During the roman age, this was a densely populated area of the city center : the upper part ( from Diocleziano baths to the “Suburra” ) was made of rich “Domus”
( nobles Houses ) and was named “Vicus Patricius” ( actually Via Urbana ).
The lower part originally was moisty and marshy and called “The Suburra”, where poor people founded a place to live in. This zone was plenty of “lupanari” ( “red light” places ) and many dangerous “Tabernas” ( drink places ). Lower , in the valley between Campidoglio and Palatino, there was the ancient Roman Forum.
In the middle-ages the situation radically changed : the old roman pipelines were damaged and the water supply was really difficult because of a land plenty of hills. For this reason, the bigger part of population moved to Campio Marzio, where the land had a flat landscape. It's nice to remember that the water of Tevere River, at that time, was drinkable..
From the middle-ages till the beginning of eighteen century, the rione was plenty of grape fields and gardens, with few popolation due to the water shortage and for the distance from the Vatican, the most important cultural center of that period. The only factor to avoid this zone to be abandoned was the presence of many ancient big churches ( basiliche ) like San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore : the daily arrival of pilgrims from all over the region it guaranteed a certain number of inhabitans to live permanently in Rione Monti, during the centuries.
Always in the middle-age the inhabitans of Rione Monti called “monticiani” developed a strong cultural identity. That's why their dialect was a bit different from the common one, spoken in all other Rioni. There was a rivalry with another Rione with strong identity, Trastevere, and some deadly struggles were not rare..
Following the urban development of eighteen century ( Rome become a capital town ) and the big changes of the Fascism , Rione Monti changed deeply and permanently. Especially, between 1924 and 1936 a wide portion of the souther part was destroyed to leave place to the construction of Via dei Fori Imperiali ( at that time called Via dell'Impero ) and to start the restoration of the ancient roman Forum.
This Rione is really big and complicate : we have densely populated area of eighteen century ( like Quirinale, Via Cavour and the Viminale, where Cesare Balbo Inn is located ) and recent areas like Esquilino and Celio, along Via dell'Ambaradam ), and archeological parks too, like Colle Oppio, Colosseum, Ludus Magnus, Nerva's Forum and Traiano's Markets.
Fortunately, the first forty years of the Kingdom of Italy and the huge Fascism changes have preserved the old and pictoresque zone of “Suburra”, charmy and suggestive as much as the old Trastevere. Strongely appreciated from this point of view, the zone of Via del Boschetto , Via dei Serpenti,Via Panisperna, Via Urbana and Via Baccina that for their poor appeal, the narrow streets, the old “botteghe” ( for hand-made products ) and the small trendy shops , they seems to have protected and saved the original look of an eighteen century Rome. This part, rich of Trattorie ( traditional restaurants ), bars and night live places have their main meeeting point in Piazza della Madonna dei Monti ( really famous for young people at night ) with his beautiful church, for residents and all other lovers of our magic, old and impressive city...