ITALY: Downtown

The first on any list of Roman neighborhoods is the centro storico (downtown), which in Rome’s case means the part that holds the major monuments and squares. This vaguely defined historic center is bound on the western side by a sharp curve in the Tiber, and more or less contained on the eastern side by the Colosseum, Santa Maria Maggiore, the Baths of Diocletian, and the city’s ornate park, the Villa Borghese. If you had an apartment here, you could walk to a dozen of the Western world’s most photographed monuments in just a few minutes, plus most of the government buildings.

The prices reflect this. If a map of downtown Rome were a Monopoly board, the Spanish Steps would be Boardwalk and the Via Veneto would be Park Place. Rents there are highest, at about €25 or €30 per square meter. Apartments near the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Piazza del Popolo will come close to that price, as will any address directly across the river in the rioni of Borgo and Castel Sant’Angelo. There, you can wake up in the morning and walk over the Tiber on your way to work as flocks of pigeons flap into the pink, hazy sunrise.

The southeastern limits of the downtown are marked by the rione of Monti, a cozy corner of alleyways between the Termini train station and the Colosseum. It is an excellent choice if you have the means. In my opinion Monti has a more neighborly feel than some of the posher districts described above, but because it has become extremely popular with the expatriate crowd, especially, prices have crested to €25 per square meter.

Photo Gallery ITALY: Downtown

ITALY: Downtown Images


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