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Things to Do in Trastevere, Rome

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Trastevere was once a hidden gem in Rome, but now it is on everyone's must-see list when they arrive in the Eternal City.

Here is our guide to the Trastevere Neighborhood, including how to plan your visit, how to get here, the top things to see, and where to eat.

 

 


TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Here is our list of the top 10 things to see and do in Rome’s beautiful Trastevere neighborhood. It includes tours, food, nightlife, and museums.


1. Sightseeing Tours

Make sure you don’t miss a thing when you get to this picturesque neighborhood with Rick Steves’ audio tour of Trastevere.

Looking for someone to show you around the neighborhood? No problem! There are multiple Trastevere tours on offer.

We have a self-guided food tour takes you through Trastevere for suppli, porchetta, and pizza.

If you’re looking for the insight only a live tour guide can provide, we suggest a guided street food tour of the neighborhood.


2. Free Things to Do

You don’t have to spend a penny to see the many beautiful streets and piazzas of Trastevere.

We suggest checking out the main two piazzas of the neighborhood: Piazza di Santa Maria and Piazza Trilussa.

You’ll find bars, restaurants, and ample people-watching opportunities at both of these locations. As well as a nice place to relax.

 

 

There is also an abundance of beautiful churches in the area. Take a look in Basilica di Santa Maria and Santa Cecilia for beautiful artwork and architecture.

Trastevere also boasts one of the best lookout points in Rome with Gianicolo Hill.

For more free things to do in the area, check out the section below. 


3. Enjoy the Food Nearby

If you’re in the neighborhood in the morning, find a bar and order a cappuccino and a cornetto (croissant).

Look for the cash register first, as you’ll likely have to pay and then take your receipt to the counter to receive your order.

 

 

Later in the day, head to Trapizzino, which is behind Piazza Trilussa for some suppli or trapizzino.

Suppli is similar to arancini, but with more melted mozzarella in the middle.

Trapizzino is a great street food that has become popular in recent years - a triangle-shaped pizza sandwich.

Gelateria alla Scala is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And for a delicious dinner, try the family-owned and run trattoria Hostaria da Corrado. You won’t go wrong with any of their handmade pastas.  

For more dining suggestions, check out our places to eat section below.


4. Experience the Nightlife

Nighttime is when Trastevere really comes alive. Be prepared to push your way through crowds on the narrow, cobblestone streets.

The neighborhood becomes the hub of young nightlife after dark and right up until dawn.

A great place to get a drink is Enoteca Trastevere, a popular wine bar. 

 

 

Find a bar close to Piazza Trilussa to have an aperitivo. In this Italian tradition, you purchase a drink and get access to a buffet of delicious Italian appetizers.

Then, find a restaurant to enjoy pasta alla carbonara or bucatini all’Amatriciana - both Roman cuisine staples.


5. Take the Family to Explore 

Exploring with the whole family? Piazza Trilussa and Piazza Santa Maria have space for the kids to climb stairs and run around while you sit and rest.

If you’re looking for activities to do, Villa Farnesina is a beautiful estate that has now been converted into a gallery.

Children under 10 years old enter for free, and children between 10 and 18 get tickets for 9 Euro.

 

 

If you're getting hungry, find a Forno to grab some fresh, Roman pizza! The kids will love picking out their own slice - and all the combinations are delicious.

And if necessary, bars around the piazzas will have restrooms available to patrons - a coffee is just one Euro and offers the chance to use the toilets.

If you're looking for more family-friendly options in Rome, check out our post! 


6. Museo di Roma

A former convent is now the site of the Museum of Rome in Trastevere.

 

 

The museum houses artifacts, artwork, and documentation about the life of everyday Romans in the 18th and 19th centuries.

You’ll learn about folklore and popular ideas and activities here.

Note: This museum is included on the Roma Pass.


7. Orto Botanico

This hidden oasis is a beautiful botanical garden with multiple diverse sections that have different themes and ecosystems.

The gardens are calm and tranquil, which could be a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of foot traffic in the rest of the city.

 

 

It is situated on the side of Janiculum Hill, and so has a pretty view of its own if you walk toward the Japanese garden with its waterfall and bamboo mini-forest.


8. San Cosimato Market

Looking for an Italian market to experience?

Head to Piazza di San Cosimato for an almost-daily market full of fresh produce, meats, pastas, and non-edible goods such as books and trinkets.

 


Questa foto di Piazza San Cosimato è offerta da TripAdvisor.

 

You’ll see locals of all ages wandering through the stalls from Monday to Saturday between 7:30 am and 14:00 (2:00 pm).  


9. Villa Doria Pamphili

If you’re up for a short walk of 15 - 20 minutes from the middle of Trastevere, one of the lesser-known but still iconic sights in Rome is at Villa Doria Pamphili.

This park combines manicured lawns and gardens with tall grass and an almost wild-countryside feel, depending on which parts of the park you’re in.

The paths are perfect for a leisurely stroll, bike ride, or run away from traffic on the streets.

And there is the famous white villa with hedge gardens that you can see from just outside the fence.


10. Use a City Pass

If you’re unsure of how to see everything there is to see in Rome - including the Trastevere neighborhood - you might benefit from using a city pass like the Roma Pass.

This pass gives you free entry into two attractions as well as transportation throughout the city and 15% - 50% discounts on other museums.

 

 

Attraction Discounts Include:

 


FREE THINGS TO DO

Many of the great things to do and see in Trastevere are completely free!

Here is a list of beautiful churches, piazzas, and lookout spots to see while you wander through the neighborhood.

 

 

If you’re looking for more free things to do throughout the rest of Rome, take a look at our Free Things to Do in Rome post.


Piazza di Santa Maria

This is the main piazza of the neighborhood and the perfect place to get an authentic piazza experience in Rome.

The locals and visitors alike congregate here before and after dinner to rest on the fountain steps or walk around and talk. You’ll be right outside the Basilica di Santa Maria.


Basilica di Santa Maria

This beautiful basilica is one of Rome’s oldest churches, and also known as the Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere.

The outside can be deceiving, but the inside, with its mosaic-covered ceilings and walls, is breathtaking.


Piazza Trilussa

Another great piazza you should check out. This one is a popular place to hang out right by the pedestrian bridge to get back across the Tiber River.

A fountain and a set of stairs overlook the cobblestone space.

And there is an interesting monument inscribed with a poem by Trilussa, the Italian poet the piazza is named after.

(It is written in an old Roman dialect, so even if you know Italian you might not be able to read it.)


Basilica di Santa Cecilia

The church of Santa Cecilia is another great church that you shouldn’t miss in Trastevere.

The baroque church was named after the martyr Saint Cecilia and looks rather unassuming on the outside but is beautifully decorated with artwork and carvings on the interior walls and ceilings.


Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island)

Tiber Island is a boat-shaped island right in the middle of the Tiber River.

The tiny island only holds a hospital, church, and a rather nice restaurant.

 


This photo of Rome is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

But it is perfect for finding a sunny spot to relax on when the tide is low and tends to be a popular walking spot for locals.


Gianicolo (Janiculum) Lookout

Janiculum Hill is where you will find one of the best views of the city of Rome, and it is right on the edge of the Trastevere neighborhood.

While it isn’t one of the main Seven Hills of Rome, Janiculum is the second-tallest. This means you’ll have an excellent look at the city’s church domes, towers, and buildings.

 


PLAN YOUR VISIT TO TRASTEVERE

Trastevere means “across the Tiber river,” and began as a working-class neighborhood.

It was originally home to fishermen, immigrants, and ancient Rome’s Jewish population.

Its long history means that Trastevere is visually one of the best representations of a traditional Roman neighborhood.

Now, it is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city. Young locals, university students, and visitors all flock to the area for the bars and lively piazzas at night.

 

Trastevere Restaurant in Rome
This photo of Trastevere is courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you’re looking for a neighborhood that has a smaller feel, you should take an hour (or three!) to wander the narrow cobblestone streets of Trastevere.

You’ll find affordable, authentic restaurants and a lively, local atmosphere in the piazzas.

It is no longer Rome’s best-kept secret, but it is still a must-see on your Rome itinerary.

This is the neighborhood where you can take nostalgia-inducing pictures of multi-colored Roman buildings covered in peeling paint and green vines.

It’s also the perfect place to find a step in a piazza to rest on while eating your street food, like suppli or trapizzino!


Sample Itinerary

We suggest walking across the river early afternoon, especially if you have just visited the morning market at Campo de’ Fiori, which is less than 10 minutes away.

Take your time strolling through the picturesque cobblestone streets, admiring the old buildings, peeling paint, and vines covering multiple walls.

You’ll probably pass through the Old Jewish Ghetto on your way, with its smaller colosseum and kosher restaurants.

The churches Santa Cecilia and Santa Maria dell’Orto are worth taking a look at. They are much more impressive on the inside than the outside.

If you’re following Rick Steves’ guide, he’ll give you some great insight.  

 

Saint Cecilia's Church in Trastevere
Questa foto di Santa Cecilia in Trastevere è offerta da TripAdvisor.

Of course, there are multiple food tours of Trastevere you should take part in.

Whether you do our self-guided food tour or find another, guided tour, you won’t be disappointed.

While you’re full, you can choose a piazza to sit and people-watch, then visit Villa Farnesina. This Italian Renaissance villa was transformed into an art gallery and sits right in Trastevere.

Work up an appetite for dinner with a hike up to Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill) for the amazing views of Rome.

Then, watch the locals arrive after class or work to relax in the piazzas again. It’s time for an aperitivo or dinner!


Getting to Trastevere

Trastevere is easily within walking distance - 10 to 20 minutes - from many of Rome’s major landmarks in the center.

As the origins of its name imply, Trastevere is just across the river from most of the popular sights.

You can cross at Ponte Sisto or Ponte Garibaldi to immediately be in the heart of the neighborhood.

 

 

If you’re farther away, you can easily take Rome’s public transport. The closest metro stop is Piramide, but taking the tram or bus will get you closer.

If you’re close to Roma Termini station, take the H bus toward Dei Capasso.

Keep in mind that while there is a Trastevere Station, it is a bit of a long walk towards the popular area of the neighborhood from this railway station.  

Click here to get Google directions to Trastevere.

TIP: There are several Hop-On-Hop-Off bus stops that are within walking distance of Trastevere, such as Campo de' Fiori and Circus Maximus.


How Much Time Should You Spend in Trastevere?

Depending on the rest of your itinerary, you could spend an afternoon in Trastevere or keep coming back every night for dinner!

When the weather is nice, restaurants have their tables set up in the streets - it could be easy to sit down to lunch or dinner and enjoy the people-watching for a while after.


Special Events

Trastevere is home to a few summer festivals.

  • Lungo il Tevere is when street vendors, live music, and other events pop up along the Tiber river (Tiber is Tevere, in Italian). From June through August every year, this festival has mostly-free events to attend! You’ll want to have cash on hand in case you see a souvenir you’d like to purchase, but otherwise, you can wander freely. If you’re on street level and wondering where the crowds are, you’ll have to take a set of stairs down to river level.
  • Il Cinema in Piazza is a free film festival that runs in J.F. Kennedy High School in Trastevere from June 1 to September 8. All the films will be shown in their original language with Italian subtitles unless they are aimed at children. In which case, the festival will show the Italian-dubbed versions for the local kids.

 


PLACES TO EAT IN TRASTEVERE

You’ll never go hungry in Trastevere!

Keep in mind that many of the small, family-owned restaurants don’t accept credit cards, so make sure to keep cash on hand for your meals, just in case.

 

 

 


Antica Trattoria da Carlone

Antica Trattoria da Carlone is a small, family-owned and -run restaurant that is a perfect example of a traditional Italian restaurant.

They’re famous for their carbonara, which is a dish you must try while in Rome!

They are very popular, so if you want a table for dinner you should book in advance.


Take a Food Tour

To really taste all there is to taste in Trastevere, a food tour is the best use of your time!

This Trastevere Food Tour will take you through churches, teach you about the neighborhood, and give you a sample of the best food there is available in the area.


Hostaria da Corrado

This delicious and affordable restaurant serves up typical Roman cuisine in a cozy atmosphere.

Looking for a restaurant that gives you the real Italian experience without the tourist price tag? Come to Hostaria da Corrado.


Dar Poeta

Italy is known all over the world for its pizza, and at Dar Poeta you can find some of the best!

Restaurant goers love the crispy-yet-tender crusts on the pizzas and calzones. Best of all, the prices are reasonable and the staff is friendly.


Bir & Fud

If instead of wine you’re more of a beer fan, head to Bir & Fud. They have a wide selection of craft beer on draught from Italian and international brewers.

The atmosphere is simple and cozy and they serve pizzas and typical Roman fried appetizers - perfect to accompany your micro-brew.


Trattoria da Lucia

If you can’t get enough of that authentic Roman cuisine (and who could?), don’t miss Da Lucia.

This family-run restaurant has a cozy dining room as well as open-air seating in the street when the weather is nice!

The prices are affordable, but keep in mind this is a cash-only restaurant.


Trapizzino

Trapizzino is a street food that has just become popular in the last decade or two.

Imagine a triangle-shaped pocket of pizza dough, easy to hold with one hand, filled with all sorts of delicious fillings one might normally find on a pizza.

You can find this amazing treat at Trapizzino, as well as the delicious suppli and other snacks.  


Osteria la Gensola

For a slightly more upscale experience, head to Osteria la Gensola. Their specialty is seafood, so pescatarians and seafood-lovers should definitely not miss this spot.

The atmosphere is charming, with white tablecloths and nicely-plated food. 


Gelateria alla Scala

No day in Italy is complete without at least one scoop of gelato, right? Even if you are visiting in the winter, and especially if you’re here in the summer.

You can find all sorts of delicious flavors for your cone or cup at Gelateria alla Scala, and they also make fantastic milkshakes and crepes.  

 


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 3rd, 2021
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