Rome is one of the most scenic cities to visit in Italy. With all of the fantastic sights to see and places to explore, it’s no wonder Rome attracts so many visitors. If you’re planning on visiting, you’ll also want to check out Rome’s most scenic neighborhoods. Here are five you won’t want to miss.
While Rome is a massive city, it’s also one that’s easy to get around in thanks to the excellent public transport. And if you’re planning on exploring the most scenic neighborhoods in Rome, you’ll be pleased to learn that they’re all relatively centrally located.
You’ll find the best neighborhoods for ancient streets, medieval ruins, Jewish history, Italian cuisine, and incredible architecture in this article. So no matter what your interests are, you’ll find somewhere worth visiting!
Let’s dive right in and take a look at the 5 best scenic neighborhoods of Rome in 2021!
Trastevere — Best for Ancient Streets
If you’ve ever been to Rome or you’re planning your trip to the Italian capital, you’ve likely heard of the neighborhood of Trastevere. This quaint neighborhood in the bustling city of Rome is a must-visit while you’re in town. We know that with everything to see and do in Rome, you may be wondering why it’s worth taking time away from other parts of the city to visit this small neighborhood. But it’s one of the best places to go in Rome to experience true Italian culture.
First and foremost, when you visit Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, you’ll notice the ancient infrastructure all around. This neighborhood is famous for its ancient streets as they take you on a journey back in time to when Rome was in its infancy. All around you, you’ll find cobblestone streets leading to old buildings and structures rich with Roman history.
Explore the neighborhood and you’ll find some of the oldest churches in all of Rome such as the Basilica of Saint Monica. Check out the incredible architecture and design that went into some of these historical buildings. Or walk along the cobblestone streets and try out some of the countless restaurants or cafes that catch your fancy. You could spend a whole morning eating an authentic Roman breakfast and sipping coffee outside a little bistro as you watch the world go by.
After you finish relaxing, consider hiking up the nearby Janiculum Hill for unobstructed views of not only the neighborhood of Trastevere but of Rome as a whole! The views from this hill are unlike any others you’ll find anywhere in Rome, so it makes visiting Trastevere worth it all on its own. In combination with the aforementioned ancient streets and buildings, you will not soon forget your visit to this incredible area within Rome.
Rione Monti — Best Medieval Ruins
While Rome is renowned for its ancient ruins, like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill, there is always more to see, including Rome’s medieval past. If you want to explore one of Rome’s most scenic neighborhoods and check out some medieval ruins at the same time, then Monti is for you.
As the first rione of Rome — which is an administrative division of the city — Monti certainly has some age to it! Dating back to the Middle Ages and running strong through the 19th-century as a major producer of vineyards and vegetable gardens, Monti is rich with Roman history and full of exciting places to visit to take it all in. Translating to English as “mountains”, you can expect to find some great vantage points while visiting Monti as well!
Monti is the perfect neighborhood to visit after you leave the Colosseum as it’s just a short walk away. And once you get there, you’ll want to spend a few hours just exploring the area and seeing as much as you can see. Anywhere you walk in this neighborhood, there’s a chance that you’ll find medieval ruins or even an ancient structure still standing to this day. Like with most of Rome’s great scenic neighborhoods, Monti is perfect for escaping the crowded city center and experiencing the Italian culture in a much more relaxed and peaceful manner.
Grab a coffee or a quick snack and take a little while to chill out at the incredible fountain at Piazza della Madonna before you go and roam the streets of Monti. Explore every nook and cranny and you’ll be glad you spent some time away from the center of the Eternal City and explored this quaint neighborhood. There’s plenty to see and do in Monti and you won’t be disappointed.
Jewish Ghetto — Best for Jewish History
For any history buffs out there or anyone who wants to see some of the most incredible buildings and structures outside of the city center, the Jewish Ghetto is for you. As the oldest Jewish community not only in Rome or Italy but in all of Europe, it’s easy to imagine just how much rich history is packed into this small neighborhood on the outskirts of Rome.
Established all the way back in 1555, the Roman Jewish Ghetto was a place for Jews to gather together and live their lives according to their own faith and beliefs. Over the years, the community grew and thrived for hundreds of years all the way up until World War II. During the way, Nazi Germans promised to spare the members of the community from going to concentration camps if a gold ransom was paid. Many regions of Rome chipped in and helped the Jewish Ghetto pay for their freedom, but the Nazis took the money and still took nearly everyone away. Only 16 people were spared and survived the invasion.
With that rich history blanketing the neighborhood, it’s an amazing place to see and explore. Some of the best places to check out while you’re there include Teatro Marcello, the Great Synagogue, the Jewish Museum of Rome, La Bocca della Verità the Fontane delle Tartarughe, and one of the many churches. So consider exploring this historic neighborhood while you’re visiting Rome. It’s a great way to escape Rome’s crowds while still taking in the incredible history of the area.
Testaccio — Best for Delicious Cuisine
When you’re visiting Rome or any other place in Italy, you likely want to experience some authentic Italian cuisine. Italian food is some of the most best-tasting meals anywhere in the world, and you’ll never truly appreciate how delicious it is until you’re sitting down at a legitimate Italian restaurant in the country’s capital. But don’t get caught up in the city center of Rome.
Many restaurants there are directed at tourists with menus created with tourism in mind. No, if you really want to experience authentic Italian cuisine while you’re in Rome, visit the nearby neighborhood of Testaccio. Filled with rich Roman history, this neighborhood also has plenty more to offer those who decide to give it a chance.
While the ancient buildings and streets are great to look at, the real reason you come here is for the food. To start your morning off right, visit one of Testaccio’s 19 coffee shops to get a delicious espresso or cappuccino. Then decide whether you want to sit down for a delectable breakfast or grab a quick snack on your way to explore the city, and that will guide your decision on where to eat. Consider sitting down for breakfast at Barberini if you’ve got a bit of time on your hands. Try their amazing cornetti — a croissant filled with jam, creme, or chocolate.
When lunchtime comes around, you’ll have no difficulty finding a deli somewhere nearby with fresh meats and aged cheese to make perfect sandwiches with. And when you get ready for dinner a little later, try one of the many pizzerias that Testaccio has to offer for a truly authentic Italian pizza experience. Our personal favorite is Pizzeria da Remo, which specializes in thin Roman-style pizza baked in a wooden oven for the perfect taste and texture.
Coppedè District — Best for Amazing Architecture
While you’re in Rome, one of the best things about the city is all the incredible architecture and design anywhere you look. While Rome’s popular city center surely has its own plethora of endless architecture, there’s one scenic neighborhood that stands out above the rest — the Coppedè District. Also known as Quartiere Coppedè among the locals, this Roman neighborhood is a hidden gem.
Reaching the Coppedè District is not hard since most avenues of public transport go from the heart of Rome right through the neighborhood. So it’s a bit surprising how little is known about the area of town and how few tourists know to visit. Well, that’s where we come in! To let you know about this needle in the proverbial Roman haystack, so you know where to go to escape the crowded streets of the capital and still have a great experience.
Named for Gino Coppedè, the famous architect who designed many of the buildings and structures in the neighborhood, the Coppedè District is full of incredible architecture. Born in Florence and brother of another architect, Gino Coppedè was a big name during the Art Nouveau movement. This style of artwork and architecture is largely characterized by curves and natural shapes that you can find in the world around you. As you can imagine, it’s no easy feat to transform these shapes and concepts into building designs, and that’s why the Coppedè District is so unique.
For how easy it is to get to and how incredible the neighborhood’s architecture is, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t drawn to the area during their visits to the Eternal City of Rome. But that’s a good thing for you as it means fewer crowds to deal with! Take a stroll through the neighborhood and enjoy the charming surroundings. You’ll be amazed as you take it all in. Be sure to visit the Fountain of Frogs and spend some time enjoying the Fairy Cottages that make this fantasy-style neighborhood really come to life!