The center of Rome remains the preferred stomping ground for well-heeled visitors and well-established families, but with several large universities Rome also has a thriving student population living with the city.
The most popular neighborhoods for students in Rome tend to combine vicinity to classes with affordable living and plenty of nightlife options. Still central, these areas have a completely different vibe from the rest of the Eternal City.
Trying to decide where to book your student accommodation in Rome? Here is where to live if you are studying in Rome:
Hipster Pigneto was named for the long row of pine trees that were once planted along the walls of a villa located in the area. Formerly a favorite hangout for film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, the neighborhood is now popular with students and young professionals who are quickly replacing the area’s blue collar residents. The result of gentrification has been an explosion of cool cafes, hip bars and vintage record shops in an area that remains a bit rough around the edges. In addition to a thriving nightlife, Pigneto still has many traditional characteristics such as an antique market the first Sunday of every month. Pigneto has a metro stop along Line C, which will soon connect to Line A starting in Fall 2017.
Formerly a working-class neighborhood south of Termini Station, San Lorenzo has become one of Rome’s most popular neighborhoods. The large student population is mainly thanks to nearby La Sapienza, the largest university in the city. Maintaining some of its slighty gritty feel, San Lorenzo is quickly becoming a Bohemian favorite and is home to an increasing number of affordable bars and artist studios. Every Saturday, the main piazza is converted into a spontaneous meeting point where young people arrive with beers in hand. One drawback is that San Lorenzo lacks its own metro station. The neighborhood is served by several buses, but catching the subway requires a 15-minute walk to Termini station.
Also close to La Sapienza’s campus is the Piazza Bologna neighborhood. The residential area is decidedly more low key than either Pigneto or San Lorenzo, and is well connected to the city via a metro stop on the B Line. Still filled with traditional shops, Piazza Bologna has the feel of a quiet suburb while still remaining within reach of the rest of Rome. Shared rooms and students apartments are common in the area.
Urban renewal has reached Ostiense, which has become a neighborhood that is popular with students and creatives. Decorated with edgy street art and sitting in the shadow of the gasometro, Ostiense is also home to the main campus of Universitá degli Studi Roma Tre. The proximity to school has led to a proliferation of businesses that appeal to younger residents, including gastro-bistrots, craft beer bars and the occasional electronica club. Shared rooms, private rooms and whole apartments are regularly available in the area. Piramide metro and Ostiense train station are nearby, ensuring that the neighborhood is well-connected to public transportation.
Quiet and residential, San Paolo is a calm neighborhood popular with students studying at Roma Tre. The large university has some of its campuses (notably Political Science and Economics) located in the area which contributes to a convenient commute for students who live in apartments nearby. San Paolo has a line B metro station, which makes traveling to other parts of the city a breeze.
Home to two large American universities and multiple study abroad campuses, Trastevere is Rome’s most popular neighborhood for foreign students. The charming cobblestone lanes are irresistible backdrop for studying at outdoor cafes, but the area is also known for its lively nightlife. Craft beer and cocktails, as well as cheap brews and late night pizza are all a part of life in Trastevere. At the same time, there is also a popular daytime market for Italian shopping, and two English language bookstores for study needs. Its location directly across the river from the historic center makes the neighborhood popular with visitors of all ages. As a result, Trastevere is probably one of the more expensive student neighborhoods in Rome.
Did you live in any of these Rome neighborhoods as a student? I was based in San Lorenzo, even though my university was in San Paolo!
Many thanks to Uniplaces for partnering on this post!