If you stick your head out the window of our Santi Quattro flat, you have a gorgeous view of the Colosseum, less than 60 seconds’ walk away. This location allows virtually immediate access to the whole of the Forum, the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Arch of Constantine, and Nero’s Golden House, not to mention two of Rome’s most beautiful churches: San Clemente, with its fascinating underground passages, and Santi Quattro Coronati, with a charming cloister that’s one of the most peaceful spots in the Eternal City.
In addition, you’re steps from the little electric bus that takes you to the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, by way of one of Rome’s most “happening” (and least touristy) neighborhoods, Monti. Campo dei Fiori, Piazza Navona, and Pantheon are 20-30 minutes’ walk or a short ride on one of a half-dozen bus, tram, and metro lines that pass close by.
Finally, Santi Quattro’s neighborhood is a rarity in the historic center of Rome in that it is dotted with delightful parks, in particular the Villa Celimontana where world-class jazz concerts are held on summer evenings. Just over the Celian Hill are the Baths of Caracalla, site of open-air opera in summer, especially Aida. And speaking of parks, one of Rome’s prettiest is a very short walk away, the park of the Colle Oppio where you can have your coffee and read your newspaper at an open-air caffé run by the same Roman woman, now ancient, a real character, for the past 40-plus years.
Right around Santi Quattro, streets like Via Celimontana and Via San Giovanni in Laterano light up at night with a particularly lively restaurant, pub, wine bar, and caffé scene. Recent visitors likened it to Greenwich Village in atmosphere. Otherwise in the daytime, despite the proximity to one of the most-photographed and instantly recognizable sites on the planet, you’ll find you’re in a real Roman neighborhood with little English spoken for maximum authenticity. All neighborhood services are at hand: a good supermarket is directly across the street, and another (cheaper) one 3 short blocks away. An excellent open-air fruit/vegetable stand is just down the street, as well as butchers, pastry shops, banks, post office, coffee bars, household supply shops, tobacconists, beauticians, and barbers. The Via Appia Nuova, a 15-minute walk or a short bus ride away, is known throughout Rome for good-quality shopping at prices lower than in other, more well-known neighborhoods.