The “Monti” district is close to the Coliseum and corresponds to the ancient Suburra,
the oldest popular district of the ancient Rome.
The name may come from the latin “sub urbe” which literally means “under the city”,
that is under the Roman Forum, the political and religious heart of the City.
The Suburra used to daily represent the social and human contraddictions of the Capital of the Empire: it was very crowded, dirty, noisy and above all dangerous due to the several fires and collapses affecting the insulae.
This is the name of the buildings reported to be up to five-floor high but which could reach at times twice this height in case of unlawful constructions. There, a high number of plebeian families were crammed into tiny, rented flats.
The most disreputable brothels were here as well as the taverns and the most insecure inns.
Here Julius Caesar was born, here Nero used to come at night to try out the people’s moods and Messalina used to go to the ancient brothels called “Lupanaro” in search of transgression.
The district has kept nowadays a thick web of narrow, strait roads along which high,
pastel-coloured buildings from different periods are situated.
The district remains one of the most authentic places of Rome
with its craftsmen’s workshops and non-tourist restaurants
but it is also one of the most active places in town with an intense cultural life
in its nightclubs, art galleries and wine bars.

Things not to miss:

Archaeology: of course the Coliseum but also the Ludus Magnus –
the biggest existing gymnasium of the gladiators,
and the Domus Aurea, the luxurious villa of Emperor Nero,
Titus and Traianus Thermal baths and the Imperial Forum.

Among the most important religious buildings: the “San Clemente” Basilica with its underground frescoes, the mosaics of “Santa Maria Maggiore” Basilica and the “Santa Prassede” and “Santa Pudenziana” churches as well as the Mosè by Michelangelo in the “San. Pietro in Vincoli” Basilica.