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The Eternal City offers a dizzying amount of ancient and contemporary sightseeing destinations, as well as numerous dining and entertainment options. Many hotels in Rome are naturally clustered around these popular areas.
The Colosseum is one of Rome's most enduring symbols. The area around the Colosseum can be a great place to stay in Rome because it is also near Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome's beautiful basilicas, and the Roman Forum.
Another popular place to stay is near the Piazza di Spagna, which is home to the Spanish Steps, a popular hangout for visitors and locals. Just beyond the Spanish Steps lies a shopper's paradise, with many famous Italian clothing companies. Staying near the Piazza di Spagna is also convenient for walking to the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.
For a slightly less touristy place to stay in Rome, you might consider Trastevere. Located across the Tiber River from Rome proper, Trastevere boasts beautiful terra-cotta homes, unique shops and outside vendors and a bustling outdoor market.
Not far from Trastevere is the Vatican. Hotels within walking distance of St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican museums abound. If you are willing and able, you will find that you can stay in this area and still walk to many other popular destinations around Rome.
Another option is to stay near Termini, the Rome train station, for ease getting in and out of the city. With this as your base, you can catch a local train or bus to Rome destinations, or hop on a train to travel elsewhere in Italy.
Within each area of Rome there are many options as far as hotel accommodations. A pensione, for example, is a family-run guesthouse. While services may be limited (there usually is no restaurant within a pensione, and you may have to share a bathroom with other guests), the tradeoff is affordability and the chance to interact with the host family.
Rome also has many bed-and-breakfast type hotels. Some are walk-up flats in historic buildings, while others provide a contemporary setting. The price points can be very affordable.
Mid-priced and luxury hotels in Rome are usually ranked from one to five stars, with 5-star hotels being the most luxurious, and the most expensive. Rome offers many nice 1- and 2-star hotels with tidy and attractive rooms and good service, although they may not provide a gourmet breakfast buffet or turn-down service.