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San Giovanni in Laterano

Esquilino and San Giovanni are adjacent neighborhoods in Rome.

Esquilino is named for the Esquiline hill on which it stands. It lies south of the Termini station and is centred more or less on the Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele II. It is now partly a Chinese immigrant neighbourhood, and specialty groceries and shoe stores abound. San Giovanni is named after the Basilica, which is the parish church of Rome. The area is south-east of the Esquiline.

Get in[edit]

Map of Rome/Esquilino-San Giovanni

Metro Line A connects Termini station with the basilica of San Giovanni. There are also several buses from the downtown area, best caught at Piazza Venezia or by the Colosseum, where you can connect with Metro Line B.


  • 1 Santa Maria Maggiore, Via Liberiana 27, +39 06483195. Built in the 9th century, this ancient basilica crowns the top of the Esquiline Hill. Tons of gold decorate the interior together with impressive mosaics (particularly when the floodlights are turned on), and there is a museum on the premises. If you are in Rome on Corpus Christi (Corpus Domini), which is the Thursday after the 8th Sunday after Easter, an early-evening service is held in San Giovanni by the Pope followed by a procession along Via Merulana to Santa Maria. Good opportunity for a close up view of the Pope. Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Q186282) on Wikidata Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore on Wikipedia
  • 2 San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza di San Giovanni Laterano. This is the cathedral church of Rome and first of the major basilicas. It's also the Pope's (as Bishop of Rome) Church. As such it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter's. Be sure to check out the 4th-century baptistery (still in use - in Piazza di San Giovanni, slightly apart from the main basilica) and the medieval cloister (brilliant Cosmati columns) Archbasilica of St. John Lateran (Q84090) on Wikidata Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on Wikipedia
  • 3 [dead link] Scala Sancta (North-east of the basilica, across the road). The Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs) is, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the staircase used by Jesus Christ to approach Pontius Pilate to be sentenced to death. Attracts numerous pilgrims who climb the stairs on their knees. Scala Sancta (Q1768461) on Wikidata Scala Sancta on Wikipedia
The Baptistery of San Giovanni: Superb inside!
  • 4 Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 12. It was constructed to hold relics of the Passion of Jesus. They include two thorns of his crown, part of a nail and three small wooden pieces of the Cross. The authenticity of these relics is much disputed, however. Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Q685940) on Wikidata Santa Croce in Gerusalemme on Wikipedia
  • 5 National Museum of Musical Instruments (Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali), Piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 9/A. Tu-Su 09:00-19:00, M closed (ticket office closes 30 min earlier). Next door to Santa Croce. A collection of around 3000 pieces, although only a third of these are displayed. €5 adults, €2.50 concessions. National Museum of Musical Instruments (Q954216) on Wikidata Museo nazionale degli strumenti musicali on Wikipedia
  • 6 Museo della Liberazione, Via Tasso 145 (Manzoni metro station on Line A). M-F 09:00-13:15, 14:15-20:00; Sa Su holidays 09:00-20:00 (last entry: 19:15). This small museum records the liberation of Rome from German occupation during the Second World War. During the occupation the building was used as a prison. Stair lifts and chair lifts available for wheelchair users (call ahead). Free. Museum of the Liberation of Rome (Q3868477) on Wikidata Museum of the Liberation of Rome on Wikipedia
Old meets "new" in Piazza San Giovanni
  • 7 Porta Maggiore. Impressive gate built by Claudius in AD 52 and formed by the arches of two aqueducts. It was subsequently incorporated into the Aurelian walls. Nearby is the "Baker's tomb", erected for himself and his wife by a freed slave who became a rich baker. Note the friezes round the top representing the stages of breadmaking. Porta Maggiore (Q751318) on Wikidata Porta Maggiore on Wikipedia


Movies are shown and some performances are held for free in Piazza Vittorio during the summer.


  • 1 Mercato Esquilino. An indoor market of ancient provenance that has moved from its longtime outdoor home all the way round the outside of Piazza Vittorio; it is still only a couple of blocks east of the piazza. The mercato is divided into a food section, with good and cheap produce, meat, and fish, and a clothing section, with clothes of all kinds, shoes, luggage, etc., at low prices and generally not fabulous quality. Get there in the morning for food; it's generally closed by afternoon.


There are a lot of Chinese and Indian restaurants, but you will also find many typical trattorias.

  • 1 Palazzo del Freddo (Gelateria Fassi), Via Principe Eugenio 65 (just south-east of Piazza Vittorio Emanuele), +39 06 4464740. Ice cream: not as marvellous as Giolitti or San Crispino but still worth trying. Prices are reasonable, quality good. Old ice cream making equipment on display.
  • Ristorante Baia Chia, via Machiavelli 5 (corner of Via Machiavelli and Via Merulana). closed Sundays. Good value Sardinian fish restaurant. Seafood antipasto, three pasta dishes, grilled fish and dessert for around €40. Don't try to order, just let them bring it to your table. Excellent Sardinian wines extra.
  • 2 Panella L’Arte del Pane, Via Merulana 54 (5 mins from Santa Maria Maggiore). Very upmarket (with matching prices) baker. Great window displays but you may find the taste doesn't match the appearance.
  • 3 Aquila Nera, Ristorante Pizzeria, Via Principe Amedeo 49-5 (near Via Cavour and Termini station, close to the corner of Via Amedeo and Via Daniele Manin, next to Hotel California). A street side restaurant with excellent food, attentive service and warm atmosphere. Eat outside or inside, depending on the weather. Try the fish fillet baked in potato which should please anyone who likes fish - it is excellent. Their marketing says they are a pub, perhaps to pull in tourists hankering after home but this is an Italian restaurant. The waiters hustle passers by into becoming satisfied diners. The white table cloths, linen and cutlery are presentable. The menu is varied and does not stress pizza, though they do have it. There are a variety of meat and fish dishes and pasta. The house wine is modest but good value. There seems to be no wine list. €25-35 for dinner including wine and bottled water.


The area around Santa Maria Maggiore is the main area in Rome for Irish Pubs:

  • Fiddler’s Elbow, Via dell’ Olmata (just to the south-west of S. M. Maggiore). The oldest Irish pub.
  • Druid’s Den, Via San Martino ai Monti 28 (head down Via Merulana and take the second street on the right).
  • Druid’s Rock Pub, Piazza Esquilino 1 (the other side of the basilica, just after you cross Via Cavour). The sister pub of the Druid’s Den.


Ceiling mosaic of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme


  • B&B Bed in Art, Via Filippo Turati 102 (close Termini station and Colosseum), +39 3494232501, . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. Double, triple and quadruple bedrooms, all rooms with free wifi. Average rates: single €45, double €65, triple €75, quadruple €95.
  • B&B Sergio, Via Principe Amadeo 92 (int.9), +39 06 89531043. Single, double, triple and quadruple bedrooms. Rates do not include breakfast. Average rates: double €65, triple €75.
  • Dream Station B&B, Via Giolitti 119 (50 meters from Termini Station), +39 3923009331, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Bathroom ensuite, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning. Breakfast included. €44-119.
  • Hotel Center, Via Giovanni Giolitti, 415, +39 06 77590702, fax: +39 06 77590702. Two-star accommodation with private bathrooms and a breakfast hall, located south of Termini and two metro stops from San Giovanni. €60-65.
  • Hotel Orazia (Orazia Hotel), Via Buonarroti, 51, +39 06 446 7202, fax: +39 06 4467202, . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. Three-star hotel with private bathrooms and breakfast service, free wi-fi. It's near of Termini Station and the metro A stop. €60-150.
  • Hotel Taormina, Via Principe Eugenio, 51, +39 06 4464754. Large two-star hotel of with 51 bedrooms divided in single, double, twin and triple. All rooom with private bath, flat screen TV and air conditioning. €60 for a double/twin, €75 for a triple and €40 for a single.
  • Mosaic Hostel, Via Carlo Cattaneo 23, 1st Floor,, +39 06 4470 4592. A dorm-style hostel situated a 5-minute walking distance from Rome’s central station Termini. The hostel is designed for budget-minded backpackers and offers clean and large rooms with a variety of services for backpackers. €20-26.
  • [dead link] Panoramic Hostel, Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore, 12, +39 06 89531043. Three bedrooms divided in double and twin with en-suites services, shower, television and air conditioning. Also available a common kitchen. For both, the double and twin rooms, the price is €55, breakfast included.
  • 1 Roma Termini Suites, Via Daniele Manin 69, 00185 Rome, Italy (close to Termini Station), +39 06 99 33 03 74, fax: +39 06 96 70 87 30, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Stylish single, double and triple bedrooms, all with en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, etc. Average rates: single €38, double €43, triple €53.
  • Sixtythree, Via Rattazzi, 63, +39 338 4280189, fax: +39 06 96708668, . Located in the immediate neighbourhood of Termini station, it is very easy to reach regardless whether you arrive in Rome by train or by plane. €50-160.
  • [dead link] El Trotamundo Bed and Breakfast, Via del Pigneto 3, +39 3284488346, . Check-in: 12:30-24:00, check-out: 11. from €35 to €80 included breakfast, kitchen use, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, private bathroom.
  • 2 [dead link] Celestino B&B Roma Termini, Via Principe Amedeo 47 (a few minutes' walk from Termini Station and metro stop), +39 064880151, . Check-in: 12:00 - 23:00, check-out: 11:00. All double rooms with ensuite bathroom, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, chromatic shower, flat TV, safe lock and minibar. Breakfast included. €75-115.


  • Best Western President Hotel, Via Emanuele Filiberto 173, +39 06-770121, fax: +39 06-7008740. Housed in a modern building in very a central position. Wifi, Pay and sat TV are among each bedroom facilities. From €123 including breakfast.
  • Hotel Edera, Via Angelo Poliziano, 75 (off Via Merulana in direction of Colosseum). On a quiet side street. 10-minute stroll to the Colosseum through the Colli Oppio park.
  • [dead link] EL Trotamundo B&B, Via del Pigneto 3, +39 3284488346. Private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning. Kitchen use. Internet point. Breakfast included. Single room €35/50; double room €45/70.


  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Via Filippo Turati, 171 IT-00185 (Termini Station followed by a long walk), +39 06 444 841, fax: +39 06 44 34 13 96. This hotel on Esquiline Hill has 232 rooms. €230/€560.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Esquilino-San Giovanni
North RomeModern Center  W Rome Metro Line A E  South RomeEND

This district travel guide to Esquilino-San Giovanni is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
Esquiline Hill