Trastevere area in Rome — top things to do
Things to do in Trastevere
You should start exploring the area with long walks and sightseeing. It is predicted that Trastevere will delight tourists with a variety of interesting places, picturesque streets, and cultural heritage sites. In order not to waste time, be sure to add the top locations to your must-see list.
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
It is one of the first Christian buildings erected in Rome. Located on the square of the same name, the basilica is visited by tourists every day. It was founded by Pope Julius I in 340, but the modern appearance of the building is the result of many reconstructions that had lasted from the 11th to the 19th century. To fully appreciate the beauty of the temple, it is recommended to go inside. The inner space is divided by granite columns from the Baths of Caracalla into three naves. The interior of the basilica is striking in its beauty and luxury of decoration. The Avila Cathedral, located in the left nave, is tremendously popular as one of the unique monuments of Roman architecture. Special attention should be paid to the gilded ceiling of the central nave, the fresco depicting the Virgin Mary, and stunning mosaics from masters of different eras.
Trilussa Square (Piazza Trilussa)
Piazza Trilussa is one of the most famous squares in Rome. Its name is an anagrammed pseudonym of the Roman poet Carlo Alberto Salustri. By the way, the square has a monument dedicated to this person. The area is surrounded by numerous Trastevere restaurants and bars. Sometimes art exhibitions are held on its territory. It is nice to have a coffee, sitting on the stairs, and take a break from long walks here. In the evening, Piazza Trilussa becomes one of the busiest tourist destinations, as young people gather here in order to go on an adventure at night. Moreover, it is the place where you have the opportunity to hear the clink of glasses from neighboring bars, enjoy street musicians play, and walk around.
Villa Farnesina is a Renaissance suburban mansion built in the period from 1508 to 1519. This villa differs from the typical buildings of those times, which is why it attracts people with its extraordinary interior. The best masters were involved in the creation of frescoes in this villa; the most famous of them ("Triumph of Galatea") belongs to the brush of Raphael. Most of the building is dedicated to the Museum of Architecture and Painting. On the top floor, which can not be entered by ordinary visitors, people can find the Institute of Graphics, as well as the National Cabinet of Prints. Fruit trees grow in the garden of the villa, and this place turns into a little fairy tale during the flowering period.
Between the right and left banks of the Tiber River, there is the coziest and most peaceful corner of Rome — the tiny island of Tiberina. Its length reaches 300 m, and its width is about 70 m. You can get to the island by walking across the Pons Fabricius. In addition to the picturesque territory, several historical attractions are located there. The list of these attractions includes the Basilica of San Bartolomeo, built in 1000 on the site of the ancient Temple of Aesculapius, the San Giovanni Calibita, founded in the 14th century, as well as the crenelated tower of Caetani (10th century). Cinema nights, festivals, and other cultural events are sometimes held on the island's waterfront.
The Botanical Garden of Rome (Orto Botanico di Roma)
In the depths of the alleys of the botanical garden, there is another attraction that cannot be ignored — the historic Palazzo Corsini. In 1895, the first in Italy National Gallery of Ancient Art was created here, part of which is now located on the second floor. In the gallery, you can find the canvases of famous artists, a collection of antique sculptures and medieval paintings, as well as many artifacts found during excavations. There is also an interesting fact from the history of the palace: the former Queen of Sweden Christina had lived here for 40 years (from 1659 to 1689). Later, she renounced her crown and moved to Rome.
Flea market Porta Portese
Atmospheric streets and courtyards
The charm of Trastevere is mainly based on its cozy courtyards and cobbled streets, old buildings overgrown with ivy and grapes, windows with wooden shutters, and showcases of souvenir shops. Each courtyard of this region is like a portal to a separate small world, where echoes of different eras have been preserved. In order to feel the real atmosphere of a living, non-touristy Rome, you should definitely wander along the alleys of Trastevere and look into its most secluded corners. All you need is a camera, comfortable shoes, and a willingness for long walks.
Villa Doria Pamphilj
Villa Doria Pamphili is a palace and park ensemble built in the 17th century. As the largest estate with a green park in Rome, it covers 184 hectares. The Casino del Bel Respiro is the main building of the architectural complex, as it houses a unique family collection of art, artifacts, furniture, and frescoes by Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi. On the territory of the park, tourists can find the Villa Doria Pamphili, gardens, ancient fountains, a lake, a stone tunnel, and picturesque boxwood labyrinths. In turn, there are flocks of parrots on the trees. Villa Doria Pamphilj is a must-see destination for admirers of beauty.
Bars and best restaurants in Trastevere
Finishing the day with a delicious dinner or a good cocktail in an authentic establishment of the Trastevere area should be an integral part of your trip. Here is a list of the best bars, cafes, and restaurants that have earned the love of not only tourists but also locals.
Pasta e Vino Osteria
It is a homely cozy place with live music, where you can try handmade pasta, delicious desserts, and dishes of the national cuisine. The old recipes and love for traditions can be considered the main features of this restaurant. Be sure to try the pickled artichokes with anchovies and tiramisu, as they are often described as one of the best in town.
It is a must-visit location for those who want to taste the masterpieces of Italian cuisine at surprisingly low prices. This small but very hospitable cafe is famous for its excellent service, care for each guest, and a real love of delicious food. In addition to pasta, you should try the lasagna, pizza, and bean soup here.
It is an excellent restaurant with a great interior and a warm atmosphere. The place is small but quite popular, so it is better to book a table in advance. Here you can spend a romantic evening, drink good wine, and, most importantly, have a delicious meal. By the way, the choice of dishes in the restaurant is quite impressive.
It is widely known as a small gelateria where you can taste delicious natural ice cream. This place is loved by both tourists and locals. A huge variety of flavors and additives will delight even the most demanding gourmet. It also serves vegan and gluten-free gelato.
It is one of the oldest bars in Rome that will delight the guest with low prices and a relaxed atmosphere. Here you can enjoy craft beer and good snacks. The tables in the bar are located on the street, whereas the interior is created according to the principle of minimalism.
Freni e Frizioni
It is a great place where you can spend a pleasant evening with friends and delicious signature cocktails. Sometimes when ordering alcohol, visitors are offered a free snack buffet. You can have a seat both in the hall and in the courtyard of the bar.
Cioccolata e Vino
It is an unusual bar where shots with original names are served in chocolate glasses and poured over with whipped cream. In addition to alcoholic drinks, you can buy a variety of sweets and even books. Also, this place is loved for its friendly atmosphere and the high quality of provided services.
Grazia & Graziella
It is a small traditional restaurant where you will always be greeted with warmth and cordiality. Excellent pizza, lasagna, ravioli, and a variety of unique snacks will impress any gourmet. There are usually a lot of people who want to dine at Grazia & Graziella. However, standing in line for 20 minutes is really worth it to visit.