A day in Trastevere, Rome’s fab neighbourhood is all about unwinding from the bustling parts of Rome into its far quieter precincts. But don’t mistake quiet for dull. Medieval on the exterior and modern at its heart, the funky neighbourhood of Trastevere has nothing but upbeat vibes that casts a spell on anyone who shows up.
In short, Trastevere has every compelling reason why you should visit Rome on your next big vacation. From craft beer to labyrinthine streets, we handpick the best things to do in Trastevere.
Things to do in Trastevere
1. Start your morning by people-watching at Piazza di Santa Maria
Piazza di Santa Maria is the centrepiece of Trastevere that has roads branching out to many cobbled alleys, coffee shops, artisan shops and basilicas. Locals and tourists flock here especially during the weekends for a lively church visit, or for a cup of coffee to cure last night’s hangover. (Read: Trastevere never really sleeps!)
2. Treat yourself to a Tuscan brunch at Il Bottegone
A walk towards Piazza Duomo along Via De’ Martelli takes you to the quaint restaurant of Il Bottegone. The hangout place of Florence locals from 1793, Il Bottegone offers more than just lip-smacking Italian food. A striking ambience where you can get up close with the locals. Order a sugar-sprinkled croissant filled with some chocolate goodness and pair it with caffè macchiato. Yes, when in Rome, order desserts for breakfast and you won’t regret it.
Location: Via De’ Martelli 2 | Corner Piazza Duomo, 50129, Florence, Italy
3. Say Ciao to Trastevere’s elegant basilicas starting with Santa Maria
After walking for almost 500 m, enter Basilica di Santa Maria. Until it got a fine-tuning makeover in the 12th century, Santa Maria was a modest church enriched by ornate Renaissance art. Admire the Cavallini mosaics and glittering sacred sculptures in a well-lit ambience and don’t forget to look up. The intricate artworks on the ceiling of Trastevere’s basilicas speak volume about the great artists of medieval Rome.
4. Go for a La passeggiata aka stroll through Via del Moro and photograph the postcard-perfect alleys
La passeggiata is a beautiful tradition in Italy where the locals engage in a leisurely stroll with their neighbours and find a cafe to sit and gossip for hours. La passeggiata typically refers to an evening stroll, but daylight is vital for photoshoots don’t you think? You can go absolutely #nofilter as it is impossible to take a bad picture here. Hanging plants decorate ordinary beige-coloured homes while vibrant murals cover closed pubs. Catch a breath by halting at the bite-sized shops and cafes but leave room for lunch, you haven’t tasted Trastevere’s pizza yet.
5. Fix your pizza cravings by having lunch at Trattoria Zà Zà
Trattoria Zà Zà is an age-old restaurant that still remains locals’ favourite. Cure your hungerlust by ordering Al fumo pizza soaked in smoked scamorza cheese, people order it all the time here. Buy a pina colada for the table. In the mood for more than pizza? There’s tagliatelle pasta cooked with grilled rosemary potatoes or classic bruschetta topped with spicy olives. In fact, the list is endless. Select a random dish from the menu and you will not be disappointed!
6. Spend the evening by Ponte Sisto before settling in the buzzing nightclubs of Trastevere
Yes, indeed the low key bridge you might’ve crossed in the morning. Lit, huh? Soak up the slow-paced life humming with laughter and delight, because no kidding, your night is about to get crazy. It’s hard to picture a strikingly serene place frantically partying all through the night, but Trastevere is no ordinary place. Visit Bar San Calisto or Freni e Frezioni with verandah seating, and quench your thirst for Italian wine and nightlife. After all, a day in Trastevere winds up only when you wind up.
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