Trastevere is a quaint and charming old neighborhood full of traditional Italian homes. It is the 13th rione of Rome and is located on the west bank of the Tiber River.
Trastevere is a real neighborhood full of character thanks to its narrow cobbled streets lined by beautiful vine-covered buildings with rich colors. It is an ideal place to explore and wander.
Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere is a picturesque and lively square. The marvelous fountain in the center is massive. It is believed to be the oldest fountain in Rome. It is a great place to meet someone. I think the piazza in general is one of the best spots to people-watch in all of Rome. Adjacent to the fountain is the Church of Santa Maria, one of the oldest churches in Rome. This church is ancient and features absolutely stunning mosaics.
If you are here in the late morning you can walk south to Piazza San Cosimato. It is home to Trastevere Market, a traditional Roman open-air market. Pick up some fresh fruit and a panini for lunch. You can sit at the piazza and eat your lunch while watching locals go about their day. After that take a walk further up the hill to Villa Sciarra, a charming park overlooking Trastevere. From there you can wander over to the other side of Viale Trastevere and see the Bernini sculptures and catacombs.
If you find yourself in Trastevere on a Friday or Saturday night, there will be tons of people in the street late night. The streets of Trastevere are often blocked to traffic so only pedestrians can enter. It will be buzzing with street performers and bands playing terrific Italian music. You'll be happy to discover so many hidden gems. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and small boutiques. Whether you are having a drink at one of the numerous bars, having a pizza slice or gelato it is a delightful place to explore day or night.
Trastevere is an excellent place to go out and eat. Prices are significantly lower than the major tourist areas of Rome. I also think the quality of the food is better. I enjoyed a delicious authentic meal at Osteria Pizzeria da Otello, on Via della Pelliccia. The homemade tiramisu is to die for! I would totally recommend this place.
After dinner if you walk towards the Tiber River, you'll have a terrific opportunity for a night shot of Ponte Sisto Bridge. Also at night near the bridge are hundreds of tents lit up with food vendors and gift vendors.
Trastevere is one of my favorite places to go in Rome. It isn’t your typical tourist attraction. You find a lot of Roman locals mingling with the tourists. You can spend a lot time people watching and a lot less time running from attraction to attraction.