Monti, between Termini station and Via dei Fori Imperiali, has a genuine village atmosphere even though it’s close to some of the city's main tourist sites. There are characteristic centuries-old buildings and a small market, and it is within easy reach of the good-value Piazza Vittorio market area. The best thing about Monti is its position: near to everything but at the same time a world of its own. As its name suggests, it is on a hill and the winding roads are steep and narrow. There are plenty of excellent restaurants, good local grocers and artisan workshops. Buses run frequently along Via Nazionale to the north and Via Cavour to the south, where there is also ametro stop. Its dominant landmark is the basilica of S. Maria Maggiore but a quick stroll downhill and you are at the Roman Forum. It is also the location of a number of good, recently renovated hotels. Parking in the heart of Monti is impossible although there are garages in the surrounding areas such as Esquilino and near Termini station.
THINGS TO SEE
Basilica di S. Pudenziana
Fourth-century paleo-Christian church dedicated to St Pudentiana, a Roman martyr and secondary patron saint of the Philippines. The church was converted from a second-century Roman bath house, and traces of them are still visible in its apse. Today the church caters to members of the city’s Filipino community.
Trendy market offering a large selection of handtailored fashion items by young independent designers, as well as bespoke accessories, vintage clothing, art works and collectibles. Housed in the basement of Hotel Palatino near the Metro Cavour stop, the market is open Sat-Sun 10.00-21.00.
Piazza Della Madonna Dei Monti
The focal point of this square is a fountain built in 1587 by Giacomo della Porta, who also designed the nearby Madonna dei Monti church. The fountain acts as a popular meeting place, particularly in the evenings when groups of friends enjoy a drink on its marble steps.
Palazzo Delle Esposizioni
This large neoclassical building, known in Rome as the Palaexpo, was constructed as an exhibition space in 1883 by Pio Piacentini. It hosts regular shows, mainly with a foreign focus, and also has a cinema, lecture hall, well-stocked book shop and restaurant. Mon closed.