Thursday, June 19, 2014

Things to Do While in Rome: Trastevere

“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.”  Walt Whitman

Looking for a fun place in Rome to dine "al fresco" or just hang with your friends in a piazza? You'll have to look beyond the Tiber river and into Trastevere. 

Trastevere is a neighborhood in Rome, south of the Vatican.  It is a 20 minute walk from the Vatican, so if you go to Saint Peter's Basilica early in the morning, you can make you way to Trastevere for lunch.  Just follow the river until you reach the bridge called Ponte Sisto, and Trastevere will be on your right.

This neighborhood has a unique personality. Narrow cobble-stone streets, restaurants and bars all around, clothing lines hanging from the windows, it has it all.  I even appreciate the graffiti on the doors, despite their transgressive nature, they're part of this neighborhood's laid back and fun atmosphere. Trastevere feels vibrant at any hour of the day, but specially at night.  There are a few foreign universities nearby so it always attracts a young crowd.

Whether you want to savor a good gelato on a hot day, have a dish of pasta at reasonable prices or enjoy a few beers at night, you can make Trastevere your destination.  A couple of good gelaterias are "I Dolci Di Checco" at Via Benedetta 7 and "Gelateria del Viale" at  Piazza Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 9F.

Street performers, specially on weekends, come out to entertain the crowds.  So, wear comfortable shoes and go take a walk around Trastevere.  You may just find your favorite spot in Rome.


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