Find the Best Things to Do in Trastevere

Rome Local Expert

About Trastevere

Photo courtesy of Alejandro Sánchez Marcos

Perhaps the most charming neighborhood in all of Rome is Trastevere. Though some say the neighborhood is slowly losing its Italian touch due to the increasing popularity of American and international student life, Romans still consider it one of the most beautiful areas in the Eternal City. As you lose yourself down the winding cobblestone streets and dive into an authentic Roman trattoria, you'll soon discover why everyone falls in love with this magnifico quartiere 'just across the Tiber' as its name suggests.

See & Do

When it comes to attractions in Trastevere, this neighborhood has no shortage of them. From romantic winding alleyways and cobblestone streets to magestic churches and splendid piazzas, there's plenty to keep tourists busy in the neck of the woods! One of the true beauties of Trastevere is Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. Locals and tourists have always been mesmerized by this looker of a piazza because of its lovely outdoor cafès that are great for people watching, fountain and the glorious Santa Maria in Trastevere Church. A picture perfect moment for tourists happens when admiring the golden mosaics of the this beautiful church glistening in the sun. The Basilica is one of the oldest churches in Rome and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. By night, the piazza also gets a lot of action between diners and street performers. Here, one never grows bored! After you've moved on from Santa Maria in Trastevere church, your next stop should be Santa Cecilia in Trastevere Church (Piazza Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, 22). It's got some really amazing frescoes painted by Pietro Cavallini. Tourists also come here to marvel at the striking sculpture of Saint Cecilia, whom the church gets its name from. The white marble statue lies just beneath the altar and features the saint with her head half-severed.


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. The great part about this place is it's open from noon all the way through the night. It doesn't close in the middle of the day like other restaurants do. So if you're in the mood for a pizza and you're in the neighborhood, pop on by this place. Though be careful around dinnertime. Without reservations, you might wait a bit.


Trastevere is literally sprawling with places to grab an early evening drink or after dinner cocktail. Whether you feel like enjoying a glass of wine while marveling at the people passing by at Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere or you're looking for a little more lively action, Trastevere has something for all walks of life.  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.  


The only downside to being in Trastevere is that everyone wants to be there. That said, as Trastevere can be a bit noisy at night because of its reputation and attractiveness towards nightlife, finding a quiet place to stay can be challenging. Usually the trick is to stay away from the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere and Piazza Trilussa areas as these places are covered with bars and pubs. Where ever there are pubs, there is noise. The best places to stay are either on the other side of Viale Trastevere or moving up on the Tram 8 line further up in the newer parts of Trastevere. Granted, some of these spots are not as charming, but if noise is an issue for you, then you won't have trouble sleeping here. Two quiet, clean and affordable hotels in the area are BDB Luxury Rooms Trastevere and Hotel Antico Borgo di Trastevere.


You won't find any malls or department store shopping here. Although you will be delighted to hear that Trastevere is concentrated with various funky boutiques selling clothes, accessories and some very interesting shoes. There isn't one particular street perse that has all of the good shopping. However, there are a few good shops located on Via della Scala. For the latest trends in Italian clothing, check out Milledonne. Here they sell all sorts of trendy skirts, jeans and fitted blouses from labels such as Desigual and Miss Sixty. For unique jewelry and accessories, Sharm is your place. The shop is run by two Egyptian brothers who create some really funky and unusual designs. Most of the accessories are made with Indian jewel accents. Sharm also specializes in ethnic embroidered handbags, shawls and scarfs. If you're looking for some real funky shoes head to Joseph DeBach (Vicolo del Cinque, 19) near Piazza Trilussa. The owner and shoemaker makes some truly eclectic shoes, mostly clogs, wedges, sandals as those are his true obsession. Though he also does make men's shoes. Oddly, his shop is only open in the evenings after 7:30pm.