Area to Stay in Rome

Old Jul 4th, 2014, 12:09 PM
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Area to Stay in Rome

I am traveling to Rome with my husband and 2 children. Do you recommend the Trastevere area or the Vatican area? Thanks in advance.

Glenda
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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Actually, neither would be my top choice. We prefer the area around Piazza Navona or near the Pantheon. If you have identified hotels or apartments in the Trastevere or VC areas, choose based on the hotel or apartment. Neither of these areas is as centrally located for touring as other parts of Rome.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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Hi Glenda,

assuming that you are first -timers in Rome, the standard advice would be to stay in neither of those areas but nearer to the centre of the "Centro Storico" around the pantheon/Piazza Navona/Campo dei Fiori area. Why? because from there you will be able to walk to most of the places that you are going to want to see on a first visit, transport to the colosseum &/or Vatican is easy, and if your children are young, [or older and it's you that needs the rest!] you will be able to return to your accommodation easily if they need a sleep or just to rest for a while.

That said, on our first visit to Rome with our kids, then aged 14 & 17, we stayed in the area called Monti which is just north of the Colosseum/forum, and had a terrific time. however the next time we stayed close to the Piazza Navona and I have to say that I would prefer that area for a first stay.

You might also like to think about staying in an apartment rather than in a hotel - generally speaking you get more room for your money and can save on food and drink; we just found it more relaxing when travelling with our kids to have the freedom and space that an apartment gives you.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for the replies. This is our first trip to Rome. We are going to try Homeaway. We will search the area you recommend. Thanks again.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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A hotel is better than an apartment for a first visit. The staff has knowledge, can arrange everything from a taxi to a doctor, and can be an essential backup for any problem. And, if there is a problem with your room, they have another (or will get you one at another hotel), while if there is a problem at the apartment, well, how fluent is your Italian?
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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Oh, also, 2 years ago we had a nice room at the Hotel Modigliani, which is reasonably central and has a family apartment.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 01:17 PM
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I think Trastevere would be OK - alot of restaurants and not too difficult to get across the river to other sights. But as others have said, most of the major attractions are on the other side of the river. You might want to look at the website www.venere.com to look for a quad unless you are going to get 2 hotel rooms.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 01:22 PM
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I completely agree with the first 2 responses... Trastevery is a great area, but too hard to get to other places from there, in my opinion. I agree... near the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, etc... especially with kids. We like Parlamento hotel... and if you can get a room that has doors to the rooftop, the kids could play on the rooftop when they get oochie.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 02:22 PM
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A hotel is better than an apartment for a first visit.>>

i don't necessarily agree with that. [ok, I'm being overly polite, I don't agree at all!]. on our first visit to Rome we had little or no italian, but we managed fine for a week in our apartment. DS was able to go out every morning to buy the breakfast "cornetti" [croissants] which he loved doing, and we found our way round with the help of our maps and guide-book. Rome is relatively small, at least the bits you are interested in, and there are always people around, many of whom speak english. As for needing the services of a concierge, unless you are interested in high-end restaurants, there are so many in Rome that you are likely to be able to find a table somewhere, and if you like a place, you can always book for the following night if they are full.

how many times have you turned up and had to reject the hotel room for some reason? very rarely IME. [and there is no guarantee that the hotel will oblige.] why should apartments be any different? the internet allows you to see what you are getting. Read the descriptions carefully and you should be fine. many, many people rent apartments in Rome and other italian cities without any problems at all.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 03:35 PM
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I agree with AJ that an apartment is not ideal for a first stay, especially in Rome. I've rented apartments there at least three times, usually because I was traveling with a larger family group. Ideally, I would always prefer a hotel, or at the very least a serviced apartment managed by a hotel, like those mentioned above.

Even if the owner and the agent are completely honest and reliable (which unfortunately isn't the case always), there is the issue of needing to carry enough cash to pay the balance due on arrival, and the need to make a phone call from the train station or the airport to confirm your appointment with the agent. I really don't like carrying large amounts of cash on me, and I really wouldn't like to have to make multiple withdrawals at an ATM while jet-lagged, and trying to keep an eye on my luggage. The phone call is problematic if you don't have a phone that will work in Italy.

In the worst case, there are numerous cases in Rome of overbooking (because people list their apartments with multiple agents) and downright bait-and-switch.

Italian TV is continually doing stories about landlords in Rome who bilk students, and who create apartments out of spaces that are not suitable at all for apartments. Usually they refuse to give them a contract (probably because they're not reporting the income and don't want a paper trail). These same landlords rent to tourists in the summer, and they don't have any more tender feelings for the tourists than they do for the students.

I don't want to imply that apartment owners are all crooks. I've never had a serious problem with apartments I've rented in Rome, although two of them had safety issues. (None of the apartments I've rented had sprinklers, extinguishers, fire exit signs, or smoke detectors, as hotels are required to have, but I'm talking about more immediate safety issues.) One of the owners was wonderful, and went out of her way to be helpful. She was also very law-abiding, giving us a fiscal receipt for our rental.

However, I speak Italian fluently and can give as good as I get if there's an issue. And I still prefer a hotel, because it's just less likely to have issues.

In addition to the two hotels mentioned above (the Parlamento and the Modigliani) the Mozart Hotel and the Campo dei Fiori Hotel have off-site apartments that they rent out, with all hotel services and use of the hotel premises. The Beehive, near Termini Station, is a good budget choice with off-site apartments. It's less central than the others mentioned, but it's convenient to all public transportation, and allows you to use the facilities of the Beehive Hotel/Hostel.

I've never stayed at any of these places myself, so check the reviews before committing. Most of them are listed on venere.com or booking.com , which have reviews only from verified guests.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 03:59 PM
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By the way, I just saw another topic that illustrates the kind of thing that too often happens with apartment rentals in Rome:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...g-disaster.cfm

It could be that the apartment really needs unexpected repairs, but it happens so often in Rome that it can't always be true.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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Trastevere is terrible. There is nothing there. I don't understand why anyone would want to stay there or even visit there. The best place for first timers is somewhere near Pizza Navona and the Pantheon. However, it is the most expensive and noisiest area. Noise is a big consideration in Rome, since it is a very very noisy city.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 07:22 PM
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The front desk at the Modigliani did the following form us: Broke the uncashable 50 Euro bills that the ATM spat out, got us reservations at the restaurant that was fully booked, recommended the specialities of the various local restaurants, told us where to get a cheap prepaid SIM card near the hotel, arranged a Vatican tour when our self-made plans fell through, got us an honest cabbie for an early trip to the train station (and made sure we had breakfast before the official meal that day), gave us free use of a computer (although I think anyone staying there got that), and a few other things. A few years ago, our hotel in Paris was overbooked due to people not checking out, and the staff called a dozen places nearby until we had a room. At another hotel, our room was too noisy from early morning garbage collectors. They gave us another room, no problem, the next day, and moved our luggage while we were out for the day.

Owners of apartments don't do this.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 02:37 AM
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I don't want to imply that apartment owners are all crooks. I've never had a serious problem with apartments I've rented in Rome, although two of them had safety issues. (None of the apartments I've rented had sprinklers, extinguishers, fire exit signs, or smoke detectors, as hotels are required to have, but I'm talking about more immediate safety issues.) One of the owners was wonderful, and went out of her way to be helpful. She was also very law-abiding, giving us a fiscal receipt for our rental. >>

it must have occurred to you, bvl, that the thread you cite is actually about France, not Italy. Now I may not have read every thread ever written on fodors about apartment rental in Italy, but I've read a fair few, and I recall very few where there have been issues with apartments being double booked [no problems with the previous people not leaving as AJP had in his hotel in PARIS - France again] and as for sprinklers etc- does your house have those? and you then give us an example of a helpful and honest landlady - hardly a damning indictment of apartments.

Owners of apartments don't do this>>

how do you know, AJP? you don't sound like a great renter of apartments. Do you REALLY need your hotel to split a €50 note? can't you use it for a meal? do you really need the hotel to give you breakfast rather than walking round the corner to a little bar and buying your own for €3? it's you who tell us about problems with HOTELS - overbooked rooms, noisy rooms, etc.

The fact is that both types of accommodation have their advantages and disadvantages. but for a family with children, IME having an apartment can be very useful.

<<Trastevere is terrible. There is nothing there. I don't understand why anyone would want to stay there or even visit there.>>

well, that's st. Cecilia's and Santa Maria in Trastevere consigned to the rubbish heap then. for the benefit of the OP, they are both beautiful churches that it's well worth venturing over into Trastevere to see. IMHO. shame that Imhornet won't be seeing them.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 12:26 PM
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I second the opinion of staying in the Campo de Fiori or Piazza Navaona area. Easily walkable to everything you'd be interested in on a first visit.

An apartment will give you a bit more room to spread out; kitchenette will allow you to have breakfast in your room, and perhaps keep lunch meat/food for packing a lunch for outings. Then have a nice dinner -- or have a nice lunch and eat in for dinner. Helps with the budget. Campo de Fiori has a market that's really nice.

I have just recently found a place via www.vrbo.com

Good luck! and have fun!
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Another recommendation for the Piazza Navona area, although I'd say there are positives for both hotels and apartments, especially depending on if you have traveled before or not, how much support you would like, how long you'll be there, if you would like others to talk to when you are there, if you would like breakfast provided or not, etc. Everyone can give an opinion, but decide what suits you best. There is no right answer.

We stayed in an apartment on via Governo Vecchio a few years ago. It was a wonderful area - a pedestrian street with shops, gelato and restaurants, very close to Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and Campo di Fiori so I do agree that that might be the best area for you. We've also been tempted to stay near the Trevi Fountain, but that area doesn't seem to be as charming and in the end, we haven't been tempted enough to stay there. I can't tell if our apartment is still available to rent from the websites which leads me to believe that it isn't, but if you see another in that area, you can't go wrong. We've also stayed in a hotel in Rome and liked that too!
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