Rome is one of the quintessential cities everyone should visit at least once. It’s full of history, mystery, and the most delicious food and wine in the world. At every turn, there is a ruin of historic nature to explore. However, while seeing the major points of interest, one shouldn’t overlook other interesting aspects of a city, the neighborhoods, and people. For me, one of Rome’s best neighborhoods is Trastevere just across the Tiber River. Its name means “across the river” and refers to its location on the west bank of the Tiber or Tevere in Italian.
Trastevere is no longer a “hidden gem” as the word has gotten out. There are tourists here however, you will encounter a slower pace. You still get the “old world” charm and there are plenty of café’s, wine bars, and restaurants to sample.
I stayed at the Hotel Madrid, just steps from the Trevi Fountain. A late Baroque masterpiece designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762. It is arguably Rome’s best-known fountain. It is also known for the many pick-pocket artists preying on visitors with diverted attention taking selfies. But I’ve also seen locals robbed – an elderly gentleman carrying groceries home through the piazza. Be aware of your surroundings wherever you travel.
Walking from our hotel to Trastevere , Trevi was on the way- how great is that? Also nearby are the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona. You can then make your way through Campo de Fiori where on weekends you may get the treat of a fresh market – including flowers and specialized cheeses. In the summer, walking down the streets, the sweet aroma of jasmine fills the air. This was a wonderful stroll as I made my way across the Ponte Crestio Bridge and the small island between the banks of the Tiber River with a glorious view of the Basilica Dio San Bartolomeo All’Isola. Interestingly, Rome is still one of the few European cities where the river isn’t a focus. Once across, you are in the Trastevere neighborhood. It’s time to stroll down picturesque streets, experience Roman life happening all around you.
As you wander, you may pass by one of the oldest churches in Rome and gorgeous inside. The Basilica Santa Maria is stunning with its gold mosaics dating back to the 1100s. The nave is held up by ancient columns stolen from the Baths of Caracalla.
With all this walking, you may have worked up a thirst and a bit of hunger. I chose to eat at Mimi & Coco Trast where I had fresh butter and rosemary focaccia bread that paired well with the potato, cheese and ham dish. I combined this with a delicious glass of cold prosecco. After this, I strolled the streets and just marveled at where I was.
I’ll never forget that sweet smell of jasmine as I took in the history appearing around me. Oh, the things that have occurred over thousands of years right in this very spot.
Other things to do in this area is visit Piazza Trilussa, where you may happen upon a concert, eat pizza at one of the many restaurants in this area, visit a museum such as the Museum of Rome in Trastevere or Villa Farnesina and Palazzo Corsini. You could even climb the Janiculum Hill where you can get great views of the city.
I hope you enjoy the photos and exploring one of the “not so hidden gems” of Rome.
Things to see:
- Trevi Fountain
- Spanish Steps
- Campo de Fiori
- Basilica Dio San Bartolomeo All’Isola
- Basilica Santa Maria
- Piazza Trilussa
- Museum of Rome in Trastevere
- Villa Farnesina
- Palazzo Corsini
- Janiculum Hill
Thanks for tripping with me!