Trastevere in Rome: what to see and how to get thereWhat to see and where to eat in Trastevere. Monuments, artworks, nightclubs and restaurants: let's find out all about one of the most fascinating neighbourhoods in Rome.
Trastevere is certainly one of the most characteristic neighbourhoods in Rome, where you can still lose yourself between narrow and colourful streets. Full of Roman trattorias, markets, small shops and artisans' workshop, here you will find the essence of the most authentic and genuine Rome.
From Santa Maria in Trastevere to Piazza Trilussa, passing through Vicolo del Cinque, Via della Scala, Vicolo del Moro or Vicolo del Bologna, you can smell the scent of typical Roman dishes. In the evening young people meet to chat or drink a beer in one of the many pubs and night bars of the area.
Whether you come during the day or at night, this fascinating neighbourhood is always heaving with tourists and locals. A walk through the streets of Trastevere is the best way to discover hidden treasures, views of ancient Rome and glimpses of real, authentic Roman life.
First of all, you should know that the name Trastevere comes from the Latin Trans Tiberim meaning beyond the Tiber. The original nucleus of the city, in fact, developed along the opposite bank of the river and the Trastevere district was initially inhabited by Rome's less affluent social classes. Today it is a high-demanded neighbourhood, not only for its nightlife and bars but also because it houses monuments, churches and artworks of great value.
If you wander here by day, you can't miss the famous Basilica of Santa Maria in the square of the same name: it's a real gem, with Medieval mosaics and frescoes. Outside, in the centre of the square, there is one of the oldest fountains in Rome. Restored several times, this fountain is fed by the Aqua Paola, which is said to have quenched Trastevere inhabitants' before the advent of the town's water network.
Continuing along via della Paglia, you will come across another wonderful view in piazza Sant'Egidio, where there is the Museum of Rome in Trastevere dedicated to the city's folklore.
You will also find the Church of Santa Maria della Scala (literally, St Mary of the Staircase) in honour of the Virgin Mary; Piazza San Calisto with its bars and restaurants; Piazza Sonnino where there are the Church of San Crisogono and the Church of Sant'Agata; the suggestive Piazza Giacchino Belli, dedicated to the Roman poet.
Another important square dedicated to a poet is the famous Piazza Trilussa, which overlooks the Lungotevere Raffaello Sanzio at Ponte Sisto. Here you can meet students, bohemians, musicians and street artists at any hour of the day.
Trastevere is without doubt one of the most lively and characteristic neighbourhoods of the city, but if you really want to get to know it, you have to go there at night!
It is when night falls, in fact, that the neighbourhood turns into the vital heart of youth nightlife.
Here you can spend an enjoyable evening and eat excellent food. There are traditional restaurants, pizzerias, shops, stalls and boutiques of all kinds. The most popular places are Piazza Trilussa, where you can have an aperitif with friends, and the bars next to Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, which stay busy until dawn.
Trastevere is also synonymous with good Roman cuisine. Carbonara, Gricia, Bucatini all'Amatriciana and many other unmissable dishes. Some restaurants have become real symbols of romanity.
One of the most famous is the goliardic "Cencio - La parolaccia", where it is normal practice to be insulted by waiters. Yes, you got it right! In this restaurant, customers are mocked as soon as they cross the threshold of the entrance. Between one dish and another, the waiters stage authentical dialectical battles based on insults! Not recommended for touchy people.
Other famous restaurants are "Il Rugantino", "da Gigetto", "La tana de Noantri" and "Carlo Menta".
The list could go on and on, as there are so many taverns, small restaurants and traditional trattorias to choose from. During the summer the tables are set up outdoors, along the street: you'll almost feel like you're part of the whole and will be caught up in the magic and unique atmosphere of this incredible neighbourhood.
Later, there's nothing better than go for a stroll to work off the dinner! From Piazza Trilussa, cross Ponte Sisto and you will find yourself on the other side of the Tiber, a stone's throw away from the colourful Campo de' Fiori Market and the charming Piazza Navona.
Whatever you choose to do in the afternoon or in the evening, we are sure that once you go back home...Trastevere will always be in your heart! As Roman people say, it's er core de Roma! (the heart of Rome).
- HOW TO GET THERE
From the Port of Civitavecchia: go to Civitavecchia Train Station and get on the first regional train bound for Rome. After 45 minutes, get off directly at Trastevere Train Station and from there take the line 8 (VENEZIA) for 6 stops. Get off at BELLI stop and continue on foot for about 450 meters. You have arrived at Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere.