Trastevere | An insiders guide to exploring the Bohemian neighbourhood in Rome

May 30, 2018

Trastevere is definitely one of the typical neighbourhoods in Rome. No wonder it is considered to be the one that is a favourite among locals and tourists. In this special area of Rome, which is incredibly romantic, the maze-like cobblestone streets are adorned with ivy-covered ancient medieval houses. The original architecture of the neighbourhood remains intact and it creates the essence of its magical atmosphere.

Tucked between the Tiber river and the Vatican, Trastevere is a portal away from the buzzing city into an authentic collection of sophisticated cocktail bars, fine restaurants and Italian delicatessens, independent unique shops and breathtaking cultural landmarks and events.

The perfect way to start a day in Trastevere

A perfect day in Trastevere starts with a cup of good Italian coffee and fulfilling breakfast. At Giselda Bakery you can enjoy a wide range of freshly baked and delicious pastries together with an excellent cup of coffee. If you are rather feeling like having something sweet and very Italian head out to Biscottificio Innocenti where you can relish in amazing biscuits in a truly authentic Italian atmosphere. Combine the breakfast search together with a slow walk through the peaceful ambience of Trastevere in the morning when you can wander and explore the supremely charming streets.

Pastry at Giselda Bakery in Rome
Fresh pastry at Giselda Bakery in Rome

What to see and where to get a bite

The cobblestone pathways of Trastevere lead to a lot of sight-seeing spots and outdoor trattorias which even compel the local Romans to stick around and take pleasure in them.

A relaxed meander through the labyrinthine of narrow streets leads you to The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. This is one of the oldest churches in Rome and inside of it, you will discover the magical mosaics which date back to Middle Ages making your head spin as you look at them with awe. Stop to have a break and enjoy an espresso at Caffe Di Marzio while looking at the piazza and the fountain outside of the Basilica of Santa Maria. Around you will find street musicians and artists to complete this experience. In the early afternoon, a perfect place to visit is Villa Farnesina, a beautiful Italian Renaissance landmark whos interiors hold breathtaking frescos by some of the greatest Italian Masters. Surrounded by a tranquil and vibrant garden this is a necessary spot for a relaxing afternoon. The luscious oasis of the Orto Botanico di Roma is located on the slopes of Gianicolo hill, one of the best places for a picturesque view of Rome. This is a true treasure in the very heart of Trastevere. This marvellous haven is a home to thousands of plant species, landscape and themed gardens.

Japanese garden at Orto botanico in Rome

If you wish to visit a museum in the neighbourhood and to learn more about Roman life in the late XVIII and XIX century, Museo di Roma in Trastevere is what you are looking for. At around 6 pm it's time for an aperitivo and there is definitely no better place in the neighbourhood than Ombre Rosse, where you can have a glass of Aperol Spitz.

Shopping time…

In Rome, shopping takes a special form almost art like, unlike anywhere in the world. If you love unique and bespoke fashion you will find the right shops in Trastevere.

A collection of elegant and colourful ballet flats and beautiful bags is a trademark of an upcoming designer Marta Ray. If you are looking for good fabrics and even better design which can be tailored to your needs to look perfect on you, then look no further than Scala Quattordici. Make an appointment with Livia Risi to experience her atelier in which she creates beautiful clothes and bags for women which can all be customized according to your wishes.

Interior of Marta Ray shop in Rome
Marta Ray boutique shop

In the beautiful window of Pandora della Malva you will definitely pick up several beautiful things for yourself, but it is also a great place to get some gifts. Scarfs, jewellery, handbags and many more treasures are to be found here.

Refuelling and refreshing food

If all the walking around has sharpened your appetite, wander towards the authentic restaurant Dar Sor Olimpio al Drago for lunch/dinner. This quaint little spot offers delicious specialities of Italian cuisine. For fine dining don't miss out on Glass Hostaria, a carefully designed fuse of modern architecture and eclectic approach to Italian cuisine from a Michelin star chef Cristina Bowerman. The culinary culture of Trastevere is very diverse and it is best explored by walking around and choosing the most pleasing spot to enjoy your meal. As you venture down the neighbourhood you cannot miss Taverna Trilussa, for it is an extraordinary place with phenomenal food and excellent service. 

 
Dar Sor Olimpio al Drago restaurant
Dar Sor Olimpio al Drago

One of the most famous and favourite gelateria to locals is also in the neighbourhood, Fatamorgana: a palace of incredible and creamy gelato flavours. In case you are looking for something sweet yet adventurous why not try one of many chocolate shots with seductive names at Rivendita Libri Cioccolata e Vino.     

Nightlife

In recent years a great number of cocktail bars and clubs has emerged around Trastevere making the area an exciting and a vital spot for a night of fun.

Alembic is an art gallery combined with a cocktail bar, here is where seriously good cocktails are served in a very special atmosphere. Another spot with a charming atmosphere is Hybris Art Gallery where you will find yourself drawn into its world of good food and drinks followed by an art exhibition to look at and an evening jazz show.

Alembic bar Rome
Alembic bar

Another place that holds excellent cocktails is Pimm’s Good. This ornamented but with the relaxed interior, besides cocktails, has a good offer of wines, beers and plenty of Pimm’s. You can also grab a plate of small bites to go with drinks if you catch a happy hour starting at 6 pm, just when all the locals gather at Pimm’s Good for the start of a night out. If you want to feel the real energy of Trastevere, end your day at Piazza Trilussa  and witness an enthusiastic crowd of young people sitting on the stairs and standing around the main area captured by chatter and laughter. The small shops around the square offer a place for beverages and almost always there are a couple of people entertaining the group, by playing the guitar. A mix of locals and tourists is why this is a stop where everybody feels welcomed and easily drawn into the magic of this piazza.  

 
Piazza Trilussa in Romes neighbourhood Trastevere at night
Piazza Trilussa
     
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