Forgotten, quiet and not really crowded, where life goes in its own pace and doesn’t care about tourist. You can take your time in Trastevere, stroll the streets without rush and pressure to tick the next monument of, no map, no menu turistico. These are the places we like the most so it was quite clear when in Rome we will be there for sure!
We visited Trastevere on first day and it supposed to be easy and lazy afternoon. It ended up as always closing the day with 20km on the clock, no not cycled – walked! We got carried away by our legs and imagination but we have had a lot of fun. We didn’t do it that way but if we were going to suggest do it in the end so you can relax and rest after crowds and sightseeing.
On the left bank of Tiber river…
Trastevere is located on the left bank of Tiber river short distance from Vatican City. Historically it was behind city walls and it was settlement of poor. There used to be a big Jewish community which brings similitude to Kazimierz district in Cracow. In fact Trastevere is the oldest part of the city destroyed in Neron times around 1st century. Districts like this are coming back to life all around old cities in Europe and becoming more popular first with local people follow by tourist. Trastevere falls into this pattern with many good restaurants and great atmosphere.
When you visit Trastevere there is no need for a map or a plan you will intuitively find all the most important sights. All locals or staff from restaurants and bar will show you the way to view point. We started from metro station of Circo Massimo and we took Ponte Sublicio Bridge to Trastevere. You can take tram line 3 or take few other bridges. We started going deeper into district by Santa Cecilia church where we decided to step in. Saint Cecilia was Roman aristocrat, Christian, martyred under Marcus Aurelius during oppression of Christians. Church is built on top of remaining of Cecilia’s villa which you can visit in a basement. In this church you can admire Cavallini’s mosaic ‘Last Judgement’. Unfortunately we were there when wedding was taking place so we only see interior from a foyer. As much as we like go above and beyond to see things sometimes trespass… we have a basic respect and at this case we didn’t want to interrupt, maybe next time. We have also visited Basillica Santa Maria de Trastevere located in heart of a district with some Cavallini’s mosaics as well.
On the way to the viewpoint
We couldn’t say no to visit view point Terazza Del Gianicolo where you can see whole Rome and some Vatican. There is a basic rule when we travel which is ‘when the road goes up you follow that road’. By the way you can see beautiful fountain Fontana dell’Acqua Paola which is definitely less visited than di Trevi but as charming. On the top of a view point there is a botanical gardens you can visit but we simply run out of time. There are also some food trucks where you can get a bite and a glass of wine. We obviously didn’t miss that one. Sunset was approaching and golden hour was almost there and you know you cannot missed this even when just an amateur of photography. We had no idea where is the exact place to get that shot of a Vatican. We could see the dome of Basilica but it was many trees in the frame. Encouraged by few glasses of vino we have taken a mission to find ideal spot. Long story short literally running of the hill we broke into Children Hospital and activated alarm in one of evacuation exits trying to get to the top of multi-storey parking 500m behind the hospital… In the end we didn’t find it but we added few extra kilometres of walking. We were coming back along Tiber River in the rain to Trastevere. If you know where is that spot please let us know. Anyway we had some fun and sometimes the best memories are from the times you failed. By the way we saw Castel Sant’Angelo after dark nicely illuminated and looking much more interesting than during the day.
Santa Cecilia church
Santa Maria in Trastevere church
Santa Maria in Trastevere
Fountain dell’Acqua Paola
View point- Terazza del Gianicolo
View point- Terazza del Gianicolo
View point Terazza del Gianicolo – Vatican view