Areas and Suburbs in Rome


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With so many beautiful areas in Rome, expats may find themselves spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing accommodation. However, sometimes too many possibilities can make the process of finding an apartment even more difficult.

Thus, it’s more important to evaluate your priorities and find a neighbourhood that suits your preferences. Be especially mindful of your transportation situation when selecting an area to live in Rome; some places have no access to public transit, and in others it’s virtually impossible to find parking.

Young and single

 

For singles and young couples without children, it’s a good idea to stay as close to the city centre as possible. This is especially true for anyone in Rome for a shorter period of time. Being in the centre will give you the opportunity to get the most out of your time in Rome, and some of the frustrations that go along with living here can be easily overlooked in the short term. Here are a few areas that are buzzing with life, and are ideal for young expats:

Area of Trastevere in RomeTrastevere

Trastevere is by far the most popular place to live for young expats. This picturesque area “across the Tiber” retains a village atmosphere, hence its popularity, despite being part of the historic centre. There is always something going on here, and the wealth of bars, restaurants and cafès mean you’ll never be without something to do.
Pros: Wonderful restaurants and bars on every corner, picturesque and inspiring visually, very central, a mecca for expats.
Cons: Noisy and overrun with students at night, you might hear more English on the streets than Italian, very difficult to find parking, restricted traffic at certain hours, no Metro nearby, apartments are generally small and expensive.

Prati

On the same side of the river as Trastevere, Prati is another popular choice with expats. Located northeast of the Vatican, this neighbourhood is within easy reach of the heart of Rome, either by foot or public transport. There are many good restaurants in Prati, although the nightlife is not as vibrant as in Trastevere and Testaccio. That said, Prati boasts the best and most versatile shopping in the centre.
Pros: Great shopping, many international restaurants, close to Metro, in walking distance of historic centre, slightly more spacious apartments
Cons: Very touristy, close to Vatican Museums, has recently become more expensive.

Testaccio

Testaccio was once one of Rome’s working-class districts, and was famous for its slaughter house, which has now been turned into a modern art museum. With its proximity to Trastevere and the rest of the historic centre, it has now become popular among young professionals and expats. A bit grittier than other areas of the centre, Testaccio residents claim they are living in the “real” Rome. It is also Rome’s nightclub district.
Pros: Less expensive than Trastevere and Prati, not touristy, great nightlife, in walking distance of Trastevere.
Cons: Not as picturesque as other areas of the centre, loud at night near nightclubs (Via Monte di Testaccio), not close to Metro.

Families


For those transplanting an entire family, the best place to live is on one of Rome’s famous hills (supposedly there are only seven of these, but in actuality, there are more). The following three neighbourhoods, in particular, are ideal for expats with young children:

Aventino

This is the only quiet area in the historic centre, so it can be the perfect location for those who want a central location without the associated chaos. Some of Rome’s largest and most important medieval churches can be found here, and also some of its best views. It has a substantial expat community due to its proximity to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and international schools.
Pros: The most quiet and peaceful area in the historic centre, very central, close to Metro, culturally rich.
Cons: More expensive than Monteverde and Balduina, not a lot of restaurants or nightlife.

Villa Pamphili in Monteverde in RomeMonteverde

On Gianicolo hill, behind Trastevere, Monteverde is the ideal place for expats with families. Away from the hubbub of the historic centre, this leafy neighbourhood is full of families and parks, including Rome’s largest public park, Villa Pamphili. Parking is much more easily found here, but it is not necessary to have a car; although, in that case it would be a good idea to live near the tramline.
Pros:  Proximity to Villa Pamphili and other public parks, many other families in the area, lots of good restaurants, many apartments have balconies and terraces, many schools.
Cons: Very hilly, therefore almost impossible to travel by bicycle, no Metro nearby, complicated to navigate on public transport unless near tramline.

Balduina

This peaceful neighbourhood is just up the hill from Prati, northwest of the centre. You can easily walk to Prati and the Vatican from here, although getting to the historic centre can be a hassle without a car. The apartments here are more modern and spacious than other parts of town, and many have large terraces with sweeping views.
Pros: Quiet, easy to find parking, many apartments are spacious with terraces and views.
Cons: Furnished apartments may be hard to find, not many restaurants or shops, difficult for those who rely on public transport.

Art lovers


Historic Centre

For artists and art lovers, the only place to live is in the historic centre, which unlike other major European capitals, is not vast. Within this nucleus are a few quarters that are particularly inspiring, such as the areas around Via Giulia, Via Margutta, Via Jewish Ghetto in the city centre of RomeCoronari, the Jewish Ghetto and Monti.

These Roman neighbourhoods will make you feel like you’re living in a post card; however, it can be inconvenient in the long term.

It is almost impossible to have a car here. Through traffic is limited to residents for the better part of the day, resident permits are notoriously difficult to come by. Parking is also extremely limited. The best mode of transportation in this area is bicycle or scooter, but keep in mind this is more dangerous in Rome than most European cities, and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Pros: Visually stunning, inspiring, close to everything including shops, restaurants and cultural attractions, many bus lines.
Cons: Nearly impossible to have a car, apartments often cramped and in bad condition, spacious and renovated apartments can be extremely expensive, hard to find apartments with balconies, not all areas close to Metro, very touristy.

Our Rome Expert

TiffanyParks's picture
Seattle (WA), USA
Rome, Italy
Seven years ago, I packed up my life in the states, and moved to Rome, for no other reason than that it felt like where I...
TiffanyParks


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