Which section of Rome to stay in?

Hi! I have done a lot of reading on the boards and seems to me like staying in the Pantheon area is popular.... I am leaning toward that. We will be renting a place, likely through vrbo. What section of Rome do you think is the best to stay in for us? We are two adults, and kids ages 9 and 11. We will arrive Rome from SF - hopefully afternoon/night (via airport obviously!) We will visit colosseum, etc.. one day (and maybe gladiator school) We will visit Vatican, etc... another day
Next day we will either leave early for Venice via train, or see a bit more and leave for Venice later. The time we aren't seeing sights, we just want to wander around in the piazzas and eat gelato, have dinner out. Might see Pantheon (quick though) and Trevi Fountain. Don't care about shopping or Spanish Steps. We would prefer to walk as much as possible, but we are comfortable taking bus and train (and even taxi) if needed. What do you think would be the best part of town for us? Thanks for any advice! Kim :)

Posted by Frances
San Diego
769 posts

I'm another vote for staying in the termini area. You can get to anywhere quickly with lots of transportation (metro, trains, buses) right at the station. You can also walk in about 10 - 15 minutes to the Forum, V. Emanuel Monument,
and several other places. -------------- I found the hotels in this area to be a bit less expensive also.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2740 posts

RoninRome.com has a good writeup on this subject. Different parts of Rome have their advantages.
I found the city very easy to get around on on public transit, especially by buses.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12681 posts

I can tell you what works for us and why. We like the south side of the Termini area for the convenience to the train and local transit. We use the Sonya across from the Opera House a lot and Aberdeen.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21472 posts

Kim, I use the same method as Frank, and try to stay in the Termini area as it's so convenient for transportation. I also use Hotel Sonya and Hotel Aberdeen whenever possible. There are lots of nice restaurants in that area, and from Sonya it's only about a 10 minute walk to Termini. Happy travels!

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
3073 posts

Staying near Termini is utilitarian. For charming piazzas, better wandering, stay near Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Campo Dei Fiori, Monti (near the Colosseo) or Prati near the Vatican. Better restaurants, nicer neighborhoods, as well.

Posted by Kim
San Francisco
435 posts

yes, that's what I was thinking re: staying near pantheon or piazza navona... I want to be somewhere we can stay close and just wander around to cute stuff. If we are there, I figure our colosseum day we can just walk there right? about a mile? And the only other place we need to get to is the vatican area... 1.5 miles walking so we might, but what other options? cab? bus? I don't think there is a train stop near pantheon, is that right? I understand the ease of being near the train station, I just don't think I have a lot of train-taking in only 2 or 2.5 days. I will need to get to termini though for venice train, so there's one. I am guessing we may have some afternoons or evenings where one parent might venture out with one kid, and the other parent might stay with a kid who is crashed out. So that's why I was leaning Pantheon or Navona.

Posted by Tania
Halton, Ontario, Canada
108 posts

Hello, we are also a family of 4 with to children ages 10 and 12. I spent hours and hours researching for our upcoming trip to Europe this summer. We are staying in Rome for a week, and after narrowing it down, we decided to stay in Trastevere. I had a few posters with kids send me PM's saying that they loved the Trastevere area. Not as touristy as other parts of Rome, but more authentic while still within easy walking distance of all major sites.
Hope this helps, good luck and have fun!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5411 posts

Look at Nycerome.com to figure out districts. The best area, IMO, is the Centro Storico (Pantheon, Trevi, Spagna, Navona, Campo dei Fiori etc), however that area ain't cheap.
Termini is not as nice, but cheaper and convenient for the trains. I usually stay in the Quirinale area, which includes the Viminale and Opera House mentioned above (that would be on the south side of termini station).

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1485 posts

I guess I'll be the only one today to tell you I absolutely loathe staying in the Termini area! The only thing good about it IMHO is its ease on arrival day and departure day. I think the area wreaks of unsavory locals, and the restaurants are sub par. For site-seeing, Roberto is correct. Centro Storico. Most of the sites are right there, with the exception of the Vatican and the Colosseum I prefer the Prati/Vatican area for sleeping, because I'm usually tired after a day of site-seeing and The Vatican is usually my most important site. All of the sites are close either by walking from there or by bus/taxi. It's quiet at night. I like the fact that it's mostly locals at night and the surrounding area has nice restaurants and cafes. If I were young......I'd stay in Trastevere! You can walk everywhere from there. Lots of night life, great restaurants/food. Rome, in general, is very navigable. A bus will take you anywhere you want to go, so my choice is always where I want to "end the day." That's where I sleep. A quiet dinner, and bed -- Prati. Lots of fun, drinks, walking around -- Centro Storico or Trastevere.

Posted by Michelle
79 posts

We are going to Rome Ina August as a family of 5 adults and after much research I selected an apartment in the Jewish ghetto. It is central to everything and the Largo Argentina bus/tram stop is around the corner, as well as a taxi stand. I'd recommend the Jewish Ghetto.

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
3073 posts

"If we are there, I figure our colosseum day we can just walk there right? about a mile? And the only other place we need to get to is the vatican area... 1.5 miles walking so we might, but what other options? cab? bus? I don't think there is a train stop near pantheon, is that right?" The Colosseum is about a 20-25 minute walk from Piazza Navona. You can also take a bus from Largo Argentina, which is the transportation hub near P.za. Navona. We also walked to the Vatican from there (30-40 minutes depending on destination of St. Peters or the museums) when we were tourists, but again, you can take a bus. I recommend the #40 down Via Vittorio Emanuele as less crowded than the #64. Cabs are an options too, and not terribly expensive, IMO. Near the Pantheon you can grab the #116 electro minibus to some destinations. I liked to take it from Centro Storico to Villa Borghese. There is also a bus #492 that runs on Rinascimento over to Prati and the Vatican/Piazza Risorgimento. Rinascimento is not far from the Pantheon and runs adjacent to P.za Navona. There are some great restaurants in Prati, too, accessible by the #492 and a little walking from Centro Storico.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11659 posts

The apartment we had in Prati earlier this month was in a large building with a huge electrically operated front door, then a courtyard and 3-4 marble steps up to a cut glass door, then to the large staircase wrapped around a seriously old small elevator which had three different doors which had to be closed and opened by hand. The lift itself was dark wood, glass, and mirror, with no roof so the views were really neat as it moved silently up and down. I would have thought that 9 and 11 yo kids would get a kick out of that. The door to the flat had its own motorized lock, and once inside the views outside from the windows and small balcony were right over Castel Sant'Angelo's bastion. A short walk over the river to P. d. Populo, and Ara Pacis, a different bridge to P. Navonna and onwards to C.d. Fiori, yet another bridge to the Pantheon. It was not an unreasonable walk from our favourite pizza place in Trastavere. On our side of the river was just a few minutes walk to the Vatican and a really neat shopping street with some of the best gelato we've ever had. And it was inexpensive. Can you tell we like the Prati?

Posted by courtney
London, UK
68 posts

Hi, I think that the Pantheon area is the most popular as it is "most central" but you also pay more to stay in this area. When we were last in Rome we stayed close to the Spanish steps and we got our apartment through a company called nextaway.com they were professional and the overall experience was great. i know that looking for the perfect holiday for your flat can be overwhelming. I would have a look on the website as they have plenty to offer all over Rome. Whatever you decide good luck and i hope you find the perfect place.

Posted by Allen
Lafayette, LA
207 posts

I like the Prati. Easy walk to the Vatican in one direction, or right across the Tiber in the other direction and you are in central Rome. Lots of inexpensive places to eat, too. The Coliseum, Palatine, Foro Romano are rather far to walk, so just take a quick metro or bus ride.