Hello Celio / Monti
To stay close to the heart of the action but be able to mingle effortlessly with the locals, look no further than the neighboring districts of Monti and Celio. The oldest 'rione' in Rome, what Monti lacks in terms of grand monuments it more than makes up for with its lively, convivial atmosphere. The restaurants, bars, and cafes that dot the narrow streets and piazzas gear themselves towards the locals rather than only trying to grab the attention of tourists, treating visitors to a more authentic Roman experience. Sitting on the fountain steps at Piazza Madonna ai Monti and watching the world go by for a few minutes is as rewarding as any visit to Palatine Hill or the Colosseum. Neatly enough, you'll find both of these in Celio. There are no two ways about it: these two sets of Roman ruins are every bit as awe-inspiring as you'd expect them to be, and you can beat the crowds by staying in Celio or Monti and getting up early to avoid the worst of them. Like Monti, however, Celio has an identity all of its very own, and there's much, much more to the neighborhood than its impressive archeology. Scooters zip, old-fashioned trattorias buzz, and the gay-friendly bars that line the Via San Giovanni Laterano are perfect for late-night drinking and revelry.