Rome’s riches reward you in so many ways – each neighborhood a tapestry created out of centuries of history, layered and combined, to create the fascinating face of the city today. While each neighborhood in Rome’s historic center is full of history, we knew right away we had found a very special one with our beautiful one-bedroom, two-bathroom Sonata apartment.
Tucked away along a little cobblestone street not far from Campo de’ Fiori, this area feels like a little secret pocket hidden very near so many top sights in Rome. In just moments you can be crossing the 15th-century Ponte Sisto bridge to Trastevere, strolling through Campo de’ Fiori, gazing down on Roman ruins in Torre Argentina, visiting museum gems like the Galleria Spada, or walking back through centuries of history in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto or along the Tiber to the Isola Tiberina. That’s just to mention a handful of the highlights right on your doorstep at the Sonata!
Surrounded by History in the Campo de’ Fiori Neighborhood
Nestled near Campo de’ Fiori, the Sonata apartment is set in the rione, or district, of Regola, which is built today on layers upon layers of history dating back to ancient times. Known for its medieval layout and Renaissance architecture, this neighborhood has been witness to centuries of transformation. Near the Sonata apartment is the beautiful Church of Santa Maria in Monticelli, which traces its origins to the 12th century. Originally built as a parish church, it underwent renovations in the 16th century to create a harmonious blend of Romanesque and Renaissance styles. The church is renowned for its beautiful frescoes above the altar. The rich blue, rust & gold colors even inspired the decor inside the Sonata apartment!
You’ll love staying in this beautiful and quiet neighborhood where you’ll have a view from the bedroom and dining area looking out on an early 12th century Romanesque bell tower made of brick, rounded arches and columns. What a way to wake up in Rome!
Largo di Torre Argentina
You don’t have to go far from the Sonata apartment to step back in time to Rome’s ancient past. Around the corner is the Largo di Torre Argentina, an ancient archaeological site encompassing four Roman temples that was uncovered between 1926 and 1929. Dating from the Republican era, the site is renowned as the place where, on the Ides of March in 44 BC, Julius Caesar met his untimely fate. You can see the ruins quite well simply walking around the entire perimeter since they are set below street level today. You can pay a small fee to walk down into the archaeological site where you’ll also find the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, a captivating intersection of ancient Rome’s political significance and a modern haven for cat lovers.
While visiting Rome’s big art galleries and museums is a must, just down the street from the Sonata apartment is a hidden gem for art enthusiasts. The Galleria Spada is a is housed within the 16th-century Palazzo Spada and holds an impressive collection of Baroque art, featuring works by renowned artists such as Titian, Guido Reni and Caravaggio. The four galleries inside are richly decorated with artwork collected by the Cardinal Bernardino Spada (1594-1661) and his great-nephew Cardinal Fabrizio Spada (1643-1717). This remarkable museum offers a rare glimpse into a Baroque art collection since it is largely intact and is displayed in a stunning architectural setting with original frescoes and furniture.
However, the true marvel lies in the innovative forced perspective gallery designed by Francesco Borromini located in the courtyard of the Palazzo Spada. This optical illusion, where a seemingly long corridor is actually a compressed space, is a testament to Baroque creativity. The museum’s guides will even walk into the gallery to show off the architectural trickery!
Tip: If you’re visiting in the winter months when it gets dark earlier, you’ll have the chance to see Borromini’s perspective gallery at night. The gallery’s rooms glimmer with beautiful lighting while the impact of the forced perspective is even more intense.
Shopping Around Campo de’ Fiori & Piazza Navona
Shopping in Rome is an eternally fine affair and we love exploring the little streets around the Sonata apartment while meandering to the nearby Campo de’ Fiori and up to Piazza Navona. Around the corner near the Sonata apartment, start off by strolling along Via dei Giubbonari, a lovely street lined with shops that leads to Campo de’ Fiori. In the morning, Campo de’ Fiori transforms into a bustling market with stalls selling colorful produce, fresh flowers and artisan goods. From there you can walk to Piazza Pasquino, a pretty square where you’ll find our Pasquino apartment, to reach Via del Governo Vecchio, another great shopping street, and Piazza Navona nearby.
Surrounded by elegant Baroque architecture, a visit to admire the fountains and buildings in Piazza Navona is always a pleasure. Whether you’re seeking beautiful Italian leather goods, unique crafts or simply indulging in some people-watching at a café, the shopping scene around this iconic Roman piazza promises a memorable and tempting adventure. Where else can you shop for beautiful jewelry inspired by Roman landmarks at Co.Ro Jewels (Via della Scrofa 52) and then pop into the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi (Piazza di San Luigi de’ Francesi) to see three masterpieces by Caravaggio?
Ponte Sisto & Trastevere
Ponte Sisto, a pedestrian bridge spanning the Tiber River in Rome, stands as a picturesque gateway to the charming Trastevere neighborhood on the opposing bank. One of the most beautiful bridges in Rome, it dates back to the 15th century. Stroll across the Ponte Sisto and stop halfway for a fine view looking toward the soaring dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Just on the other side of the historic bridge, you’ll find Trastevere with its maze of narrow cobblestone streets, piazzas and medieval architecture.
Trastevere is a lively neighborhood that’s especially fun in the evenings for an aperitivo or dinner out. One of the perks of the Sonata is being only a short stroll away from Trastevere so you can enjoy the vibrant local culture and timeless charm, but then return to your quiet neighborhood just across the Tiber. Check out our Trastevere Guide and our beautiful Trastevere and Gianicolo walking tour for even more inspiration!
The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter in Rome is a historic and culturally significant district, encapsulating centuries of Jewish heritage. Established in 1555 by Pope Paul IV, the ghetto has evolved into a vibrant community within the heart of the city. Narrow cobblestone streets wind through the area, leading to the grand Synagogue of Rome and the Jewish Museum, which narrates the rich history of the Roman Jewish community. While in the area, don’t miss seeing the Fontana delle Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain) in peaceful Piazza Mattei. Curious why it has turtles? Find out here!
Delightful kosher bakeries and traditional Roman-Jewish restaurants line the streets, offering an array of culinary experiences. Here the stones echo stories of the past, making it a compelling destination for both cultural exploration and also gastronomic indulgence in the heart of Rome.
Tip: Enjoy a meal at Ba Ghetto (Via del Portico D’Ottavia 57), the oldest Jewish restaurant in Rome, with a menu specializing in Middle Eastern and Judeo-Roman cuisine.
Book Your Stay Now at the Sonata
Ready to explore one of Rome’s most charming neighborhoods? Enjoy a virtual tour and see more photos of the Sonata apartment and you’ll soon be imagining starting your day with coffee on the lovely terrace or dining al fresco on a summer night. When you book with Italy Perfect, we’ll share even more of our favorite restaurants and things to see and do during your stay. Book direct now or contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.