Welcome to Trastevere, a charming Roman neighborhood nestled on the west bank of the Tiber River. As Rome-based writers who’ve explored Trastevere extensively, we’ve curated the best experiences for you in this article.
Trastevere’s timeless charm is defined by its cobblestone streets and historic homes. Join us as we delve into its history, must-see attractions, and local favorites. From art galleries to dining spots, we’ve got you covered.
As the sun sets, we’ll unveil the lively nightlife and more. Embark on this journey with us, and let Trastevere’s wonders unfold before your eyes.
- Top 7 Attractions and Sights
- Top 3 Places to Take Photos
- TOP 3 Piazzas
- Top 2 Streets
- Top 2 Art Gallery and Museum
- Top 3 Places to Shop
- Dining options (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- Night Life
- History: Key Facts
Top 7 Attractions and Sights
1. Basilica di Santa Maria
The Church of Santa Maria has a long history, tracing back to the 4th century, and has been renovated several times over the years. It holds the distinction of being Rome’s first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
When you go inside Santa Maria, you will see a beautiful interior with amazing pictures made of small colored pieces called mosaics. The floor is also made of fancy marble. These mosaics show stories about Jesus and Mary.
Santa Maria is also a busy place where religious and cultural activities happen. They have special ceremonies for religion all year long.
2. Janiculum Hill
Janiculum Hill provides a front-row seat to a captivating natural spectacle. The elevated position offers a panoramic view of central Rome, showcasing its iconic domes and bell towers against the skyline. This vantage point is unrivaled, particularly during sunset when the city becomes a mesmerizing tapestry of colors.
3. Villa Farnesina
Villa Farnesina is a renaissance villa which was built in 1511. It’s located along the river Tiber in the district.
Also you can enjoy Rome’s botanical gardens which are near this district by visiting Trastevere.
U shaped villa Farnesina from the early 16th century features breathtaking wall paintings designed by the famous artist Raphael that draw many tourists to this villa.
In short villa Farnesina with Raphael’s stunning frescoes is a must visit sight in Trastevere neighborhood.
4. Santa Maria Della Scala
If you’re interested in visiting an exceptional example of Baroque architecture in Rome, we highly recommend checking out Santa Maria della Scala.
This church is found in the lovely Piazza della Scala. It has a stunningly beautiful front and a magnificent inside, where you can see truly amazing works of art.
Additionally, Santa Maria della Scala is home to one of the oldest pharmacies in Rome, a pharmacy museum, which dates back over 400 years!
Overall, whether you have an interest in Baroque art, religion, or history, Santa Maria della Scala is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore Rome’s rich cultural heritage.
“Italy offers one the most priceless of one’s possessions – One’s own soul”BARBARA GRIZZUTI HARRISON
5. Tiber Island
Tiber Island is a unique boat-shaped island in the Tiber River, near Trastevere. It has a captivating history linked to ancient legends, where objects were thrown into the river for freedom from oppression, creating the island over time.
The island measures around 270 meters and is connected to the city by two bridges: Ponte Fabricio and Ponte Sisto.
A prominent attraction on the island is the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew, featuring artworks depicting Christian martyrs. The basilica stands on the ruins of a Roman temple and attracts many visitors.
If you’re interested in exploring Rome’s history, Tiber Island is a must-visit destination.
6. Santa Cecilia
The Church of Saint Cecilia has a long history, dating back to the 5th century, and has seen many changes over time.
Its exterior features beautiful 12th-century mosaics, while the entrance is adorned with marble columns and intricate reliefs.
Inside the church, you can find remarkable artwork: a 17th-century sculpture of Saint Cecilia, crafted by Stefano Maderno. It is displayed in a glass case below the altar. The church also houses well-preserved medieval wall paintings, showcasing exquisite artistry.
Top 3 Places to Take Photos
Its charming streets are lined with colorful buildings, beautiful churches, and attractive fountains that can serve as a beautiful backdrop for your photos in your Rome visit.
1. Vicolo dell’Atleta alley
Located just off Via Genovese, Vicolo dell’Atleta features the façade of a remarkable building, once a tenth-century synagogue in the original heart of Rome’s Jewish Quarter. This quaint alley, now adorned with vibrant street art and colorful buildings, offers a picturesque backdrop, ideal for artistic photography during your Rome visit.
2. Fontana dell’Acqua Paola
Prepare to be amazed by the stunning baroque fountain atop Janiculum Hill. It adds elegance and drama to your Trastevere photos, creating unforgettable moments of charm and allure. A must-see gem for photo-worthy adventures.
“Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.”ANATOLE BROYARD
3. Ponte Sisto
The Ponte Sisto, designed by architect Baccio Pontelli and commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV in the late 15th century, is a historic bridge spanning the Tiber River, linking the streets of Trastevere and Rome.
Walking across Ponte Sisto offers picturesque views of the surrounding landscapes and riverbanks, perfect for capturing lasting memories. Nearby, you can also explore notable sites like the Church of Saint Peter and the Janiculum Hill.
With its stunning scenery and deep connection to Rome’s storied past, Ponte Sisto has become a popular attraction in Trastevere, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe.
TOP 3 Piazzas
1. Piazza di Santa Maria
Piazza di santa maria in trastevere, situated in front of the basilica and close to the train station, boasts excellent cafes and restaurants where visitors can eat delicious food.
Piazza di Santa Maria, which is in front of the church, takes its name from the Church. The current form of Piazza dates back to the 17th century. It has a square with a beautiful fountain and a statue in the center of this square. It is full of great cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious food.
In all, Piazza and the architecture of the buildings around it are worth visiting and cultivating.
2. Piazza Trilussa
Piazza Trilussa, a small piazza near the Tiber River, is named in honor of the Roman poet and translator Carlo Alberto, also known as Trilosa.
The central feature of the piazza Trilussa is an ancient fountain, surrounded by various sculptures and landmarks.
Santa Maria Church, one of Rome’s oldest churches, is situated nearby the piazza Trilussa.
In addition to the bustling nightlife, Piazza Trilussa is also home to several interesting historical sites.
Movie enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover renowned cinemas like the American Cinema nearby, offering an extra dose of entertainment and enjoyment.
In summary, don’t miss the lively atmosphere, excellent restaurants, and historical sites of piazza Trilussa.
3. Piazza San Cosimato
Piazza San Cosimato is a delightful square known for its twisty streets. It’s located on the other side of the Tiber River. One of the main attractions of the square is the nearby church and the bustling outdoor market, which takes place every day except Sundays.
Because of the fantastic restaurants and cafes, Piazza San Cosimato is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. People love to soak up the lively atmosphere by relaxing in the cafes and restaurants in the square.
Additionally, you can also enjoy the artistic ambiance of the square and be entertained by street musicians’ performances.
Top 2 Streets
1. Via della Scala
The presence of historical buildings, a vibrant atmosphere, and outstanding restaurants and hotels make this street one of the best cobbled streets in the area. Exploring the surrounding narrow streets offers the opportunity to shop at handicraft stores in Rome.
“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.”FANNY BURNEY
2. Via della Renella
Via della Renella is a beautiful, cobblestone street in the heart of Trastevere with ivy-covered walls, old-fashioned buildings, and lots of lively cafes and restaurants.
It’s so narrow that cars don’t often drive on it, making it perfect for a stroll. Located near Piazza Santa Maria, it offers a glimpse into the past.
Trastevere borders Gianicolo, Regola, and Ripa neighborhoods, according to search results. Additionally, to the north, Trastevere borders the XIV rione, Borgo. It is located on the west bank of the Tiber River in Rome, Italy.
Top 2 Art Gallery and Museum
1. Corsini Gallery
Housed in the magnificent Palazzo Corsini, this museum boasts an extraordinary collection of Italian and foreign artists, highlighting the Renaissance and Baroque eras for art lovers.
2. Museo di Roma
The Museo di Roma was established in 1930 and found its home in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere. It houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and historical artifacts. Visitors have the chance to explore diverse aspects of Rome’s rich history, spanning from ancient times to the present day, across its various sections.
See also Best of Rome
Teatro di Roma
This stunning theater, located in the heart of Rome, not only boasts beautiful architecture, but it is also a popular cultural hub in the area.
Whether you’re a lover of opera, play performances, or other live music concerts, at the Teatro di Roma, there is something for everyone that is sure to catch your interest.
By attending performances at this theater, you can gain a deeper understanding of the vibrant art and culture scene of the neighborhood.
“Methinks I will not die quite happy without having seen something of that Rome.”SIR WALTER SCOTT
Cinema America, with its rich historical significance, has been a witness to numerous exciting films and events.
Top 3 Places to Shop
1. Via della Lungaretta
These cobblestone streets are a haven for antique and unique item seekers with its numerous boutiques, handmade jewelry shops, and antique stores.
2. Via del Moro
As you stroll along the medieval cobbled streets of Rome, you’ll find a delightful shopping experience awaiting you. Simply wander down this street that connects Piazza di Sant’Apollonia and Trilussa, and enjoy the opportunity to shop to your heart’s content.
3. Porta Portese
Named after a nearby ancient gate, Porta Portese is a vibrant flea market in Trastevere, known for its size and liveliness. It draws both tourists and locals in search of Roman treasures.
Every Sunday morning, this place comes alive as a bustling market that starts early and lasts until the afternoon. At Porta Portese, you can explore a wide range of items, including vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, antiques, furniture, books, and artworks.
When you visit Trastevere, be sure to include a trip to Porta Portese in your plans.
See also Italian Contemporary Artists
Dining options (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Try traditional Roman cuisine at these great restaurants:
Lunch: Da Enzo al 29
Dinner: Antico Arco
Trastevere is famous for its vibrant nightlife, offering clubs and bars for every taste. Here are two fantastic establishments in this beautiful neighborhood.
Bar San Calisto
This bar has been around for fifty years and is one of the oldest in Trastevere. Even though it has a long history, this bar has managed to keep its prices low, so people from all walks of life can afford to enjoy their amazing drinks.
Big Mama Club
For thirty years, this iconic club with its fantastic wine bars has welcomed legendary jazz musicians, capturing the hearts of its loyal and devoted fans.
Spa Clarins & My Blend
This is one of the top rated spa centers in the area that offers various services customized to different skin types.
History: Key Facts
Rome’s Historic 13th Rione Key Facts:
- The name Trastevere comes from Latin trans Tiberim, meaning ‘beyond the Tiber’.
- Italian pronunciation: [trasˈteːvere]
- In the early days, Trastevere had sparse population due to limited access. A wooden bridge was the only connection to the rest of the city.
- Over time, more people settled in Trastevere, particularly workers and artisans. It later became a significant area for the Jewish community, with ancient Jewish buildings dating back to 980 AD.
- Notable figures like Claudia and Julius Caesar built their villas in Trastevere during the prosperous era of the Roman Empire.
- Trastevere’s streets were characterized by a charming mix of lavish villas and humble homes.
- In the 16th century, Trastevere became a haven for artists, attracting creative individuals from far and wide. Renowned artists like Raphael found inspiration in this artistic enclave.
“The name of Italy has magic in its very syllables.”MARY SHELLEY
Trastevere is located on the western side of the Tiber River, with the river itself forming its eastern boundary. The southern and western borders are marked by the majestic Janiculum Hill, while the northern bounds are defined roughly by Via della Lungara and Villa Farnesina. The neighborhood spans an area of roughly 1.5 square kilometers or 0.6 square miles.