TRASTEVERE AND SURROUNDINGS

Art, streets and colours of the most beautiful district in Rome.

The most beautiful streets in Rome

Trastevere, in ancient times was a quarter between Rome and the outskirts of Rome. Situated on the Tiber River, the sacred river of the Romans. It was, for many centuries a kind of crossroad for a population which was diverse and cosmopolitan. At the beginning the area was occupied by menacing Etruscan neighbours, later when these were defeated and Trastevere was incorporated, it became a settlement for immigrants from the Middle East, and finally it was chosen as home for the villas of important people, like Cesar.
In the Middle Ages the area was abandoned during the Barbarian invasion.
It was then repopulated and grew exponentially.

This short historical excursus serves to explain the uniqueness of Trastevere: a quarter which is a world in itself, which grew independently. For this reason walking in the streets of Trastevere means feeling as if you are in a world apart, far from modern chaos, like in one of the many beautiful little, lost Italian towns, even if this quarter is definitely not lost.

To better enjoy this atmosphere, here is a list of the most beautiful streets, where you must walk at least once when you visit Rome if you want get the authentic heart and soul of Trastevere.


Via della Lungaretta
This street is one of the most important in the quarter and as you walk in it you are walking across 2000 years of history because the road exactly follows the route of an ancient Roman road. Smaller than its near and big sister, Via della Lungara, leave from piazza in Piscinula and arrive at Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. Along the picturesque route it is possible to find churches like Sant’Agata, where the faithful carry the statue of the Vergine del Carmelo in a procession on the day of the ‘Festade Noantri’ one of the last popular religious festivals remaining in Rome, which gives Trastevere even more of an atmosphere of being almost a little town by itself.

Via della Lungara
Big sister to via Lungaretta, it connects Trastevere to the Vatican zone (Piazza della Rovere), it is dominated by important buildings like the magnificent Palazzo Corsini, Villa Farnesina (home to Accademia dei Lincei), Palazzo Salviati and Regina Coeli Prison. Via della Lungara is found lower respect to the adjacent Lungotevere della Farnesina, contributing to making the atmosphere very suggestive between the light and the shadow.

Via del Moro
Via del Moro is a very picturesque street where you can find buildings belonging to various architectural styles, from the medieval to the 17th century passing through the Renaissance. The particularity of this street is being the home of the historical Caffè Moro, dating to the end of the nineteenth century, one of the oldest cafès still active in Italy. The Caffè still has the original sign, the second oldest in Rome, in painted wrought iron, which goes back to the Abyssinian War at the end of the 19th century.

Vicolo del Cinque
Connects Piazza Trilussa with Via della Scala and takes its name from the palace of the ancient family Cinque which dominates it, a beautiful renaissance building which reveals its most characteristic side where it meets the corner of Via del Moro, magnificent.

Vicolo della Luce
Immortalized in the 19th century painting by E. Roesler Franz, this street today, as it did when it was painted, strikes you with the presence of a beautiful house in perfect medieval style, fascinating, unique, even with restoration and reconstruction the house manages to preserve its appearance which is capable of catapulting you back in time.

Vicolo dell’Atleta
Takes the name from a statue of an athlete found in the 19th century which today is now in the Vatican Museums. This small street was once called Vicolo delle Palme, probably because the palm was a symbol of the Judea (in medieval times pilgrims who went to Jerusalem had a palm as a symbol) and here we find ourselves in the first Jewish Roman settlement. Here the Jewish arrived to build their first synagogue around the year 1,000 that is presumed to have been where today sits a medieval house with arches and columns (the synagogue collapsed in the 18th century and at that time the Jewish were moved to the ghetto).

Via Titta Scarpetta
A narrow street, whose name has different imaginative stories. It’s a kind of open museum thanks to the many archeological artifacts, columns, capitals, friezes encased in the building walls as bas-reliefs, portraits and religious medallions.

Vicolo Moroni
A small narrow, characteristic street where you can find the only remains of the Aureliane Wall in the area, a rare presence in the quarter. You can also see laundry hung to dry between the buildings, a folk peculiarity which excites curiosity in visitors and can often be seen on postcards of Trastevere.

Via Di San Gallicano
The street takes its name from Hospital San Gallicano, a stupendous 18th century building. At the time of its construction it was one of the most advanced and best hospitals in Europe.

Vicolo del Piede
A small street much loved by tourists and photographers, narrow with lots of pink-orange plants climbing the walls of the houses.

Via Della Scala
Also here you can walk in a fascinating atmosphere between the pink-orange houses, medieval and renaissance where you can find the Farmacia dei Frati Carmelitani (Carmelite monks pharmacy), next to the convent of Santa Maria della Scala: today you can visit the pharmacy but it isn’t active, it does allow you to see how the ancient monks prepared medicine. It reveals a little known past life making you think of the laboratories of alchemists you see in films.

Naturally these are not the only streets in Trastevere that should be visited if you are in Rome. All of Trastevere is in fact a place of stunning beauty in which to walk, get lost in its small streets, discover a reality now ancient and taste the essence of the real Rome.

 

Museum areas

The unique nature and heterogeneous of Trastevere makes it a kind of museum zone in which many artistic styles and cultural diversity live side by side. An open air museum, as is the rest of Rome, which contains a myriad of secret places unknown to most.

The richness of Trastevere is such that, other than museums in the literal sense of the word, it boasts numerous areas to visit which are of great historical and cultural interest, they are worth discovering.

Museo di Roma in Trastevere

Placed in a magnificent 17th century building (ex- Carmelite convent in piazza Sant’Egidio) it is part of the museum system of the City of Rome (Musei in Comune). Founded in the seventies as ‘Museo del Folklore e dei Poeti Romaneschi’ (Fokelore and Roman Poet Museum), thanks to its heterogeneity it perfectly incarnates the cheerful, popular soul of Trastevere and its culture, deep but easygoing. The museum holds a series of water colours by Ettore Roesler Franz, the famous paintings which demonstrate popular scenes of life in Rome at the end of the 19th century, a Rome which had just become capital of Italy, a Rome still tied to ancient traditions and rhythms of life. In the museum you can also find material and reconstructions of old arts and crafts as well as documents belonging to Trilussa.

Museo della Repubblica Romana e Della memoria garibaldina

The museum inaugurated on the occasion of the 150 years of unity of Italy, gathers educational material, authentic memorabilia of the time of the Risorgimento, numerous memorabilia belonging to garibaldini and mazziniani, who gave life to the Roman Republic.

Museo Tassiano

Situated in the office of the ‘Ordine Equestre del Santo Sepolcro di Gerusalemme’ (Order of the Holy Sepulchre), in the convent of Sant’Onofrio on Gianicolo, it is a place which traces the final period in the life of the great renaissance writer Torquato Tasso: in the room in which he lived his last moments you can find, in fact, memorabilia such as an autographed letter and his funeral mask. Inside the room there is also a collection of works by the author of Jerusalem delivered.

Orto Botanico

This marvellous garden is found where in ancient times monks cultivated spices for medicines. The botanic garden as it is today represents a marvellous immersion in vegetable bio diversity and in different styles of garden: There is even something which you would never expect to see in the shadow of Saint Peter’s Dome, a Japanese garden!

Spezieria di Santa Maria della Scala

Here the barefoot Carmelite monks prepared their remedies made from plants and minerals for more than 500 years. A pharmacy and a laboratory among the oldest in the Eternal City, that in its time, became famous as the Pharmacy of the Popes. The atmosphere that you can breathe is really unique: the Spezieria (apothecary) is divided into four parts (laboratory, point of sale and two small rooms) it has remained unchanged since 1700.

If you are travelling to Rome and are looking for a place to stay, Trastevere is surely the most suggestive quarter, thanks to its streets and lanes full of character, its local eateries, its museums to visit in the lovely sunny days typical of Rome.

If you require further information on Rome and Trastevere in general please use the contact form. We will answer you as quickly as possible!

Squares, churches and fountains


Chiesa di San Pietro in Montorio


Chiesa di San Pietro in Montorio


Fontana Acqua Paola in Piazza Trilussa


Fontana Acqua Paola in Piazza Trilussa


Fontana della Botte


Fontana della Botte


Fontana dell’Acqua Paola


Fontana dell’Acqua Paola


Fontana del Prigione


Fontana del Prigione


Chiesa di San Francesco a Ripa


Chiesa di San Francesco a Ripa


Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere


Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere


Basilica di Santa Cecilia


Basilica di Santa Cecilia


Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

Situated on the slopes of Gianicolo this fountain represents the stately terminal of the Traiano aqueduct, restored and integrated under Pope Paolo V, utilized since the first century before Christ to supply water to the zone of Trastevere. To frame its extraordinary beauty, the ‘fontanone’ (big fountain) thus called by roman citizens because of its imposing size, is particularly appreciated because it is from where you can see an extraordinary panoramic view across the board over a vast area of the historical centre of Rome.

Fontana del prigione

Like many other Roman fountains the place where we can admire this fountain today is not its original position, it has been moved.   The fountain, in fact, was originally situated inside the private villa of Pope Sisto V, then suffered a first shift and was finally moved to be rebuilt in Via Mameli. Its name comes from a group of statues part of the original composition depicting Apollo, Venus and a prisoner.

Fontana dell’Acqua Paola in Piazza Trilussa

For more than two centuries this fountain was placed on the opposite part of the Tiber, set against the palazzo dei Cento Preti in via Giulia. It was moved to its present position during the Papacy of Paolo V to improve the distribution of water in the districts of Trastevere, Borgo, Regola and Ponte. It is fed by the same aqueduct as the water fountain Paola. You can also find a monument celebrating the great poet Trilussa in the square.

Fontana della botte

Walking in the surroundings of Piazza S.Maria in Trastevere, more precisely in Via della Cisterna, it is possible to admire this original fountain realized in 1927. Its location in the Trastevere district is a clear homage to the intense commerce of wine that has always characterized this area rich with taverns and wine shops. Its composition shows the elements necessary for the production and consumption of wine. The barrel, the wine vat, and the two containers at the side of the barrel commonly called ‘quartini’ by Romans.

Basilica di Santa Cecilia

Situated in the east part of Trastevere, the Basilica was built in the same place where the Roman martyr Cecilia lived. She is represented in the statue under the principal alter and in the frescoes present inside the church. There is a vast courtyard in the middle of which a large amphora made of early Christian stone is placed before the entrance of the church. In the Basilica di Santa Cecilia one can admire some of the best frescoes of the Roman artist Pietro Cavallini.

Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Certainly considered the most important place of worship in Trastevere, its construction dates to the 3rd century and it is the first church realized in honour of the Virgin Mary. The large golden mosaic on its face is extraordinarily beautiful as are the geometrics of the ceiling in wood designed by Domenichino.   Inside there are numerous mosaics by Pietro Cavallini. In the piazza in front there is, what is believed to be by tradition, the most ancient fountain in Rome.

Chiesa di San Francesco a Ripa

Named after the Saint of Assisi who lived there while he was visiting the Pope, the church is found at the end of the street which connects it in a direct line with Piazza di San Calisto, a small piazza in proximity to Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. The name ‘a Ripa’ is due to the fact that behind it is Porto Di Ripa Grande sul Tevere. Inside the masterpiece ‘Estasi di Beata Ludovica Albertoni’ sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is displayed.

Chiesa di San Pietro in Montorio

The church is dedicated to the apostle Peter and the nickname ‘Montorio’ comes from the Latin ‘monsaureus’ to indicate the yellowish soil of the Gianicolo hill. The church boasts art work of different artists of which stand out, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Sebastian del Piombo and Daniele da Volterra. Inside one of the two courtyards of the convent you can find the ‘Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio’ by Bramante.

Copyright 2015