Trastevere: The hidden treasure of Rome

by Sierra Frost

Rome—the world’s largest, most beautiful tourist trap. Between the Coliseum, the Vatican, and a church named Santa Maria on every street corner, there is seemingly no escape from the hustle and bustle of the tourists, long lines, and selfie sticks. Trastevere, however, is your out. Just over the bridge and west of the Tiber River lies the heart of Rome. A district full of local, working Romans that seems quiet during the day, but comes alive in the night—perfect for young student travelers looking to get away from the tourist scene and have some fun.


Before the fun starts though, take advantage of some of the historical sights that are off the beaten path for the average tourist of Rome. Located on top of Janiculum Hill in the courtyard of the church of San Pietro in Montorio is the Tempietto. Marked as the sight of St. Peter’s martyrdom, the “little temple” is considered a masterpiece of High Renaissance architecture.

After relishing the fact that you were able to admire such a piece of art without being ambushed by tourists, take a walk right down the hill to Grazie y Graziella, just one of the many delicious restaurants you would expect to dine in on your trip to Rome. If you’ve never had french fries with chunks of cheese and red pepper flakes on them, or even if you have, this is a must-have dish while you sit at their outdoor tables and watch locals pass by.


As the sun begins to set and people wake up from their siestas, take a walk along the Tiber River. This won’t be like any walk along the river though, because every night during the summer vendors pull out their tents, restaurants set up their kitchens, and bars start pouring their drinks as everyone gathers along the river to eat, drink, and socialize before the night begins. Before long, people will make their way to the lit-up alleys across the river for a dinner date or trip to the bar. If hanging out in a bar isn’t your thing, grab a drink and head to Piazza Trilussa to sit on the steps, people watch, and most likely catch a show by a street performer or two. Don’t let yourself worry about being out too late; Trastevere isn’t only the most lively place to be at night, but one of the safest in Rome.


So, when you make that weekend trip to Rome, enjoy the sights and revel in the history, but don’t forget to stray away from your everyday tourists and experience the true Roman nightlife.

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