Trastevere is located on the western banks of the River Tiber in Rome. The district is known as the historic area of the city, it’s filled with charming trattorias, beautiful artwork, lively bars, narrow cobbled streets and ancient Roman houses. Trastevere has a bohemian vibe, with many composers, artists and writers having lived here, drawn to the areas upbeat ambience and understated elegance.
One of the best places to begin exploring Trastevere is at Santa Maria Church, a pretty pre-medieval church that is one of the oldest in Rome. The structure itself dates back to the 340s with the remaining building completed between 1140 and 1143. Admire the striking, intricately designed apse mosaic work which dates back to the late 13th century. Villa Farnesina, a short walk away,is an opulent palace of the Renaissance period and is home to a rich history and numerous frescoes by Raphael. Close by, Caravaggio and Titian made their creative mark on a collection of artworks in Palazzo Corsini. All of the attractions of Trastevere are walking distance to one another making it a wonderful district of Rome to explore. For visitors planning to visit the botanical gardens, make a detour to The Gianicolo, the site of one of Italy’s memorable battles for Independence. The views from the terrace are spectacular, offering unrivalled panoramas of Rome and Vatican City. Evenings in Trastevere are legendary, as elegant wine bars and hidden family run trattorias spring to life with animated chatter. It’s the perfect district of Rome for a romantic meal for two or dinner with family and friends.
There are many ways to reach Trastevere from central Rome or Vatican City. Several bridges span the River Tiber, therefore, it’s easy to walk to the neighbourhood. Ponte Sisto is perhaps the most popular route, bringing visitors close to Villa Farnesina, Palazzo Corsini and the botanical gardens. Travel to Trastevere by tram from Piazza Venezia, via bus from several stations in Rome and there’s also a night bus which operates for those wishing to sample the local nightlife.
Trastevere was originally an area for fishermen and sailors to live as it was so close to the river. The district also became home to many members of the Jewish community over the centuries. Trastevere today is known for its quaint, faded coloured houses draped in greenery, its ancient churches with an abundance of works from all of the great Renaissance artists, and its lively, enigmatic nightlife.