Looking for good neighborhoods to stay in in Siena and Rome
March 30, 2012 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Help me find good areas to stay in in Rome and Siena.

Mr. Lizzy and I are going to Rome and Siena this spring. I'm looking for good areas to stay in in both cities. I really like finding neighborhoods that make exploring easy but are slighty off the beaten path and quiet. I've really enjoyed staying in Mala Strana in Prague and Ile Saint-Louis in Paris. It sounds like the San Francesco area in Siena might be right, but I'm not sure about Rome. We're looking for a nice place and don't mind spending some money but nothing crazy luxurious. In American Las Vegas terms (sorry, I go there a lot for work) not the Wynn, not the Circus Circus, more like Vdara/Aria.
posted by Thin Lizzy to Travel & Transportation around Italy (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Trastavere sounds like what you want, but I don't know about the make-exploring-easy part; it's not walking distance to the major sights. There are buses; I mention the area in case they (or taxis) are viable. If you want to be able to walk everywhere, this probably isn't the area for you.
posted by troywestfield at 5:45 PM on March 30, 2012

Trastevere is a great neighborhood and I love it -- I lived there six years. It's not the most central, as troywestfield, pointed out. If you're in Rome for just a few days, it might not be your best bet but it's not that far out either. It's also fairly quiet. I wouldn't rule it out--although it's lacking somewhat in hotels. (If you do stay there the area between Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere and the river is best--around via della Scala and Vicolo del Cinque)

I just got back from a week in Rome with my wife and 2 year old. I decided to stay slap bang in the center--between Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori. It can definitely be noisy at night, but if you move a little further west (but within the loop of the river it'll be quiet. I rented an apartment which turned out very well. A hotel I was considering was Residenza Farnese--mainly because of its location and I'd heard good reports.

Note that most of the big hotels aren't in this area (Centro Storico). They tend to be in the Termini (don't), Piazza Repubblica, Via Veneto and Spanish Steps areas. The latter two are both viable options but I wouldn't since I prefer the narrow and winding streets of Trastevere and centro.

This web site seems to have good area by area listings. If you want to know about the apartment rental feel free to MeMail me.
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:37 PM on March 30, 2012

Oh. And you could maybe consider the Borgo, closer to Saint Peter's.
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:38 PM on March 30, 2012

In Rome, I've stayed a couple of times (maybe more than a couple) at hotel Portoghesi. Rooms are very small, but location is excellent, and the breakfast is great for Italy. When I've been there for business, I just eat at the restaurant next door, which is good. If you want to spend the money, there is a small suite, with its own roof terrasse. Now that is something. Otherwise the prices are very fair for Rome.
In Siena, I've stayed at the Villa Scacciapensieri, a villa just outside the actual city. If you are on holiday, it is so relaxing and comfortable, and you can alternate between days in the garden, and "culture-days", a quick busride away. Also good for driving around Chianti in a rented car. Their restaurant is amazing, I've spent years trying to replicate their pasta sauces. This is not cheap, but it depends on the deal you can get.
Enjoy your trip!
posted by mumimor at 6:02 AM on April 1, 2012

Oh, and I second Nailsthecat's suggestion of Borgo, for a less traditional experience of Rome. I really like staying in Borgo, but it hasn't been practical for me the last few years.
posted by mumimor at 6:06 AM on April 1, 2012

I don't know that Trastevere isn't walking distance to the sights - it's only about 1.5 km from the Forum and just over 2km to the Vatican, for instance, and there are always sights to see along the way. Maybe I'm a crazy walking person (I think nothing of walking 3km each way to and from work), but provided that you're able-bodied and in reasonably good health, that's not much. My partner and I are staying in that area in June at the Trastevere Suites B&B, which seems to be a pretty good deal for the location and accommodation. But, as stated before, there are also buses that will take you to where you need to go.

I've stayed in the Termini area before, and although you can get pretty good rates for okay hotels there, it is no closer to stuff than Trastevere and it's less of a lived-in neighbourhood (it's more touristy). It is awesome for its location next to Termini and the centre of the metro station, though.
posted by urbanlenny at 11:25 AM on April 1, 2012

*centre of the metro lines, I mean.
posted by urbanlenny at 11:25 AM on April 1, 2012

I don't know that Trastevere isn't walking distance to the sights

That's a fair point, worth repeating. It's not as close as staying in Centro Storico or Monti, say, sure, but I would say it's definitely closer than most other areas (Termini, Borgo). If you like walking then I wouldn't consider its location a negative.
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:10 PM on April 1, 2012

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