Question about where to stay in Rome

Mar 21st, 2006, 03:35 PM
Original Poster
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Question about where to stay in Rome

We will be in Rome for three days and our main attraction/interest is the Vatican. Is it better to stay in a hotel near the Vatican or in central Rome?
Drifus is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Well, I would personally prefer the Centro Storico, but I don't know how much you intend to really concentrate on the Vatican. Your stay of "three days" might mean as little as 60 hours or (hopefully) as much as 84+ - - is Rome the first stop after travel from another continent? (in the ideal circumstances, you'll be coming from some other part of Europe first).

If... if.. I was coming from Florence, for example, arriving at noon, and leaving at noon 72 hours later, I would personally choose to devote no more than 4-8 hours to the Vatican (probably closer to the 8 than the 4). If you view the day as 16 hours of waking activity, then I would favor the Centro Storico, since you'll spend 75-85% of your waking hours AWAY from the Vatican.

But maybe you want to spend 10-14 of a shortened "three days", or a post-"sleep-on-a-plane" befogged initial 24 hours in Europe - - and maybe that's more like 30-50% of your three days. Then, staying near the Vatican - - and just getting a taste of other leading attractions might make more sense to you.

Season (length of day and weather) might influence how you spend your early mornings and post-sunset hours as well.

My reply is intended to elicit more info from you, than to give a universal pronouncement to you...

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Dear Drifus:

We have stayed in both areas of Rome. Although staying by the Vatican is handy for access to it, the Pantheon/Piazza Navona area has more going on - restaurants, sites, strolling- more fun and interesting.

Have a good trip,

MichelleY is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Thank you both for you responses!

Rex - my husband and I will be coming from the US and hitting Rome first. We know that we're not doing Rome justice by only staying three days, but that is all our trip would allow this time. We would love to devote an entire day (or close to) to the Vatican since we are avid Catholics, but do want to be near other things to do. We are not afraid to do a bit of walking, we actually would prefer it. That being said, is staying near the Vatican a bad idea or a good idea? I think I'm starting to obsess over the details of this trip a bit.

If Centro is a more "happening" place to stay, I'll have to do a bit more comparison shopping for hotels.
Drifus is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Central Rome! I love Campo de Fiori.
wliwl is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 05:09 PM
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It is a relatively easy walk to the Vatican from the Piazza Navonna area. We are staying at Hotel Portoghesi and have walked to the Vatican from there on several occasions, no problem.
rbnwdln is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 05:15 PM
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We stayed at Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere. It was an easy 25 - 30 minute walk to The Vatican along the Tiber.
maitaitom is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 04:54 AM
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IMO, it is better to stay near the Campo dei Fiori or Piazza Navona area. You'll have both an easy walk to the Vatican and the pleasure of staying in a charming, vibrant, largely pedestrian area.
bardo1 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Loved Hotel Santa Maria. And for catholics, it's fun to know that it used to be a convent!
SharonG is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:18 AM
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The Hotel Florida is a very nice budget hotel about a five minute walk to the Vatican. All rooms are non smoking (or at least were when we were there two years ago). It occupies a couple of floors of a larger building. Rooms were nicely furnished and spotless. They seem to be at a higher standard than the price would lead you to expect. Check out for a complete description and pictures. The photos are accurate, in fact the room photo looks exactly like the room we had.
basingstoke is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:26 AM
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I fly to Rome everyweek for work and I would definitely stay in the centre storio section of Rome instead. You can easily get to the Vatican by walking,buses,cab or depending where you are the metro.There are so many people on my return flights that have said to me that they wished that they had not stayed so close to the Vatican as it limited their exploring Rome. As others have said-chose a decent 3 star place(and there are so many)in walking distance of Piazza Navonna east to even the Termini area and you will be fine.
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:44 AM
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I believe "bardo1" said it best!
GianniFL is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Ciao! I am also going to Rome and have done some serious searches on accomodation choices. Rome is expensive!
I think there are pros and cons of each location: if you are interested in the Vatican, then staying close to it is good. Also, lodging seems to be quite a bit cheaper around the Vatican.

On the other hand, Centro Storico has its advantages (as mentioned in the above postings) but prices are sky high. I don't know when you will be there but my search tells me that any reasonably priced and reasonably nice places in Centro Storico are booked months in advance.

I am going to Rome in June and my search is still going on. I will also go to Paris, where prices are also high but lodging options are plentiful. I was so shocked (and learned it the wrong way) that finding a place to stay in Rome is MUCH harder than Paris or London.

I think there either way, you can't go wrong.
Barkinpark is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:50 PM
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HI Drifus,

My husband and I have twice stayed near the Vatican at Hotel Bramante and liked it very much. It is very convenient to come and go from the Vatican, has nice rooms and a good breakfast. We have recommended it to friends who have also loved it.

I stayed once in Central Rome and it was fine, too. But if your focus is really on the Vatican, I suggest either the Bramante or the Hotel S. Anna which is around the corner on the Borgo Pio.

We enjoyed walking into Central Rome, it was never a problem for us, nor did we wish we were staying in Central since we planned to spend so much time at the Vatican.

Have a wonderful trip!
tracilee is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:20 PM
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I just returned from Rome with my mother, who is a devout Catholic and an ex-nun, so the Vatican was the highlight of our trip for her, as well. We stayed in an apartment on via di Panico which was located on the historical center side of the Ponte Sant'Angelo, yet it was a very easy walk to the Vatican from there.

I do agree with everyone else that staying in the historical center on the east side of the Tiber is more ideal. We still had much to see and do after hours being on that side of the river.

IMO, if the Vatican is your highlight on a short trip, be sure to stay somewhere near Sant'Angelo and you'll be set.
Statia is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Hi. I would stay in the historic centre. I stayed at the Albergo Del Senato and you can't beat that location. You have a view of the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain is 5 minutes walk one way, the Piazza Narvona is 5 minutes walk the other way, and a little further is Campo di Fiori. You can still go and spend much of the day at the Vatican. I think a taxi was under 10 Euros. We took a taxi one way and walked back the other. Whatever you do, have a great time! Lisa
Oldmyst is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:55 PM
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I also stayed at the Del Senato on one of my Rome trips. That time I was with my mother and we walked to the Vatican. She took a taxi back to the hotel with my aunt. My friends and I hoofed it.

A hotel "above" Piazza Navona, nearish the bridge to Castel Sant' Angelo would work well for you, I think. Somewhere in the historic center, but closer to the river. That might be a nice compromise. I would recommend one, but other than the Del Senato I've only stayed in apartments in Rome.
Leely is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Drifus, Piazza Navonna is such a good location. I am going this June! And a lot of the travel books I've been reading all say Navonna is the way to go. Have a great trip!
gelatogirl is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Definitely the Centro Storico, as it is convenient to both the Vatican and the major historical sites, as the Forum & Colosseum, which I assume you'll want to visit also.
RuthMc is offline  
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