi Fountain where you can see where the water comes from. It’s not too big, it’s inexpensive, and you will definitely escape the crowds.
You can go alone or take a tour, depending on how much in-depth history you want about ancient Rome.
The space is underground but it’s also a large open space, so it’s definitely not claustrophobic.
In addition to the Vicus Caprarius site, you can also explore an ancient Roman home at Palazzo Valentini, 2nd century ruins in the basilica of San Lorenzo in Lucina and even the ruins of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct in the basement of the Rinascente department store!
One of the amazing things about Rome is that it’s literally an open-air museum. You can just walk around the city and you will come across monuments and ruins from Ancient Rome.
Here are a couple of easy-to-spot, free places to see Roman ruins in the Trevi Fountain neighborhood:
In Piazza di Pietra, about 5 minutes’ walk from the Trevi Fountain, you can find the ruins of emperor Hadrian’s temple, incorporated into the Palazzo della Borsa. All that remains of the ancient temple is the northern side with eleven columns.
In the center of the Magnanapoli roundabout you can see some remnants of the Servian walls.
They state “from the times of the kings”, meaning the kings of Rome, which put these walls in the 4th century BCE more or less.
Even in a city full of museums, there is a high concentration of art and history museums within a stone’s throw of the Trevi Fountain.
As there are so many museums in this area, it can be tough to decide which ones to visit if you have limited time in Rome.
My top suggestions are:
The gallery of mirrors alone makes this museum worth a visit, not to mention rooms of wonderful artwork including pieces by Caravaggio and Bernini as well as the famous painting of Pope Innocent X Pamphilj by Diego Valasquez.
Palazzo Colonna is an enormous residence holding stunning works of art by Pinturicchio, the Carracci brothers, Guido Reni, Tintoretto and more.
The mansion itself is a piece of history, and you can choose to include a visit to the huge gardens.
Palazzo Barberini holds one of the richest art collections in Rome, with paintings on display by Raphael and many other famous artists including Caravaggio and Domenichino.
There are two outer staircases to admire, one by Borromini and the other by Bernini, in addition to a lovely garden in the back where you can wander. Access to the garden and staircases is free.
The Trevi Fountain is obviously the main attraction of this area, but Rome is a city of fountains, many of them monumental. There are many other fountains you can admire, including:
The Four Fountains are part of an intersection just a few blocks from the Trevi Fountain.
Each fountain has a little water basin and a god/goddess with symbols that show us what (we think) they represent.
Two are river gods, as evidenced by the always-present cornucopia and reclining bearded god. There is a possibility that the two women represent not goddesses but rivers.
One of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s most famous and, in my opinion, most beautiful fountains in Rome, is the Tritone in the middle of Piazza Barberini.
Bernini made this sculpture in 1644, once he was finished working on Palazzo Barberini for Pope Urban VIII, one of Bernini’s most ardent fans and employers.
Only one ancient Roman aqueduct kept functioning, the Aqua Vergine which feeds the Trevi Fountain. The Romans therefore had to use a small fountain in this area.
The Moses Fountain was created to mark the terminus of this restored aqueduct by Pope Sixtus V and was designed by the pope’s favorite architect/engineer, Domenico Fontana.
The Galleria Sciarra was once built as a private courtyard, today it houses offices and a few shops.
It’s such a treat to bring people here and watch their faces as they contemplate this stunning space. This 19th century painting style is called Art Nouveau and it’s one of the few examples we have of it in Rome.
This lovely street with its 4-arched walkways takes its name from a game played in Ancient Rome, called pilotti or pilotta.
The arched walkways connect Palazzo Colonna to its private gardens along Quirinal Hill.
Vicolo del Monticello is a tiny street leading to the Gregorian Pontifical College just two blocks from the Trevi Fountain.
When you walk along this alleyway, look up and around.
The angles, the light, and the surprise glimpse of the adjacent church’s bell tower make this a very photographable spot.
And from this street you can reach more lovely small streets and angles.
This shopping gallery was inaugurated in 1922, but later fell into disuse and was renovated towards the end of the 1990’s.
This early style called “Art Nouveau” is not that common in Rome but there's another example of it in the Galleria Sciarra (above).
The Galleria Alberto Sordi was finally inaugurated in 2003. It’s named for the famous Roman actor who died in 2003.
Today you will find some shops and cafés here.
The Quirinal Palace has private gardens, with a long street that runs along the outer wall of these gardens.
I love to take this street and see the buildings, flowers, and beautiful doorways back there.
I'm often asked where to get the best views in Rome. The Trevi Fountain is part of the Quirinale Hill, considered one of the highest hills in Rome, but it's at a low level in Rome’s historic center, so you won’t find lots of options for views.
By far the best view of Rome near the Trevi Fountain is from the Quirinal Hill, an easy climb.
You can see Saint Peter’s dome and when the sun is setting, it’s really beautiful.
Not far from the Trevi Fountain is the top of the Spanish Steps, the Trinità dei Monti.
You'll get some lovely views from there as well. It can be a little crowded so you may want to keep walking a little further along to the Pincio Hill for even better views.
Piazza Venezia is only about a 10-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain.
On the far side you will see the ramp that leads to Capitoline Hill, or Campidoglio.
From there, head to the back for the most iconic views of Rome over the Roman Forum.
And since the Trevi Fountain is at a pretty low sea level in Rome, you won’t find that many options for really excellent rooftops bars nearby.
Probably my favorite rooftop bar near the Trevi Fountain is the one atop the unassuming Hotel 9 Cesari.
You could easily pass by the main door on the street, but once you get to the roof, you will not be disappointed. While it does not boast a killer view of a major monument, it’s a very welcoming space, with a wonderful view of Roman rooftops.
Drinks are affordable for a rooftop bar and there is a limited snack menu.
The old Singer sewing factory building is now a sleek 3-star hotel called the Singer Palace Hotel. It's a perfect addition to the few places where you can have drinks or dinner with a rooftop view in the Trevi Fountain neighborhood.
The two main streets leading to and from the Trevi Fountain are full of touristy junky shops. This is not where you are going to get much quality shopping done unless you are looking for small affordable souvenirs.
This long street is full of well-known brands selling everything from souvenirs to shoes, so is a great spot if you're looking for variety.
You'll find something for everyone, but don’t look for cute boutiques or vintage shops here.
This is where you'll find the best concentration of shops ranging from big designer names to small, affordable boutiques.
Via Frattina is at the heart of Rome’s most famous “shopping zone”, an easy 15-20 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain.
While you'll find Roman ruins and rooftop views at the huge Rinascente flagship store, its main function is as Rome's finest department store.
As with most department stores, there is something for everyone, plus there's also a large food court with food market on the 6th floor.
One thing lacking in the area near the Trevi Fountain is green space. There are a few private gardens you can visit, but public parks are harder to come by. But there are a few. Here are some of the best the Trevi Fountain neighborhood has to offer:
This little park just across from the Quirinal Palace has an equestrian statue of Carlo Alberto, King of Sardinia and father of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy.
You don't have to visit the fabulous museum of Palazzo Barberini to visit one of the most beautiful free gardens in the Trevi Fountain neighborhood.
Just walk towards the palazzo and head straight to the back. There are some benches and a small fountain where you can sit and enjoy the garden. The gardens are open daily even when the museum is closed.
I consider this park to be one of the “secret” gardens in Rome as most people have no idea it’s there! But it’s really worth it if the gardens are well-kept (sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.)
Once open only once a year, it’s now possible to visit the Quirinal Palace and the gardens.
You must go on a guided visit, but it’s worth it to see these sumptuous, beautifully kept gardens.
This Disney-esque experience allows you to experience a kind of time travel with 3 different “full immersion” shows – The History of Rome, Evolution of Life, and a Horror Show.
Each show takes less than an hour and is available in 6 different languages. This is a great way to entertain children and teenagers – Buy tickets here.
I love visiting the Domus Romana in Palazzo Valentini for the history and the amazingly well-preserved ruins and mosaic floors.
This area is more a part of the Spanish Steps neighborhood, but this is a fantastic thing to do with kids.
It may be a bit corny but a wax museum can be another fun way to spend an hour or so in Rome and entertain kids.
And it’s so close to the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Venezia you can easily combine it with other things.
Just off Piazza Barberini is a very special church where you can visit the crypt that displays the bones of thousands of monks - fun for kids and adults alike!
They're not just on display – they're placed in decorations on the ceilings, and some are even fully-dressed skeletons. It’s macabre but fascinating.