Set in a former monastery that is still an extraterritorial part of the Vatican and magnificently abutting Bernini's colonnade of St. Peter's Square, the Paolo VI (pronounced Paolo Sesto, Italian for Pope Paul VI) is unbeatably close to St. Peter's, with guest rooms that are luxurious, comfortable, and amazingly quiet. Replete with a stone terrace that directly overlooks Bernini's 17th-century porticoes, this hotel enjoys one of the most spectacular perches in Rome. For
truly superior rooms, ask for the newly inaugurated rooms on the piano nobile (noble floor). Within breathing distance of the residence of Benedict XVI, it's not surprising that the management here is devoutly Catholic, as you may gather from the framed portraits of the pope on the front desk and the daily prayer slipped under your door in lieu of a newspaper. But heaven can wait once you settle into your breakfast buffet on the wonderful roof terrace and drink in the view of Michelangelo's great dome.