Discovering a city within the city

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The Trastevere district is a Rome rich in history, throughout the ages has been home to a Syrian community in ancient times, and later on to a Jewish community that moved across the river and settled in an area known today as the Jewish Ghetto.
Trastevere just sits on the opposite side of the Tiber from the Jewish Ghetto, with the Tiber Island in between.
The Tiber Island is a ship-shaped island in the river. In ancient times the island was dedicated to Esculapio, a pagan god of medicine. Today is famous for the Fatebenefratelli hospital that has been open for business since medieval times.trastevere_ripagrande
Since the foundation of Rome, Trastevere was considered a separate city. Today is extremely Roman in nature and the residents consider themselves the ?real Romans?.
The best way to experience Trastevere is on foot. Just setting off from the Tiber Island, following the Tiber?s riverbed it?s possible to admire bridges and monuments from an unusual and beautiful angle. Torre Caetani dominates the area.
Then? let?s enter in Trastevere for a plunge into the colour and gaiety of it?s alleyways and tiny squares!
Piazza in Piscinula, once the sight of ancient bath, now cosmopolitan. Here was erected a church dedicated to S.Benedict that contains a bell of 1069, the oldest one of Rome.
Piazza S. Cecilia offers the chance of a break ?al fresco? of the beautiful early Christian church. Have a look at the marvellous garden of the convent of S. Francesco a Ripa where you would find the orange tree planted by S. Francesco.
Trastevere is always on holiday, both during the day and even more so at night. It is the natural choice for a nice meal out.
Have a walk to the Church of S. Maria in Trastevere, founded in the 3rd Century AD and believed to be the oldest one dedicated to the Virgin in Rome. trastevere_smaria
Of course there?s much more to discover but?I would also suggest to chill out and enjoy the glorious food and wine because that?s what Romans like to do most! Indulge yourself and stop for a drink in one of the many bars where the locals love to be seen!
As far as shopping is concerned, Trastevere can be very expensive as well as dirt-cheap. In the small shops you can buy quality goods. For the ‘not-of-quality’ goods try the flea market at Porta Portese, the biggest and most famous second hand clothes and bric-a-brac in Rome (every Sunday from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Have a good time!

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