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Rome: The Rione Monti

Rome'Monti neighborhood is a collection of art galleries and enoteche (wine bars) just to the east of the Colosseum.
And after a lengthy phase of urban re-organization, it is a mecca for young tourists traveling to the Eternal City. 
Bordering the Roman Forum and the Esquiline district, it is also just a stone's throw away from the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore (with its unique Cosmatesque flooring) and from that of St. Peter in Chains, site of Michelangelo's glorious sculpture of Moses.

Via CavourSet between two main thoroughfares, Via Cavour and Via Nazionale, Monti is in part composed of Suburra, the ancient “Sub Urbe” quarter – i.e., under the city – the nether parts of which give out onto the boulevard passing the Colosseum. The neighborhood's uneven roads are paved with cobblestones (sanpietrini in Italian); at night, a stroll over them is a spectacle in itself. The entire zone revolve around the little piazza Madonna dei Monti, with its characteristic Catecumeni Fountain, designed by Giacomo della Porta.

In this charming rione, locals mill down the streets and up the sidewalks; they flood into the piazzas, the gourmet food shops and slow food restaurants that line the same roads. At night, excellent wine bars (with fair price tags) accommodate clients in their cozy and welcoming atmospheres. Some standouts include Stecchiotti, butcher to Italian Presidents Giorgio Napolitano and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, as well as Ai Tre Scalini in Via del Boschetto, the street boasting the most restaurants per square-meter. 

Among the area's pizzerias, try Le Carrette. If it's authentic Roman cuisine you're after, Da Valentino on Via Urbana offers delicious dishes of pasta, grilled mushrooms, and stewed snails.
The bakery (Forno) on Via dei Serpenti is appreciated by Romans throughout the city, particularly during breakfast hours, while the perpendicular road, Via Panisperna, hosts restaurants whose fame dates back to the days of Dolce Vita. The street, taking its name from Panis et perna, Latin for bread and prosciutto, was once the location for the Institute of Physics, where Enrico Fermi and his brilliant contemporaries collaborated in the 1930s. 

A network of small-time merchants and artisans have still managed to hang on to their businesses in Monti, thus lending to the scene a look of the antique, taking us back into the Rome of yesteryear. Typical gilders' shops and carpentry workshops, blacksmiths and junk dealers embellish these small streets, along with temporary vintage/consignment markets and art galleries (for instance, check out Galleria Fondaco).

Rounding out Monti's traits are its crowds of young artists and bohemian ambience, the University architecture department situated nearby, chic book bars and a number of B&Bs for tourists to use as their "home base" while they see the sights.
Monti is a must-see for anyone in the Eternal City, and a neighborhood so full of history and personality that Italian director even sang its praises in a documentary he presented at the Venice Film Fest in 2008.

Useful Information

How to Get There

On the Metro
B Line - Cavour or Colosseo stop

On the Bus
C3, 75, 84 and 117

Monuments, Parks, and Churches in the Vicinity

St. Peter in Chains (0.2 km)
Colosseum (0.6 km)
Roman Forum (0.6 km)
Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (0.4 km)
Parco di Colle Oppio (0.2 km) 
Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano (0.6 km)
Trevi Fountain (0.7 km)
Piazza Venezia (0.8 km)