Castro Pretorio - an ancient army camp

Vibe on the street: touristy and buzzing by day, calmer at night.
Famous for: significant national buildings such as the National Library, Porta Pia (a gate in the Aurelian walls designed by Michelangelo) and a local business and residential centre.
Castro Pretorio - an ancient army camp
  • Castro Pretorio can be divided into two almost themed areas: residential and monumental. Though small in area, the neighbourhood is filled with cultural sights ranging from museums to music halls. Its reputation as a hub for tourist arrivals and departures means it is lacking nightlife.

    Nearby sights

    In the western area of the neighbourhood is the majestic Piazza della Repubblica (formerly Piazza Exedra), which isn’t only beautiful but full of historical sites. Here you can find Terme di Diocleziano (Baths of Diocletian) complex, Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (a large church based on a design by Michelangelo) and a planetarium. The nearby Palazzo Massimo and Baths of Diocletian are part of the National Museum of Rome ticket (and archeological card) and both house wonderful antiquities collections of marbles, metals and frescoes, et al.

    Via Nazionale, one of Rome’s major thoroughfares that runs directly to the historic centre, has the famous Church of San Paolo “inside the walls” as one of its addresses. Via Cavour, another major thoroughfare to the centre, runs parallel to Via Nazionale and nestled between both streets is Rome's famous theatre, the Teatro dell' Opera. In the eastern area is the Piazzale Porta Pia with its famous portal, known for the battle that ended the domain of Rome as a Papal State.

    Eating out

    Because Castro Pretorio caters to a more touristy crowd, the neighbourhood is filled with restaurants from fast food to more formal dining. This also means the area is less likely to be relegated to only Roman cuisine. Some of its more noteworthy restaurants include Africa, an Ethiopian restaurant (vegetarian), Aristocampo, an excellent sandwich shop, Grappolo d’Oro, a more traditional Roman trattoria and Est Est Est!, a trattoria/pizzeria. Trimani Wine Bar also has a small but delicious food selection to go with that bottle of Brunello you covet. Noteworthy is that Castro Pretorio has the most McDonald’s per any area in Rome.

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