What to see in Trastevere: a walk in the heart of Rome
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«Need guidance on what to see in Trastevere? Today we present you with an itinerary for the perfect walk in Trastevere, between art, youth, religion and history»
If you are planning to take a trip to the Caput mundi, or if you are from Rome but you want to look at your city with different eyes, this little guide on what to see in Trastevere, inclusive of where to go for a perfectwalk, will surely help you. It is known that Trastevere is the place that best encloses all of the Roman essence. In this district, obviously made entirely of sampietrini, tradition and history constantly clash with innovation and modernity, thus giving life to the oldest and, at the same time, younger place in Rome. Walking through Trastevere means getting lost among its characteristic alleys, all apparently so similar but in reality so different, which represent our beloved country in the entire world. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive into the heart of our beloved capital.
Piazza San Cosimato
Our journey on what to see in Trastevere starts with a walk from Piazza San Cosimato, at the feet of Via Dandolo. This huge square is one of the symbols of Trastevere, populated every day by adults and children. In fact, every morning it hosts the historic market of San Cosimato, a tradition that is more than 100 years old. In the afternoon it’s invaded by hordes of children, who have fun in the playground in the middle of the square, while in the evening it is a gathering place for the youngest. Thanks to the Festival Trastevere Rione del Cinema, during the summer Piazza San Cosimato becomes a true open-air cinema, often with the same presence of the directors of the most popular films: this year, for example, there was the master of Italian thrillers Dario Argento.
Step into the middle of the square and look around: you will feel all the historicity and youth of Trastevere. To relax at best, have a great glass of wine at Enoteca Tanto Era Tanto Antico, a charming venue in the square.
Santa Maria in Trastevere
Let’s move onto another gem on our list on what to see in Trastevere. We walk all the way to San Cosimato up to Piazza San Callisto. A little further on we will find ourselves in front of the symbol of our neighborhood, that is the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which rises in the homonymous square. This extraordinary church is the first official site dedicated exclusively to the cult of the Virgin, and its façade preserves a splendid mosaic dating back to the 13th century. After a visit inside the basilica, make yourself comfortable on the stairs of the fountain in the center of the square, and enjoy the true Trastevere atmosphere. Moreover, if you are lucky, you will see the performances of street artists who often perform in this square, such as clowns, fire-eaters and magicians.
I know it’s difficult, but find the strength to get up from the Santa Maria stairs to go and discover another little place on our list of what to see in Trastevere: Via della Paglia. This street, full of restaurants and taverns, comes out to Piazza Sant’Egidio, where you will find the Museum of Rome (if you go there in this period do not miss the Totò Genio!). Further along, along the charming vicolo dei Cinque, another street filled with bars, restaurants and shops, you will be in front of Piazza Trilussa, the beating heart of Trastevere’s nightlife. During the day it is populated by street vendors and artists, while in the evening it is the meeting point par excellence for all young Romans. This square is dedicated to the Roman poet Carlo Alberto Salustri, better known precisely as Trilussa; here you will find a bronze statue dedicated to him, flanked by his poetry All’ombra.
In front of Piazza Trilussa, stands the majestic Ponte Sisto, perhaps the most famous bridge in Trastevere, which connects this beautiful district to Campo Dè Fiori. Go and take a look: Sisto bridge offers a view on the Tiber nothing short of spectacular, and even here, especially in the evening, mnay street artists perform. In short, if you haven’t grasped the concept, in the heart of Rome you are overrun by art and culture.
Via del Moro e Via della Lungaretta
Still wondering what to see in Trastevere? Then we advise you go back and, from Piazza Trilussa, take Via del Moro (the one on the cover), another of the typical and most famous Trastevere alleys. Here, stop for a moment to admire the unique Acid Drop shop; although everything that this place sells is really cool , a special mention goes to the original hand-painted shoes by Harvey Shoes, a unique brand of its kind, designed by father and son, united by a passion for painting.
Continue until you reach Via della Lungaretta, another of the most characteristic streets of Trastevere. Go straight, and you will end up in Piazza Sidney Sonnino, opposite to the historic Royal cinema. On your right you will find the Basilica of San Crisogono.
Basilica di San Crisogono
Here goes another place we recommend in terms of what to see in Trastevere. It’s not one of the best known in Trastevere, but it still deserves to be visited. This is one of the oldest basilicas in Rome, and rises above the remains of the ancient basilica which goes by the same name, found in 1907. This is still open today by accessing the basement of the sacristy of the present-day church. In short, a real dive into ancient Rome, in the heart of Trastevere.
Piazza Mastai e Chiesa di San Francesco a Ripa
Continue straight on viale Trastevere, until you get to piazza Mastai, another historic piazza of the area, which, in addition to hosting the Palace of the Pontifical Manifattura dei Tabacchi, boasts a beautiful fountain at its center. Then go along Via della Luce, until you find the Church of San Francesco a Ripa, which rises in the square of S. Francesco d’Assisi. Here, in the old days, a hospice was annexed, where the same saint was housed during his visit to the pope in 1219. It is not by chance that this church possesses an unrivaled artistic and religious patrimony, like some relics of Saint Francis, and Bernini’s Ecstasy of Beata Ludovica Albertoni.
A typical Roman dinner
If you have followed our suggestions on what to see in Trastevere, at the end of this beautiful walk the only thing left to do is to top it all off with a typical Roman dinner. Stay on via di San Francesco a Ripa and go to Ivo a Trastevere (official site), one of the most famous historic trattorias/ pizzerias not only in the whole of Trastevere, but in all of Rome! Here you can taste the real rigatoni alla carbonara, extraordinary artichokes alla Giudia and the superlative fillets of cod of the “magician of the fried” Ivano Stefanelli. Your mouths are already watering aren’t they?
The celebrity of Trastevere
Trastevere, as you can guess by reading these few lines, is not simply a neighborhood, but it is The Roman Neighbourhood par excellence. It is the true and proper symbol of Rome, and not only for its alleys and its overflowing art and culture from all sides, but also for being the birthplace of singers who put into music the essence of Romanity, such as Claudio Villa and Lando Fiorini. In addition, many films have been shot in Trastevere, such as Un Sacco Bello by the extraordinary Carlo Verdone and Ladri di Biciclette by Vittorio de Sica just to name a few.
As you can see from our list on what to see in Trastevere, Rome boasts extraordinary places, like all of its views, but this area in particular certainly is that symbol of pure Romanity that the whole world envies us. It’s a neighborhood that, even if you go there every day, you never really stop discovering.
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