On Tiber River’s western banks lie the ruins of the “last pocket of medieval Rome”—Travestere.
This river city was one of the few areas that was not swept up in central Rome’s march towards progress in the 19th century. This was largely due to its geographic location. With the river segregating it from the city (Travestere actually means “over the River”) it was untouched by both political and cultural developments. It was able to preserve the narrow lanes, working –class outlook and simple architecture that characterized Medieval life.
Today, Travestere still has a distinct personality and vibe. Historic buildings and palazzos stand side-by-side with charming bistros and bars. Many of these eateries can be found at the Piazza di Santa Maria, found at the very heart of the city. It would be worth passing by the historic church of Santa Maria, or taking pictures of the central fountain.
Some visitors recommend the pizza at Tavola Calda found at Piazza Trilussa, and the cinnamon ice cream from the Gelateria alla Scala. Locals rave about the pizzas at Dar Poeta on Vicolo del Bologna, while the Ristorante Alla Scala (found in Piazza della Scala) combines a convenient location and a diverse menu. Pasta-lovers must definitely try the ai fiori di zucca at the Antica Trattoria Da Carlone, found on Via della Luce, 5.
After a delicious meal visitors can explore the rest of the city, simply by following the maze of streets. They can begin their tour by walking down the lane at the right of the church. As they approach the river, entering the southern area of Viale Trastevere, they will find more restaurants. Many tourists find this place to be more serene and homey, and recommend taking an al fresco meal at the restaurants. There is also a church here, Sta. Cecilia, which honors the patron saint of music. Film lovers may want to check out the foreign-language cinema complex.
Many people recommend visiting Travestere at night, for it has an interesting mix of bars that manage to combine the charming historic atmosphere with a new, hip, stylish vibe. Others feel that the walks down the historic streets are more romantic at this time.
Others say the best part of Travestere is the stretch after the pedestrian pridge, Ponte Sisto, which lads north of Viale Trastevere and the quieter lanes to the south. The gardens, Orto Botanico , are also worth paying a visit.