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Borgo Pio - a charming medieval neighbourhood

Vibe on the street: touristy, quaint, picturesque.
Famous for: Castel Sant’Angelo and Santo Spirito (the oldest hospital in Rome), medieval buildings lining the primarily pedestrianised streets, quaint boutiques and souvenir shops.
Borgo Pio - a charming medieval neighbourhood
  • Although Borgo Pio has been stereotyped as touristy, or better yet, papal, the enclave is not without a quaint and cultured social life. The medieval Borgo is rich in history as you walk through the neighbourhood.

    Nearby sights

    Castel Sant’Angelo, the massive fortress at the east end of the Borgo, is both 2nd-century mausoleum to Emperor Hadrian and an early Renaissance papal stronghold. Its accompanying bridge Ponte S. Angelo should definitely be walked. Just north is Italy’s superior court building, Palazzo della Giustizia, in Piazza Cavour, a wonderful example of early 20th-century art nouveau architecture and the formation of the country as a whole.

    In the southern area of the Borgo is Santo Spirito Hospital, Rome’s oldest and dating from the 12th century. Why you should visit? Santo Spirito may be the most decorative hospital with early Renaissance frescoes, an Andrea Palladio altar, Baroque architecture and the peculiar Museum of Sanitary Art.

    Eating out

    The tiny Borgo area is not known as a restaurant mecca but there are a few spots worth a visit. Borgo Pio, the main road in the neighbourhood, has several restaurants and sandwich shops. Though it’s impossible to avoid a tourist menu, restaurants like Il Pozzetto are great for simple fare. For an even easier meal, da Guido Paninoteca will customizse your sandwich to your liking. Da Cesare, close to Piazza Cavour has an excellent fish menu. Just across the street (and on the border of Prati) at Piazza Cavour are Enoteca Costantini, an excellent wine bar and L’Arcangelo, one of Rome’s best restaurants.

    Nightlife

    Your best option would be to head south to Trastevere or across the river to the Centro where you will find a busy nightlife and social scene. Borgo Pio is not known for an engaging nightlife.

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