Rome is an incredible city. Yes, it's cacophonous, confusing, and expensive--but climb the Aventine hill and head for the walled orange garden next to Rome's oldest Basilica, Santa Sabina, and you'll be strolling in the shade scented with orange blossoms. Take the walkway shaded by stone pines to the little platform and look to the right as the sun sets. The center of Rome never looked so enticing, so serene.
David Downie writes in Quiet Places in Rome (buy direct), "The first sweet-orange tree ever planted in Rome grew for seven centuries atop the elegant Aventine Hill, in a courtyard flanking the medieval church of Santa Sabina. Today, on the opposite side of the church, the panoramic Parco degli Aranci, site of the Rocca Savella fortress, best known nowadays for its view of the Vatican, is stippled by scores of orange trees..."
Yes, Rome can be quiet...and smell good.