Accommodations in Rome

Usually, when we are in Rome, we are with family or friends. Hence our experience with hotels or b&b is only limited to the one place where we spent three nights in 2008. However, in 2010 and in 2011, we looked and rented appartments for short to lengthy stay (3-4 months). The comments below may help you in planning you stay.
This is charming B&B located in a highly desirable residential area of Rome. A very short walk to a trolley, and a 5 minutes ride, can take you to Piazza del Popolo, the main access to the heart of central Rome.

The B&B has beautiful frescos painted by Marco's (the owner) wife which has transformed the once apartment into a very charming 3 room B&B. We stayed in the Dante room, which was spacious, sparkling clean and with a beautiful bathroom. Each day we returned to a perfectly made up room and fresh wonderfully plush towels on our bed (not always the case in a B&B).

Marco will make you feel at home, give you advice on the best local restaurants and is willing to help out wherever he can. The B&B offers a continental breakfast with a perfect cappuccino and a selection of pastries, cereals, juices. This is definitely a B&B worth recommending.
Renting apartments in Rome

If you are planning to spend a few days in Rome, even if only 3 or 4, it may be worth for you to consider renting an apartment. You would likely have the same level of comfort that an hotel would offer (though you may have to tidy it up yourself!), plus the freedom of having your little kitchenette or cooking corner to look after your own breakfast, or preparing snacks and such.

Rome, just like many other places in Italy, offers a large selection of apartments for rent and there are many reputable organizations. A quick google search on "apartments in Rome", will produce about 38 million hits. The first few pages identify 10 different organizations per page. Search for a reliable/trusty one is not easy. As you look for reviews, you may notice different, sometime contrasting feedbacks. We have dealt with the following companies:

- Rental in Rome (not recommended) and
Rome Renting, both described below.
-
Citiesreference.com (did not rent from them, but had good email exchanges. They had a good selection of higher quality apartments);
-
SleepinItaly.com (rented a small nice apartment, single room/kitchenette and bath, in Trastevere at a reasonable rate);

If you decide to rent an apartment, you should be aware of a few points:
  • There is a huge tourist demand for apartments in the historic center. Hence, prices are hugely inflated. Even "budget" apartment, small (~ 100-200 sq.ft), can be quite expensive (>700 euros/week in high season) and be aware of hidden fees (cleaning, utilities, etc.).
  • Apartments within the historic center, that is in the Piazza Navona/Trevi Fountain/Piazza di Spagna/Campo di Fiori/etc. are going to be significantly more expensive than farther way from the center. However, they will allow you to avoid long commute and the use of public transit. Hence, if you plan to stay in Rome for a relatively short period, their location is worth a serious consideration.
  • Apartments are usually located in historic buildings, where space is at a premium. Hence, do not expect roomy places as you would in NA. Overall standards are very different.
  • If you are willing to pay a higher rent, you will have higher chances of finding decent-nice apartments (but not necessarily so).
 
It is very natural to look for bargains, and, the Rental In Rome website is very good at listing opportunities. So we went for one. From the posted pictures, it looked as a very decent place and its location in the center of historic Rome was perfect. A November weekly rate of 426 Euros Was also hard to beat.

From the pictures the place looked good, a living room, attached kitchenette and bedroom.
The web stated: This elegant apartment, located on the street Via Montegiordano, a few blocks from the Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori Square, in the heart of the historic center is a perfect solution for travellers searching for a cheap, but centrally located accommodation.

Although the location was good, the apartment was very badly rundown, bordering dirty. The pictures (as you can see by "mouse" over them) don't fully capture the desolation of the place. The lack of care by the owner was overwhelming and really sad. Had we had the time, for a few dollars, we could have easily invested in a can of paint, some silicon tube for the bathroom and a few minor repairs (e.g. shower head). To the credit of Rental in Rome, as soon as we complained, they offered to relocate us nearby and and gave us a small discount.
 
 
That indicates to us that Rental in Rome tries to accommodate visitors. However, one would expect the company to inspect the locations it offers for rent.

Two years later, the Navona 6 (the name of this apartment) still lists for the same low-season rates. The pictures still look amazingly good (!!). However, not only one of the pictures is highly misleading, but the description of the apartment is openly false. The apartment is NOT on two floors, rather the living room is two steps above the bedroom and a badly rundown washroom.
Caveat emperor!. If you need a cheap place in Rome and are willing to take whatever is offered to you, then, nothing wrong with this apartment or anyother one from Rental in Rome.
 
In 2011, I was looking for an apartment in Rome to rent for a 3-4 months period. I did not want to spend too much money since all we wanted was a base while we travelled throughout Italy. We also wanted an apartment as close to the historic center as possible.

Rome renting seemed to offer decent choices and reasonable prices, with no hidden costs. Furthermore, upon initial email contacts, the owner, Franca D'Alessandria, seemed very congenial, accommodating and patient with me as I explained, in Italian, what I was looking for.
The Trastevere apartment she recommended was perfect for us. It was indeed small (less than 350 sq.ft) and with few frills. However, although in an old building (as they all are), it was clean, looked after and our monthly rate was reasonable (it included internet, all utilities, weekly cleaning, etc.). Furthermore, la signora Franca was always available to address our questions and willing to help. The pictures on their website capture the way the apartments are. And the availability of the terrace (as our pic shows) is indeed there.

Our apartment was in Vicolo Moroni, a quiet street adjacent to the Tiber River, 5 minutes walk from Campo Di Fiori. We cannot vouch for the quality of other apartments or the quietness of their location. However, based on our experience, and assuming management has not changed since, we would not hesitate to consider Rome Renting again and recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay in Rome.