Esquilino District Rome (R. XV)

The Esquilino district is one of the oldest of Rome, although it is not considered to be part of the historical centre. The Latin word esquiliae means more or less suburbs. Esquilino is bordered by the Via Marsala in the north, the Via Cavour and the Monti quarter in the east and the quarters Prenestino-Labicano and Tiburtino in the south west.

Esquilino District Rome


Esquilino District Rome - Saint Mary Major (Via Cavour side)
Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Esquilino was situated outside the Servian Walls, the first defensive walls that were built around Rome, but within the more recently built Aurelian Walls.

The rione consists of three hills, the Cispius, the Oppius and the Fagutalis and was one of the first inhabited parts of the city. The first time Rome was divided into districts, in the times of Emperor Augustus, the neighbourhood now called Monti was also part of Esquilino.

In those days part of the area was used as a garbage dump and a burial place for slaves and poor people. However, when August became Emperor he had 10 meters of earth poured onto this dirty and unhealthy area.

Mecenate had his gardens built here, but unfortunately there is hardly anything left of these. When the population started growing and more housing was needed the gardens were destroyed. In 1874 the Auditorium was discovered.

Also after Augustus‘ reign the rione was mostly used by the wealthier Romans in orde to have their villas constructed. On the central square of the area, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, ruins of one of these villas can still be seen in the shape of the Trofei di Mario and Porta Alchemica.

In later years many churches were built in the direct vicinity of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. This church was originally part of the rione Monti, but came to be within the borders of the rione Esquilino in the year 1921.


Together with Rome’s central station, Roma Termini, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is the most important building of the area. Thanks to its high position on top of the Cispius hill it also very visible.

Nowadays Esquilino, and especially the area directly around the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, is an immigrant district, with a number of streets completely taken up by shops selling cheap Chinese clothing and trinkets. The streets nearer Termini are full of cheap Rome b&b’s and hostels.

The main churches of the quarter are Saint Mary Major, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and Santa Prassede. Other Esquilino tourist attractions are Porta Maggiore, where many aqueducts can be seen and the Museo Storico della Liberazione.

More tourist attractions

Santa Bibiana Church in Rome

Take the Via Giolitti exit from Roma Termini and walk along this street till you come to the second tunnel under the railway tracks. The small church before the tunnel is the Santa Bibiana, the facade of which was designed by a 26 year old Bernini, who also contributed to its interior design.

Esquilino District Rome

Districts Rome: Rioni, Quartieri and more.

The most central districts of Rome are called rioni and there are 22 of them. It is here that the most important tourist attractions can be found. The area outside the rioni is made up of 35 quartieri and stretches to the Grande Raccordo Anulare, the ringroad around the city. The next layer is occupied by the suburbi and finally there are 53, sparsely populated, zone.

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Ludovisi District Rome

The Ludovisi district is the 16th rione of Rome. Its main point of interest is one of Rome‘s richest streets, the Via Veneto. The Via Veneto is characterized by a number of enormous palazzi, amongst which the extremely prestigious Palazzo Piombino Margherita, seat of the American Embassy. The Via Veneto thanks its fame especially to the movie Dolce Vita.

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Trieste District Rome (Quartiere XVII)

Rome‘s 17th quartiere is called Trieste and is located more or less between the Via Nomentana, the Via Salaria and the Villa Ada park north east of the center of the Eternal City. Its main tourist attractions are the fairy-tale neighbourhood of Coppedé and the Catacomb of Priscilla.

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Pinciano District Rome

Pinciano is the name of Rome‘s third quartiere. Of all the quartieri, Pinciano may well be the one with the biggest concentration of tourist attractions. Most of these are found in and around the Villa Borghese Park. Continue reading “Pinciano District Rome”

Nomentano District Rome

Nomentano is the name of Rome‘s 5th quartiere. It is located to the north of the historical centre and includes the La Sapienza University. The district is located east of the Via Nomentana and west of the Via Tiburtina. Its main tourist attraction is the Villa Torlonia, a biggish park with a number of small museums.

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Trevi District Rome

The district called Trevi is the 2nd rione of Rome. In the times of the Roman Republic it existed of two separate rioni, Alta Semita and via Lata. Its main attraction is of course the Trevi Fountain. Continue reading “Trevi District Rome”

Sallustiano district Rome (R. XVII)

The district Sallustiano is Rome’s 17th rione and was named for the Gardens of Sallust (Horti Sallustiani). These are former gardens that had been commissioned by Gaio Sallustio Crispo, a historian and senator of the Roman Republic. Continue reading “Sallustiano district Rome (R. XVII)”

Della Vittoria District Rome (Q. XV)

Della Vittoria is the name of Rome‘s 15th quartiere. It was one of the city’s first quartieri, though originally under the name Milvio. The name was officially changed in 1935. It is a fairly rich neighborhood, with the Olympic Stadium as its main attraction.

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Pigneto Neighbourhood Rome

Trastevere has always been there, and Testaccio is also a given. For years San Lorenzo, across the Termini railway tracks and close to the Sapienza University in Rome, was the new happening area and now it is the turn of Pigneto.

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