Which is the Most Scenic Neighborhood in Rome?
Rome is one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy. No other part of the country is such a unique mismatch of ancient history and architectural styles, and every street has its own story no matter where you are in The Eternal City.
There are eighteen different districts in Rome, and each of these has its own unique character and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay or just want to find somewhere beautiful to take some unforgettable holiday photos, finding the most scenic neighbourhood in Rome is a priority for many travellers who visit on their vacation.
Here’s our guide to 9 of the best Rome neighbourhoods to visit, stay and admire.
When searching for the best districts of Rome, Trastevere is a neighbourhood that you’ll probably hear recommended most of all. Historically it was a primarily working-class district up until the last few decades, with sailors, soldiers and freed slaves in ancient Rome all making their home amongst the streets and shunning the rest of ‘polite’ society.
However, Trastevere more recently experienced a makeover and has become one of the trendier, more bohemian districts of the city. It’s definitely one of the most scenic neighbourhoods in Rome, with historic architecture everywhere and an authentic atmosphere despite how popular it has become with tourists.
If you’re looking for a really good night out on the town then Trastevere is the place you’ll find it, with plenty of bars that are open until the early hours of the morning and impromptu music and dance events often springing up in restaurants and squares. During the day however, you’ll find it to be a quiet and beautiful part of Rome that is always bustling with just as many locals as it is tourists.
Monti’s claim to fame is that it is one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods in Rome, meaning that it is certainly scenic from a historic point of view. You’ll find winding cobblestone streets, classic orange buildings and the Colosseum only a short walk away, providing tons of opportunities to take some seriously stunning photos.
There’s quite a young crowd who spend their time in this part of Rome, whether they’re enjoying the restaurants and cafes or shopping in the range of boutiques nestled amidst the narrow streets. If you’re looking for somewhere to experience authentic Italian cafe culture, this is the ideal place to enjoy just that.
If you’re after an arty and bohemian atmosphere then Monti is one of the best districts to stay in Rome, with its quaint little streets and close-knit local community attracting plenty of artists and makers. Despite being close to one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, the small size of this neighbourhood means that many people don’t really give it much thought, and they’re seriously missing out.
By far the ‘trendiest’ neighbourhood in Rome is Pigneto, which is full of scenic spots if you’re looking for somewhere alternative to stay or visit when you’re in the city. Whilst there is a mix of old and new architecture around this district, more and more places are being done up into everything from cafes to co-working spaces to appeal to the young and hipster crowd that spends its time here.
If you’re looking for some really ‘Instagrammable’ places to eat then Pigneto has got a great range of options to choose from, whether you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine or something a bit different. The nightlife in this Rome district is also great, with a mixture of quirky little bars and live music venues that offer a truly unforgettable experience of the city after dark.
Many travel experts refer to Pigneto as the ‘Brooklyn of Rome’, so if you’ve been to New York before and are looking for a similar vibe to that city’s edgiest neighbourhood, you’ll find it here. It’s an area that has inspired plenty of creatives who have visited and is the perfect place to enjoy a different side of Rome from the classic, tourist-dominated neighbourhoods.
Prati is one of the newer neighbourhoods in Rome, built at the start of the 19th century. It’s one of the most affluent places in the city, and therefore definitely features as one of the most scenic places because of the impressive, luxurious shops and houses that you’ll find here.
If you’re looking to treat yourself on your vacation then Prati is the best district to stay in Rome for a truly high-end experience of the city. But it’s worth visiting even just for a look around, with plenty of excellent shops, restaurants, bars and impressive hotels.
The border of the Vatican State is very close to the edge of Prati, so if you’re visiting the famous museums and churches then it’s worth taking a walk into this neighbourhood to admire the scenery and indulge in some food from the fabulous restaurants.
One of the most unique Rome neighbourhoods is Testaccio, which is certainly in the running for the most scenic neighbourhood in Rome thanks to the wide and wacky range of different sights and experiences on offer here. It’s quite a central district in the city, only a 20-minute walk from the Colosseum, but is overlooked by many because there aren’t any particular iconic pieces of ancient architecture to be found.
There is, however, Monte Testaccio; a hill that was once the Roman’s rubbish dump where thousands of pieces of broken pottery were abandoned and eventually formed a structure that is still standing to this day. It isn’t quite as grand or beautiful as the ruins of the Coliseum or the Trevi Fountain, but it’s a part of the city that won’t be overrun with tourists and still has an impressively colourful history.
Testaccio is also making a name for itself as one of the best areas in Rome for food, with plenty of independent delis and cafes found around the streets that are becoming more and more renowned around the city. Many iconic Italian dishes that have their roots in Rome can actually be traced back to Testaccio, and many would say that it’s one of the best places to enjoy a proper Romana pizza.
Tridente is certainly one of Rome’s most scenic neighbourhoods because of the range of famous tourist attractions that you’ll find here. The Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps can both be found in the streets around the area, making it a brilliant place to visit if you’re planning on doing some serious sightseeing.
This is also a brilliant neighbourhood if you’re a fan of shopping, as most of Rome’s designer boutiques can be found in Tridente. Whether you’re after a Gucci handbag, a pair of Prada sunglasses or are just doing some aspirational window shopping, it’s the place to be if you’re seeking glamorous holiday souvenirs.
Tourists tend to flock to Tridente because of its proximity to popular places in Rome, which means that the range of accommodation options and restaurants is brilliant. Even if the atmosphere isn’t as authentic as some of the other places around the city, the nearby attractions make it an ideal place to stay if it’s your first time in this part of Italy.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet when you visit this vibrant, bustling city then Ostiense is an ideal neighbourhood to stay in in Rome. It’s about a half-hour bus or car journey out of the city centre but is no less impressive than any of the other districts, with plenty of different things to do and a great range of accommodation options.
Ostiense was once the industrial area of the city, but there are also a handful of historic sights around the area such as the impressive, white marble Pyramid of Cestius. The Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls is also found in Ostiense; one of the city’s four ancient patriarchal basilicas.
Nowadays, Ostiense has been done up into a lively and trendy neighbourhood that will allow you to step away from the touristy feeling of the middle of Rome and enjoy a lot of authentic cultural and culinary attractions. The famous street art dotted around the buildings makes it a strong contender for the most scenic of Rome’s neighbourhoods, and there’s also a thriving food scene that is ideal for fans of Italian flavours.
If natural beauty and a peaceful, romantic atmosphere is your kind of thing, Parioli might just be your top choice for the most scenic neighbourhood in Rome. This district is home to the iconic Villa Borghese park, which is the best place in the city to enjoy a pleasant stroll or a picnic when the weather is sunny.
Since it was built in the 1930s, Parioli has been considered a pretty affluent part of the city and remains a largely residential area with plenty of houses, apartments and little parks. It’s lacking the same level of historic Italian charm that neighbourhoods closer to the centre of Rome have, but is still a very picturesque district that offers a quieter alternative to some of the cramped areas in the middle of the city.
Parioli is also an up and coming gastronomic destination in Rome, so it’s a great neighbourhood to visit if you’re after top-rated, independent restaurants and artisanal food shops.
Finally, San Lorenzo is definitely one of the most scenic neighbourhoods in Rome if you’re a fan of more quirky, contemporary places in cities. It’s best known as being the student hub of the city, so is a great place to stay if you want to immerse yourself in local culture and avoid staying in an area that is overrun with tourists.
San Lorenzo was heavily bombed in World War Two, and despite being rebuilt in the tears that followed the area doesn’t have the same kind of architectural elegance as other Rome neighbourhoods. However, what it might lack in beauty it makes up for in the great range of bars and cafes on offer where you can enjoy low prices and a really upbeat atmosphere.
As well as the quirky street art and excellent food, San Lorenzo is also a great neighbourhood to visit if you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a shopping spree, as there are plenty of little boutiques, vintage shops and souvenir stores around the area that offer an independent alternative to the classic big brands you’ll find in the middle of Rome.
Rome is a city that always has more to discover, and it’s well worth taking the time to visit some of its less-talked about neighbourhoods to enjoy the beautiful architecture, colourful streets and unique buildings. If you’re planning a trip to Rome and would like expert advice on where to stay and what to do, get in touch with us here at Italy4Real and find out more about our unique tour experiences.