One Day Itinerary Trastevere: You either love or hate Trastevere. Some people say it’s too touristy or even played out, but I’ve loved this neighborhood since I was a kid, and there is a reason why it’s been such a popular neighborhood here in Rome since Medieval Times.
Trastevere’s Rich History
Castevide is like a colorful little medieval village within Central Rome. The area was first inhabited in the 5th Century BC and was settled by fishermen, Jewish, and Syrian settlers. General Julius Caesar famously built his Villa here, and it’s still the perfect place to chill out in Rome today.
It’s much like Paris’s Left Bank since it’s home to many artists and poets. The neighborhood is ideal for wandering its romantic alleys, enjoying the hip ambiance of many restaurants, and being blown away by its historic churches.
Castevideo is located in central Rome across the Tiber River. The word Trastevere actually means across the Tiber. There are no mega monuments or big museums in Trastevere. The tiny village within Rome is about a 20-minute walk from the Vatican or a 15-minute walk from the Colosseum. It’s a 15-minute bus ride from Termini Station.
A Day in Trastevere: The Perfect Formula
Today I’ll give you the formula of how to have a great day right here in Trastevere. We’ll see a secret underground church, and I’ll jump on a food tour to learn all about Roman food. We’ll dive deep into history by seeing one of the most important churches. We’ll have an aperitivo at one of the top cocktail bars in the world. Stay tuned until the very end for all of my tried-and-true restaurant recommendations.
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Classic Cafes and Local Vibes
One of the classic cafes here at Trastevere is Bar San Calisto. You have Senor Marcelo here at the counter, and in this cafe, you pay for your espresso first and then get it at the bar. There’s my coffee, real coffee served in a real ceramic cup.
You hear all the clanking; you know this is always a good sign that you’re in a real place. I mean, there’s just nothing fancy about this place. This is what I love about it. It’s not full of tourists; it’s just full of regular people. And you look around, this place looks the same for decades.
Piazza Santa Maria: The Heart of Trastevere
This is the main square and the epicenter of the neighborhood. Within the Piazza, you’ll find the Basilica of Santa Maria. The church you see now mostly dates back to the 12th century with its tall campanile and embellished facade with golden mosaics.
The church sits on its original fourth-century foundation, and its interior is definitely something worth checking out. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to visit Santa Maria in Trastevere because it’s one of the oldest churches in Rome. The first chapel started in the third century, and what you see today is from the 12th century.
Trastevere’s Original Parishes and Hidden Gems
Trastevere is one of Rome’s original parishes and one of the best-kept secrets in the whole city. You’ll walk into a nice-looking 17th-century Basilica, but if you head to the sacristy, you can pay three Euros to explore a secret underground church.
Twenty feet downstairs, you can explore traces of a 4th Century church, one of the oldest in Rome. The 4th Century church was discovered in 1907, and you can explore the excavations, see the original frescoes, and even see 2nd Century Roman sarcophagi.
Indulging in Trastevere’s Culinary Delights
All right, so we’re here in Piazza Farnese, named after the great aristocratic Roman family. Their Palazzo is right there; you got some ancient fountains here in the square. And I’m meeting my buddy Arvin, who is going to give me a great food tour of Pasticc.
Salami Tasting at Campo di Fiori
First stop is salami, and this place has been here in Campo di Fiori, one of the historic squares here in Rome, for 130 years. So, let’s do this!
So we have two different – oh, we have a pecorino and a parmigiano reggiano. One is super aged, oh yeah, and the other one is not as much aged, yeah. What else do we have? So that’s local Lazio is the region we’re in now – truffle, okay. And the other one with prolo davino. If your fingers are, you know, a little glossy, then it’s good stuff, right?
Roman Staples and Street Vibes
We’re at our next stop; we’re gonna try a Roman staple, filette di Bacala, which is cod, a dried cod that’s been salted and repurposed. And we’re just gonna give it a go.
All right, so now I’m gonna try my filette. Now it’s cooled off a little bit because it was piping hot, just came out of the fryer. Let’s do this. Well, it’s so crispy and so moist on the inside that you would never know that it’s reconstituted cod. So you always gotta look somebody in the eye when you cheers them. Boom!
Aperitivo on Ponte Sisto
So now we’re on Ponte Sisto, which is one of the arteries into Trastevere, and we’re going to wind up over in Piazza Trilusa. And on this bridge, you’re going to find musicians, kind of good vibes. It’s a perfect time, you know, especially at sunset to be on this bridge. Trust me.
Vicolo De Cinque: A Lively Atmosphere
One of the fancy streets that you want to walk down here is Vicolo De Cinque super lively atmosphere. You’re gonna have restaurants lining the streets, lots of Ivy-covered buildings. And, uh, this is – are we really stopping at a shot place right now? I think we’re stopping at a shot place. This is the thing about Trastevere; you’re gonna find tradition, history, but a lot of fun here, right? This is a shot place where you can come here, have a shot, and be on your merry way. So that’s what we’re gonna do; let’s get some shots!
Also Read: Canberra One Day Itinerary
Trastevere by Night: A Different Vibe
What a difference a couple of hours makes. Seven o’clock here in Santa Maria square, and it’s full of people. People are hanging out at the fountain; they’re looking at the beautiful Basilica. And this is like Ground Zero for Trastevere tours. A proper sit-down dinner at a local restaurant for more food and, of course, Roman pasta.
Santa Cecilia Basilica: Artistic Wonders
Located on the quiet side of Trastevere, the Basilica of Santa Cecilia is a small and unassuming church from the outside but filled with artistic wonders on the inside. Santa Cecilia was a third-century noblewoman who used to live right here in Trastevere. This church was actually built over her house, and because she refused to violate her vow of virginity, she was martyred in the third century. And you can see this incredible Moderno sculpture, which is the highlight of this Basilica. You can see her lying there in her martyrdom.
Mixology Excellence at Fernania Fitzoni
Mixology is a craft Italians excel at and are renowned for worldwide. In Rome, you’ll find some of the top-rated cocktail bars in the world. In Trastevere, there is no better place to start an evening with an aperitivo than Fernania Fitzoni. This consistently top-rated cocktail bar exudes unassuming charm, both curated playlists and a laid-back vibe, while passionate mixologists serve fantastic cocktails. The beautifully crafted cocktails are delicious, and the complimentary buffet of tasty snacks makes this my go-to spot for an aperitivo.
Dinner Recommendations in Trastevere
There is no shortage of places for dinner in Trastevere. After all, this is where Anthony Bourdain came to tell the world about cacio e pepe. My top three recommendations for dinner in Trastevere are the Michelin-rated Osteria Glass, Taverna Three Musa, and the traditional Trattoria Tateo.
Osteria Glass: A Culinary Game-Changer
Osteria Glass, by superstar chef Christina Bowerman, is a game-changer and will soon be celebrating 20 years. It’s the only female Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome. Glass offers a modern approach to Italian cuisine without ever forgetting to be in the hearts of Rome. Chef Christina is a traveler like us, and her tasting menu will blow you away because it’s inspired by her travels and is a love letter to not only Rome but also to Molecular Gastronomy.
Roman Classics at Trattoria Tateo
So I’m here in Placid, and one of my favorite places to have lunch is Da Teo, which is just across the way from the very famous Da Enzo. It’s a quiet little spot; I think it’s just as good, if not better than Da Enzo because they serve all of the Roman classics.
Growing up in California, I ate a lot of artichokes, but Roman artichokes are seasonal and they’re just done so well here. Big staple food, so delicious; it’s so soft but yet still gives you the incredible essence of the best of them. So good.
Four Roman pastas that you have to try. There is tomato base, there is cacio e pepe, which is cheese base, and then there’s a little bit of variation. So, Pepe, uh, there’s a variation called carbonara, which is the egg base cheese sauce, which is just to die for, all right? Ciao!
Well, that’s it for our epic day in one of the most famous neighborhoods in all of Rome. Today we wandered the legendary streets of Trastevere and learned so much about the history of Rome and ate incredible food on our food tour. I’m Angel Castellanos for the tour guide. Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe, and smash that bell so you can find our next article.