The centro storico, Monti, Borgo, Prati, Parioli, and Trastevere, are about as good as it gets, geographically. If you can’t walk to where you are going, it’s only a short moped or bus ride away. But as real estate prices in Rome move out of reach even for moneyed foreigners, you will probably want to look a little further afield for the bargains, and Rome has a number of well-connected neighborhoods outside downtown.
Monteverde has long been a popular option for U.S. expats looking for a nicer-priced apartment. Although it is tucked back on Janiculum Hill behind Trastevere, it might as well be downtown if you consider the convenient public transportation along Viale Trastevere. Modern, air-conditioned trams run from the heart of Monteverde to Largo Argentina, just steps from the Pantheon, in about 15 or 20 minutes. Monteverde Vecchio, as the name might suggest, has older and more interesting architecture than its younger sibling, Monteverde Nuovo, and is therefore a tad more expensive. With the exception of the district’s more luxurious buildings, both are still cheaper than downtown. You can find an apartment in Monteverde Vecchio for as little as ‚15 per square meter, and even slightly less in Monteverde Nuovo.
A similarly priced neighborhood can be found on the opposite side of Janiculum Hill from Monteverde, directly behind the Vatican. It takes its name from the avenue that runs through it, Gregorio VII, but it’s also known as Pio XI after the square where the street ends up. (Streets and squares around here are often named after popes.) This is a modern and comfortable neighborhood, but relatively short on charm.