Things to Do in Monti, Rome

This post will cover what there is to do while visiting the Monti Neighborhood, including activities that are free, great for families, and available at night.

 

 


PLAN YOUR VISIT TO MONTI

Monti is right in the heart of Rome, the neighborhood is in the shape of a triangle nestled between the Roman Forum and Colosseum historic area and Termini Station.

It is beautiful and a great mix of ancient and new. You’ll find trendy bars and shops.

 

Ivy Covered Gelateria in Monti Rome

 


Why go to Monti?

Well, this neighborhood offers excellent food, entertainment, and shopping. You’ll get to see a mix of cultures intersect because of the way Monti has evolved over time.


Getting to Monti

Monti is very connected to Rome’s public transportation.

Regardless of how you choose to come, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions. 

If you like taking the metro, Cavour is in the middle of the neighborhood, while Colosseo and Termini are close by on two different sides.

 

Rione Monti Rome Map

 

And if you are on a Hop-On-Hop-Off tour, the bus routes have stops at the nearby Colosseum and Piazza Venezia.


Sample Itinerary

After an exciting morning tour of the Colosseum, take a walk to the less-crowded Rione Monti neighborhood to find a delicious and relaxing lunch at L’Asino d’Oro before they close at 14:30 for the afternoon.

Then you can leisurely make your way to the church of Santa Maria ai Monti and admire the artwork.

 

Colorful Buildings in Monti Rome

 

If you have children traveling with you, this is the perfect time to grab a gelato from Fatamorgana and take it to Colle Oppio park to relax or let the little ones run their energy out.

If you come out on the weekend or the park isn’t to your liking, there are plenty of vintage shops and markets to browse for an hour or two!

Dance to the DJ’s music at Mercato Monti or see the stylish high-end labels from decades past at Blue Goose.

And don’t wander too far from the neighborhood after this – you’ll want to come back around 19:30 (7:30 pm) for a drink and dinner at La Carbonara. T

hen you’ll be free to sleep off the delicious pasta or stick around to enjoy the late-night cafes.


How Much Time Should You Spend in Monti?

How much time to spend in this neighborhood depends upon a few things.

If you love to shop – especially browsing vintage and second-hand stores – you should give yourself several hours to hit the popular spots before drinks and dinner.

Add another few hours to your plans if you stay for dinner! 

 

Hanging Ivy in Monti, Rome

 

Those with kids could probably spend a few hours in the green park and around the ancient Roman ruins after a delicious lunch at one of the great nearby restaurants.

 


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TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO

So what is there to see in Rione Monti?

Here we have our top 10 suggestions for tours to take, places to see and find, things to do, and restaurants to dine at in this Roman neighborhood.


1) Colosseum and Roman Forum

The Colosseum and the Roman Forum are right on the edge of the neighborhood, which makes these famous ruins a perfect stop on the way to or from your trip to Monti. And these structures and ruins are must-see places for your trip to Rome!

 

 

The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater built during the Roman Empire. While it was still in operation, historians have estimated up to 80,000 spectators could fit at once on its most popular days.

If you want tips on seeing the Colosseum and getting tickets, we have a Colosseum guide here!


2) Santa Maria ai Monti Church

Santa Maria ai Monti was built in 1580, so it isn’t as old as come churches in Rome.

What’s interesting about it is that the church itself was designed around the ‘Madonna with Child and St. Charles Borromeo’ painting, instead of a painting being commissioned for the building.

 


Questa foto di Chiesa di Santa Maria ai Monti è offerta da TripAdvisor.

 

Now it is a simple yet beautiful staple of the neighborhood. The Piazza della Madonna, since the church is dedicated to Mary, is named after the church.

The art and design on the inside is worth a look, especially for those who love Catholic art.


3) Experience the Nightlife

The Monti neighborhood has gone through several changes over the last few centuries.

It started as a working-class neighborhood and has seen many trends come and go. Now, it is a multicultural neighborhood with traditional facades that are colorful and covered in vines – which makes it the perfect backdrop for trendy cocktail bars and restaurants.

 

 

You’ll find lots of people standing around talking in the streets with glasses of beer or wine in their hands when the sun starts going down.

We suggest picking a cafe to grab a glass of vino at and people-watch in the cobblestoned streets.

For a list of bars and restaurants worth visiting at night, check out the nightlife section below.


4) Play at the Colle Oppio Park

This green space was one of Rome’s original seven hills and still has plenty of interesting historic ruins throughout that are worth exploring.

 

 

One of the biggest draws to Parco del Colle Oppio, however, is that it is right next to the Colosseum. If you hike to the top, you’ll get a spectacular view of this quintessential Roman landmark.

There is also plenty of space for the kids to run around and play in the grass, or have a picnic!


5) Explore the Piazzas

Rione Monti has more than enough piazzas for you to spend all day enjoying. The atmosphere in this neighborhood is a bit more serene than in neighboring spaces.

 

 

Piazza degli Zingari is in the heart of Monti, right by the Cavour subway stop. You’ll find people using it as a meeting place for friends, or as the end-destination to sit around and have a chat.

It is much calmer than the more popular Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, and is close to the Fatamorgana gelateria and other delicious restaurants from our list of dining suggestions below.

Of course, Piazza della Madonna dei Monti is a must-see public space with its beautiful fountain and the way locals, students, and travelers alike congregate here. More about this piazza, as well as other budget-friendly things to see, is in the section below.


6) Mercato Monti

This weekend market is full of vintage clothing, jewelry, and handmade trinkets in addition to well-known labels on second-hand items.

It is a lively group of vendors all fit into a small building, which gives the market a community feel.

 

 

While you’re browsing through the racks of clothing and accessories, there is also a live DJ playing music and injecting further energy into the crowd. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to have a club atmosphere at a market, here is your answer!

Check out more free things to do below.


7) Eat at La Carbonara

This restaurant started in 1906, and will likely be around for as long as the neighborhood is. La Carbonara is a neighborhood staple serving Roman cuisine like carbonara, as the name suggests.

 

 

You can also find gnocchi with ribs, artichokes cooked the Roman way with delicious spices and other delicious dishes.

The interior is cozy and unassuming. La Carbonara encourages diners to add to the graffiti on the walls, which makes you feel as if you, quite literally, left your mark on the Eternal City.

For more delicious places to eat, check out our dining suggestions and nightlife recommendations below.


8) Sightseeing Tours

The Monti neighborhood of Rome is perfectly located to visit before or after a sightseeing tour of central Rome.

Since it is a neighbor of the Colosseum, we suggest taking a tour of the Roman landmark!  

Of course, there are plenty of general Rome overview city tours that pass by the area and are entertaining.

If you’d rather not be kept to a schedule, Rick Steves provides some excellent and free audio walking tours available for download.

They include the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Heart of Rome – all three of which are walking distance to Monti.


9) See the Ruins

The Monti area is right next to Rome’s most popular ruins at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

However, the neighborhood has its own ruins to explore. The Trajan Forum and Markets are still partially standing.

And while you can purchase a ticket to see the markets, there is also a little hidden walkway at the end of Via di Campo Carleo from Via Tor de’ Conti, which is the closest you’ll be able to see the ruins for free. This little passageway is also largely free of crowds.

 

 

In Monti, you can also find Torre Dei Borgia, a terrace at the top of a very tall staircase that offers a great view of the city.

Tickets can also be bought to Domus Aurea, which is currently open only a few days per week as they work on further excavation and restoration.   


10) Save with a Tourist Pass

Whether you’re staying in Monti or just spending a few hours here, it is undoubtedly close to some of the most popular sights in Rome! And if you want to see them all, consider getting a tourist pass.

 

 

The passes will allow you to bundle discounts and see more for less. Several passes also offer fast-track or skip-the-line access, which could save you a few hours per attraction – especially if you’re here in the peak of summer.

Attractions Included:

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO

There is plenty to see and do without spending a penny in Monti! 

From browsing markets and vintage shops to going to the park or walking through a beautiful church, here are our top suggestions for free Monti activities.

 

 

For even more free activities in the city, check out our master post on free things to do in Rome.


Mercato Monti

Open every Saturday and Sunday between 10:00 am and 20:00 (8:00 pm), this market is a perfect little slice of chaotic Italian market life.

You’ll find vintage clothing and accessories, as well as some non-wearables like old books, art prints, and small wall hangings. There’s also usually a DJ in the corner keeping everyone upbeat while they shop.


Colle Oppio Park

This green space sits on one of the original Seven Hills of Rome. Throughout its life, it has been home to ancient markets, elaborate royal gardens, and public park space.

Now, it is still a public park. You’ll find space for the kids to play near the Terme di Traiano entrance as well as ancient Roman ruins scattered throughout.


Pulp Vintage

There are a large number of interesting vintage shops in Monti.

Pulp seems to have a special place in the hearts of vintage shoppers for its cozy shop vibe, as well as the fact that they restore and repair the vintage clothing items and accessories before putting them on the floor to sell.


Blue Goose

Looking to browse some items that are truly special? Blue Goose is another vintage shop.

This one has a more minimalistic and refined look – because they specialize in popular designer pieces and accessories that went out of production. They’re very feminine and you’ll likely recognize the labels.


Piazza della Madonna dei Monti

This beautiful piazza is the perfect place to sit and people watch or enjoy your gelato. Surrounded by brightly-colored buildings, this little square has a picture-perfect fountain right in the middle.

People love to rest or congregate to talk on the steps. After dark, people tend to bring their beverages to the steps for conversation.


See the Oldest House in Monti

La Casetta is now a small cafe in an old, ivy-covered house. This is the oldest still-standing (and in working condition) building in the neighborhood, according to the locals.

It is the perfect backdrop for an Instagram picture with its cute and quirky vibe. We also suggest you stop in for a drink.

For even more free activities in the city, check out our master post on free things to do in Rome.

 


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WHERE TO EAT

Monti is a great place to be if you’re getting hungry because there is a wide variety of cuisine available.

 

 

Here is our list of dining suggestions for Monti, Rome.


Finnegan’s Irish Pub

If you’re looking for a little change of pace, you can visit Rome’s only Irish-owned establishment.

This Irish Pub offers classic fish and chips as well as other pub staples. You’ll hear plenty of English spoken by the staff and the patrons who are relaxing in the cozy booths.


Fatamorgana

Go here to try a basil-flavored gelato, or perhaps cherry and beer or Gorgonzola flavor.

 

Gelato in Monti Rome

 

This gelateria has become more and more popular over the last few years for their ambitious and delicious flavor combinations – they have eight different chocolate variations!


Doozo

Doozo offers classic Japanese fare and a wide range of delicious sushi. The delicious food is served in a cozy bookstore-style atmosphere, with bookshelves on most of the walls.

If you want to enjoy some fresh air, though, there is a Japanese garden with beautifully-set picnic tables!  


Avocado Bar

If you’re looking for something modern and different, try Avocado Bar. They employ six avocado chefs who are experts at 30 avocado-involved recipes of both the savory and sweet variety.


L’Asino d’Oro

Once you’ve tried all the traditional Roman dishes, it’s time to branch out with flavor combinations more common in other regions of Italy. 

 

Cobblestone Streets in Monti Rome

 

This restaurant’s chef comes straight from Orvieto – a small town a bit further North. Here you can get a delicious, gourmet set lunch with three courses and wine for 13 Euro!


Pizzeria Alle Carrette

Who can go more than a day without eating pizza in Rome? Not many people.

Try this lovely local pizzeria, along with the regulars who have been coming back for years. They serve wood-fired pizzas as well as other Roman staples like fried croquettes and suppli.

 


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NIGHTLIFE

The Monti neighborhood stays just as busy after the sun goes down because of the great selection of open-late bars and cafes. Here is our list of nightlife venues in Rione Monti.

 

 

For more things to do at night, check out our full Roman nightlife guide.


Ai Tre Scalini

This enoteca (wine bar) is popular with locals, students, and visitors alike.

After 19:00 (7:00 pm), you’ll likely find Italians standing around the cobblestone street in front of the doors, holding a glass of wine, and talking before they head to a traditionally late dinner.


Black Market Monti

Black Market Monti has a traditional stone exterior, as it sits in one of the historic buildings of the neighborhood.

However, the inside is warm and cozy with richly-colored rugs and vintage furniture. They serve excellent cocktails as well as a great selection of wine. And if you’re hungry, you can get burgers, wraps, and salads.  


Teatro Eliseo

This theatre is, as many things are in Rome, a historic institution. You can find plays, concerts, and operas playing throughout the month.

If you want to experience the theatre without sitting through a full performance, you can also go to Cucino Eliseo, the restaurant within the theatre building, for lunch, drinks, or dinner.


Libreria Caffè Bohémien

This caffe is a late-night hotspot with quirky and vintage decor. None of the decor quite matches, which gives it a cozy and trendy atmosphere. You’ll find friendly staff and people spilling out into the streets to chat over drinks.

They also serve aperitivo from 19:00 – 21:00 (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm), in which you get access to the buffet after purchasing your drink.

 

Cafe Bohemien in Monti Rome

 

Tip: If you’re looking to improve your Italian, they hold a conversation exchange every Thursday night from 20:00 facilitated by a local language school!


Oppio Caffè

This vegetarian-friendly cafe and bar is a trendy nightlife spot with a beautiful view of the Colosseum. At night, when the Colosseum is lit up, the outdoor and window-facing tables are packed with people.

Keep in mind – the premium view is reflected in their pricing, which some reviewers find reasonable for the area, and others find too high.


Charity Cafe

From Tuesday to Sunday every week between 18:00 and 21:00, Charity Cafe has its Charity Aperitif time.

When you pay for your drink, you have a buffet of appetizers and snacks included in the price. Then you can sit and enjoy the live jazz bands that play!

For more things to do at night, check out our full Roman nightlife guide.

 


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