The love story between the Trastevere district and the romans and foreigners began long ago. Its name comes from the Latin Trans Tiber, which means “beyond the Tiber”: this is 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.
Trastevere has a rich history: Since 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 charm has not changed that much (apart from the obvious alterations such as the replacement of the craft shops with restaurants for tourists, pubs and take-aways. Today, besides the romans who live here from generations (very few) and the new riches who live in big, expensive and refurbished there are those who gather in Trastevere intrigued by thealleys which are full of history, character and treasures. Some under everyone’s nose, such as the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Cecilia or Santa Maria della Scala, San Pietro al Montorio and the Tempietto del Bramante, the Tiber island, the Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) or the Orto Botanico.
Some hidden, some others connected further from Trastevere such as; the piazza San Cosimato market, the chaotic Porta Portese flea market, the bakery in Vicolo del Cinque, the folkloristic Festa De Noantri in the middle of august.
At night, the neighbourhood 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 Trastevere’s appeal has not changed over the centuries. Day or night, walking around this labyrinth of alleys will be an experience to tell.
The Botanical Gardens if in need of a respite from the bustle of street life; the Villa Farnesina, one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture and harmony in the midst of Trastevere’s medieval spontaneity. Also houses magnificent frescoes by Raffaello. A brief stroll to the Tiberina Island.
Both Hotel Santa Maria, in the heart of Trastevere, and Santa Francesca Romana Guesthouse offer the neighbourhood’s distinctive atmosphere: tucked away in winding streets, this accommodation offers comfortable and quiet rooms which open onto cool, monastic courtyards where to enjoy breakfast and plan the day.
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 number 8
- Tram number 8 From Piazza Argentina. There is a nice tram from Trastevere to close to the Pantheon that runs frequently.
- Night Bus number 8
- Bus number H from Stazione Termini (main trainstation)
Note: 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.