Why stay in Rome?
Rome is a gigantic city, and unfortunately its main attractions aren't all in one convenient area. The subway system in Rome is an abysmal two lines (they can't do much more with it without tunneling through more Roman ruins which lie under pretty much the entire city and are yet to be excavated), but the bus system is great. You'll rely on the buses to get around between the things you want to see and do, as well as from your hostel to the sights. As with any other large city, the further you get from the center the cheaper the hostels get. Most of the hostels in Rome are located around the Termini train station. A few Rome hostels are highlighted here.
Alessandro Palace is the original in the Alessandro chain, and is located on the northeast side of the train station. It's got a great bar, but charges for internet access.
Alessandro Downtown, the 2nd Alessandro property, is on the southwest side of Termini - and while it doesn't have its own bar, guests get the same discount as Palace guests at the Palace Bar.
M&J Place Hostel is on Termini's northeast side and offers free internet and free breakfast in the hostel's bar/cafe property, the Living Room.
The Yellow Hostel, also on the northeast side of Termini, has a great bar/cafe space and offers only dorm style rooms.
Of course, this is just a handful of the many Rome hostels on offer. Instead of wading through each one (it's a long list!) you might want to try plugging your travel dates into the search engine on this page and let the computer narrow the list to only those that have beds for the nights you want to stay.
Rome has earned its nickname as the "Eternal City" - it has been inhabited for some 2000 years, and its inhabitants once ruled much of the world. Its importance as a world city may have diminished since the height of the Roman Empire, but don't tell the Romans. They (and many others) still think it's the center of the world.
Countless tourists invade Rome every year, and most of them barely scratch the surface of this gritty city. There is enough to see and do in Rome to last a lifetime - or two. Without two lifetimes to visit, however, most visitors take in the highlights and call it good. Clearly, many come just to get a look at the ruins of the former center of the Roman Empire. The Pantheon, Colosseum and Roman Forum provide an interesting glimpse back in time - can you picture Caesar walking the cobbled streets? Can you imagine the songs from the Temple of the Vestal Virgins? For some, it's an eerie visit to what is left of these ancient buildings.
Rome also surrounds the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in its own city state, the Vatican. Worth a day all on its own, Vatican City is home to arguably the finest cathedral on earth (and certainly the largest), St. Peter's Basilica. It's also where you'll weave through the hundreds of bodies in the Vatican Museums, everyone making their way toward Michelangelo's painting masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel.
Aside from those major destinations, see if any of these things ring a bell - the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Galleria Borghese and Castel Sant'Angelo. Add to all of that fabulous shopping and dining opportunities, and you've got yourself a city worthy of a visit.
And if you need assistance with the rest of your Rome vacation, look no further. You can find international airfare to Rome as well as read about what to see and do in the city with the Rome Travel Guide.