Vatican City Travel Guide
Where to Eat
The Romans have a very discriminating taste when it comes to food. So one way to gauge the quality of a restaurant’s food is that if you see locals flocking to it– if you do, then get in fast. That’s not very easy in Vatican City, however, with its residents obviously outnumbered by tourists. It is not very easy finding a restaurant in Vatican City especially when your head throbs painfully with the heat, long queue of tourists, and a groaning stomach. Below are names of restaurants which will help you decide where to go to for the next meal.
1) Taverna Bavarese Franz
After treading the grounds of Castel San Angelo, head out to Taverna Bavarese Franz. Your feet may be tired, but at least, your tummy is filled with all the scrumptious fare. This restaurant is best known for its Bavarian, Austrian, and international cuisine. The price of a light meal ranges from USD 12 to USD 37.
Address: Via di Porta Castello
2) Taverna Angelica
At the edge of Borgo, you will find an elegant trattoria with delectable Italian food. Try tonnarelli, pachino, and ricotta. Treat yourself on a Sunday lunch special at USD 33.
Address: Piazza Amerigo Capponi 6
3) Il Bar Sotto il Mare
This one shouldn’t be hard to find. From the Vatican entrance, walk a few minutes down the road. If you want an authentic Italian restaurant, nothing could be more Italian than this. Don’t mind the menu, because it is completely written in Italian. The waitress doesn’t speak English either, so just trust what she recommends. Their vermicelli a la pescatora and grigliata mista are not to miss. Average cost of meal is USD 146.
Address: Via Tunisi 27 (near Vatican City entrance)
4) Dino e Tony
Look for Rome’s best amatriciana in this trattoria. This is a family-owned business serving genuine Italian food. Brothers Dino and Tony are very personable and warm you don’t need a menu that you can’t read anyway. This is not just a diner, it is a great place to enjoy Italy and a happy atmosphere. Meals range from USD 28 to USD 36.
Address: Via Leone IV 60
5) Ristorante Borgo Antico
This is a good place for dining Italian near the Vatican. It has great homey atmosphere and top notch service. Food price starts at USD 33.
Address: Via de Borgo Pio
Where to Stay
To truly immerse in Vatican City, you have to stay within the vicinity where you can see the silhouette of St. Peter’s dome at dusk. Here are some hotels within stone’s throw from the piazza.
1) Starhotels Michelangelo Rome
Don’t stray too far away. This hotel is only a 10-minute brisk walk from the square. Every room is air-conditioned, with TV and a minibar. The Tiber River, the San Pietro Train Station, and Castel Sant’ Angelo are just nearby. Breakfast is included in the Classic Double Room that starts at USD 246 per night.
Address: Via Della Stazione Di S. Pietro 14
2) Visconti Palace Hotel
If you want to be near both the Vatican and the shopping area, opt for the middle area. This hotel is right in the middle of the two important locations. It is a quick 2-minute walk from Castel Sant’Angelo. Its walls imitate the galleries of the museums, with its own version of contemporary Italian artwork. Design rooms are spacious and comfortable. Free access to Wi-Fi and gym is provided. Its rooftop restaurant affords you a lovely dinner overlooking the Holy See. Classic Double Room rates start at USD 290, breakfast included.
Address: Via Federico Cesi 37
3) Best Western Hotel Spring House
Consider this modern hotel just 5 minutes away from the Vatican walls, the Best Western Spring House. It has modern rooms with satellite TV, minibar and complimentary bottled water. The cost for their Standard Double Room starts from USD 160, American buffet breakfast included.
Address: Via Mocenigo 7
4) Hotel Gravina San Pietro
Some rooms of this hotel have balconies that look over St. Peter’s Dome. Check this place and see their contemporary-design rooms with televisions. Guests can park in the front garage and have access to internet in the lobby. Italian breakfast is included in the room rate of USD 170 for a Double Room.
Address: Via Della Cava Aurelia 17
5) Hearth Hotel
Every room in this modern hotel has wide windows for best views of the Vatican, flat-screen TV, minibar, safe, and furnishings. Choose a room that has a terrace. Buffet-breakfast is included in the room rate of USD 160 for a Double Room.
Address: Via Santamaura 2
Vatican City is not only a landmark of religious importance; it is an opulent repository of art, architecture, and history. The Holy See is a destination not only for the pilgrims, but also for every historian, storyteller, planner, engineer, builder, artist, and art enthusiast out there. Vatican should be a destination for anyone who wants to explore, not only from the world on the other side, but also from another time.