A wonderful one-bedroom apartment in a lively district close to the Colosseum

Location: Via di San Martino Ai Monti, Rome, Lazio 00184, Italy
Map: Google Map
Type: One bedroom Apartment
Website: AirBnb
Prices: Around $124 per night – plus cleaning and AirBnB fees

We arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport around 8 pm tired but glad to be in Rome. Our last airport experience in Alicante had not been showered in glory, but this time our bags decided to join us on this leg of our trip through Europe. We were very impressed with the efficiency of operations at Fuimicino – Karen was particularly enamoured with the cleanliness of the toilets (a big thing in here books).

I had organized for us to stay in a one-bedroom apartment which I booked through AirBnb. We usually like to use public transport to get from the airport but as our flight was coming in late and we didn’t know Rome at all, we took up the offer of our host Guilia to arrange a car to pick us up.

Our home for a few days was a one-bedroom apartment in the Monti district of Rome. Centrally located, Monti is a short walk from the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. It’s possible to walk almost anywhere from here besides the Vatican. If you prefer to take the subway, the Cavour, Termini and Colosseo stops are nearby. From the Roma Termini train station, Monti is a 15-minute walk or one stop away on the B line metro. In ancient times, the seedy district was an outlaw slum and the heart of Rome’s red-light district. These days, it couldn’t be more different. In modern times, the hipster hotspot is the preferred neighbourhood of artists and intelligentsia.

The apartment is located on the Via di San Martino Ai Monti, a quiet side street with a few restaurants and bars, including an Irish bar just next door which served the most amazing pint of Guinness.

The entrance to the apartment block is through an imposing iron gate, and then you have to climb a couple of sets of narrow, steep stairs which were very tricky with heavy cases. This is an old building so there is no lift (elevator!)

A steep stairway leading to the apartment

The apartment was very nice, with a good-sized kitchen area and a sizeable living area with a couple of couches. The bathroom was adequate with a decent shower. The bedroom was a little smaller

There was also a small balcony, which had a small cafe table and a very useful washing machine.

Close to the apartment, there were quite a few restaurants. One of our favourites was La Forchetta d´Oro, which was literally across the street from us. It was lacking vegan options, but as they say when in Rome … so, we settled for being vegetarian for the night. La Forchetta was very busy, even at 10 pm when we arrived, ravenous, on our first night in Rome. Our waiter was a little surly and was obviously still learning the ropes. We were so hungry we didn’t care too much and the food arrived promptly. The restaurant was an interesting combination of traditional and hipster, which seemed to be the mix of our fellow diners. We decided to try a pizza and pasta dish; not dishes that we eat very often! Of course, we had to wash down our delicious food with a bottle of Peroni, a local Italian beer.

The Monti district is not really known for its attractions, but in Rome there seems to be a church or basilica on every corner. This is true of Monti. The Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore is a magnificent church and was literally just around the corner from where we were staying. We didn’t get to visit the inside but it is worth a trip out after dark to see the basilica lit at night.

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