Your personal guide to Trastevere
Trastevere literally means "beyond the Tiber", and in fact the river - a major commercial route - was the main feature of this area, inhabited in ancient times by foreign people arriving from all the provinces conquered by the Romans. Craftsmen, tradesmen, people of various religions found their home here and this district still retains its openmindness.
Located outside the political centre of Rome, Trastevere does not have imposing ruins of ancient Rome, but still you can visit some paleo-christian basilicas, rare remains of the Medieval Rome, and a lot of less famous but enchanting works of art.
Trastevere is highly enjoyable both day and night. Morning hours are quiet, with locals buying their meals at the open market of Piazza San Cosimato and take advantage of Rome temperate climate sitting at cafès outdoor tables, sipping a cappuccino while reading the newspaper or chatting with friends. Some of its narrow streets paved in cobblestone are closed to traffic, and here families use to stroll in the afternoon eating an ice-cream and looking at the numerous little stalls where artisans and vendors sell their crafts and jewelry. Only in recent times a few shops selling plastic souvenirs replaced the old artisans' botteghe. Yet this district still maintains the authenticity of a real neighborhood.
While some Roman neighborhoods may be unsafe after dark, Trastevere narrow streets and piazzas are well-lit and, especially on weekends, always crowded with people wandering around or having a good time in bars and restaurants. Even people travelling solo will find out that the most part of this area is quite safe.
However, this is not just a commercial area. Tokens of the relevant role played by religion in the past centuries are the moltitude of churches, former convents and monasteries still visible in this neighborhood. Many of them, with their high walls and beautiful cloisters, were turned into hotels, hospitals, museums or private apartments, conferring to Trastevere its distinct atmosphere.
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