The beautiful district of Trastevere in Rome

Written by on 21. September 2020 in Rome Sights with 0 Comments

Trastevere Rome. He core de Roma – the heart of Rome! The Trastevere district is undoubtedly one of the most characteristic and popular areas in the Italian capital and the Roman way of life. A colorful mix of old-fashioned alleys, charming squares, small shops, bars and typical restaurants. What makes Trastevere so special and why you absolutely have to visit this neighborhood in Rome? I’ll tell you in the following article.

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Trastevere Rome: Discovery tour of the characteristic district in the heart of Rome

The beginnings of the “beyond the Tiber” quarter – Trastevere over time

Even the name of this popular district in Rome suggests that its origin is very old. The name Trastevere refers to its location and comes from trans Tiberim. That means something like “beyond the Tiber”. This means the location of the district, which is on the other side of the Tiber (the river that is called Tevere in Italian) compared to what was the city center in Roman times.

Indeed, this was the area where people from the Orient came to and which quickly became a populous residential area. Traders and merchants settled in the lower part, along the banks of the Tiber. In the upper part around the Janiculum hill, just behind Trastevere, the rich patricians had magnificent domes built with gardens. No less than Julius Caesar, for example, had his Horti built there, the famous residence where, it seems, he even housed Cleopatra!

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On the traces of the Middle Ages in the winding streets of Trastevere

So Trastevere was born in Roman times as a residential area, and indeed it has remained that way for centuries. While the Centro Storico – the old town of Rome – is largely dominated by the ancient world, the Renaissance or the Baroque, the narrow streets, small squares of Trastevere also conceal many witnesses from medieval times: towers, churches and palaces. Like the Casa Mattei opposite the Cestio Bridge, which connects Trastevere with the Tiber Island. It is a series of elegant fourteenth-century palaces built for this noble Roman family. Santa Maria in Trastevere, the central church in the district around the piazza of the same name, which stretches around one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome, has still retained its medieval impression despite Baroque conversions and additions.

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Trastevere Rome today: typical Roman flair during the day and at night

This romantic medieval tangle of alleys is now a vibrant and popular district, for tourists in the Eternal City as well as for the Romans themselves. Because both during the day and at night, Trastevere attracts with endless possibilities and is therefore never boring. During the day it seems more like a medieval village with many archaeological beauties. Small artisans and art workshops, shops, markets and lots of people stopping to chat on the street while the laundry is stretched across the alley to dry. Without a doubt, Trastevere is one of the liveliest and most characteristic neighborhoods in the city and an ideal place for shopping. But if you really want to get to know the district, then I recommend you to experience it in the evening or at night.

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Tips for nightlife in Trastevere

When night falls, the neighborhood changes and Trastevere becomes one of the most popular linchpins of Roman nightlife. Here Romans of all ages frolic and meet visitors from all over the world. Especially in Piazza Trilussa in front of the Ponte Sisto on the banks of the Tiber or Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere – one of the most beautiful places in Rome.

Just behind Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere there is another smaller, less touristy square with a historic bar. This is the Bar San Calisto, an institution for the Romans and everyone who would like to be. Otherwise, restaurants, authentic wine bars and quaint restaurants alternate in the alleys of the district. They offer the right thing for every taste. Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà at Via Benedetta 25 is an instance in Rome and perfect for those of you who are looking for a relaxed pub atmosphere and good craft beer.

Eating out in Trastevere: restaurants in the district

Speaking of taste: you can also eat really well in the Trastevere district! The relaxed atmosphere and the enormous selection of restaurants and trattorias in all price ranges make the district a good place to go for dinner in the Eternal City. My tip is to avoid tourist menus, but to try the fantastic classics of Roman cuisine. Bucatini all amatriciana, spaghetti cacio e pepe, Rigatoni con la pajata, spaghetti alla carbonara, Gnocchi alla romana and Penne all’arrabbiata, Abbacchio, or for experimental Trippa alla romana (tripe). All accompanied by regional wine from the Castelli Romani regions such as Frascati, Albano and Velletri.

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One of the best known is the Trattoria da Enzo in Via dei Vascellari 29. The restaurant is very small, there are only a few seats outside and a few seats inside. This means that it is best to be there early and maybe have to wait a little before you can sit down to eat relaxed. (Especially since the trattoria unfortunately also does not accept reservations.) It is worth the wait, but of course there are still many good alternatives in the district – also for the quick hunger! For those on a budget, I would recommend the Carlo Menta in Via della Lungaretta 101, for example.

Directions and transport links to the Trastevere district of Rome

The best way to get from the historic city center to Trastevere is by tram line 8. This takes you from the central Piazza Venezia directly in front of the monumental monument in honor of Vittorio Emanuele II to the other side of the Tiber bank. Another alternative is to arrive at Roma Trastevere station. However, the train station is a bit away from the characteristic little streets for which the Trastevere district is so well known and popular. Here you can also take line 8 (this time in the direction of Venezia) for 6 stops and go to the BELLI stop. From there it is only a 450-meter walk to Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere.

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