If you ever feel overwhelmed by the chaotic crowds of central Rome, then it’s time to take a trip across the Tiber River to Trastevere and Monteverde. In fact, you might even consider basing yourself in one of these neighborhoods.
Located just south of the Vatican, Trastevere is a wonderfully preserved Medieval section of Rome. Complete with cobblestone streets, fascinating churches/villas and plenty of trendy restaurants and nightclubs. Monteverde lies just southeast of Trastevere and is famous for its large and luxurious Villa Doria Pamphilj Park.
Energetic & Historic: Touring Trastevere
Named for its location to the west of the Tiber River, Trastevere has a long history dating back to Etruscan times. As the Roman Empire grew, many powerful citizens decided to build extravagant villas in this region. Perhaps the area’s most famous inhabitant was none other than Julius Caesar who built a villa on Gianicolo Hill.
Sadly, you can’t visit Caesar’s estate today. But you can visit some of the oldest churches in Rome on a tour of Trastevere. During the years when Christianity was outlawed, many wealthy Christians in Trastevere opened their villas to the faithful who wanted to celebrate mass. A few of the oldest of these villas/churches now open to tourists include the Church of Santa Cecilia and the Church of Santa Maria, the second of which is in the region’s central piazza.
In more recent times, Trastevere attracts some of Rome’s more youthful and artsy residents thanks to hosting many international university campuses. The influx of students from around the world gives Trastevere an energetic and diverse vibe. You’ll have not problem finding authentic food, craft beer and exciting nightlife opportunities in this area. Indeed, one of the most popular things to do in Trastevere is to book a walking foodie tour.
Soothing Strolls Atop Monteverde
For those who really want to get away from the crowds, head up to the residential area known as Monteverde. As you could probably tell from the name, Monteverde is located on top of a green hill that overlooks Trastevere.
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The main attraction in this extremely quiet area is the massive Villa Doria Pamphilj, which is now the largest public park in Rome. Once a private residence, outdoor enthusiasts now love this area. And so do their four-legged friends!
Take a trip to Monteverde’s Villa Sciarra, which some historians believe Cleopatra might have visited. Also, visit Monteverde’s numerous artisan boutiques, gelaterie and restaurants before heading back to the heart of Rome.
How to Find Trastevere And Monteverde
From Termini, hop on the N8 bus towards Gianicolense/casaletto and exit at the Trastevere/Min. Pubblica Instruzione stop. One of the closest bus stops to Monteverde’s Villa Doria Pamphilj is Ozanam/Bottazzi, which can be reached on the N19 line.