Trastevere, the heart of Rome
Illustrated by Costanza Toti
About Trastevere

Trastevere is the 13th rione (district) of Rome, situated on the west bank of the Tiber River, south of Vatican City. Its name comes from the Latin phrase trans Tiberim, meaning “beyond the Tiber”. It is famous for its characterful, narrow cobbled streets lined with ancient houses.

Often lauded as one of the Eternal City’s most typical quarters, Trastevere has continued to attract both tourists and locals alike. From above, its myriad of cobbled streets and intricate piazzas form a detailed map of stories, like the lines formed on a grandmother’s hands. Look a little closer, and visitors will soon find that Trastevere is brimming with a unique mix of bars, restaurants, and sights certain to appeal.

Wedged between the Tiber river, the Vatican, and Janiculum Hill, Trastevere truly is in the thick of it all! Split into two distinct sides of Viale Trastevere, visitors can find their ideal patch of splendour. On the Santa Maria in Trastevere side, tourists and international students mingle in and out of well-priced pubs and tavernas. On the other side of Viale Trastevere, to the south, a genuine Roman spirit breathes amidst cobbled streets and traditional osterie.

What to eat?

One of the best parts about staying in Trastevere is the amazing array of food choices that one has in this neighborhood.

The area is filled with pizzeria, cafès and incredible mom and pop trattorie. For traditional cibo romano, the best place to go to is Da Enzo. It's literally a hole-in-the-wall with maybe about 10 or 12 tables. Da Enzo definitely does up the most mind-blowing carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style fried artichokes) and keeps it real with their classic pasta dishes: arrabbiata (spicy tomato), amatriciana (tomato, onion and pancetta), or carbonara (egg and pancetta). If you're in the mood for some pizza, head over to Dar Poeta. The pizza is exceptionally light and crispy thin.

In the 5th century B.C. fishermen inhabited Trastevere for the abundance of fish in the Tiber river. Today, there are still many great Italian seafood restaurants in Trastevere. These local eateries pride themselves by using fresh produce from their local area. Whether you visit Trastevere during the day or night, there are plenty of places to find great food. Grab an afternoon snack, an early evening aperitivo or a full-on Roman dinner. Click here for more information.


There's no shortage of spots to slake your thirst – bustling Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà (named after a football chant) on Via Benedetta has craft beers from Italy and beyond. But if craft beers don't tickle your tastebuds, Freni e Frezioni on Via del Politeama is a lively, cool bar that spills out into its piazza and offers cocktails and aperitivo (buffet of early evening snacks). For some of the cheapest beer in Rome, go to buzzing Bar San Calisto on Piazza di San Calisto and soak up the vibrant atmosphere on the terrace with a €1.50 Peroni. It’s a great spot to end your perfect day in Trastevere.

One of the most popular places in Trastevere is Freni e Frizioni. Many people come to this former autobody shop turned lounge bar around 7pm for an aperitivo. It's uber popular with not only Italians but also Americans because of its close proximity to the University nearby. his place stays pretty lively well on through the night. So, if you want to grab a mojito after your dinner, Freni e Frizioni is the place to do it. Other popular places include Friends at Piazza Trilussa and Pepato (Via Del Politeama 8) that's also nearby.

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