Spanish Steps or Piazza Navonna?

Old Mar 12th, 2002, 06:22 AM
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Spanish Steps or Piazza Navonna?

Friends and I are having a discussion as to which is the better location. We decided to put it out there for you guys. One friend says for your first trip to Rome, you should stay at the Spanis Steps. Others say the Piazza Navona is always great and gives you a better taste of Rome. Fodorites, what do you sya?
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 06:30 AM
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If you intend to go shopping (or windowshopping) every evening before going out for dinner, Piazza di Spagno without a doubt. Otherwise I'd choose Piazza Navona hands down.
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 06:40 AM
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I stayed near the Spanish Steps because I found a place for a good rate that was recommended. I was very happy with it, but all I wanted was someplace cheap and clean that was within walking distance of the sites. I was able to walk everywhere, but I like walking.

That said, I didn't actually do much near the Spanish Steps. I'm not into shopping and I didn't really enjoy hanging out there at night. Piazza Navona is more central, and I think, there's more to do there.

FYI, the place I stayed by the Spanish Steps was Pensione Panda (
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 07:38 AM
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Debby, Rome is a very walkable city and the two areas you ask about (the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Navona) are within a 15 minute walk of each other. So unless you are unable to walk any distance I would base your choice of location on the type of hotel you desire rather than restricting yourself to a certain area.
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 10:49 AM
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We stayed near Piazza Navona and loved the location. It has the feel of a neighborhood with little stores and cafes, whereas the Spanish Steps area is packed with people, has lots of shopping but on a grander scale.

Even though they are no more than a 15-minute walk away from each other, the feel of the area is quite different. My preference is Piazza Navona.
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 11:53 AM
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Piazza Navonna hands down. The Spanish Steps is a beautiful place, but the crowds are often unbearable. To me Navonna has a much more local Italian feel to it rather than the crowded subway feel the Steps gives me.
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 12:17 PM
John G
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Where near the Spanish Steps would you be staying? In the Piazza di Spagna, or at the top of the scala near Trinita dei Monte? I like Navona, but I like staying near the Borghese Gardens best, which would be the area above the Sp. Steps. It is alot of fun to sit on the steps and talk to all the Italian teenagers who congregate there. You can learn many things from them.
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 12:45 PM
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i know your question was either/or but i have another suggestion- Trastevere. Its across the tiber from the histori center (centro) but its only a 15 minute walk from Navona and a bit longer to the Spanish Steps. Its 15 minutes or less to the Pantheon as well. Trastevere is a less touristed area with loads of night and street life, great restaurants, wonderful shops and more Italians than tourists. Trastevere is across the Ponte Sixto.

There are many apartment and hotels available. The area abounds in many small streets and tiny squares. There is a restaurant-bar-gelateria called Checco er Carettiere which is a great find. The gelato is the best in Rome we have had. Only a dozen flavors a day served by pierced and tattoed gen x girls! The food is superb and features both meat and fish.

Wandering around Trastevere at night is as much or more fun than Navona and far more real feeling.

Here is the web addy for the apartment we stay in. Wonderful bedroom, fold out couches for 2 kids in the living room and a great kitchen. Plus the nicest bathroom we've seen with tile and big thick towels. The kitchen is fully equiped. The only drawback is that its not airconditioned so if you leave the wondow open you hear the noise fromt he restaurant down below.

search on the work trastevere and it will lead you to property #1740. It is also available for periods less than a week.
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 12:50 PM
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Thanks for your input. You sound like we did when we had the discussion.
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 02:22 PM
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Old Mar 20th, 2002, 02:30 PM
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On my last trip to Rome I stayed at top of Spanish Steps and regretted not having stayed in Piazza Navona area. Much better atmosphere, particulary at night when the restaurants on the piazza and neighboring streets come alive. To do it again, Piazza Navona, absolutely.
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 02:35 PM
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Hi Debby. I'll be finding out which one I prefer soon.

On my first trip to Rome about a year ago, we stayed at the same place Vita stayed, the Pensione Panda near the Spanish Steps, and loved the location. We didn't spend all that much time in that area, but we loved the street the pensione was on (the Via della Croce), and discovered a wonderful pasticceria and enoteca just a few doors away.

On our upcoming trip, we'll be staying near Piazza Navona/Campo di Fiori, another neighborhood we loved walking around in. One of things I know I'm going to like about this neighborhood is its closer proximity to Trastevere, a part of Rome I loved walking around in at night.
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 02:41 PM
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I am going for first time in June and from talking with friends we have decided to do what dean above says. Found a B&B recommended by "Karen Brown" that was 171EUR with 7% discount for cash inclusive of breakfast and taxes. Right by Santa Maria Trestevere Chruch. Will let you know
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 06:15 PM
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I stayed in both places and liked Piazza Navonna much better. I felt it was more centrally located and I enjoyed the market and activities in the Piazza as well as the Campo de Fiore that was close by. Lots of restaurants and great people watching. We stayed at Teatro de Pompeo and loved it's proximity to the Campo.
Old Mar 23rd, 2002, 10:50 AM
chay hobson
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TRASTEVERE!!!!!!!!TRASTEVERE!!!!!!!!!!!SPANISH STEPS AND PIAZZA NAVONA are noisy and crowded, in any case it only takes 15 minutes to walk from the spanish steps to piazza navona!! find a hotel in Trastevere or the old Jewish ghetto, much more Italian.
Old Mar 23rd, 2002, 12:32 PM
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Hi Debbie,
I live and work in Rome as a tour guide so know the city very well.
My personal preference would be around Piazza Navona or even better Campo di Fiori. As your previous post says though the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona are not far apart so whichever you decide will be fine.
The Spanish Steps are a little over rated really being a hang out place for the young people sitting on the steps. Yes it is where the designer labels shops are if this is what you want. There is however a fabulous Enoteca (winebar) on Via della Croce that is most definately worth a visit.
The area around Piazza Navona is very busy but is a great place to get a good gelato at Blue Ice and wander around watching the many excellent buskers and street artists.
My preference is the more local piazza of Campo di Fiori with it's great wine bars, try the Vineria or Taverna del Campo for one of the many excellent wines sitting in the piazza watching the passing parade.
If you would like me to send you some of my hotel recommendations for Rome, please feel free to email me direct at [email protected]
Hope this helps out a little.

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