Piazza Navona or Piazza di Spagna?

Oct 11th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Piazza Navona or Piazza di Spagna?

Upon the advice of many forumites, I'm looking for an apartment rental closer than the one I had reserved previously.

Question is, do you feel Navona or Spagna is a better area for us? We have 3 kids 5, 3, and 1. We want a place where we can walk around and see things for short periods between naps and while working off jet lag. DH and I have seen the sights in Rome on previous trips, so we aren't bent on seeing them all again--but it would be nice to hit what we can. Museums are probably out. We'll definitely go down to the Coliseum and Forum again, plus all the walking sights in Centro Storico.

I like that P. Navona is near Campo dei Fiore, but also P. Spagna is on the metro line and my boys are dying to "ride the subway!" so we probably will, often... Is one quieter than another? Safer? Anything?

Any input or suggestion would be great. Thank you!
etonmymind is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I'd pick the Piazza Navona area. Piazza di Spagna is good for high end shopping but it doesn't sound as though that is on your itinerary. The metro line is not the best form of transportation for most of the major sights. Try to talk up buses and the boat on the Tiber--maybe make a list of all different ways of getting around.
We saw some good street theater at P.Navona. That area is also close to the cat sanctuary which your kids might like. The major streets around Campo de' Fiori are noisy but there are quiet apartments in the area, too. You can usually tell from the listings.
Vttraveler is online now  
Oct 11th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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I second the cat sanctuary at Largo Argentina as good for children; we still visit it every time we're in Rome even now that the boys are grown up and gone. The Piazza Navona area is generally quieter and more relaxed than P. di Spagna, it all depends on the specific site. I think one ride on the subway may be enough for your kids, the tram is more fun.
tarquin is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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IMO, there is much more to do around the Piazza Navona. The Piazza di Spanga is essentially a big staircase surrounded by expensive boutiques. It gets pretty busy on the Piazza Navona in high season, even well into the night, but you should be able to find an apartment on a side street where that wouldn't affect you.

Rome's metro is extremely limited. Trolleys and buses are better for getting around, and it's always more fun to be above ground and see things while you're moving from one place to the next.
StCirq is online now  
Oct 11th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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Above all great advice. Nearby Via del Corso has good bus lines. There is a tram nice tram line but you'll need to check on line for the routes-not sure how convenient it is to Navona.
TDudette is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Here's a map of the tram routes. Looks like the area around Victor Emanuel would be closest but you can do quite a loop of Rome on the tram.

TDudette is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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I think I already recommended the Piazza Navona on your other thread, so obviously that would be my choice. Great bus connections, lots of restaurants. There's always something going on there as well, performers, artists, etc., plus the fountains, which I think the kids would enjoy.
SusanP is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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hi etonmymind,

I'm going through the same process of trying to find an apartment in Rome for me, DH and DS, though he's 19 so less of a problem than your kids. [in theory!].

on advantage of the Spagna area is its proximity to the villa borghese and the park that surrounds it - great for letting your kids have a run about. but generally i agree that being as central as possible is the way to go, especially as it allows trip back to the apartment for naps, for you or the kids.

good luck with your search,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 08:41 PM
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I would rather stay near the Piazza di Spagna because it is close to the Borghese Gardens. Walk up the Spanish Steps, turn left and walk to the Pincio for the best views of Rome.

Your children can ride the carousel in the Borghese Gardens and you can rent a "bike cart," which looks like a golf cart but is a bike.

Yes, there are a lot of high end shops in this area, but there are also a lot of great restaurants. I love the Via Margutta, and you can walk down to see the "Conversion of St. Paul" by Caravaggio at Santa Maria del Popolo.

And, yes, you can take the Metro to the Colosseum or to the Vatican from Spagna or Barberini.

Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 01:42 PM
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I feel as though with kids a quiet area might be best. Keeping control of multi chilren in a crowded area might be stressful, and the Piazza Navona itself can be nuts especially during busy seasons , like when the christmas fair is on. I dont much care for the heavy shopping ambiance that the streets below Piazza Spagna have become , but the steps themselves and the sinking barge fountain are still fun and the park is a useful outlet. There are plenty of walking destinations, restaurants and transit links in both area. I think walking across the river on the bridge with angels to the Castel Sant Angelo would be nice with kids. We were in Rome one year with kids 5 and 18 mo. and another on the way and it wasnt exactly wonderful but the transit WAS a big hit for my son. We were staying on the Aventine so we took the trams every day. But the fact is for the young transit buff any change from home be it bus, subway or train is fascinating. Focus on YOU having a tolerable experience, on having a convenient homebase so you dont have to eat in restaurants in the evening, and probably a washing machine, and you will be fine.
jjkbrook is offline  

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