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Rome neighborhood options pre-RS Southern Italy tour

We're signed up for the RS Southern Italy tour in September 2020, and will be spending 4 nights in Rome prior to the start of the tour. I wasn't thrilled with the online reviews of the first hotel on our itinerary, especially as there were several mentions of ant infestations (which I suspect are limited to a specific room or rooms, but still....). This will be our third RS tour, so I'm familiar with the No Grumps policy, but thought we might be happier if we limited our stay at the tour hotel to the 2 nights on the tour, and stayed somewhere else the first four nights. I'm trying to decide whether to stay at another hotel very near the tour hotel in Trastevere, or to stay in a different neighborhood and get a different feel for the city. Trastevere sounds quite tempting because of the restaurant scene there, and because we could probably move from one hotel to the other on foot. On the other hand, when we did the Eastern Europe tour in 2018, we stayed in the Little Quarter in Prague and then moved to Old Town for the start of the tour, and really appreciated getting a sense of both neighborhoods.

If you've been on this tour, or if you're familiar with Rome, what do you think? Has anyone stayed at the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere? I've read some very good on line reviews, but always appreciate the input of the folks on this forum, as well. Any suggestions (and your reason for them) are most appreciated!


Posted by
477 posts

For my South Italy tour, we stayed at Hotel Smeraldo, near Campo di Fiori. Love that hotel and it would be easy to take the tram or walk and roll your luggage over to Trastevere to start your tour. I'm booked to stay there again in September. Roscioli is right across the street for your snacking pleasure!

Posted by
9623 posts

We haven’t stayed at Hotel Santa Maria but friends have stayed there and liked it. They had a non refundable reservation policy when we checked which is OK if you are buying trip insurance for your tour anyway. Arco del Laurie is another one I have heard recommended too.

Posted by
2013 posts

We took this tour last May. I am not sure which hotel is first for you - our first tour hotel was Hotel San Francesco. We arrived on Saturday for a Monday tour and stayed at Residenza San Calisto in Trastevere, because HSF was full. We loved the location for the San Calisto because it was right in the heart of Trastevere, but easy walking distance to 2 trams lines (HSF was too,just different side of the tram line). However, if you are arriving 4 days early and this is your first trip to Rome, (and your other posts indicate you will be doing either Sorrento or Salerno at the end), I would suggest staying in a different neighborhood. It would be easy to take the tram or taxi to your tour hotel.

We stayed at the Hotel Sonya on our previous RS Italian tour and Hotel Raffello after the RS Southern Italy. They provided easy access to the major tour sites. It’s fun to sample the different neighborhoods and get a feel for the whole city vibe.

Posted by
5670 posts

We're taking this tour in May, and are arriving 4 days early. We're staying pre-tour at the Aberdeen, which is in the Termini area. The tour hotel is the San Francesco in Trastevere. We opted for the Aberdeen because it's significantly less expensive, and we've stayed there before and liked it. It's within walking distance of the major sights, if you like to walk. The breakfast is good, and the staff is great.

Posted by
2643 posts

We did back to back tours this year, Rome and Sicily. For the Rome tour we stayed at the Lancelot. We enjoyed this hotel. It’s on a side street near the Coliseum, but away from the hustle and bustle. But, walk down the street, turn the corner and, wham, you are in Ancient Rome. Neighborhood restaurants were good, but also within walking distance ( or a short cab ride ) of the Monti district which had very good restaurants. Overnighting in Rome prior to our flight we stayed at the Hotel San Carlo near the Spanish steps. We liked this hotel as well, but there are throngs of visitors in this area and prices for everything was higher. Great restaurant recommendations from the hotel including Nino, a Tuscan place that has been there forever. As for getting from hotel to hotel, if you are dragging luggage take a taxi. Too many pickpockets on public transit and taxis are cheap. There is an app called Free Now which allows you to summon a taxi, like Uber, but no credit card. The driver starts the meter when he accepts the ride so maybe a few Euros more than walking to a taxi rank. Otherwise your hotel can call one for you.

Posted by
3959 posts

Hi Ruth,
I am not familiar with Hotel Santa Maria. We have stayed in both the Trastevere and Termini
areas. We will be in Rome next fall for 2 nights prior to our journey to Sicily. We decided to book in a different neighborhood this time. We chose Hotel Due Torri based on good reviews and quiet location to get over jet lag. It is a great location, free cancellation and steps from Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and restaurants. They also have a sister hotel close by as well: Hotel Fontanella Borghese. Equally good reviews and location.

Posted by
231 posts

I second the Hotel Lancelot. Best service and best breakfast and the location is great!