In Rome, you will see expats from all over the world. But what are the best Rome neighborhoods for expats to live and settle down?
While the most famous areas are the city center and Trastevere, recently other districts have become popular and I would actually suggest them instead of the more central ones. I don’t live near the city center myself but I can get there by car or using public transportation.
Expats moving to Rome for an extended stay for work or study will probably prefer a more residential and quieter area rather than being immersed in tourist crowds all the time.
Moving to Rome is quite challenging in the first place, so to try to make things easier for those embarking on this ambitious project I offer you a round-up of the best Roman neighborhoods for expats to rent or buy their new home away from home.
Best Rome neighborhoods for expats to buy or rent a house
Monti is one of the favorite Rome neighborhoods to book a hotel during a holiday and also to settle for more extended stays. Hip and trendy, Monti is close to Termini’s main train station as well as the major landmarks of Ancient Rome, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
This neighborhood is a great place to move to if you like quaint streets lined up with shops, local boutiques, small restaurants, and plenty of landmarks to visit.
Even though more affordable than the Centro Storico, Monti is quite expensive, with apartments of around 100 sq mt priced at around half a million euros.
Centro Storico is obviously the most expensive area in Rome where to rent or buy a house. Don’t get me wrong, if you can afford it, it’s very convenient to buy an estate here because it will also be easy to sell it.
Living in the city center you will be closer to the major historical and artistic landmarks. Expats living in the city center have it easier to move around as they can go on foot or by bike.
Public transport will be more efficient and frequent than in the outskirts of Rome so if you also work here, you won’t have problems commuting. If you are driving, it’s good to keep in mind that finding parking here is all about luck. Usually, there are spots along the river, but really you need to be there when someone leaves their spots because it’s taken in less than no time.
For me, it’s a great area to visit but honestly, it has so much traffic all the time that I find it exhausting.
Aventine Hill is a magical area and one of the best Rome neighborhoods for expats with families and children. Next to Ostiense and very close to major relics of Ancient Rome such as the Circus Maximus, the Aventino neighborhood is popular among expats because of the FAO offices and the presence of an international school.
Even though quiet and not crowded with tourists, Aventine Hill has a great deal of landmarks to visit, especially ancient churches.
Trastevere is very popular among foreign tourists and expats. You will find many American students because of the presence of John Cabot University. At night, it’s very lively and popular among locals and tourists. However, there are also quiet corners where you won’t hear any noise.
Former working-class and later gentrified, Trastevere is quite an exclusive area, so housing is pretty expensive, whether you are looking into renting or buying.
In Trastevere, you are going to find plenty of restaurants and small grocery shops. There is a daily grocery market in Piazza San Cosimato but there are not large food stores like those you can find in other areas.
I don’t suggest Trastevere if you are thinking about owning a car because parking-wise, it’s a nightmare. Unless, obviously, your house has its own parking lot. Although, even simply driving around Trastevere’s narrow alleys is not exactly pleasant, so you might think carefully about this when looking for a house.
Across Viale Trastevere, the long road dividing the neighborhood, there are a few buses and tram 8 that stops at Trastevere train station and also gets you to the city center. Along the Tiber River, too, are a few bus stops.
If Trastevere is perfect for young people and students, Monteverde is a beautiful area of Rome for expats and families to live in. Clean and green, it conveys the idea of spaciousness. It’s located on the hill right on top of Trastevere but renting and buying a house here is more affordable than in its more famous neighboring area.
This is the area where is located one of Rome’s largest parks and one of our favorites, Villa Pamphilj.
The area is served by public transport, especially buses that connect to San Pietro train station and Valle Aurelia train and metro stations.
Prati and Trionfale
Prati is easily one of my favorite neighborhoods in Rome. I have lived here for years when I was in college and found the area very handy, well-connected to other districts thanks to the several buses, metro stations, and a few trams.
If you would rather walk, you are in a good position because you can easily reach both the Vatican and the city center on foot with a pleasant walk.
In this area, you can find all types of stores, Via Cola di Rienzo is one of the most popular fashion shopping streets, but also food shops and markets. If you want to eat out, Prati offers a great and diverse array of restaurants for every taste and budget.
The neighboring district, Trionfale, is also one of the best Rome neighborhoods for expats. From the large Mercato Trionfale grocery market selling just about everything to smaller stores and shops, you won’t need to go anywhere else for whatever goods you need.
Trionfale, too, is well-served by several buses and metro stations.
Both Prati and Trionfale are the districts right next to the Vatican so housing prices are definitely not cheap. Vibrant and lively, these areas are great for both families and younger expats, even though the nightlife is not as exciting as in Trastevere, Testaccio, or even Ostiense.
Flaminio and Parioli
Flaminio and Parioli are two bordering neighborhoods. The first one starts from Piazza del Popolo all the way to Ponte Milvio bridge and is more lively, Parioli is known to be more posh-like and residential, as well as more expensive.
I think Flaminio is a better Roman neighborhood for expats than Parioli because better connected to the city center and the other districts by public transport. Parioli feels more local with large tree-lined boulevards and villas.
I love the Flaminio neighborhood because it’s very diverse, offering a mix of old and new, a great array of places for eating out, shops and boutiques, as well as sightseeing opportunities from museums and historical landmarks.
San Giovanni is charming and steeped in history but at times its traffic feels overwhelming. Narrow streets alternate larger roads like Via Appia, but finding parking is very difficult.
It’s well-served by public transport with several buses and a few metro stations (San Giovanni, Manzoni, Re di Roma) and there are plenty of shops and restaurants.
While it’s not very cheap to buy a house in San Giovanni, it’s one of the good Rome neighborhoods for expats because it’s close to the city center and it’s not difficult to find locals able to speak English.
Even though Ostiense is known for the street art district, the history of this cool neighborhood goes way back. Created to house the largest factories, power plants, and general warehouses, Ostiense is where to go to visit the relics of Rome’s industrial archaeology.
Very busy during the day, at night, you can enjoy its many restaurants and the young vibe thanks to the few local clubs, and its proximity to Testaccio, and the many events organized here, especially during the summer months.
If you are still looking for the perfect Rome neighborhoods for expats, take some time to check out Testaccio. This is a great area if you are looking for a local vibe and a more traditional experience.
Testaccio is known for its delicious traditional restaurants, one of Rome’s most famous food markets (Mercato Testaccio), and its landmarks, including the Pyramid of Caius Caestius and the non-Catholic cemetery.
Located close to Ostiense and Trastevere, Testaccio is pleasant to walk around. If you need to go to other districts, here you are going to find several buses, a tram line, the metro station (line B), and a large train station (Ostiense).
How to decide which Rome neighborhood to go to
Expensive vs affordable
Let’s start by making sure a point is very clear: housing-wise, there is no cheap neighborhood in Rome. Of course, if you are buying a house in Monteverde, prices will be more affordable than buying around Piazza Navona or Trastevere.
Car vs public transport
Another important aspect to consider is your main way of moving around. Do you prefer to use means of public transportation or are you thinking you will be driving in Rome?
The areas of Rome I mentioned here are all well-served by public transport. Plus, they are all pleasant to walk around. I suggest getting a car mainly if you decide to live in the outskirts of Rome, but in the central neighborhoods, the traffic and looking for parking is becoming more and more of a nightmare.
If you do decide to drive, you have to consider a few things: mental traffic, impossible on-street parking, ZTL, and constant detours.
Single vs family with children
Are you moving to Rome by yourself or with your family? Do you have kids who go to school? Do you want your children to attend an Italian or an international school?
If you are single or a young couple, you are more versatile and can pick an area depending on your workplace or with more affordable prices. If you have children, you might want to opt where it’s easier to own a car, so out of the ZTL, out of the mental traffic, and with more parking spaces.
Vibrant nightlife vs residential area
Depending on your needs, you will choose a different area. For example, if you are a young student, you might prefer Trastevere. If you are a working person, you might want a more residential neighborhood like Prati or Monteverde.
WANT TO READ IT LATER? PIN IT TO YOUR BOARD!