More Rome Neighborhoods
As opposed to other 'touristy' sections of Rome, Testaccio is a working class neighborhood with a lot of local flair. Unfortunately, many tourists tend to skip over this area, unless of course they're hardcore party goers looking to club hopping at night. While Testaccio is notoriously known for being the hub of the Eternal City's nightlife scene, it also offers a bunch of 'extras' for tourists looking to explore an area that's a bit off the beaten path. The area is filled with great mom-and-pop osterie and pizzerie and also has a fantastic open air food market!
See & Do
Local Food Market
There are plenty of food markets around Rome, so why would you come to Testaccio to check out a food market? For starters, the market at Campo de' Fiori, though it may be famous, is quite touristy and doesn't have much of a selection. Other than being an observer, you don't really get to see what it's like behind the scenes at your local food market. For that, you can count on Kenny Dunn at Eating Italy Food Tours in Rome. During his three hour tour of the Testaccio Food market and neighborhood, he literally lets you eat your way through Rome. He takes you behind the scenes of the local market and its vendors, specialty shops like Volpetti and restaurants. As you're taking in all of the food facts, you get to sample along the way: prosciutto, suppli, mozzarella di bufala, pecorino cheese and gelato. Can you say buonooo?
Macro Museum of Contemporary Art
Another reason to come to Testaccio is to check out one of Rome's most famous Contemporary museums, the Macro Testaccio. The museum was once home to a slaughter house and then later turned into a museum in order to showcase some of the best Italian and international contemporary art works. The complex showcases art exhibitions, performances and all sorts of special events. It even includes a residence and workspace for local artists or those on 'sabbatical' on the Eternal City. MACRO Testaccio also has a sister museum, also called MACRO but is located in the Trieste/Salario neighborhood. If you're into contemporary art, the Macro Testaccio is definitely worth an afternoon during your trip!
One of the best things about coming to Testaccio, is that you'll very rarely run into any tourist trap restaurants. That means, you won't find any pictures of food on menus posted outside the restaurant nor will you have waiters harassing you with their 'Prego, special price, special price' banter. Indeed, tourists ambitious enough to explore this not so touristy part of town will be pleasantly pleased with the selection of really Roman food.
For starters, there's Remo. Okay, you might think you've tried great pizza in the past. But nothing tops a pizza pie at Remo. As opposed to most pizzas you're probably had in your life, Remo's pizza is paper thin. Which makes eating a whole pit, not hard at all. Menus don't really exist here which, we guess makes the whole experience all the more fun. Try and think of your 'dream' pizza and go and ahead and blurt out the ingredients. They've got them all here: salame, artichokes, mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto, etc. Most people keep it simple though. The margherita (cheese) pizza here is epic.
When it comes to osterie, some of the best in town can be found in Testaccio! For real roman dishes like pasta carbornara (made with egg and pancetta), amatriciana (made with tomato, onion and pancetta) or some good ol' simple cacio e pepe (made with lots of pecorino cheese and black pepper), two hot spots are Checchino dal 1887 and Osteria degli Amici.
Ask anyone around town where the locals go to party, and they'll tell you it's Testaccio. The neighborhood is indeed, known as the party central of Rome. From nightclubs to pubs with live music, if you're looking to shake you thing on the dance floor or listen to a little live music, this is definitely the place to do it.
Dance Clubs & Live Music
Some of the hottest clubs are Alpheus and Akab. Both clubs feature music from hip-hop and Top 40 to dance and techno music. Alpheus is one of the largest dance clubs in the city and has several rooms offering party goers a wide range of music to dance to. Another club that's extremely popular especially within the gay community is L'Alibi. It mostly features house, dance and soul music. Looking for a mix of live music and dancing? Radio Londra offers the best of both worlds.