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Trastevere Rome Italy

Walking Tour of Trastevere in Rome

Trastevere Rome was the only developed part of Rome in ancient times. You will get a feel for medieval Rome in the Trastevere Quarter ....with it's narrow streets, ancient towers and Gothic windows.

Trastevere Roma is on the opposite side of the Tiber River from most of the other best sights to see in Rome Italy.

The most convenient bridges to cross for a visit to Trastevere Quarter are the Ponte Sisto or the Ponte Garibaldi. The walking tour below starts from the Ponte Garibaldi.

Trastevere Rome Walking Tour

This ancient Trastevere walking tour covers the highlights of the old city.


View Walking Tour of Trastevere Rome in a larger map

Trastevere Rome Street Map

Trastevere Rome Church of San CrisogonoChurch of San Crisogono

The first church on crossing Ponte Garibaldi is the Church of St. Crisogno , founded by Pope Sylvester and rebuilt in 731AD. It features a 12th century tower, 17th century facade and the High Altar dates from 1127AD.

Piazza and Church of San Benedetto a Piscinula Church

From the Piscinula you can see the oldest working bell tower in Rome, dating from 1069AD. There use to be 300 of these bell towers...only about 50 remain.

The tiny St. Bendetto a Piscinula Church with its ancient pillars is named after St. Benedict who lived in a house here before his retreat to Subiacco. There is a picture of the Virgin and Child in the vaulted chapel where St. Benedict used to come to pray. Over the High Altar is a painting of St. Benedict. Check out the Cell of the Saint with its rough-hewn stones....note the stone pillow.

Basiclica of Cecilia in Trastevere Rome ItalyBasilica of Cecilia in Trastevere

Trastevere Santa Cecilia

The beautiful Santa Cecilia in Trastavere and courtyard is one of the most interesting buildings in the city. The water vessel in the center of the courtyard is ancient. The foundation dates from its consecration by Pope Urban I in 180AD. It was given by St. Cecilia as a gift upon her death bed. She wanted a "temple to the Savior" to be built over the house where she lived. It was rebuilt in 821 by Paschal I and modernized by Cardinal Doria in 1725. St. Cecilia was martyred here in her home in the bathroom. She was locked in the bathroom, then there was an attempt to kill her by suffocation and heat and when that failed she was hacked to by sword but still lived for a few days after this brutal attack.

Trastevere Rome St. Cecilia Statue
Statue of Incorrupt St. Cecilia
by JoJan

Pope Pascal I was retrieving the bodies of saints 500 years later in the catacombs and couldn't find Cecilia's body. He had a dream that he would find it and continued the search. Her body was found intact and incorrupt then brought to the new church he had built. In 1599, when Cardinal Sfondrati was repairing the church it is told that the sculptor Stefano Maderno was allowed to see the body. He then sculpted the beautiful life size statue of the still incorrupt body as he saw it. It is in front of the altar of St. Cecilia Church. There is a mural painting depicting the Final judgment (1289-93) by Pietro Cavallini in the choir.

Descend the iron staircase in the sacristy on the left to see excavations of a 1st & 3rd century house with mosaic pavements and the early 4th century basilica. You will also find the beautiful crypt with the relics of St. Cecilia and St. Valerian, her husband.

To the right of the church is a Blessed Sacrament Chapel with medieval frescoes. Another corridor leads to a chapel which is said to be the spot where St. Cecilia was martyred.

The Adjacent convent houses Benedictine nuns who care for the lambs blessed at St. Agnes's Basilica. Their wool is used for the pallium near St. Peter's tomb. To the left of St. Cecilia's is the San Giovanni dei Genovesi (St. John's of the Genoese) beautiful renaissance courtyard.

Church of St. Maria del Orto

Check for bulletins on the doors of Santa Maria dell' Orto Church (Our Lady of the Garden) for a schedule of sacred concerts that are held here.

San Francesco a Ripa Church

Benedictine monks in the early 13th century had a hospice for travelers here and the beloved St. Francis stayed here on his visit to Rome in 1229. You can see his cell through the church to left corner sacristy and ask a friar to see the "Stanza di San Francesco" with luck you will see the carefully preserved room upstairs. The Baroque altarpiece of 1698 is said to contain over 1000 relics! The Church of San Francesco d'Assisi a Ripa has a portrait of St. Francis by Margheritone d'Arezzo. In the last chapel on the left is a beautiful sculpture of Blessed Ludovica Albertone by Bernini who became a tertiary after her husband died.

San Cosimato in Trastevere Rome

The door of Church of St. Cosimato has medieval wood carvings. To the left of the altar is a beautiful fresco by Pinturicchio of St. Francis and St. Clare on either side of the Virgin and Child. At the end of the left aisle, a chapel is decorated with frescoes and a beautiful altar from 15th century.

Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome

Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Piazza of Santa Maria in Trastevere Rome has a lovely fountain by Carlo Fontana from the 17th century. This piazza was where 8 priests were brutally murdered in the Revolution of 1849.

The Church of St. Maria in Trastevere was the first church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is said to be founded by St. Calixtus in AD 221/2 as an oratory for the Christians. The first church was built here by Pope St. Julius in 340AD and after being damaged by fire during the sack of Rome in 410, Pope Celestin repaired and rededicated it to the Virgin Mary. Major reconstruction started again in 1139AD by Innocent II, finished by Eugenius III and consecrated in 1198 by Pope Innocent III.

The faded mosaics on the facade date from the 12th or 13th centuries. In the portico you can find ancient fragments of monuments and catacomb inscriptions from the earlier churches 3rd through the 9th centuries and 2 frescoes of the Annunciation, one by Cavallini.

Inside the Narthex, the walls have early Christian and pagan inscriptions from the 3rd century and one from the time of Trajan, 98-117AD.

The apse vault mosaic is the Coronation of the Virgin surrounded by saints and Pope Innocent II holding a model of the church. The lower aspe mosaics by Pietro Cavallini from the 13th century, depict the life of the Virgin Mary. ....birth of Our Lady with St. Ann, Annunciation, nativity, Epiphany, presentation in the Temple and Falling asleep of Mary.

In the Sacristy is a painting by Perugino of the Virgin Mary with St. Rocco and St. Sebastiano and mosaics of birds and fish which are probably 1st century work from a pagan temple or the catacombs.

Beneath the High altar are the remains of 5 early popes and the church holds the relic of the head of Saint Apollonia and a portion of the Holy Sponge.

Church of Santa Maria della Scala

At the end of the 16th century, a mother with a deformed child came to pray often beneath a painting of the Virgin Mary at the top of a staircase in a home and finally begged the Madonna to heal her child saying she would grant any favour she asked of her. The child was healed at once which resulted in the townspeople enthusiastically building the church of Santa Maria della Scala or Our Lady of the Staircase in this spot.

Inside the St. Maria della Scala Church to the right is an altar to honor St. Teresa of Avila with a relic of her foot. The altar opposite of this holds the image of the Madonna of the Staircase. A nearby chapel has an impressive sculpture of St. John of the Cross.

Santa Dorotea Church Rome

Santa Dorotea was a 14 year old virgin martyr. Dorothy is buried here and her bones are clothed in wax in a glass coffin beneath the high altar.

Villa Farnesina Trastevere Rome

Villa Farnesina Trastevere Rome
Near the Tiber River past Ponte Sisto is the Villa Farnesina, a Renaissance Villa decorated with Raphael paintings. It was built in the 1500s for the richest man in Renaissance Europe, Siennese banker Agostino Chigi. This Trastevere Rome villa was a meeting place for aristocrats, artists and philosophers. The most well-known frescoes are Raphael's on the ground floor depicting the classical and secular myths of Cupid and Psyche, and The Triumph of Galatea. There is an admission charge, for this villa, currently 5 euro.

Corsini Gallery

Trastevere Rome Corsini Villa

Across from the Villa Farnesina is the Palazzo Corsini and the Corsini Gallery. This is a lovely, quiet out of the way gallery with paintings of Renaissance Rome, a Flemish section, Canaletto's views of Venice, Caravaggios and more. The admission charge is currently 4 euro for this Trastevere Rome museum.

Gianicolo Hill Walk

Gianicolo Hill and if you walk to the top you will be rewarded with some of the best views of Rome.

Church of Saint Pietro in Montorio & Tempietto

Follow Via Garibaldi to the Saint Pietro in Montorio Church. The first chapel to the right has a beautiful painting of the scourging of Christ by Sebastiano del Piombo. To the left as you enter is a wonderful painting of the Stigmata of St. Francis by Giovanni de Vechi. The next chapel has a sculpture of St. Francis in Ecstasy by Baratta. There are other interesting art pieces in this church including a mosaic above the high altar of St. Peter's upside down crucifixion.

Don't miss the famous, tiny Tempietto by Donato Bramante next door which is regarded as a masterpiece of the Renaissance. It was built to commemorate the martyrdom of St. Peter in 1502. In the upper chapel there is a relief of the martyrdom of St. Peter and the Dome by Bernini depicts the life of St. Peter.

Fontana del Gianicolo

Continue up the hill and stop at the grand Gianicolo Fountain made in 1612 by Flaminio Ponzio and Giovanni Fontana part of Paul V's Acqua Paola.

Piazza Ganicolo

Trastevere Gianicolo View of Rome

Turn right onto Passeggiata del Gianicolo up to the Piazza Gianicolo with beautiful sweeping views of the City of Rome. This view a little before sundown is a stunning panorama of Rome bathed in warm colors.


Guided Tour of Trastevere

This walking tour of Trastevere through this wonderful neighborhood is led by an experienced guide. Sights included in this Trastevere tour are: Ponte Cestio, Basilica of Stanta Cecilia, Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, Piazza Trilussa and Ponte Sisto.


Best Places to Stay in Trastevere

Trastevere Rome Street

Whether you want to stay in a Trastevere hotel, B&B or vacation rental, these suggestions will offer you some great choices of where to stay in Trastevere.

Hotel Trastevere Rome

The charming Hotel Santa Maria Rome is a great choice for a hotel in Trastevere Rome.

Rome Bed and Breakfast Trastevere

Check out these suggestions for Bed and Breakfast in Trastevere.

Trastevere Apartment Rentals

This charming, cheap Rome holiday rental is in a great location in Trastevere with its quaint narrow streets and many restaurants.

Located near Piazza Santa Cecilia, this one bedroom Trastevere rental sleeps 4 and includes wifi.

Here is a wonderful large apartment in Trastevere that would be perfect for a family or couples traveling together. This vacation rental in Trastevere has 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6-8, is in a quiet area of Trastevere and has very reasonable rates. Make sure and read the apartment reviews.

If neither of these are quite right for you, peruse the complete list of Trastevere Rome Vacation Rentals for your Rome Italy vacation.


Restaurante Trastevere Rome

Where to eat in Trastevere Rome? There are many reasonable cafe Trastevere and trattorias on the east side of Viale di Trastevere.

Here are some specific Trastevere restaurant recommendations to check out.

  • Paris Restaurant, Piazza San Calisto, is a casual place with classic Roman food and some old Roman Jewish entrees.
  • For great food and a charming courtyard....try out Romolo Restaurant, Via di Porta Settimiana 8.
  • Families might want to try one of the best pizzeria's in Rome, Dar Poeta, Vicolo del Bologna 45.
  • Looking for a cheap Rome restaurant? Check out the simple but authentic Roman trattoria Riparte Cafe on Vicolo del Mattonato.
  • Last but not least is one of Rome's most famous restaurants Da Meo Pataca near St. Cecilias's.

Here are some other pages that might interest you for your vacation in Rome:

Enjoy your visit or stay in the unique and charming Trastevere Rome!

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