Trastevere district, Rome
The love story between the Trastevere district and the romans and foreigners begins long ago, way back in the past. Its name comes from the latin Trans Tiber, which means “beyond the Tiber “: this because, geographically, the district is located on the river Tiber’s right bank( while the other districts, during the ancient roman times, were located on left bank) and this location made the area become( since roman times) the main port of the city( The Ripa Grande Port), connecting it to Ostia and the sea.
Since the old times( back to the Emperor Augustus era), Trastevere has been home to people coming from all over: jewish traders, whose role has been relevant in the Middle Ages( they then moved , during the 15th century, to the other side of the river, in the jewish Ghetto), people coming from all over the Italian peninsula and foreigners from the other side of the Alps.
A welcoming area, open to influences from outside but also deeply roman. As centuries go by, Trastevere’s charme has not changed that much( apart from the obvious alterations in the urban landscape of the area and the social changes, with the replacement of the craft shops with restaurants for tourists, pubs, take aways, alternative shops, bookshops, tea rooms and internet cafes).
Today, besides the romans who live here from generations( very few, to be honest) and the new riches who live in big, expensive and refurbished apartments( journalists, an intellectual and snobbish elite, mama’s boys with a large pocket or university professors), there is a whole bunch of foreigners ( painters, rich expats, students of the John Cabot and the American University, two american universities in town) who gather here intrigued by those Trastevere’s alleys full of history, character and treasures- some under everyone’s eyes( the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the one of Santa Cecilia or Santa Maria della Scala, San Pietro al Montorio and the Tempietto del Bramante, the Tiber island, the Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) with its breath taking view over the city or the Orto Botanico), some hidden, some others connected to the gluttony and to the senses( the piazza San Cosimato market, the caothic Porta Portese flea market, the bakery in Vicolo del Cinque, the folkoristic Festa De Noantri in the middle of august).
At night, the neighborhood shows another face, giving space to the nightlife entertaiment( any kind you like: a stroll, a beer in one of the many clubs, a midnight snack).
The inhabitans( less welcoming than a while ago, to tell the truth, annoyed by the peddlers, the traffic jam and the noisy and sometimes tipsy crowd who sits at the open air tables or stroll around) get replaced by a flood of characters who come here for the area’s opportunities and for its charme. No matter what, Trastevere’s appeal has not changed over the centuries. Day or night, walking around this labyrinth of alleys will be an experience to tell.
How to get to Trastevere district:
• Trains (marked regionale, not the express to Termini) from Leonardo da Vinci airport stop at Trastevere Railway station. Then hop on tram n° 8
• Tram n° 8 From Piazza Argentina. There is a nice tram from Trastevere to close to the Pantheon that runs frequently.
• Night Bus n° 8
• Bus n° H from Stazione Termini (main trainstation)
NB: Non-local cars are not permitted to park in Trastevere after dark so you'll have to park close and walk if you're going by car.