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Rome/Esquilino-San Giovanni

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Esquilino and San Giovanni are adjacent neighborhoods in Rome.

Esquilino is named for the Esquiline hill on which it stands. It lies south of the Termini station and centers more or less on the Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele II. It is now partly a Chinese immigrant neighborhood, and specialty groceries and shoe stores abound. (There is also still some disgruntled graffiti to be found lamenting this fact, such as "Esquilino - White and Catholic. Defend it with us."). San Giovanni is named after the Basilica, which is the parish church of Rome. The area is south-east of the Esquiline.

Get in[edit]

Metro Line A connects Termini station with the basilica of San Giovanni. There are also several buses from the downtown area, best caught at Piazza Venezia or by the Colosseum, where you can connect with Metro Line B.

See[edit][add listing]

Mosaic at Santa Prassede
  • Santa Maria Maggiore, Via Liberiana 27, +39 6 483195, [1]. Built in the 9th Century, this ancient basilica crowns the top of the Esquiline Hill. Tons of gold decorate the interior together with impressive mosaics (particularly when the floodlights are turned on), and there is a museum on the premises. If you are in Rome on Corpus Christi (Corpus Domini), which is the Thursday after the 8th Sunday after Easter, an early-evening service is held in San Giovanni by the Pope followed by a procession along Via Merulana to Santa Maria. Good opportunity for a close up view of the Pope.  edit


  • Santa Prassede, Via di S. Prassede (leaving Santa Maria Maggiore walk very briefly down Via Merulana and take first right. S. Prassede is accessed by a side entrance straight ahead of you). Fantastic Byzantine mosaics and some other interesting artwork. Not to be missed.  edit
  • Santa Pudenziana, Via Urbana 160 (2 blocks NW of Santa Maria Maggiore). A very ancient church named after a saint who was in 1969 removed from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints for the lack of details of her life. But the church retains the name and is well worth visiting for an excellent 4th Century mosaic and attractive decorations on the facade.  edit
  • Santo Stefano Rotondo, Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo (On the Celian hill). Unusual and fascinating round church and the national church in Rome of Hungary.  edit
  • San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza di San Giovanni Laterano. This is the cathedral church of Rome and first of the major basilicas. It's also the Pope's (as Bishop of Rome) Church. As such it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter's. Be sure to check out the fourth century baptistery (still in use - in Piazza di San Giovanni, slighly apart from the main basilica) and the medieval cloister (brilliant Cosmati columns). The Church is free but they charge an outrageous €5 to visit the cloister.  edit
  • Scala Sancta, (North-east of the basilica, across the road). The Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) is, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the staircase used by Jesus Christ to approach Pontius Pilate to be sentenced to death. Attracts numerous pilgrims who climb the stairs on their knees.  edit
The Baptistery of San Giovanni: Superb inside!


  • Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 12, [2]. Originally constructed to hold relics of the Passion of Jesus. They include two thorns of his crown, part of a nail and three small wooden pieces of the Cross. The authenticity of these relics is much disputed, however.  edit
  • National Museum of Musical Instruments, Piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Next door to Santa Croce. A collection of around 3000 pieces, although only a third of these are displayed.  edit
  • Museo della Liberazione, Via Tasso 145 (Manzoni metro station on Line A), [3]. Tu-Su 09:30-12:30, Th-F afternoons. This small museum records the liberation of Rome from German occupation during the Second World War. During the occupation the building was used as a prison. Free.  edit
    Old meets "new" in Piazza San Giovanni

Do[edit][add listing]

Movies are shown and some performances are held for free in Piazza Vittorio during the summer.

  • Punto Thai Massage Rome – Via Acqui, 21 [4]. Telephone +39 6 70614249 • Fax +39 392 0586661. A modern massage centre to enjoy this antique art of Thailand to relax your muscles and body after a long day of work. Several the massages and treatments offered, including the Turkish bath. The Punto Thai Massage is located in the Appia Nuova district, behind the Saint John Basilica.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The area is also home to the Mercato Esquilino, an indoor market of ancient provenance that recently moved from its longtime outdoor home all the way round the outside of Piazza Vittorio; it is still only a couple of blocks east of the piazza. The mercato is divided into a food section, with good and cheap produce, meat, and fish, and a clothing section, with clothes of all kinds, shoes, luggage, etc. at low prices and generally not fabulous quality. Get there in the morning for food; it's generally closed by afternoon.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are a lot of Chinese and Indian restaurants, but you will also find many typical trattorias.

  • Palazzo del Freddo (Gelateria Fassi), Via Principe Eugenio 65 (just south-east of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele), +39 6 4464740. Ice cream: not as marvelous as Giolitti or San Crispino but still worth trying. Prices are reasonable, quality good. Old ice cream making equipment on display.  edit
  • Ristorante Baia Chia, via Machiavelli 5 (corner of Via Machiavelli and Via Merulana), [5]. closed Su. Good value Sardinian fish restaurant. Seafood antipasto, three pasta dishes, grilled fish and dessert for around €40. Don't try to order, just let them bring it to your table. Excellent Sardinian wines extra.  edit
  • Panella L’Arte del Pane, Via Merulana 54 (5 min from Santa Maria Maggiore). Very upmarket (with matching prices) baker. Great window displays but you may find the taste doesn't match the appearance.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Irish Pubs. The area around Santa Maria Maggiore is the main area in Rome for Irish Pubs. The Fiddler’s Elbow [[6]] is the oldest and is at Via dell’ Olmata, just to the south-west of S. M. Maggiore. The Druid’s Den is at Via San Martino ai Monti 28 (head down Via Merulana and take the second street on the right). The sister pub the Druid’s Rock Pub is at Piazza Esquilino 1, the other side of the basilica, just after you cross Via Cavour. [[7]]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Termini Suites (Roma Termini Suites), Via Daniele Manin 69, +39 6 99 33 03 74 (, fax: +39 6 96 70 87 30), [8]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Stylish single, double and triple bedrooms, all with en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, etc. Single €38, double €43, triple €53. (41.89896000,12.49909000) edit
  • B&B Brilli, Via Tasso, 32, +39 3480027826, [9]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Stylish Single, double, triple bedrooms, all with private bath, a/c ,free Wi-Fi. Breakfast included. Single €40, double €60, triple €75.  edit
  • B&B Bed in Art, Via Filippo Turati 102, +39 3287280352 (), [10]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:00. Single, double and triple bedrooms, all with private bath and hot shower. Breakfast included. Single €45, double €65, triple €75, quadruple €95.  edit
  • B&B Laura – Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 26 [11] Telephone +39 334 2059616 • Bed and Breakfast of Rome with double and triple bedrooms with private or shared bathroom, hairdryer, shower and breakfast included. Double rooms price starting from 60 Euros.
  • B&B Sergio, Via Principe Amadeo 92 (int.9), +39 6 89531043, [12]. Single, double and triple bedrooms, all with private bath and hot shower. Rates do not include breakfast. Double €55, single €66, triple €69.  edit
  • Hotel Center, Via Giovanni Giolitti, 415, +39 6 77590702 (fax: +39 6 77590702), [13]. Two star accommodation with private bathrooms and a breakfast hall, located south of Termini and two metro stops from San Giovanni. €60-65.  edit
  • Hotel Orazia (Orazia Hotel), Via Buonarroti, 51, +39 6 446 7202 (), [14]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:00. Three stars hotel with private bathrooms and breakfast service, free wi-fi. It's near of Termini Station and the metro A stop. €60-150.  edit
  • Sixtythree, Via Rattazzi, 63, +39 338 4280189 (, fax: +39 6 96708668), [15]. Located in the immediate neighborhood of Termini station, it is very easy to reach regardless whether you arrive in Rome by train or by plane. €50-160.  edit
  • Hotel Taormina, Via Principe Eugenio, 51, +39 6 4464754, [16]. Large two star hotel of with 51 bedrooms divided in single, double, twin and triple. All rooms with private bath, flat screen TV and air conditioning. Double/twin €60, triple €75, single €40.  edit
  • Panoramic Hostel, Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, 12, +39 6 89531043, [17]. Three bedrooms divided in double and twin with en-suites services, shower, television and air conditioning. Also available a common kitchen. Both double and twin rooms €55, breakfast incl.  edit
  • Mosaic Hostel, Via Carlo Cattaneo 23, 1F, +39 6 4470 4592, [18]. A new dorm style hostel situated just in a 5-min walking distance from Rome’s central station Termini. The hostel is designed for budget minded backpackers and offers clean and large rooms with a variety of services for backpackers. €20-26.  edit
  • Residence Lodi Rome – Via Fanfulla da Lodi, 45 [19] Telephone +39 6 87450659 • Fax +39 6 87450949. The Residence Lodi Rome presents a wide choice of self-catering apartment for 2, 3 and 4 people with kitchenette, private bath, air conditioning and colour TV. Double apartment €47.
  • Appia Avenue 639, Via Appia Nuova 639, 1st floor,, +39 334 2946034 (), [20]. new BeB-guest house, close to subway's stops Furio Camillo-Colli Albani (6 stops from Termini station), free parkings, double/triple/quadruple rooms, wi-fi, private or shared baths, tv led, air conditioning, kitchen, cafe breakfast included. € 25-35/person.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Amalfi Hotel, Via Merulana 278, +39(0)6-4744313 (, fax: +39(0)6-4820575), [21]. Historic Hotel with familiar atmosphere 10 minutes walking from the Colosseum. Free WiFi. 10% discount Wiki. Breakfast is included.  edit
  • Best Western President Hotel, Via Emanuele Filiberto 173, +39 6 770121 (fax: +39 6 7008740), [22]. Housed in a modern building located in very a central position. Wifi, Pay and sat TV are among each bedroom facilities. From €123 incl breakfast.  edit
  • Hotel Edera, Via Angelo Poliziano, 75 (off Via Merulana in direction of Colosseum), [23]. On a quiet side street. 10-min stroll to the Colosseum through the Colli Oppio park.  edit
  • Hotel Napoleon (Napoleon Hotel Rome), Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 105 (Termini Station - Coliseum), +39 6 4467264 (fax: +39 6 4467264), [24]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. Four star hotel, 75 rooms with private bathrooms, bar and restaurant, free internet wi-fi, transfer from Airports, located in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, in the middle of Rione Esquilino, one metro stop from Termini Station and from San Giovanni. From €90-180 breakfast incl. (41.89,12.50) edit
  • Romoli Hotel Rome – Via della Caffarelletta, 114 [25] Telephone +39 6 78349830 • Fax +39 6 78851368. Three star hotel with single, double, triple and quadruple guestrooms. All with en-suite services, shower, free Wi-Fi internet connection and breakfast included. Double rooms from €56.
  • WRH Suites, Via D. Manin 69, +39 6 99 33 03 74, [26]. Luxury accommodation at very affordable price. All rooms equipped with ensuite bathroom and laptop and wifi internet connection, two suites with hydromassage bathtub. Double room €60-180.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Radisson Blu es. Hotel, Via Filippo Turati, 171 IT-00185 (Termini Station - Coliseum), +39 6 444 841 (fax: +39 6 44 34 13 96), [27]. This hotel on Esquiline Hill has 232 rooms. €230-560.  edit


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