Series – When In Rome
Welcome to Trastevere, Rome’s 13th rione along on the west bank of the Tiber River! This vibrant, dynamic, medieval neighborhood was once a working class district of Rome. Today, it is chock full of quaint corner cafes, piazzas full of nightlife, and an ambience sure to please the entire family, young and old.
Trastevere may be just on the other side of the river from Rome’s centro historico, but it feels worlds away. It’s also an ideal place to end your days in Rome. Come along with us and see why you too might want to consider Trastevere for both an authentic Roman experience, and your Roman vacation home away from home!
Quaint Medieval Roman Neighborhoods
This hidden gem of a neighborhood may be slightly removed from the more touristy sections of Rome, but don’t let that deter you from choosing to spend your evenings here! That’s just one of the more appealing features of Trastevere – less tourists! Then there is the genuine medieval flavor that dominates these streets.
Medieval Trastevere is filled with so much to see and do, both day and night. Meander along cobblestoned streets, soak in the surrounding ancient architecture and decidedly quaint Roman ambiance. It quickly becomes apparent that this is truly a locals’ neighborhood.
Explore Rome’s 8th Hill, beginning at the Gianicolo, with Rome spread out before you. Then weave your way back down the hill, passing the 15th century Chiesa di San Pietro in Montorio along the way. Medieval traditions claim this was the site of St. Peter’s crucifixion.
After a day exploring ancient Roman sites with the masses, it is refreshing to leave behind the crowded centro historico for a different flavor of the Eternal City here in medieval Trastevere!
The Piazza di Santa Maria
Morning, noon and night, there is always something happening in Trastevere’s Piazza di Santa Maria. Trastevere has become one of Rome’s more trendy neighborhoods in recent years, owing in part to the charm, ambience, and local flair of Piazza di Santa Maria.
Mornings present a calm, relaxing way to start your day in Rome. Pick up a cappuccino from a nearby sidewalk cafe and hang out alongside the piazza’s fountain. Watch as day breaks across Trastevere, and people meander out of their homes to start their days too.
Spend an afternoon simply exploring the labyrinthine of narrow, cobblestoned streets leading in and out of Piazza di Santa Maria. Don’t worry if you get lost. You probably will! That too, is part of the charm of this lovely medieval section of Rome.
Step into Basilica di Santa Maria, a 12th century church bordering Piazza di Santa Maria, and one of the oldest standing churches in Rome. Search for Cavallini mosaics, and incredibly ornate domes and designs within. You won’t be disappointed!
End your frenetic days in Rome once again hanging out in Piazza di Santa Maria, enjoying a much busier, more active time in Trastevere. There is a seemingly endless stream of street performers, quaint sidewalk cafes, and eclectic shop to fill your evenings here!
Tasty Sidewalk Cafes, Pizzarias & Trattorias
All around Trastevere are pizzerias, curbside cafes, and trattorias offering up delectable meals sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Sample your way through decidedly local, authentic cuisine sure to make everyone’s palate happy.
Enjoy food on the go while hanging out people watching in the piazza. Or slow it down in a nearby street side cafe, savoring your meal as people stream by. Don’t miss out on the family owned hole in the wall trattoria! It might be your best meal all week.
There’s no shortage of eateries to provide authentic tastes of Roman food and culture. Then there is the wine. A week in Rome isn’t complete without at least one glass! Simply ask for the house wines. If beer is more your thirst, there’s plenty of craft beer options as well!
Nearby Vibrant Fun-Loving Nightlife
Evenings don’t end after mealtime in Trastevere! In fact, it’s just beginning! From trendy clubs to funky shops to family friendly activities, Trastevere has something for everyone to enjoy evenings along these streets and piazzas.
Meander along the Tiber River and its length of tented cafes, bars and shops selling all kinds of souvenirs. Hang out beneath a starry sky sipping local wine or a downing an aperitivo.
Got kids? No problem! There’s plenty of non-alcoholic aperitivo concoctions to enjoy! This is a family friendly area, with plenty of kid-friendly dining and experiences for all to enjoy.
Head back to Piazza di Santa Maria where there’s something happening every night of the week. Enjoy singing church choirs, bubble blowing clowns, and artists displaying their skills. Tonight it’s a juggler flipping flaming stakes into the evening darkness!
Catch sunset across the Tiber River from one of its bridges, the city of Rome lighting up the evening sky. Then head on back to your Trastevere lodging for a good night’s rest in preparation for tomorrow’s Roman adventures.
The Medieval Hotel Santa Maria
If you plan to call Trastevere your Roman home away from home, then look no further than the Hotel Santa Maria! This jewel of a boutique hotel combines the best of both worlds – a medieval past still present in today’s architecture, and location location location!
Its 16th century beginnings as a convent cloister will transport you back in time. Its location a short distance from Piazza di Santa Maria ensures you are close to all the action, while still providing a peaceful refuge from Rome’s hustle and bustle, and a restful night’s sleep.
Simply step inside the ivy-framed gates, then on into the tranquil garden lined with orange trees, and you’ll know why this place is special. Days begin here in the courtyard, sipping fresh brewed cappuccinos while making plans for the day’s adventures ahead.
End a jam packed day exploring Rome within the quiet confines of these medieval walls, perhaps with a game of chess! Whether on a family vacation, or a romantic getaway, Hotel Santa Maria has what it takes to complete your Roman adventures.
Have You Stayed in Trastevere Neighborhood?
Through much deliberation and research, our family chose to be a few steps removed from the center of Rome. Choosing to stay in Trastevere turned out to be the best decision for our family. It’s close proximity to the more touristed sites of Rome kept us within walking distance to everything we wanted to see, yet gave us a more authentic Roman experience slightly removed from all those other tourist!
How about you? Have you been to Rome? Where did you stay? Have you stayed in the Trastevere section of Rome? Do share your experiences!
Want to learn more about our adventures around Rome? Check out my other posts here!
- 5 Fabulous Days in Rome – Family Adventures in the Eternal City
- Inside The Roman Colosseum – Up Close with Ancient Architecture
- A Rare Glimpse Inside Emperor Augustus Caesar’s Private Residence
- A Photographic Exploration of Rome’s Ancient Forum & Palatine Hill
- Biking The Ancient Appian Way – A Family Adventure in Rome
- Vatican City in One Day – 7 Top Tips to Maximize Your Time
All images by C.Biederman.