TRASTEVERE: THE TRUE HEART OF ROME
During the visit of Trastevere, with its historical alleys and the secret piazzette (small squares) you will see the ancient beauty and the most genuine essence of Rome; perhaps the one mostly lived by Romans themselves. In spite of its changes, over the centuries, Trastevere has kept its joyful and popular nature that coexists pretty well with the most solemn historical and religious evidence.
Did you know that in ancient times, the small Sublicio Bridge was the only one connecting Trastevere to the powerful Rome? And also that the Tiber played a role of social and strategic importance for this rione (neighbourhood)?
Our tour starts in Piazza Trilussa, dedicated to the famous Rome’s poet, to enjoy the panoramic view from Ponte Sisto, commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV, who in 1475 decided to rebuild it on the ruins of an ancient Roman bridge. We will walk along some streets with curious names, named after the ancient guilds that carried on their trades here: via dei Pettinari, dedicated to the craftsmen creating combs in ivory for hair and in wood for linen and silk; largo dei Librari, intimate and quiet, with the church of Santa Barbara dei Librari, wanted by the ancient families of booksellers; Via dei Vascellari, dedicated to the craftsmen who manufactured and sold terracotta vases, Via dei Genovesi, to remember the community of Genoese sailors who worked at the nearby port on the Tiber’s banks. This was one of the many settlements of “foreigners” that were trading in the rione Trastevere and where they built their church (S. Battista dei Genovesi) including also a hospital for them. Vicolo dell’Atleta tells the story of a magnificent Roman statue discovered around the first half of the nineteenth century and currently displayed at the Vatican Museums.
The visit will also include the most important squares of Trastevere: Piazza Farnese, with the impressive building now hosting the French Embassy; Campo de' Fiori, famous and lively, dedicated to the extremely beautiful Flora, the woman loved by Pompey, Julius Caesar’s enemy; Piazza de' Mercanti one of the most romantic views in Rome, with its buildings completely covered with ivy; piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, with the grand and wonderful Basilica after which it is named, piazza Sant’Egidio, housing the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, with a collection of paintings, prints, drawings and watercolours on the daily life in Rome from the end of the eighteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century.
A break in the Jewish ghetto will enable you to see the almost surreal beauty of the area, where the remains of ancient Rome combine with Jewish architecture.
During the tour there will be a tasting chosen from Rome’s most typical ones: the famous fritti di baccalà (fried cod fillets) in Campo de’ Fiori, a complete typical menu of the Jewish-Roman cuisine or a handmade ice-cream, prepared solely with seasonal products.
Alleys with a dim light, the ponentino (westerly breeze), the Roman stornelli of the great number of restaurants, and stories of the Trastevere ghosts will liven up your tour in an unexpected way.
Suggested time for this itinerary: 6:00 pm onwards
The tour lasts about 2 hours