ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_igor W Schiaroli_1Walking and photograph of the ancient Trastevere area of Rome.
During a sunny day, one of those wonderful
Roman mornings , we followed the walking tour ANGLES TRASTEVERE AND PORTRAITS OF HANDS, a meetup of Photography Social Club Roma, organized by Osvaldo Sponzilli. (

With the friend Osvaldo Sponzilli and photographers of Social Club we went in search of the lesser-known corners of the fascinating and ancient Trastevere district.

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_Osvaldo.Sponzilli_photo-by_igor W Schiaroli_0Two topics of this walking tour:

  • Photographing the hands of the inhabitants of Trastevere: hands tell, the hands are our calling card, hands forward and send messages hands speak
  • Explore a particular area of Trastevere that could be called: by the Genoese at the Dragon


Paola Naomi:

Caterina di Capua:

Osvaldo Sponzilli:

Igor W Schiaroli (with iPhone 4s):

Silvia Torrioli:

Massimo Sperandio:

Serena Cinque:Camminare e fotografare tra gli ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE_mani_photo-by-Serena-CinqueLuca:


Starting from:

 (Note The text below has been translated automatically, to correct phrases or texts please the reader to send corrections to our editorial address)

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_Statua Gioaccchino Belli_photo-by_igor W Schiaroli_0Piazza Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli.
Initially it was known as Piazza Italy, was built in 1890 and houses the memorial fountain to Belli, by Michele Tripisciano in 1913.
The stick of the poet has been repeatedly stolen, so that eventually the City has put him in one hand of iron, painted black to simulate ebony, then fixed in concrete.


We continue and we walk to the other stages.

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_Piazza della Gensola_photo-by_igor W Schiaroli_0Piazza della Gensola,

the name is the equivalent of the word jujube”, probably a tree of this fruit present in the square that now has disappeared, or by the presence of an inn with the name.
Walking-tour-TRASTEVERE_via-della-Gensola_Photo-by_Igor-Wolfango-SchiaroliHere was the church of S. Eligio of Sellari, destroyed in 1902 as badly damaged by the flood of the Tiber in 1900. The building was built by the architect Carlo De Dominicis, at the behest of the Università dei Sellai (University of the Saddlers).

Piazza in Piscinula,

is so named for the ancient presence of a termal spa with tubs or pools (pool in italian is Piscina and Piscinula” is a diminutive) of which Rome was once filled and which gave their name to many places, even if the name remained only in this square and the adjacent street named; or at the fish market that was held in the area.

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_igor W Schiaroli_2On the square, a magic corner of ancient medieval times, facing the fifteenth century houses Mattei, made  incorporating the 300 buildings already owned by Mattei family, another branch of the family took office around the square Mattei.

The oldest traces are revealed in the arched windows and cruise, the mullioned windows and the porch with a medieval column and a loggia. The building, the result of superstructures and changes implemented over five centuries, was the scene of a family tragedy in which there were murdered five members of Mattei.ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_Palazzo Mattei piazza in Piscinula_Photo-by_igor W Schiaroli_0The family is present in Rome since 1282 and originated with a family of Matteo Pope, from whom he inherited for himself and his descendants the post of guardian of bridges and ripe“, that is, with the task of maintaining public order in time of vacancy, then qualify as papal household wire.

In 600, with the death of Annibale and Maria Mattei, who died without heirs, they took over the Della Molara, which also gave its name to a square in front of the building, toward the Tiber, disappeared with the construction of the embankments.

Walkong_tour-Trastevere_piazza-in-piscinula_Photo-by-Igor-SchiaroliIn 1870, the building housed the Locanda della Sciacquetta“.

In 1890 the houses were bought by two new owners, James and Nuñez Baron Celsia Vegliasco, who had it restored the complex restoring the original forms.

A further renovation took place in 1930 by the set designer Walter Mocchi, until in 1960 the complex was divided into several units.

  • On the opposite side of the square stands the church of St. Benedict in Piscinula, kind, according to legend, in 543 on the ruins of the Domus Aniciorum, an ancient and noble Roman family which would belong also St. Benedict of Nursia (which in fact the church is dedicated), he would have lived during his stay in Rome.

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_Chiesa San Benedetto in Piscinula_photo-by_igor W Schiaroli_0The wall structure and some capitals of the church reveal the existence of a chapel dating back to centuries. VIII, from whose restoration and expansion, after the sacking of Roberto Guiscard in 1084, would later founded the church.

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_igor W Schiaroli_4Trastevere_Walking-Tour_Photo-by_Caterina-Di-Capua_6At number 19 is located the building Leslie Nuñez, an old building dating from the mid 500 when you opened the Locanda PiscinulaMario Moretti, who teaches as a lamp. This inn spent the last days of his life the poet and literary and courtesan Tullia d’Aragona, who claimed to be the daughter of Louis of Aragon, nephew of King Alfonso II of Naples, but definitely daughter of the courtesan Ferrara Giulia Campana.

ANGOLI DI TRASTEVERE E RITRATTI DI MANI_igor W Schiaroli_3Later the building became the property of Nuñez, Marquis natives of Spain; the last member of the family who owned it, sold it to Sir John Leslie.

The arched door lintel on shelves instead was wanted by the next owner, Sir John Leslie Irish: there is in fact reproduced the emblem of Leslie, of three gold buckles on a heavenly. The buckles recall an episode of which the protagonist was the Hungarian rider Bartholomew Leslie, ancestor of John, who brought to safety on his horse Queen Margaret of Scotland, later to become holy, making her hold on the buckles of her dress, so do not slip into the creek in full crossing. The queen, grateful, granted to this knight heraldic element with the motto “Grip Fast” (Strong Hold).

Sculptures and decorative fragments into the walls come from the art collection of Nuñez; numerous decorations and painted friezes inside the apartment: In one room there are painted scenes of Roman life and the Leslie family castle in Ireland.

Via Titta Scarpetta,

The name of this small street, alley once called, is not at all certain: according to some, would result from a soldier named Titta Scarpetta the heroic defender of Malta, who lived in this street and who distinguished himself in the siege of Malta 1559 against the Turks where he lost his life, thereby preventing the conquest. Some argue that the name derives by the sign of an inn still others claim that the name may derive from an ancient marble fragment of a Roman statue depicting a shod foot, stuck in the wall at the corner of the alley and then disappeared. A likely reference to this marble fragment is contained in the “Description of the new ripartimento de ‘Rioni of Rome made by order of NS Pope Benedict XIV in 1744” by Bernardino Bernardini, where, in the list of “Highways and Alleys”, is mentioned a “V (icle) of Scarpaccia: At St. Benedict in Piscinula”. A few years later, exactly in 1748, GBNolli, in his map of Rome, attributed to the stretch of road corresponding to today’s Via Titta Scarpetta as “alley of Scarpetta.”

Trastevere_Walking-Tour_Photo-by_Caterina-Di-Capua_3Via dei Salumi,

It takes its name from the deposits of food made from pork, once located in this street; the houses on this street kept low-rooms to store mangiari salty“. The area was once inhabited by Jews.

The Basilica of St. Cecilia,

We arrive on the square where this beautiful church was built on the house of the Roman martyr Cecilia and her husband Valeriano. During the restoration in 1899, just below the church, the excavations were carried out revealed that some buildings of the Republican era.
Walking-tour-Trastevere_Basilica-Santa-Cecilia_Photo-by-Igor-Wolfango-SchiaroliSt. Cecilia, guilty of trying to convert his brother Valeriano and Tiburcio, was martyred in 230 AD in the basement of the church, where he is the calidarium”, ie the environment in which the martyr suffered for three days the torture: since the expiry of the third day, had not yet been stifled by the fumes very hot, his captors beheaded the by order of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Basilica-santa.Cecilia_cortile_Walking-tour-Trastevere-Roma_Photo-by-Igor-SchiaroliFor a long time the body of the saint was not found until 820 was found in the catacombs of Callixtus, miraculously intact and wrapped in a white robe quilted gold. In 821 Pope Paschal I had to carry the body of the saint in the church of Santa Cecilia, and ordered its reconstruction.

trastevere e mani-1-12 R_Walking-Tour_Photo-by_Osvaldo-SponzilliS.Maria ad Pineam

This small but ancient church, located in the alley of the same name between Piazza dei Mercanti and Via Augusto Jandolo, was founded in 1090 during the pontificate of Urban II (1088-1090). The current name is Santa Maria Chapel. In 1391 the church was restored by Andreozzo Ponzio, father in law S.Francesca Roman, who built next to a hospital called “the SS.Salvatore”, which dealt with the same Santa. After the death of Francesca Romana, the complex was inherited by the nuns of Tor de ‘mirrors, which in 1540 sold it to the Brotherhood of Barilari, manufacturers of barrels and half barrels, until it declined slowly until Innocent X in 1653 , he entrusted the care at Olympia Maidalchini Pamphilj family, sister of the pope, also known as “the Pimpaccia”. La-Pimpaccia_donna-olimpiaThe noblewoman, who owned a large plot adjoining the church, built a huge garden (with a casino) that sloped down to the river. The property was so until the death of the son of Donna Olimpia, Camillo, after which, in 1797, was granted for use of the Sodality of Marinari Ripa and Ripetta, which restored it. The interior of the church has three naves divided by five columns; decorations belong to the last century restoration.

Trastevere-Walking-Tour_fiat500_Photo-by-Silvia-TorrioliVia dell’Arco de’ Tolomei,

On the building, at numbers 16-18 you can read: Si pacifer es, mane, si turbulentus, abscede (If you are a quiet man, is, if you are in dispute get out).

Trastevere-Walking-Tour_arco-dei-TolomeiIt is a point very charming and picturesque of the old Trastevere. The arch of medieval origin but extensively remodeled in 1928, is named after the Sienese family of the Ptolemies, who settled in Rome since 1358 and had his palace in this neighborhood.

The name “Arco dei Tolomei,” which appears in the plant’s Falda 1676, took over, or at least was joined to the “de Bondii”, ancient Roman family.

Near to this complex it was founded by the lawyer Michele Gigli (+1837), one of the first “night schools” of Rome, for the poor youth who “learned to read, write and do arithmetic.” After school, before returning home, the students came to pray before an image of the Virgin in Piazza della Gensola.

Also in this area, in 1888, it was opened Savoy Asylum for abandoned children.

Via Arco dei Tolomei was remembered in Taxae Viarum of 1613, as the “Alley of Ptolemy.”

At n. 1, the building with scarp walls, was the Israelite Orphanage Italian Giuseppe and Violante Pitigliani, now a cultural center. He was intended to educate and keep children orphaned Jews between the ages of 6 and 13 years.

Via Anicia,

in the sole of Noll (1118) via Anician it is referred to as road Gregorian“; It retains the name in memory of the ancient and noble family of Anici of which would be part of St. Benedict (Norcia 480 Montecassino 547).

Walking-Tour-Trastevere_Photo-by-Massimo,According to Adinolfi, they lived in this way instead of Frangipani (who boasted a descent from Anici); many of them were buried in Santa Cecilia. By Frangipani named all the region (Noll, 1117). Today the memory of this important house was completely lost and do not know precisely where the tower was located in Trastevere the heirs of Peter Frangipane, mentioned in a document in 1340.
Via Anician was expanded in 1876.
While digging the foundations of the Conservatory of St. Paschal Baylon, they were found two inscriptions attesting to the altar and worship of the goddess Bona; three other inscriptions were later found in different places of Trastevere, in which protection is claimed to Bona to the insula Bolani owned by M. Vettio Bolano, consul under Nero in the year 66, then tied to Britain and proconsul of Asia .
The cult of Bona Dea, of particular importance in Trastevere, where was correlated with that of Santa Cecilia, was very old (according to Cicero was at age director) and so mysterious and secret that not even the name of the god was never uttered, preferring just call it Bona Dea (according to one version of the legend could be Fauna, daughter or wife of the Faun, taken as a model of chastity for having refused).
Its prerogatives were: charity toward the faithful (especially with the healing of diseases of the eye), and fertility; It was in fact the goddess of women. Men were strictly banned from its rituals.
The main temple at Bona Dea was located on the slopes of the Aventine, near the present church of Santa Balbina, where the priestesses were dedicated to the care and healing the sick; in the Trastevere it was venerated with the title of oclata and restitutrix: attributes both allusive to its virtues of healing goddess of the eyes.
Via Anician n. 13, next to the church of St. John the Baptist of the Genoese, is the Conservatory of St. Paschal Baylon, built by architect Francesco Ferruzzi.
The initiative dates back to 1724, with construction of the complex since 1743; here the girls moved since 1747, dedicating especially to the production of silk.
In 1856, already transferred the orphans, the Oblate Sisters of Divine Providence took over the Oblates Augustinian who still take care of the spiritual exercises for t

vicolo trastevere_Trastevere-Walking-Tour_Photo-by_Paola-NaomiOn the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the sisters in charge of dressing the statue of the Virgin.

In front of the Conservatory is the side of the Elementary School Goffredo Mameli.

Via dei Genovesi,

chiesa_dei-genovesi-roma-trastevere The hospital was founded by Meliaduce Cicala (1430/1481), Genoese nobleman who, after holding public office in his home town, he moved permanently to Rome in 1467 to take care initially of commercial activities (including the transport of ‘ alum Tolfa from Civitavecchia), and then banking (Custodian General of the Apostolic Camera) which allowed him to increase the already considerable wealth.
At his death (08.05.1481) left heir of assets (houses in Rome, Lazio and castles in the estate of Sasso on the Via Aurelia) the Apostolic Chamber, with the obligation to build, near the port of Ripa Grande, a hospital for sailors sick or in need of assistance.
chiostro_chiesa_dei-genovesi-roma-trastevereThe will of the Cicada was enforced by Sixtus IV in the bull Inter alia 1482.
Work Hospital, initially dedicated to St. Sixtus, then Meliaduce Cicala and finally to St. John the Baptist of the Genoese, began in 1482-1483 and was entrusted to the supervision of Giorgio della Rovere, Bishop of Orvieto; some time later it was also undertaken the construction of the church, mentioned for the first time in 1492.
The administration of the goods of the founder, entrusted to the Clerics Room that took better care of their own interests than those of the Institute, proved detrimental to the hospital, which ran out within a few years their economic resources.
Innocent VIII (1484-1490) then decided to choose the directors of the Institute among those who had had relations of friendship or work with the founder, or at least among people who, because of their nationality, they would not let exhaust the important initiative. First rector was thus the Genoese Nicholas Calvo, followed in office by Gasparo Blonde (son of the humanist Flavio).
With a bubble, Innocent VIII also narrowed to only Genoese sailors care hospital (even if the criterion of nationality was never overly strict).
They lent their work here Emanuelli Bartholomew, chief physician of Innocent VIII, considered a reformer of medicine, and up to 1675 by Cesare Macchiati Fermo, who taught medicine at the Sapienza University and was particular physician Christina of Sweden.
As a result of poor management, the foundation now reduced to a pension of only 100 ducats in 1550 was forced to close temporarily.
So it was that Julius III, with a bubble, in 1553, established at the suggestion of Giovanni Battista Cicala (nephew of Meliaduce), the Brotherhood of St. John the Baptist of the Genoese, with complito administer annuities Institute.
The Senate of the Republic of Genoa granted in 1559, the right of the consulate, which enabled it to claim 60 baiocchi by the captains of the boat flying the flag Genoese who landed in Ripa.
In 1796, with the fall of the Republic of Genoa, also they ended the revenues for the hospital that was forced to close.
But the activities of the Brotherhood continued thriving over the centuries.
Since 1576, they enjoyed the privilege of being able to free a condemned Genoese on the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24), then extended in favor of the condemned of any nation.
Following the law of 1890 which abolished all the brotherhoods, this Genoese was transformed into Charity; the statute, reformed in 1909, is still in force.
The Brotherhood today provides primarily for worship and is involved in cultural activities, which take place at the site of the old hospital whose environments, largely restored, were partially rented to private individuals.

Via della Luce,

already called Via delle Rimesse, trad. Via Remittances (from the stables for the stop and change horses) and Via dei Morticelli (because you went through this road to go to the cemetery adjacent to the church of Santa Maria della Luce – Our Lady of Light).

Trastevere_Roma_via-della-lungaretta_via-della-luce_ Acquarello-di-Ettore-Roesler-FranzThe change of name took place in 1730 following the discovery, in a span of the Tiber, an image of the Virgin, the object of special devotion, which was transported to the church of Santa Maria della Luce. 
Here, up to the 800, there were two woolen mills, the Buttarelli and that of Elia Magliocchetti.

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Luce,

Trastevere-Chiesa-Santa_Maria_della_Luceformer church of St. Saviour of the Court, by a so-called Roman Curia in which the church itself would be built; But the name could also be connected to a family De Curtibus; or to the fact that many Jews (curti, ie circumcised) lived nearby. Armellini argued that it would be the proximity of dell’excubitorium Cohort VII Brigade to lend his name to the church; the Gallavotti suggests that the name derives, simply, from the fence in the middle of which stood in the ancient church.

Its origin does not have some news. A chapel dedicated to the Saviour was founded, according to tradition historically unverifiable, from Santa Bonosa (together with his brother and sister Eutropio Zosima) in the Curia of Augustus, the seat of a civil court. After his death in 211, probably not the oratory was abandoned and continued to be frequented by Christians in the area.

Julius I (337-352) the enlarged and turned into the church, dedicating it to the Savior.

Here, in an unknown time, they would be brought (the cemetery of Pontian near the Via Portuense) the relics of St. Pigmenio, owner and bishop of the church, who drowned in the Tiber where he was cast by order of Emperor Julian the Apostate , which had been tutor and teacher, and before that had exiled in Persia where the saint had returned blind.

Only to start the sec. X the history of the church is based on certain documents; It is remembered as subject to S. Crisogono; only in 1599 the parish gained autonomy, with Clement VIII.

The bell tower, the apse and transept date back to centuries. XII, only remnants of the old building.

In 1728 the church, then in extreme disrepair, was granted to the Roman Province of the Least.

In 1730, a blind man, while he was in the narrow hallway of a house, miraculously regained his sight and seeing a sudden image of the Virgin painted on the wall, he shouted: light, light.

According to another version, told by the then Provincial Father of the Minimums, a young parishioner unemployed, this Trafimi Joseph, finding himself near the Tiber, in the alley of the two wheels, at a site where they were unloading the garbage, looking on a wall a Madonna and Child never noticed by anyone, he turned with faith to the Virgin to help him and a short time later he found work.

Some days before also a parishioner had believed to see in one place “two angels with flaming torches pray, and others with torches off and pick up.”

Then he wiped the environment where was the image of the Madonna and Child with four saints that began dispensing miracles and became the object of special devotion.

Two faithful in particular, in the silence of prayer would have invoked the Virgin of Light, and that name would then be left to the painting, that the Minimum offered to host in the church in 1730.

With the offerings of devotees could take a total renovation of the church, using the projects of Gabriele Valvassori who served free of his work to fulfill a vow made to the Virgin during an illness; So did Sebastiano Conca who painted the apse and retouched the miraculous painting.

It was not until 1821 because the facade was made.

On the right, not visible from the street, but from a monastery courtyard, rises the bell tower from 1125 ca .; still retains 15 of the 40 ceramic tiles that decorated Islamic.

Vicolo del Buco (Alley of the Hole),

so named for its narrow dimensions; according to Romano, it derives instead by the sign of an inn already disappeared in 1860.

wolking-tour-Trastevere_Vicolo del Buco,The alley facing the semicircular apse and transept raised the church of St. Mary of the Light of the century. XII, with frame and saw teeth.
At n. 24 Street, two plates with the inscription: Coll. Angl.m num. 52 53, only traces remained the property of the Hospice of the English.

Piazza del Drago,

in the vicinity, in Via Monte Fiore (whose name derives from the mound formed on the ruins of the VII Cohort and gardens that once stood in the area), from a miserable inn, spread at the beginning of June 1656 terrible plague that decimated the population of Rome and Trastevere in particular.

Piazza del Drago was also called the Crusade of the Dragonin some documents in 1754.

Walking_tour-Trastevere_Photo-by-Igor-SchiaroliHe would explain the name with the sign of an old inn, which still exists in 1852, while more likely it is the family of the Dragon from which even the inn may have taken the name.

Emilio Gentilini Via della Lungaretta, angolo vicolo della Luce, Roma Fotografia 1971-72
Photo by Emilio Gentilini Via della Lungaretta, angolo vicolo della Luce, Roma Fotografia 1971-72

Via della Lungaretta

is the main artery of the district, called the ‘500 via Transtiberina; It corresponds exactly to the Aurelia Vetus located m. 3.50 below the current road surface, as discovered in 1889. Via della Lungaretta starting with the “bridge Emilio” saliva on the Janiculum and left the city at the height of the “door Aurelia” towards “Aureli Forum”, the ‘Today’s Montalto di Castro. Hereinafter referred to as “street Transtiberina”, assumed its present name, diminutive of Lungara, following the restoration of Pope Julius II in the early sixteenth century: slightly shorter than via Lungara, 700 meters against the 1,000 meters of the older sister, but just as straight, connecting the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere square Piscinula. The road was also known as “Vico Castellano” for the presence of the palace of the noble Roman family, a time situated between the Lungarina and Broken bridge, demolished at the end of the nineteenth century for the construction of the embankments of the Tiber. The road was brutally cut in two parts in 1886, with the opening of “Avenue of the King” (then called “Avenue of Labour” and finally avenue of Trastevere), thus losing not only unity and continuity, but also the functionality to which He was conceived.


Note on sources:
The sources of the descriptions of the tour were freely taken from websites (eg., romamiabella, etc ..) and by the stories of the local residents.

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By Igor Wolfango Schiaroli

Igor W. Schiaroli is specialized in new media and technology. He has expertise in publishing and media sector. He is an independent journalist and a writer but primary a technologist and an economist too. He has passion and curiousity about science and travel. He had major roles for Italian and International Media and Telecommunications companies.

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