Shopping, Lodging and Timeshare
Below are lists of some of my favorite dining establishments, boutiques and where to get what, and lodging possibilities. If you have a favorite restaurant that is not listed, or have stayed at a hotel not listed and liked it, please e-mail me with a brief description of same and I will include it in the listing. Please keep in mind that all these listings do not replace the invaluable travel guide. Places change names, hours of operation change, they move or even go out of business just like everywhere else, so a current travel guide is an essential part of planning for your trip to Rome. Also, be aware that I can only give a range of rates for hotels to give a feel for which are inexpensive, moderately-priced, and expensive, and cannot confirm they are the same because they are subject to change without notice at the discretion of each hotel. For current lodging rates, once you pick the hotel(s) you may be interested in, either contact each hotel directly, consult your travel agent for assistance, or refer to the most current travel guide to Rome that publishes this type of price information. I personally recommend the Eyewitness Travel Guide To Rome. There are also several Rome Hotel Directory links on my Links page you may wish to check out as well.
New Visitor's Recommendations Gallery. I have started a new posting page for those visitors who have been to Rome and have either experienced a good restaurant, good shopping, or stayed in a hotel they enjoyed and wanted to tell me about it. If you travel to Rome and have an exceptional dining experience, have found a neat shop or shopping district, or stayed in a hotel that you really enjoyed and want to share it, send me an email indicating the name and address of the establishment (very important), where it is near, and a little about your experience, and I will be happy to post it on this page. Be sure to also let me know whether I can use your name and where you are from after the entry. If it is a dining establishment, what food you thoroughly enjoyed would be helpful to other readers. Any other information that I feel is necessary to put will be inserted in italics within the text to better define it. Thanks. Click here to view the Visitor's Recommendations for Restaurants, Shopping, and Hotels Gallery.
Dining in Rome can be very expensive, but if you shop around, you can find very reasonable places, too, with great food. Though there are McDonald's in Rome (located at the Piazza di Spagna -- the largest by far -- Via Vittorio Emmanuel Boulevard at Corso Rinascimento, Piazza Barberini next to Palazzo Barberini, and one in Piazza della Rotonda across from the Pantheon) to list a few, they are twice as expensive as here in the States. Though it seems like everyone smokes in Rome -- inside and outside -- things are changing. But, there is no way of getting around it as a lot of people do smoke. Asking someone to either put their cigarette out or ask them to move is not advisable. So, be prepared to put up with smoke everywhere! We even saw some 8- to 10-year-old girls smoking in Florence near the train station on our last trip, quite shocking to see.
Tip on Coffee Bars: Cafe-bars are everywhere in Rome (as in most of Italy) where you can pop in on the go and enjoy a quick espresso, coffee, cappuccino, juice, soft drink, pastries, sandwiches, and the like. It is much cheaper to stand at the bar to do this than to sit at a table because there is a surcharge for doing the latter. Also, only tourists drink cappuccino after lunch. Afternoons and evenings are times for espresso.
Gas vs. No Gas: The first time I heard this, I couldn't figure out what they were talking about. If you order mineral water comes two ways: regular (without gas), or sparkling/carbonated (with gas). You will be asked with or without gas and this is what it means.
One of my favorite restaurants in Rome is Di Rienzo, which is located in the Piazza della Rotonda adjacent to the Pantheon. The menu is varied, and the food is very tasty. You are never hurried no matter how busy it gets. It is wonderful to dine outdoors and be serenaded in the evening by roving musicians -- some good, some not so good. The waiters are very cordial and helpful. Some of the best food is their lasagna and spaghetti, but those are my choices. They have quite a varied menu. You can eat very reasonably, or you can splurge and get higher-priced menu items. This restaurant is highly recommended. I love this restaurant because, during the summer and fall months when all the restaurants have outdoor seating because of the nice weather, you have a wonderful view of the Piazza, the Fontana di Pantheon, and, of course, a breathtaking view of Marcus Agrippa's Pantheon, built originally in 27 B.C. (see picture).
On the Via del Corso just south of Largo Chigi which turns into Via del Tritone near Diesel's is a wonderful and clean self-service restaurant called Autogrill. Inside is Ciao Ristorante which consists of six or seven individual booths catering to different menu items. When in Rome, I go there for lunch most every day and eat quite a few of my evening meals there as well. You get a lot for your money and never leave hungry. One is located at via del Corso 181 (located atnumber 1 on the map). For example, one counter has nothing but some kind of spaghetti/pasta dishes with two different kinds of sauces to choose from, which are different each day. Another has cheese and cold meat dishes; another with salads or fruit salad, and yet another has hot meat dishes, one with just desserts. They also have beer and soft drinks and a bread booth. Fridays, they do not serve beef or veal, only fish and chicken. At the one on via del Corso, you can also just get a drink by getting a ticket from the host in the lobby and handing it to the person behind the drinks counter. Their caffe latte is wonderful and very reasonable. Across from the drinks counter in the lobby, you will find the pizzeria. You can get a quite large slice of pizza that has a crust more like pizzas in the states. Believe it or not, they serve french fries with their pizza! The pizzas are quite popular here. The pizza slices here are very tasty, especially their prosciutto (ham) and cheese pizzas. You get a tray, get your different dishes of food, pay for them at the cashier's, and find a seat. The seating is located on the lower level. I find this self-service restaurant very clean and the staff very pleasant. It gets really busy after about 1:15 or 1:30 in the afternoon because a lot of the store personnel go there to eat after closing for the siesta time. I try and get there by about 12:30 p.m.
There is also an Autogrill/Ciao Ristorante located at the Stazione Termini on the mezzanine level toward the via Gioletti side of the station that is one of my favorite places to eat. Nothing fancy, but the food is great. It is to the left side of this photo with the red Ciao Ristorante sign on the mezzanine level. The food is great and the prices very reasonable. I had a wonderful Salmon steak on a Friday that melted in my mouth! Their steaks are great, too. I have never been disappointed with a meal there, am always surprised by their selection, and have never left the restaurant feeling hungry. As is with a lot of restaurants in Italy, it is difficult to find places that serve meat on Fridays because of religious reasons. However, on Fridays, restaurants serve chicken and fish dishes.
There is also one located at the Da Vinci International Airport as well.
my extended visit to Rome in February 2003, I ran across another wonderful
self-service restaurant inside the main train station called Chef
Village/Chef Express. What a find indeed! It is located
on the main level toward the via Marsala side of the train station two
doors down to the right of McDonald's as you face McDonald's. They
have a fast-food section in the front (to the left of the self-service
restaurant entrance) that serves sandwiches, but I really enjoyed going
into the restaurant and having a wonderful sit-down meal. Like I
said, it is self-service and as you enter (click on the camera below and
view the second picture showing the entrance marked "Ingresso"), you get
your service tray. Inside, the first place you enter is where the
breads are kept. On into the self-service area are different kiosks
that have a cantina, fruit and salad bar, dessert bar, cold pasta salad
bar that is wonderful, Italian hot pasta bar (each day features different
hot pasta dishes) and, finally, a grill that has different daily specials,
or you can choose fresh meats from the display case and they grill it for
you. Every day, they feature a different meat dish. The first
day I went there, I had a large grilled pork chop in wine sauce that melted
in my mouth. On another day, they had wonderful Goulash. They
also often have both French fries and cottage fries, as well as roast chicken
daily, in addition to the meat items in the display case that are grilled
on demand. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until about
10 p.m. They also have a wonderful outdoor terrace to dine in good
weather (see picture). Also, during the lunch hour and sometimes
during the dinner hours (around 7:30-8 p.m.), there is a pianist playing
for your dining enjoyment. Chef Village/Chef Express is my
one recommendation for dining in the Termini area, that's for
the Vatican area, there is a wonderful family-style restaurant called Dino
& Tony that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! This is one of my favorite
restaurants in all of Rome! It is located on via Leone IV, 60.
It is very easy to get to and is a couple of blocks from the Vatican Museums
and the Ottaviano Metro subway station. They are open for lunch/brunch
daily from 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and then open again for dinner beginning
at 7:30 p.m. and have a great menu. They are closed on Sundays.
Their antipasti, pasta, and pizzeria selections are mouth-watering and
the service is great - very friendly. As you are walking along the
Vatican City walls to the Vatican Museums, when you come to the corner
of via Bastioni di Michelangelo and viale Vaticano, do not turn onto viale
Vaticano. After you cross viale Vaticano on via Bastioni di Michelangelo,
via Bastioni di Michelangelo becomes via Leone IV. Continue a couple
of long blocks on the left side of the street. You will pass a large
street called via Candia (where the Ottaviano Metro station is to the right
a couple of blocks). Still on Via Leone IV on the left in the next
block is Dino & Tony, located at via Leone IV, 60.
Their telephone number is 06-39733284. Unless you get there right
around 7:30 p.m., it is better to make reservations because it gets quite
busy as the night progresses. The entrance is mid-block and small
with the marquee above the door in orange with black lettering. Do
try this wonderful family-run restaurant. It is well worth your time,
believe me. Tell them you saw mention of it on Stuardt Clarke's website,
Roads Lead To Roma. They will treat you like family!!!
Near the Piazza di Spagna, at Via della Croce, 21, is a wonderful Austrian/German restaurant called Birreria Viennese. The picture was provided by my friend, Andrea Pollett, of Rome. Prices are reasonable and you will not leave the restaurant hungry. Its hours of operation are 11:30 a.m.-midnight Thursday-Tuesday. It is closed July 15-August 15. There is wheelchair access and fixed-price menus are available. They have excellent bratwurst! The stained-glass entrance leads to a long crowded room where traditional beers and Austrian specialties have been sampled for more than 60 years. Try sausages, goulash, Weinerschnitzel, sauerkraut or the massive piatto di legno della Transilvania (a wooden platter heaped with delights, for two). Wine is also available. The staff is extremely helpful and courteous.
Another place that I find enchanting is Trattoria della Pace which is hidden behind Piazza Navona near Santa Maria dell'Anima and Santa Maria della Pace. They have quite an array of luscious Italian cuisine and is another delightful place to go. As I said, it is well hidden but it is well worth searching out.
Another wonderful restaurant is Filetti di Baccala off Campo de'Fiori in Largo dei Librari next to Chiesa di Santa Barbara dei Librari, which sits at the end of the small square. As you face this small church, the restaurant is on the right side of the street. If you like fried fish fillets (quite salty), this is the place to go because that is all they serve. It is quite reasonable and has a delightful atmosphere. I'm not much into fish, but this place is a winner in my book.
Also off Campo de'Fiori (at the end of the piazza behind the statue of Bruno which is in the center of the piazza and to the right as you face the statue) is a very nice restaurant called Ai Balestrari Ristorante Pizzeria. It is located on via dei Balestrari, 42 and has a wonderful and varied menu and is quite reasonable. I was there in the autumn and eating at one of the outside tables was a delight. Their antipasti is wonderful, as well as the food on their large menu. Their phone number is 06-68-65-377 and they are closed on Mondays.
IIf you are in the Piazza del Popolo area, just behind the twin churches (Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria Montesanto) off the via del Corso is a wonderful restaurant called Ristorante 'OPLA'. The antipasti and pasta plates are scrumptious and well worth visiting. They are located at via Angelo Brunetti, 10, and their phone number is 06-32-19-302.
Further out, I mean outside the walls not far from the Basilica of St. Paul (San Paolo fuori le Mura) is an absolutely wonderful restaurant worth checking out called Ristorante da Vittorio. The address is located at via Mario Musco 29/31 and their phone number is 06-5408272. I had a steak that melted in my mouth and my daughter had Fettuccini ai Porcini that was tops! Of course, porcini mushrooms are only available for about a month in the fall of each year, but they have a quite varied and reasonable menu to choose from. So, if you are out near the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, be sure to check this restaurant out.
I will add additional favorite dining spots as I find and experience them. For other dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations furnished by visitors to my website, check out my Visitor's Recommendations Gallery link above.
you face the Pantheon in Piazza della Rotonda, to the right is a wonderful
gelateria called Cremeria Monteforte located at via della
Rotonda, 22 (number
3 on the map). It has the best gelato
that I have had in a very long time. It is owned by Roberto and he
makes all his own gelato in the basement for the shop. It is well
worth an evening stroll to taste the many flavors he has to choose from.
Two of my favorites were caramel and cherry and creme. Yummy!
He is open from mid-February until mid-December (winter days depending
on the weather), so be sure and give
a try! When he is closed, I often go to Fragola e Limone by
Alessandro, which is just off Piazza della Rotonda on the side
that is away from the Pantheon and to the left next to the entrance to
the Supermercato (with your back to the Pantheon) on a street going to
Piazza Navona called via Giustiniani (on the right side about mid-block).
At Stazione Termini, on the main level as you enter on the via Marsala side of the station is a wonderful gelato place called Cremonini S.P.A. Buffet. Their gelato shop is called Carte d'Or. Excellent! Also in the Stazione Termini, on the lower level on the via Gioletti side, there is another one called Chef Express that not only serves quick cups of cappuccino, but excellent gelato.
Vatican Emporium: This is one of my favorite little shops in the Borgo District just outside St. Peter's Square that is owned by a very dear friend, Paola Moroni. She is located on a street just two blocks from via Porta Angelica and the Porta Angelica Gate of Bernini's Colonnade to St. Peter's Square. Via Porta Angelica is to the right side of St. Peter's Square which takes you to the Vatican Museums. To get to her shop, turn right at St. Anne's Gate where you see the Swiss Guard directing traffic. Across the street from St. Anne's Gate will be via Borgo Pio. Go two blocks down via Borgo Pio to Vicolo del Farinone. Turn right and she is at no. 25 close to the Passetto (Pope's elevated walkway). She has a good assortment of rosaries, crosses, and other religious articles and souvenirs, and you can also order papal blessings there. You can tell her you saw her shop mentioned on Stuardt Clarke's web site, All Roads Lead To Roma, and she will take good care of you and your needs. The Vatican Emporium moved a block away from her original location. Click here to view a map of the new location.
Souvenirs and Postcards: There are several places that are very reasonable for souvenirs and postcards. The more 'downtown' you go in Old Rome, the more expensive things are. Another one of my favorite shops is next to Santa Maria in Traspontina (to the right) near the Vatican at via d. Conciliazione n. 14/A called Souvenirs Traspontina (formerly Bernardi's). This photo is also courtesy of my friend, Andrea Pollett, in Rome. It is very reasonable and has calendars, religious items galore, and the least expensive postcards I have found in Rome. When getting postcards, you may want to walk over to the Vatican (see one of the maps in the map locator page) and utilize one of the Vatican's Post Offices to purchase stamps and mail your postcards from there. They get sent out much quicker than by sending them through postboxes or Post Offices in Rome itself, by two weeks or more depending on where you are sending them. Souvenirs Traspontina also has Vatican and Pope John Paul II watches. I bought my first in 1991 and it still runs perfectly, but bought another in 1997. I bought the one showing the Vatican and St. Peter's Square in gold. The hour and minute hands have black ornate crosses on the tips. Quite the conversation piece, and only $19.95US!!). In the back portion of the shop are lots of cards, stationery, and fine paper products as well. Word of caution: Remember, most places are closed on Sundays.
Another one of my favorites and is a very fine and inexpensive souvenir shop is Galleria Mariana. This shop is at the corner of via di Porta Angelica and Borgo Pia (via di Porta Angelica 69A,71) across the street from St. Anne's Gate which is the entrance point for employees and vendors to Vatican City. It is on your way to the Vatican Museums. Actually, there is a large Rome Post Office nearby if you are so inclined to use it rather than one of the Vatican Post Offices; however, mail seems much quicker when mailed at the Vatican Post Office inside Bernini's Colonnade in St. Peter's Square. Galleria Mariana has wonderful and inexpensive souvenirs, scarves, silk ties, Papal blessing orders, kitchen magnets, and the like. Again, the photo is courtesy of Andrea Pollett of Rome.
the Trevi Fountain area, there is a wonderful souvenir shop that sells
all sorts of souvenirs, tee shirts, magnets, crosses, etc. called Souvenir
Trevi's Shops "I Fianella" (located at
2 on the map). This is one of my
favorite shops in this area of Rome. The one in the picture is located
a block from Trevi Fountain in Largo P. d. Brazza, which is at the crossroads
of via S. Vincenze at via dell'Umitta. They have several others around
Trevi Fountain, including one at via delle Muratte, 97, and on to the right
of Trevi on via Del Lavatore as well. I have purchased some wonderful
crosses and souvenirs in this shop. Last time I was there which was
in 2010, however, I did not see that it was still at this location.
Tee-shirts, Scarves, and Ties: There used to be street vendors along via Bastioni de Michelangelo along the Vatican Walls on the way to the Vatican Museums that had very good buys on tee-shirts, scarves, and silk ties. However, due to increased security after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, along with Jubilee Year 2000, they are no longer there. There are a few right outside the right colonnade of St. Peter's Square. Due to increased security, via Porta Angelica which runs just outside the right colonnade of St. Peter's Square to Piazza del Risorgimento has been closed to vehicular traffic. There are a plethora of small shops along via Porta Angelica and via del Mascherino that have religious items, scarves, tee-shirts, ties, and souvenirs.
Items. There is a wonderful
embroidery shop behind the Pantheon located at via della Rotonda, 37 now
called Moltedo ricami personalizzati
61100) on the left-hand side of the street mid-block that does
wonderful machine embroidery on clothing items such as tee-shirts, sweatshirts,
bibs, baseball caps, jackets, etc. It is located atnumber
5 on the map. Their work is extremely
well-done and the price includes the cost of the item of clothing with
however much embroidered words you wish to have embroidered on the item
you purchase. I purchased several jackets there and had them embroidered
and was astounded on how reasonable and goodlooking the work turned out.
Definitely a plus in my book. Check it out and be sure to tell them
you saw them mentioned on my website for a 20 percent discount (see Herman).
and Watches. In the Vatican
area, just outside Bernini's right colonnade and through Porta Angelica,
the first Vatican gate outside St. Peter's Square is called St. Anne's
Gate. Across the street, the street is called via Borgo Pio.
If you walk down that street about three or so blocks, on the corner and
on the right is a small shop called Il Minuto located at
via Borgo Pio, 136. He had some wonderful reasonably priced watches
and beautiful pendants. Click
here to see where it is located in relation
to St. Peter's on the map I have drawn (No. 6 on the map).
Ancient Roman Store. Down a
bit further on via del Mascherino at no. 88 on the same side of the street
as the Vatican Emporium, I found a wonderful little shop called
(S. Pietro). Inside, she has some of the most wonderful and
reasonable replicas of everyday household items typically found in ancient
Roman homes, including useable tableware, utensils, mosaics, plaques, and
other items such as clothing, weaponry, helmets, and jewelry. A very
unique store that you should try and see if you have the time. On
April 21st of every year (Rome's birthday), they have festivities where
all are invited. This shop is well worth visiting as they have a
lot of wonderful replicas of items found in ancient Roman homes.
Beans and Hard Candies. Located
just off Piazza della Rotonda is a wonderful coffee bar called
d'Oro, located at via Degli Orfani, 84. The shop also sells
a fantastic array of hard candies and wonderful coffee beans from
around the world. It is located at number
2 on the map. I am a licorice lover
and I especially love their licorice hard candies. But, ALL of their
hard candies are to die for! Be sure and stop for a coffee at the
beautiful caffe bar as well. You will NOT be disappointed!
day on my way to St. Peter's Basilica, I hopped on the Metro Line A and
got off at Ottaviano Station. When I got off, before going down via
Ottaviano to St. Peter's Square, I noticed that on via G. Cesare just past
via Ottaviano, there were outdoor vendors selling their wares. I
decided to go take a peek and found quite a few things at very affordable
prices. While there, I noticed a lovely little jewelry store called
Spirit (Tel./FAX 06.39723177). It has a wonderful array of
silver jewelry, watches, as well as gold jewelry and semi-precious mountings
such as amethyst, pearls, etc. When you are on your way to St. Peter's,
do stop by and take a look at this lovely little shop. It is located
at Viale Giulio Cesare, 179, just to the other side of the Ottaviano Metro
station and about seven or eight doors from the corner of Viale Giulio
Cesare and via Ottaviano (see picture). It is a franchise, and there
is also a very large Blue Spirit located on the lower level
of Rome's central railway station across from the lower-level McDonald's.
Costume Jewelry and Crosses. I
collect crosses, both wall crucifixes and ones that a person wears.
I my exploration around Rome's central railway station, on via Giovanni
Giolitti (which borders the train station) about three blocks down the
side of the station and across the street near the corner of via Giovanni
Giolitti and via Cappellini, I found this wonderful fashion jewelry store
that has an over-abundance of fashion jewelry and accessories, religious
jewelry, rings, crystal paperweights with laser-engraved images, etc. at
amazingly low prices. The store is located in Rome's Chinatown area.
The shop is called Liu Shi Group (Liu Shi Gruppo, s.r.l.)
and it is well worth taking a look at if you are in the neighborhood of
the train station. I got a ton of crosses for my collection as well
as gifts for people and it didn't cost an arm and a leg. Tell them
you saw mention of their shop on my website. It is located at Via
Giovanni Giolitti, 207. (Click on the camera for a map as to where
the shop is located.) I did notice that when I was there in late
2010, it had changed names, but was still there.
Books.I found a wonderful book plaza that is underneath (yes, underneath) the intersection of via del Corso and via del Tritone near Piazza Colonna. It is accessible via a staircase on either side of the street on via del Corso and is well worth checking if books are of interest to you. It is quite large. I have marked it asnumber 3 on the map. In the Stazione Termini on the main level near the front of the terminal, there is a gigantic bookstore that is worth checking out as well. You can't miss it.
Flea Market. There is a wonderful flea market in Rome every Sunday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Porta Portese. Another flea market is located at Via Sannio (near P. S. Giovanni) daily except Sunday until sundown. Everything can be had here, including leather goods. Since there are always hoards of people at the flea market, it is a wise idea to carry your money in your front pocket or wear a moneybelt. Remember, though, when wearing a moneybelt, it is very difficult to remove money in order to purchase something. I would not carry a purse or camera while visiting the flea markets because of pickpocketing. The people who do the pickpocketing are really good at it. Just be aware and have fun!
Clothing Size Charts: Continental Europe, Great Britain, and the United States unfortunately all use their own units of measurement. For size conversions, click on "Clothing Size Charts". Remember that these should be used for comparisons so you will know what approximate size to look for. As you already know, if you purchase clothing in a store, you really need to try on apparel and shoes to make sure they do, in fact, fit properly. The first time I went to Rome and bought some tee-shirts, I bought what I wear here (L) only to find out I couldn't wear them as they were way too small. In Italy, I have to get XXL which is equivalent to a men's large here in the States (XXL is the largest-sized tee-shirts available that I have come across in Rome).
Where the Romans Shop. Locals do not, as a rule, shop in the 'designer district' of Rome, which is along the via Condotti and adjoining streets where all of the designer shops are located (Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Gianni Versace, Bulgari, etc.). The local populace tend to shop along the local's shopping street, via del Giubbonari. This street runs from the Campo de'Fiori to via Arenula and has many affordable shops with wonderful merchandise. You should check it out. I will put a map in when I can get time to draw it but, in the meantime, if you are standing at the Bruno statue which is located in the center of Campo de'Fiori, the street behind the statue at the far end of the piazza is via del Giubbonari.
Stores (Supermercatos). Within
the walls, there are very few grocery markets. The exception is around
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele (Rome's Chinatown area). However, I have
found two others. One is on Via Giustiniani just off Piazza della
Rotondo called Supermercati
and the entrance is next to Fragole
e Limone that has everything from pasta to fresh produce to meats and wines.
The other I found is called
Conad Drug Store on the lower
level of Stazione Termini. Don't let the 'drug store' throw you off
like it did me. It does
not dispense any pharmaceutical items.
For those, you have to go to a 'farmacia' which are all noted by a neon
green cross outside the stores. Anyway, Conad has almost everything
you would want in a grocery store and at very good prices. I especially
found their wines at very good prices. I got a wonderful white Frascati
wine there for EURO3.59 per bottle, which is outrageously inexpensive.
And, it was excellent!
vary for accommodations and you can easily go broke before seeing any of
the sights if you're not careful. I have found the closer to the
Spanish Steps you are, the more expensive the accommodations. The
ultimate in accommodations are on the Via Veneto, where hotel rates are
astronomical. The key is to stay in the sector where you will be
spending most of your time and then shop around for a satisfactory rate.
Ideally, pick a location equal walking distance to everything you want
to see in all directions.
If you are looking for a clean small hotel at very affordable prices, you might want to check into the possibility of staying at Hotel Alexis / Planet 29 Accommodation. Please tell the staff that you saw mention of Hotel Alexis / Planet 29 Accommodation on Stuardt Clarke's Rome web site. Both serve Italian-style breakfasts in their lovely breakfast room and Continental breakfasts can be ordered upon request. It is near the train station and the subway stations, which makes it very easy to get around Rome. There is also an excellent restaurant located across the street from the hotels called La Famiglia. To inquire about booking your room, their email address email@example.com. Also check out her website located on my Links page. She will be able to give you current pricing, which is quite reasonable. This building is near the beautiful Piazza della Repubblica, Santa Suzanna, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Palazzo del Quirinale (the Presidential Palace), the beautiful Moses Fountain, is about a block from Santa Maria degli Angeli which Michelangelo built into a portion of the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian, and, more importantly for me, with all my luggage after buying all my souvenirs to bring home, it is near the train station to go back to the airport. Very convenient! It is located on a quiet street in front of Stazione Termini (Train Station) past Piazza dei Cinquecento and around the corner from the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian, to the right on via Gaeta. It is also not far from the Foro Romano and Santa Maria Maggiore. There is a Metro stop at Stazione Termini that will take you in any direction you want to go, especially to The Spanish Steps, the Vatican, etc. This location is ideal for those who wish to explore the Esquiline, Aventine, Quirinal, and Lateran areas with easy subway access to the Coliseum and in the direction of the Vatican. In addition to an open-air produce market closeby that is open daily from 7 a.m. until about 2 p.m., there is also a money exchange service at the train station, and numerous bars and restaurants nearby, plus an Internet Cafes located on via Volturno. I have stayed at Hotel Alexis / Planet 29 Accommodation during many trips and have found it to be most suitable for my needs.
I said at the beginning, I do not like to spend all my money on accommodations
but, rather, on sightseeing, eating, shopping, etc. I spend very
little time in my hotel room so all the extra amenities that come with
higher-quality hotels are not required. If this is something you,
too, want when traveling, then check out Hotel Alexis / Planet 29
Accommodation; otherwise, there are many four- and five-star hotels
to choose from in Rome. Cristina has single and double rooms with
baths, triple room with kitchenette, bath and phone, and five rooms come
with a safe deposit box. You can also store your valuables (passport,
money, travelers cheques, etc.) with the management as well. All
beds are orthopedic, too. Also, you need to know that there are no
phones in the rooms to call out; they only call to the front desk.
To make phone calls outside the hotel, you have to make them at the front
desk. Hotel Alexis / Planet 29 Accommodation's address
is Via Gaeta 29, 00185 Roma, Tel. +39 06 48.65.20, fax +39 06 48.41.41,
and Cristina Pignataro's email address is listed above.
sure to tell them Stuardt Clarke referred you! Click on the
camera for a birdseye view of the area around Stazione Termini and the
location of Hotel Alexis / Planet 29 Accommodation.
A unique penthouse Bed & Breakfast to consider. For a more quiet, relaxed atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the City, you may want to consider a Bed and Breakfast called Rainbow which is run by Francesco Paterno. It is located in the southern part of Rome well outside the walls past S. Paolo fuori le Mura. This is well below the Foro Romano, outside the walls of Old Rome. It is nestled in a neighborhood south of via Cristoforo Colombo and east of via Ostiense between Basilica di S. Paolo and the EUR. It is a penthouse apartment B&B that has been divided into two sections connected by a winding staircase on the flowered terrace and the price is very reasonable. Panoramic views are available (see photo) from the flowered terrace, and it comes with a fully equipped kitchen in case you wish to cook your own meals. There are restaurants and shops nearby as well. But, you need to be aware that this is not within the walls of Old Rome, so you may wish to check out Francesco's website for further information. There are regularly scheduled buses that take you to the nearest subway station (S. Paolo) that will, in turn, take you to the Colosseo subway station. From there, you can continue on the various subway routes to your chosen destination, or choose to start walking Rome. During non-peak hours, it is about a 10-minute drive by car, but if you want to walk into Old Rome from here, it is about 40-50 minutes by foot, walking briskly. Also, to the east of this location about 1 km. are the catacombs on via Appia Antica. This is ideal for those who wish to kick back and experience Rome living as the Romans do. For further information on this beautiful B&B as a possible alternative to a typical hotel-type accommodation, you can click on the picture of the flowered terrace above to get to Francesco's website. You can also e-mail him firstname.lastname@example.org more information. Please mention you saw his B&B mentioned on Stuardt Clarke's Rome website. Be sure, if you go to his website now that you return by using your "Back" button to continue viewing my vast website as there is a lot of information contained within these pages.
More Expensive Accommodations Recommendation: If you want a more expensive place to stay, you may wish to stay at Hotel Condotti located at Via Mario de'Fiori, 37. Their telephone number is +39 06 679.47.69 and their fax number is +39 06 679.04.57. Rooms come with bath and/or shower; single-rate rooms are available; 24-hour room service available; TV; minibar and air conditioning in all rooms; child cribs and babysitting services available; elevator; tourist information given. Credit cards accepted are American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard/Access, VISA, and Japanese Credit Bureau. There are 17 medium to large rooms that are well-decorated. One of the rooms has its own terrace, and three others share one. Continental breakfast is included in the price of the room and is very nice. Very clean. It is centrally located and just one-and-a-half blocks from Piazza di Spagna, around the corner from via della Croce where some really nice bakeries and restaurants are located, a block from via Condotti where all the high-fashion boutiques like Valentino, Gucci, Bulgari, etc. are located, and the Spagna Metro station. The concierges and front desk clerks speak English. Though I really like this hotel, unfortunately, it has gotten out of my price range now.
If Money Is NO Object: If money is no object, and you really want the epitome of luxurious accommodations, I would suggest you try Hotel de Russie which opened in late 2000 just off Piazza del Popolo at Via del Babuino 9, 00187 Rome. Their website is well worth viewing if you are interested in expensive accommodations. Their telephone number is 39 06 32 8881, fax +39 06 32 888 888. Be forewarned: it is very, very expensive, and is way out of my price range, but for those who want to be pampered, it cannot be beat! Check out their website on my Links page.
Even if room prices include service, you will still be expected to tip for room service and for bellboys and chambermaids. Hotels also often add steep surcharges to international phone calls and may charge extra for parking and air conditioning. The cost of drinks in minibars can be high - so, you're better off buying your soft drinks, etc. from local shops at cheaper prices.
Making Your Reservations
The Italian postal service is not very reliable, so it is best if you make your reservations through your travel agent, by phone directly to the hotel, or by fax directly to the hotel. Always get a written confirmation, either by mail or return fax if you are making the reservations yourself. If you make reservations through your travel agent, ask them to furnish you with written confirmation from the hotel and at what cost (in Euros). Take that confirmation with you when you arrive at your hotel so that you get the price you paid for when you made the reservations. You should book your reservations well in advance (they say at least two months in advance if you want a particular hotel in May, June, September, or October; I suggest more like six months). Easter and Christmas are very busy times of the year, so you need to book way in advance (again, they say six months, but I suggest nine months to a year). The earlier you book, the better your chances are to get a room that you want.
Some hotels require a deposit when booking reservations. These can be guaranteed by a credit card or international money order. Check with the hotel or your travel agent for particular requirements. Under Italian law, a reservations is valid as soon as the deposit is paid, so you will most likely lose money if you cancel. Be prepared to surrender your passport upon arrival at your hotel. The hotels are required to notify the local police of your arrival and expected departure date. Your passport will be returned to you within a few hours that same day. Remember that you will need your passport if you intend to exchange money, so be sure that the hotelier has returned your passport before you head out to do some sightseeing. It is Italian law that all persons in Italy must carry some sort of identification on their person at all times. Unless you need your actual passport to exchange money, I have been told that some travelers carry a photocopy of their passport with them while out and about and leave the actual passport document in their hotel's safe. Not a bad idea.
Checking In and Out
If you choose to stay in a pensione, don't be surprised if you are asked to pay in advance. Most pensiones will not accept credit cards either. Always check with the individual pensione operator in advance if you intend to pay by credit card. We did not do that and ended up having to pay cash for our room at the pensione. Fortunately, we had enough extra money to do so.
Even though changes are starting to take place with regard to accessibility for the disabled (ramps, restrooms, handrails, etc.), handicapped access for disabled travelers is still very poor. Small hotels that are in buildings occupied by other tenants often offer only rooms that must be reached by several flights of stairs, while some hotels can only accommodate disabled guests on the ground floor or have only one or two rooms that are appropriate for the disabled. Ramps, wide doorways, and bathroom handrails are very rare. Always check with the hotel or your travel agent before reserving accommodations if you are in need of handicapped access. (See Disabled Access on my General Information page for further information.)
There is a private organization, Associazione Nazionale dei Andicappati at Via Tommaso Fortifocca 100, Roma, which gives advice to disabled travelers. Their phone number is 06/781 07 72.
Are You Traveling With Children?
Children are usually welcome across the range of hotels but the facilities tend to be unimpressive. Most hotels can provide cribs and/or small beds, but highchairs, children's meals, and babysitting services are rare. The smaller, family-run hotels tend to go out of their way to be helpful in this regard.
Many hotels do not have special rates for children, especially in high season, and charge a standard rate if you require an extra bed in a room, whether it's for a baby or an adult; this can add from a few thousand lire to 40% or more onto the price of a double room. For families with older children, you might wish to consider trying to rent a two-room suite for your stay. (See Children and Rome on my General Information page for further information.)
LIST OF HOTELS BY AREA IN ROME
I have listed below some hotels in each of seven sections of Rome. This list by no means constitutes a complete list. I would suggest you obtain a current travel guide such as Frommer's, Michelin, or Eyewitness for current listings and prices as well as descriptions of the hotels, or tell your travel agent what area you would like to stay in and what type of hotel and price range you are looking for. I recommend the former, especially the Eyewitness Travel Guide to Rome, because it has complete descriptions of everything in every sector as well as restaurants, shopping, and hotel descriptions. Many hotels have websites of their own or are on agency websites with up-to-date price information and I suggest you go onto your favorite search engine (such as Yahoo, Google, etc.) and type in the name of the hotel and city (i.e., Planet 29 Accommodation Rome) you are interested in for the most up-to-date price information. Since price information changes at the discretion of the hotel, it is virtually impossible for me to keep up with them. Also, the list below is only a handful of hotels available. Again, the Internet has a vast listing with the most up-to-date rate information.
Key to hotel accommodations:
Hilton Rome Airport, Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, via Arturo Ferrarin 2, Fiumicino 00050, Tel. +39-06/65258, Fax +39-06/65256525. Rooms: 517 rooms including 391 superior rooms, 107 executive rooms, 11 alcove rooms, 4 junior suites, 4 one-bedroom suites with parlors and 26 adjoining rooms. P(3), Q, G, J (indoor/outdoor), O (free), beauty salon, tennis courts, health club, airport shuttle to the airport.
Literally two minutes from the passenger terminals by airport shuttle courtesy of the Hilton Rome Airport Hotel, there is also an elevated walkway that connects the hotel directly to the terminals as well. Great connections to board the FS train from the airport to Stazione Termini in downtown Rome (about a 30-minute ride). The lobby is decorated with lush travertine marble with vaulted Roman arches. Excellent for those travelers who are not staying any length of time in Rome or are connecting to or coming from a cruise port of call at Civitavecchia.Aventine
(The Aventine is below the Circus Maximus below the Forum to Porta San Paolo/Pyramid area and over to the Tiber)
Aventino, Via San Domenico 10, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 574 51 74, 06 578 32 14, FAX 06 578 36 04. Rooms: 23. A, B, C, K, garden, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V. This modest hotel is run by the owners of Villa San Pio and Sant'Anselmo with large, simple rooms. It has a rich, beautiful garden location, and the breakfast room has a magnificent armoire and stained-glass.
Domus Aventina, Via di Santa Prisca 118, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 574 61 35, FAX 06 57 30 00 44. Rooms: 26. A, B, C, D, E, F, H, I, K, O, garden, Q, R; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. This hotel is spotless and used to be a 14th century convent. It has large, simply decorated rooms in pastels. There are wonderful views of the Celian Hill from many of the balconies - 18 rooms have them - and from the huge terrace.
Sant'Anselmo, Piazza di Sant'Anselmo 2, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 574 51 74, FAX 06 578 36 04. Rooms: 46. A, B, C, K, M, garden, S; AE, DC, MC, V. This villa is within walking distance of the Colosseum. It has chandeliers and corridors with floors of inlaid marble. The lounge looks out onto the hotel's secluded garden. Antique hand-painted furniture are in some of the rooms. Reserve well in advance.
Villa San Pio, Via Sant'Anselmo 19, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 578 32 14, 06 574 35 47, FAX 06 578 36 04. Rooms: 59. A, B, C, K, L, N, O, garden, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. The Villa San Pio is set in a garden graced with statues. The elegant entrance hall is furnished with velvet and brocade chairs. Some rooms are simple while others are more elegant; others open onto the garden. There are two bars. You can have breakfast or drinks in the bedrooms or garden.
(Campo de'Fiori is approximately between Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Tiber, Via Arenula and Ponte Mazzini areas which includes the Sacra Argentine ruins area and the open-air food and flower markets.)
Campo de'Fiori, Via del Biscione 6, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 687 48 86, FAX 06 687 60 03. Rooms: 27. A in 13, C, H, garden; MC, V. Reasonable well-kept hotel just off the Campo de'Fiori market square; small bedrooms. The sixth floor has a split-level roof garden with spectacular views over the Pantheon, the Victor Emmanuel Monument, and St. Peter's.
Lunetta, Piazza del Paradiso 68, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 686 10 80, 06 686 36 87, FAX 06 689 20 28. Rooms: 36. A in 13, B, C, garden. Between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Piazza Campo de'Fiori, the Lunetta is a popular well-maintained hotel with neat, clean rooms and a courtyard. No breakfast served.
Piccolo, Via dei Chiavari 32, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 68 80 25 60. Rooms: 15. A in 4, B, C, N, Q; AE, MC, V. Close to Piazza Campo de'Fiori, the Piccolo is a clean family-run hotel simple rooms of different sizes, it also has a bar/breakfast room with a television.
Pomezia, Via dei Chiavari 12, 00186, Roma, Tel. 06 686 13 71. Rooms: 22. A in 11, B, C, Q; AE, DC, MC, V. In the middle Campo de'Fiori district, the Pomezia has spotless, simply decorated rooms and a bar in the reception area.
Rinascimento, Via del Pellegrino 122, 00186 Roma, Tel. 60687 48 13, FAX 06 683 35 18. Rooms: 19. A, B, C, E, F, I, O, Q, R, S; AE, MC, V. Also in the Campo de'Fiori district, close to artisans' workshops and a variety of trattorias. Bedrooms tend to be tired and worn with cramped bathrooms.
Smeraldo, Vicolo dei Chiodaroli 9, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 687 59 29, FAX 06 68 80 54 95. Rooms: 35. A in 18, B, E, I, N, Q, S; AE, MC, V. Also in the heart of the Campo de'Fiori quarter. Clean, simple rooms in an ocher-washed building with shutters - very Rome.
Sole, Via dei Biscione 76, 00186, Roma, Tel. 06 68 80 68 73, 06 68 80 52 58, FAX 06 689 37 87. Rooms: 62. A in 31, B, C, D, K, N, O, S, garden. Possibly the oldest hotel in Rome, it is located just off the central market square of Campo de'Fiori. Rooms are plainly furnished, but with some character. There are small sitting areas and a green, sunny terrace with a drink-and-snack machine. No breakfast is served.
Teatro di Pompeo, Largo del Pallaro 8, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 68 30 01 70, 06 687 25 66, FAX 06 68 80 55 31. Rooms: 12. A, B, C, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. This small hotel sits over the ruins of the first permanent theater in the city, which was completed in 55 BC by Pompey the Great. You can eat breakfast among the original theater arches. Rooms contain beamed ceilings.
(This area includes approximately from the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument down to the Coliseum, and just behind the Trajan's Marketplace to the Tiber River)
Via Tor de'Conti 25, 00184 Roma, Tel. 06 679 24 46, FAX 06 678 64 79.
Rooms: 76. A, B, C, D, E, F, H, I, K, garden, P, Q, R, S; AE,
DC, MC, V. The Forum once was a palace built out of materials from
the ruins of the nearby Imperial Fora. It features a sunny roof terrace
restaurant giving wonderful views over the ancient excavations.
Piazza della Rotonda
(This is a large area from approximately Corso della Ripetta to Via del Corso, and via Tomacelli to Vittorio Emanuele II Boulevard and includes the area around the Pantheon.)
Abruzzi, Piazza della Rotonda 69, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 679 20 21. Rooms: 25. A, C. Clean, basic rooms with terracotta-tiled floors overlooking the Pantheon. The rooms at the back, while not the best, are quiet. No breakfast is served; however, down on the piazza, there is a McDonald's, Day and Night which has wonderful toast (large pieces of bread without the crusts filled with thin slices of cheese and ham, and wonderful caffe latte), and my favorite restaurant in Rome, De Rienzo's. Also, around the corner from the piazza is the best gelateria in Rome, Fragola e Limone.
Colonna Palace, Piazza di Montecitorio 12, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 678 13 41, FAX 06 679 44 96. Rooms: 110. A, B, C, E, F, H, I, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. In the same piazza as Italy's Chamber of Deputies. Bedrooms are spacious, bathrooms small. Breakfast is served in the basement lined with frescoes. There are nice views from the roof terrace, where there is now a jacuzzi. It is near a busy shopping district on Via del Corso, and is near another favorite restaurant of mine called Autogrill.
Inn Crowne Plaza Minerva, Piazza della Minerva 69, 00186 Roma, Tel.
06 69 94 18 88, FAX 06 679 41 65. Rooms: 134. A, B, C,
D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, N, garden, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Occupying
Palazzo Fonseca behind the Pantheon, this is one of Rome's newer luxury
hotels. The interior's centerpiece is the lounge, canopied in semi-translucent
Venetian glass with a statue of Minerva. Large bedrooms decorated
in shades of beige and coral. Views from the roof terrace are breathtaking,
stretching over the Pantheon, St. Peter's, and the Janiculum Hill.
In the piazza is Bernini's famous marble elephant and Egyptian obelisk
sculpture which is in front of Santa Maria sopra Minerva Basilica
Mimosa, Via di Santa Chiara 61, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 68 80 17 53. Rooms: 11. A in 1, B, C, G, R. Centrally located pensione in the heart of the center of Rome; on the third floor and there is no elevator. A bit noisy from adjacent apartments at times. Quasi-continental breakfast is extra.
Nazionale, Piazza di Montecitorio 131, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 678 92 51, FAX 06 678 66 77. Rooms: 87. A, B, C, E, F, H, I, K, P, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. The Nazionale is stands on the corner of the Chamber of Deputies. Public rooms are comfortable; some rooms are huge, and most are partially furnished with British and Italian antiques.
Santa Chiara, Via di Santa Chiara 21, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 687 29 79, FAX 06 687 31 44. Rooms: 97. A, B, C, E, F, I, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. The Santa Chiara occupies an apricot-washed palazzo. Public rooms are cool; bedrooms are carpeted with quality furnishings and marble bathrooms. Street-facing rooms can be noisy so ask for a room not facing the street.
Sole al Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda 63, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 678 04 41, FAX 06 69 94 06 89. Rooms: 29. A, B, C, D, E, F, I, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V. Sole al Pantheon has been a hotel since 1467. Its location opposite the Pantheon is unbeatable. Over half of the rooms now have jacuzzis, but some bedrooms still have painted, paneled ceilings.
(This area is from approximately the Tiber to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Via della Ripetta to Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II to the Vatican)
Due Torri, Vicolo del Leonetto 23-25, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 687 69 83, FAX 06 686 54 42. Rooms: 26. A, B, C, E, F, I, garden, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. Located a short walk from both Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps. Bedrooms vary - some are stylish, others plain and rather small. The lounge is both elegant and homey.
Genio, Via Zanardelli 28, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 683 37 81, FAX 06 68 30 72 46. Rooms: 64. A, B, C, E, F, I, garden, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Located on a fairly busy street just behind Piazza Navona, the Genio's bedrooms are ordinary, though comfortable. The roof terrace where you can picnic with your own food, makes it worth thinking about. Via Zanardelli is lined with book shops and a block from the Tiber. Across Ponte Umberto is the gigantic Hall of Justice and to the left of that is Castel Sant'Angelo, and a couple of blocks further is St. Peter's.
Navona, Via dei Sediari 8, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 686 42 03. Rooms: 21. A in 18, B, C, G, Q, R; Across from Piazza Navona and five minutes' stroll from the Pantheon. It is hard to find a room here so you need to reserve well in advance. Bedrooms are basic, and some have bathrooms. The restaurant opens for groups of 15 or more.
Portoghesi, Via dei Portoghesi 1, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 686 42 31, FAX 06 687 69 76. Rooms: 27. A, B, C, E, I, garden, S; MC, V. A plain hotel, with slightly dated bedrooms, located a brief walk from Piazza Navona. Elegant public rooms and there's a roof terrace.
Raphael, Largo Febo 2, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 68 28 31, FAX 06 687 89 93. Rooms: 63. A, B, E, F, H, I, N, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. The Raphael is shrouded with ivy and located just behind Piaza Navona. There is a restaurant in the basement. Bedrooms have parquet floors, marbled walls and 18th century-style furniture. The rooms on the top floor offer terrific views.
Piazza di Spagna
(This includes the heart of Old Rome's shopping district, from behind The Spanish Steps down to Via del Corso, and approximately, Via Tritone to Piazza del Popolo.)
Via del Bufalo 126, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 678 00 41, FAX 06 69 94 15 01.
Rooms: 50. A, B, C, E, F, I, K, O, garden, Q, S; AE, DC, MC,
V, JCB. Elegant, just off Piazza San Silvestro, five minutes from
the Spanish Steps. Some bedrooms have terraces.
Carriage, Via della Carrozze 35, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 699 01 24, FAX 06 678 82 79. Rooms: 27. A, B, E, F, I, gardens; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Elegant. The rooms are just as elegant as the reception area, and filled with antiques. Two rooms open onto the leafy terracotta-tiled public terrace; two have their own private terraces.
Condotti, Via Mario de'Fiori 37, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 47 69, FAX 06 679 04 57. Rooms: 17. A, B, D, E, F, I, L, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. A block-and-a-half from Piazza di Spagna and in the heart of the designer shopping district; comfortable, clean, and the staff very courteous and helpful. Rooms are medium to large and spotless. One room has its own small terrace, and three others share one. There is a wonderful breakfast dining room in the basement, very clean hotel throughout.
Firenze, Via Due Macelli 106, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 678 72 40, FAX 06 678 56 36. Rooms: 25. A, B, C, D, E, I, N, gardens, Q, S; AE, MC, V. A short distance from Piazza di Spagna. The entrance hall has Chinese urns and gilt-framed mirrors, and the bedrooms are large. There is also a green terrace where you can have your breakfast.
Gregoriana, Via Gregoriana 18, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 42 69, FAX 06 678 42 58. Rooms: 19. A, B, D, E, F, G, I, L, M, N, R, S. Close to the Spanish Steps on a tree-lined, quiet street. The first- and third-floor corridors are papered with a leopard-spotted print. The rooms are all alike: black lacquer doors, terracotta-colored carpets, flowery wallpaper and 1920s drawings on the walls. There are no public rooms, so breakfast and drinks are served in your room.
Hassler, Piazza Trinita dei Monti 6, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 678 26 51, FAX 06 678 99 91. Rooms: 100. A, B, C, E, F, H, I, K, L, O, garden, P, Q, R, S; AE, MC, V, JCB. Atop the Spanish Steps, with magnificent views of Rome from its roof terrace, restaurant and suites; the lounges and bedrooms are lit by Venetian glass chandeliers, the wood-paneled bar and the marble bathrooms gives one a feel of what it used to be like staying at this swanky hotel.
Homs, Via della Vite 71-22, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 29 76, FAX 06 678 04 82. Rooms: 50. A, B, C, E, F, I, L, M, N, O, gardens, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V. On a quieter street in the Piazza di Spagna area; clean, pleasant rooms with dark-green carpets and white bathrooms. The breakfast room opens out onto a pleasing terrace.
Inghilterra, Via Bocca di Leone 14, 00187, Roma, Tel. 06 69 9 81, FAX 06 69 92 22 43. Rooms: 105. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I, K, L, N, P, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. This hotel opened in 1850. In the heart of Rome's designer shopping area and close to the Spanish Steps; the restaurant's walls, painted with garden views and sky-frescoed ceiling, create the illusion of dining outdoors.
Jonella, Via della Croce, 41, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 79 66. Rooms: 5. B, C. Rather plain, but the location and low prices make this place worth considering. Quite laid back, because even the owner has to go shopping, so sometimes you may need to wait until someone returns. This quaint hotel is near the Birreria Viennese Restaurant and a wonderful corner bakery; also, a newsstand at the corner of Via della Croce and Mario de'Fiori.
Locarno, Via della Penna 22, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 361 08 41, 06 361 08 42, 06 361 08 43, FAX 06 321 52 49. Rooms: 38. A, C, E, F, I, K, L, O, gardens, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Near the Tiber, close to Piazza del Popolo, a 1920s hotel with an Art Nouveau door and swags of lilac growing across the front. There's a patio with lots of greenery and a small fountain.
Lydia, Via Sistina 42, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 38 15, FAX 06 679 72 63. Rooms: 28. A in 6, B, C, N, S; AE, DC, MC, V. Popular with students, a few minutes' walk from the Spanish Steps. Rooms are in pastel blues, and two retain their old ceiling frescoes. If you can't land one of these rooms, there's always breakfasting in the chandelier-lit dining room, which has wonderful frescoes. Some of the rooms facing the street are noisy.
Manfredi, Via Margutta 61, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 320 76 76, 06 320 76 95, FAX 06 320 77 36. Rooms: 15. A, B, C, D, E, F, I, K, M, Q, R, S; AE, MC, V, JCB. Family-run hotel just off Piazza di Spagna, on a quiet street of art galleries and antiques shops. The reception area and bar/breakfast room have marble floors. Bedrooms are all soundproofed.
Margutta, Via Laurina 34, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 84 40, 06 322 36 74. Rooms: 21. A, C, S; AE, DC, MC, V. On a quiet street just below the Piazza del Popolo. Rooms have white walls and green wrought-iron bedsteads and candleholders. There are three attic rooms that share a pretty roof terrace. If you are interested in any of these, be sure to book well in advance.
Mozart, Via dei Greci 23, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 69 94 0041, FAX 06 678 42 71. Rooms: 31. A, B, E, F, I, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Located between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna. A small breakfast room, as well as a bar/cafe. Rooms have ceramic-tiled or parquet floors, and bathrooms are small, most with just a shower.
Piazza di Spagna, Via Mario de'Fiori 61, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 30 61, 06 679 64 12, FAX 06 679 06 54. Rooms: 16. A, B, C, E, F, I, Q, S. Close to the designer boutiques of Via Condotti (such as Valentino, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Bulgari, Uomo and the famous Greco's Cafe) this small hotel has simple but good-sized rooms. A few bathrooms have jacuzzis. The breakfast room and bar are tiny, so most residents decide to take breakfast in their own rooms or eat out.
Scalinata di Spagna, Piazza Trinita dei Monti 17, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 30 06, FAX 06 69 94 05 98. Rooms: 15. A, B, C, D, E, F, H, I, N, garden; AE, MC, V. In a small 18th century villa at the top of the Spanish Steps next to Trinita dei Monti. Breakfast is served at a communal table. Some of the rooms retain their old paneled ceilings. Reserve far in advance if you want to stay in one of the rooms that open out onto the large terrace.
Suisse, Via Gregoriana 54-56, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 678 36 49, FAX 06 678 12 58. Rooms: 13. A in 8, B, C, S. On the third floor of an old palazzo (the entrance is at No. 54). Chinese prints hang along the corridors and in the rooms. Breakfast is served in the bedrooms.
Valadier, Via della Fontanella 15, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 361 19 98, FAX 06 320 15 58. Rooms: 38. A, B, C, D, E, F, I, K, L, P, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Public rooms have low sofas, marble floors, and Oriental rugs, with a bizarre art selection there to look at. Great for those guys who want to seduce their gal.
(This area is from approximately Via del Corso to Traforo Umberto I that includes the Quirinal area and Via del Tritone to Vittorio Emanuele Monument area. This includes the Presidential Palace and Trevi Fountain areas.)
Grand, Via V. E. Orlando 3, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 47 09, FAX 06 474 73 07. Rooms: 170. A, B, C, D, E, F, I, garden, N, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Elegant, elegant, elegant. Painted cherubs on the ceiling over the reception area, festoons of flowers and fruit are carved on the walls of the lounge, parquet floors. Facilities also include a beauty salon, a sauna, a hairdresser, and a restaurant renowned as one of the most beautiful in the country.
(This area is around the Train Station. This includes sites of Santa Maria Maggiore, Piazza della Repubblica, the National Museum of Rome, Santa Maria degli Angeli, etc.)
Canada, Via Vicenza 58, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 445 77 70, FAX 06 445 07 49. Rooms: 70. A, B, C, E, G, I, K, garden, L, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Behind Termini Stazione, the Canada is an above-average mid-range hotel with courteous staff. Rooms are comfortable; a nice lounge. The service is courteous.
Cervia, Via Palestro 55, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 49 10 57, FAX 06 49 10 56. Rooms: 27. A in 7, B, C, Q; MC, V. In the same palazzo as the Mari and the Restivo, a very good value, but the rooms are fairly basic. Public areas are immaculate, and there is also a pleasant modern bar/breakfast room.
Gexim, Via Palestro 34, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 446 02 11, FAX 06 444 13 11. Closed the last two weeks in August. Rooms: 9. A in 5, B, C, N. Occupies part of the third floor, is a cut above most cheap hotels. All the bedrooms, bathrooms, and public areas are spotless.
Hotel Magnifico, via Nazionale, 243, 00184 Roma, Tel./FAX 06 47825074. Rooms: 5. A, B, C, E, F, G, I, O, R, S; MC, V. This nice little hotel is an exclusive town-house, comfortable and elegant in one of the most elegant central streets of Rome. Situated in an ancient building (XVIII century), Magnifico Hotel will give you the pleasure of being in an Italian palace. Near Exposition Palace. It has 24-hour reception, pick-up from either Fiumicino or Ciampino Airports, private bathrooms, satellite TV, fridge bar, free Internet, laundry service, and more available. Close to transportation and the train station (Stazione Termini). You can visit their website at www.magnificohotel.it or email them at email@example.com for more information.
Katty, Via Palestro 35, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 444 12 16. Rooms: 11. A in 2, B, C. Clean, basic rooms, popular with British and American students, so either reserve well in advance. No breakfast is served.
Mari, Via Palestro 55, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 446 21 37, FAX 06 482 83 13. Rooms: 21. A in 10, B, C; MC, V. Friendly hotel, pleasant rooms with no frills. If it's full, Mari 2 nearby at Via Calatafimi 38 (phone 474 03 71) has more rooms (half with bathrooms) and is also a good deal. There is a five percent surcharge for paying with credit cards.
Hotel Alexis / Planet 29 Accommodation, via Gaeta 29. Tel. 06 486520, FAX 06 484141. Entrance/reception is located at via Gaeta, 27. Hotel Alexis occupies the first two floors and Planet 29 Accommodation occupies floors three, four, and five. All have safes. Italian-style breakfasts are served and Continental breakfasts can be ordered upon request. Near the train station, a clean, set of hotels run by the same family; quiet location. All rooms in Hoel Alexis have private baths and rooms in Planet 29 Accommodation share a bathroom in the hall. There are Internet cafes along Via Volturno and a wonderful and popular local ristorante (La Famiglia) is across the street. Check out the paragraph at the top of this page for their email address and website address.
Restivo, Via Palestro 55, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 446 21 72. Rooms: 6. B, C. In the same building as the Mari and Cervia, the Restivo has six spotless bedrooms.
(This area includes from The Tiber to approximately Via Manara, and Via Giuseppe Garibaldi to Viale di Trastevere areas. The area includes Santa Maria Trastevere among other sites.)
Carmel, Via Mameli 11, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 580 99 21. Rooms: 10. A in 9, B, C. A few notches up from the Manara, the only other Trastevere area hotel. Has a wonderful garden terrace where a few of the rooms open off it. Rooms are spotless, and most have bathrooms. The owner is not eager to have children stay, and you have to reserve in advance since she tends to close down when she thinks business will be bad.
Manara, Via Manara 25, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 581 47 13. Rooms: 7. A in 1, C. Just off the main market square of Trastevere. Rooms are simple and spotless, but only one has a private bathroom.
(This is the area surrounding the Vatican to Castel Sant'Angelo, and the Tiber around to the Vatican Museums area.)
Alimandi, Via Tunisi 8, 00192, Roma, TEL. 06 72 39 48, FAX 06 72 39 43. Rooms: 32. A in 26, B, C, E, N, O, garden, Q, S; AE, MC, V. Just below the entrance to the Vatican Museums, the Alimandi is a simple cheap pensione, very popular with young travelers. Rooms are clean and adequate. It has a large roof terrace, where you can sit and have a barbecue, if you arrange it in advance.
Amalia, Via Germanico 66, 00192 Roma, Tel. 06 72 33 54, 06 72 33 56, FAX 06 72 33 65. Rooms: 25. A in 20, B, E, N, Q, S; AE, MC, V. Between the Ottaviano Metro station and the Vatican, it has spotless rooms arranged on three floors, a lounge with a bar and a coffee machine off the reception area.
Atlante Star, Via Vitelleschi 34, 00193 Roma, Tel. 06 687 32 33, FAX 06 687 23 00. Rooms: 70. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, N, O, garden, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Good if you are in Rome on business and need on-site office facilities. Panoramic views of St. Peter's from the rooftop restaurant, but service and atmosphere is lacking. Double rooms are modest in size, and singles can be cramped, some of them with only a shower. Avoid rooms facing the street since they can be noisy.
Columbus, Via della Conciliazione 33, 00193 Roma, Tel. 06 686 54 35, FAX 06 686 48 74. Rooms: 100. A, B, C, E, F, H, I, K, L, N, O, garden, P, S; AE, DC, MC, V. Occupies a former monastery. Bedrooms are well-equipped, though the beds are narrow. Has a nice walled terrace garden.
(This area is approximately from Piazza Barberini up the Via Veneto to the Villa Borghese Gardens area and down to via XX Settembre area.)
Via Veneto 18, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 488 19 43, 06 488 19 44, FAX 06 487
18 04. Rooms: 45. A, B, C, E, F, I, L, N, O, R, S; AE,
DC, MC, V, JCB. One of the less-expensive hotels on the upscale Via
Veneto. All the bedrooms are individually decorated. You might
want to ask for a room not facing the street, since traffic noise is abundant.
Bernini Bristol, Piazza Barberini 23, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 488 30 51, FAX 06 482 42 66. Rooms: 126. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, garden, P, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Overlooks the Piazza Barberini that has Bernini's Triton Fountain as its centerpiece. Also close to the macabre Church of the Cappucine (a must see - see Churches and Basilicas). Comfortable, with a roof garden, but atmosphere is more conducive to work than pleasure. The central location and facilities ensure a steady stream of business visitors. Close to Planet Hollywood, and all the international airline offices.
Excelsior, Via Veneto 125, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 47 08, FAX 06 482 62 05. Rooms: 327. A, B, C, D, E, F, I, K, L, N, O, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Exotically sculpted balconies supported by statues set the tone for this extravagant hotel, which houses boutiques, saunas, a restaurant, and a famous piano bar. Public rooms are sumptuous, with marble walls and floors. The bedrooms are elegant and spacious, with chandeliers, painted and gilded wooden paneling, and ornate, marble bathrooms.
Majestic, Via Veneto 50, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 48 68 41, 06 482 80 14, FAX 06 488 09 84, 488 56 57. Rooms: 96. A, B, C, E, F, I, O, garden, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Founded in 1889, the Majestic is the oldest of Via Veneto's hotels. Very nice but very expensive.
Merano, Via Veneto 155, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 482 17 96, FAX 06 482 18 10. Rooms: 30. A, B, C, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. The Merano is a friendly small pensione in a 19th century palazzo that also houses a piano bar and hairdresser. The decor is a little dated, and relatively high prices, for what is essentially a guesthouse, reflect the upscale location. The hotel's best feature is its sunny parquet-floored breakfast room.
Oxford, Via Boncompagni 89, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 482 89 52, FAX 06 481 53 49. Rooms: 58. A, B, E, F, I, K, L, N, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. .Ten minutes' walk from Via Veneto. The bedrooms are dated with candlewick bedspreads.
Regina Hotel Baglioni, Via Veneto 72, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 47 68 51, FAX 06 48 54 83. Rooms: 130. A, B, C, E, F, G, I, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. The exuberance of the Baglioni's exterior - it is painted vanilla and strawberry pink and decorated with grimacing masks - continues in the reception area, where a wrought-iron staircase is guarded by the statue of a sea god. The bedrooms are painted in vivid shades of coral, aqua and blue, and many are very spacious. Double glazing in the rooms overlooking Via Veneto cuts down on some of the noise, but light sleepers might still prefer to ask for a room at the back of the hotel when reserving.
Residenza, Via Emilia 22-24, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 488 07 89, FAX 06 48 57 21. Rooms: 29. A, B, C, E, F, I, O, Q, R; MC, V. Elegant with a canopied terrace arranged with pine furniture, plus a terracotta-tiled roof garden. The bedrooms are less stylish than the public rooms, but are comfortable, large, and well-equipped.
Romantik Barocco Hotel, Piazza Barberini 9 (entrance on Via della Purificazione 4), 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 487 20 01, FAX 06 48 59 94. Rooms: 28. A, B, C, E, F, I, K, M, N, garden, P, Q, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. A small hotel at the foot of Via Veneto. Bedrooms are pleasant. There are two small lounges (one with a bar) and a restaurant.
(This area is inside the Gardens of Villa Borghese and bordering PincioGardens area above the Via Veneto area.)
Aldrovandi Palace, Via Aldrovandi 15, 00197 Roma, Tel. 06 322 39 93, FAX 06 322 14 35. Rooms: 140. A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, O, garden, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Among the most restful luxury hotels in the city, overlooking Villa Borghese. The highlight is the garden with its attractive swimming pool, which is overlooked by an airy restaurant.
Lord Byron, Via de Notaris 5, 00197 Roma, Tel. 06 361 30 41, FAX 06 322 04 05. Closed Sunday and last two weeks in August. Rooms: 37. A, B, C, D, E, F, I, K, M, N, garden, P, Q, R, S; AE, DC, MC, V. Originally a monastery. The lounge is lavishly furnished with antiques and tapestry-seated chairs. The restaurant serves some of the best food in Rome. All the bedrooms are provided with a full decanter of port, which comes with the compliments of the management.
Villa Borghese, Via Pinciana 31, 00198 Roma, Tel. 06 841 41 00, FAX 06 844 26 36. Rooms: 31. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, O, garden, Q, R; AE, DC, MC, V, JCB. Occupies a villa close to Villa Borghese; the atmosphere is pleasant: more that of a private home than a hotel. There is a courtyard sheltered by a pretty ivy-covered pergola. The rooms are on the small side but tasteful.
If you want a feeling of your own apartment but with the services of a hotel, you might want to consider a residential hotel (residenza). Prices range from L500,000 to over 1.3 million for a week in a two-bedded room, though some residenza are available for two-week or monthly stays. For anyone wishing to stay more than two weeks should consider this option, which can be arranged through an agency. The International Services provides a list of studios and apartments; and the Landmark Trust rents an apartment (believe it or not, it requires a reservation three years in advance) in the house where Keats died, near the Spanish Steps.
A full list is available from tourist board offices (see addresses below), but some of the ones more central are the following:
Babuino, Via del Babuino 172, 00187 Roma, Rel. 06 361 16 63.
Di Ripetta, Via di Ripetta 231, 00186 Roma, Tel. 06 67 21 41, FAX 06 320 39 59.
In Trastevere, Vicolo Moroni 35, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 581 27 68.
Ripa, Via Orti di Trastevere 1, 00153 Roma, Tel. 06 586 11.
Vittoria, Via Vittoria 60, 00187 Roma, Tel. 06 679 75 33.
HOSTEL AND DORMITORY-STYLE ACCOMMODATIONS
Via Ottaviano 6, 00192 Roma, Tel06 39 73 72 53.
Associazione Italiana Alberghi per la Gioventu (Youth Hostel Association),
Via Cavour 44, 00184 Roma, Tel. 06 487 11 52.
Ostello del Foro Italico, Viale delle Olimpiadi 61, 00194 Roma.
Residenza Universitaria de Lollis, Via Cesare de Lollis 20, 00185 Roma. Rooms in August only. You can receive details from the Youth Hostel Association listed above.
YWCA, Via C. Balbo 4, 00184 Roma, Tel. 06 488 39 17.
Protezione della Giovane, Termini Stazione, Piazza dei Cinquecento, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 482 75 94.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN CONVENTS
There are convents throughout Rome that accept paying guests (men, women, and families with children). You need to be aware that most of them have a curfew that you must adhere to. I find that, pricewise, they are not all that inexpensive. Some provide just breakfast, some breakfast and supper, and some no meals at all. It is best to fax rather than phone if you can because the person on the other end may not speak English. Some convents that I know of that accept paying guests if this type of experience is what you are seeking include:
Suore Dorotee, via del Gianicolo 4A, 00165 Rome - in the Janiculum Hill area, tel. 06/6880.3349, fax 06/6880.3311.There is a website sponsored by the Paulist Fathers of the Church of Santa Susanna in Rome that has quite a list of convents that offer accommodations and more information about each convent, what is offered, prices, and curfew information. It is located on my Links page.
Istituto Ravasco, via Pio VIII 28, 00165 Rome - tel. 06/3937.5805, fax 06/636.721.
Domus Pacis, via di Torre Rossa 94, 00165 Rome - Tel. 06/638.3888, fax 06/3936.6795.
Villa Bassi, via G. Carini 24, 00132 Rome - Tel. 06/581.5333. I don't have a fax number.
Le Suore di Lourdes, via Sistina 113, 00187 Rome - near the Spanish Steps, tel. 06/474.5324, fax 06/4741.422.
The Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, via Monte del Gallo 105, 00165 Rome - near the Vatican, tel. 06/630.782, fax 06/638.6149.
You can also write to Vicariato di Roma, Piazza S. Giovanni 6, 00184 Rome, Italy, or to the Rome Tourist Board, Via Parigi 11, 00185 Rome, Italy for a complete list of religious institutions and convents that offer accommodations at moderate prices.
In more recent years, a handful of resorts around Rome have started tosell timeshares(suites that are co-owned and sold in usage intervals equivalent to one week). The idea began so that frequent visitors to Rome could secure accommodation during a specific week each year, eliminating the hassle of having to make reservations. Owners pay upfront to use the week each year, and then pay only a small maintenance annually. Ownership is not right for everyone, but many of these resorts also rent out empty units to visitors when owners are not able to use them. Most timeshare resorts are comparable to a five-star hotel in terms of amenities, service, and cost. You can sometimes find timeshare rentals cheaper though if you are able to rent directly from the current owner rather than through the resort. This can often bring the price down to that of a two- or three-star hotel, and can be a lifesaver if every other hotel is booked when you want to visit.
TOURIST BOARD ADDRESSES
Provincial Tourist Board (EPT), Via Parigi 5, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 487
EPT, Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Fiumicino, 00054 Roma, Tel. 0665 01 02 55.
EPT, Termini Stazione, Piazza dei Cinquecento, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 482 30 78.
Italian State Tourist Board (ENIT), Via Marghera 2, 00185 Roma, Tel. 06 497 11.
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