The more up-market establishments are signposted by a constellation of stars, with five costing upwards of €400 a night (although the sky's the proverbial limit). Rome 's best hotels are found near the Spanish Steps and off Via del Corso.
At the other end of the spectrum one star accommodation usually comes in the guise of a pension, where for somewhere in the region of €50 a night you'll get a double room with shared facilities. The lion's share of Rome 's budget hotels are clustered around Termini station. However, it isn't the most salubrious of districts, and if you can push the boat out just a little bit more, you should be able to fine something more appealing in the Centro Storico or across the river in Trastevere. Most hoteliers will speak a little English and a phone call may save a lot of legwork. If your budget doesn't even stretch this far Rome has at least 150 religious establishments providing cheap, if Spartan, accommodation.
Unfortunately Rome is perpetually in 'peak season', which not only means that negotiating a discount is virtually impossible, but also that advanced booking is strongly recommended. Things do slow down during late winter and towards the end of August (when the city becomes stiflingly hot), while the religious holidays of Christmas and Easter are the busiest times. If you haven't booked a hotel by the time you arrive the Free Hotel Reservation Service (Tel: 06 699 1000) speak English and should be able to help. Don't be tempted by the touts at Termini station, unless your idea of La Dolce Vita is an overpriced flea pit.
The Roman passion for volubly and theatrically playing every aspect of private life in public not only makes for a memorable spectacle, but also a bad night's sleep. You're view overlooking the piazza may be idyllic by day, but unless you've got double glazing and air-conditioning it may be hell by night. It's worth checking first.