Trastevere Walking Tour, Rome (Self Guided)

Take this tour to explore Trastevere, the 13th rione (district) of Rome, located on the west bank of the Tiber, south of Vatican City. Its name comes from the Latin "trans Tiberim", literally "beyond the Tiber". Although the rione was established during the times of ancient Rome, it grew and formed as a true part of the city in the Middle Ages, as a result it is characterized by narrow, cobbled streets and medieval buildings.
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Trastevere Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Trastevere Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Rome (See other walking tours in Rome)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Author: clare
Villa Sciarra

1) Villa Sciarra

Rome is a busy, rather hectic city and the constant rush of cars and people can be very tiring after a while. Luckily, there are many parks in which you can relax and get a few hours of peace; one of these parks is the Villa Sciarra on Gianicolo Hill.

In 1653 the large tract of land was bought by Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who intended to create a farm there. The land was sold to Colonna di Sciarra in 1811, who bought some of the surrounding land at the same time.

By 1880, the Di Sciarra family was bankrupt and the estate was split. Most of it was built on, but fortunately an American couple, George and Henrietta Wurts bought the remaining 6 hectares in 1902 and turned them into a botanical garden.

When George died in 1932, his widow donated the park to the Council of Rome and to Benito Mussolini in person, on the understanding that the park would be open to the public. After Mussolini’s downfall, the Council did all it could to hush up the dictator’s connection with the park.

Not that anyone could possibly care about that connection, for here you will find an oasis of peace among botanical plants, grassy clearings, topiaries and small groves of trees. There are many benches around fountains whose statues represent Apollo and Daphne, Dawn and nymphs, fauns and cupids. Other statues in the park symbolise various figures from Roman mythology.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Mercato di Porta Portese

2) Mercato di Porta Portese

Mercato di Porta Portese is one of the largest flea markets in Rome, that is located in the historic Trastevere district. Stretching from Piazza di Porta Portese to Piazza Ippolito Nievo, it is held every Sunday. Mercato di Porta Portese hosts thousands of vendors who offer a variety of such as paintings, wooden medallions, hairpins, rosaries, old TVs, 19th century books, clothes, leather jackets, antique chairs, tables, desks, consoles, chandeliers, vases, and many more.

Operation Hours: every Sunday: 6:00 am - 2:00 pm
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

3) Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

The church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere is situated on the West bank of the River Tiber, to the south of the Vatican City. You really shouldn’t miss visiting this lovely church. The 1st church was built in the 3rd century by Pope Urban 1, supposedly on the site of the martyred saint’s house. Later excavations under the Chapel of Relics revealed the remains of a Roman house with a pagan shrine to Minerva and the baptistery of an ancient church.

The church was rebuilt in 822 by Pope Paschal 1 and relics of St Cecilia were moved there from the St Calixtus catacombs. The building received its final restoration in the 18th century, paid for by Cardinal Aquaviva d’Aragona, whose Coat of Arms in on the façade.

Several decorations from the ancient church still remain and in the apse is part of a 9th century mosaic depicting the Lord with the saints Agatha, Cecilia, Paul and Valerian. In the monk’s choir is a 13th century mural painting of the Final Judgement by Cavallini and the ciborium by Di Cambio in the presbytery dates back to 1293.

The most remarkable item in the church is the sculpture by Maderno, of the Martyrdom of St Cecilia. In 1595 the saint’s tomb was opened and her body was supposedly uncorrupted by time. Maderno’s sculpture depicts her as she lay in her tomb, her body lying on its side, her head face down (to give the idea of her decapitation).
Sight description based on wikipedia
Antica Caciara

4) Antica Caciara

There are many places in Rome where tourists can find excellent cheese, and most are not far from the city center. Antica Caciara in Trastevere district sells a wide range of delicious cheeses, sausages and other local specialties. The shop located at 140 a/b Via San Francesco a Ripa. Prices varies depending on what kind of cheese visitors want to buy, how seasoned they are and what kind of milk was used, ranging from 10 to 20€ per kg.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Santa Maria in Trastevere

5) Santa Maria in Trastevere (must see)

Santa Maria in Trastevere is a titular minor basilica, one of Rome’s oldest churches, and perhaps the first in which mass was openly celebrated. The basic floor plan and structure of the church date back to the 340s. The present nave preserves its original basilica plan and stands on earlier foundations. The 22 granite columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals that separate the nave from the aisles came from the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, as did the lintel of the entrance door. Inside the church are a number of late 13th-century mosaics by Pietro Cavallini on the subject of the Life of the Virgin (1291) centering on the Coronation of the Virgin in the apse. The church keeps a relic of Saint Apollonia, her head, as well as a portion of the Holy Sponge. Among those buried in the church are the relics of Pope Callixtus I and the body of Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the oldest (if not the oldest) churches in Rome; extremely ornate and well worth a visit when you go to Trastevere.

Like in many other churches, they do want you to have your shoulders and knees covered, no matter how hot it is outside.
A good idea would be to plan on spending a little extra time in the area to grab lunch, dinner or gelato.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7:30am-9pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pasticceria Valzani

6) Pasticceria Valzani

Rome boasts its own very ancient sweet delicacies. Typical pastries belonging to the old Roman tradition are the famous Pangiallo romano, Panpepato, Mostaccioli, and Torrone romano. Pangiallo romano is a sweet made of a mix of different kinds of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, adding honey, raisins and chocolate. Panpepato is a different version of the Pangiallo enriched with chocolate and spices. Mostaccioli is based on a very old recipe that ancient Romans used for weddings. Torrone romano dates back to the ancient Rome and is enriched with pistachio, almonds and chocolate

A great sweet shop where tourists can find pastries belonging to the ancient Roman tradition is Pasticceria Valzani, open since 1925, in 37 a/b Via del Moro, in Trastevere district, a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth visiting Rome. Opening hours are 10am to 7pm Wednesday to Sunday; Monday and Tuesday closed.
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica (Palazzo Corsini)

7) Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica (Palazzo Corsini)

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, or National Gallery of Ancient Art, is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, located on two sites: the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Corsini. The Palazzo Corsini, formerly known as Palazzo Riario, is a 15th-century palace that was rebuilt in the 18th century by architect Ferdinando Fuga for Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini. Inside this late-Baroque palace, on the second floor, the Corsini Museum exhibits mostly Italian art, starting from early Renaissance up to the end 18th century. Works by Caravaggio, Giovanni Baglione, Raphael, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Hans Holbein, Giulio Romano, Nicolas Poussin and many more can be found here. The majority of the items were donated by the Corsini family.
Operation hours: Monday and Wednesday - Sunday: 8:30 am - 7:30 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

Rome's historic center is packed with so many landmarks and works of art, that it would take days to see it all. This walk highlights some of the most important architectural designs and landmarks built during the Renaissance and the Baroque, which are interspersed with a few timeless structures. The landmarks featured in this walk include the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Museums Walk

Museums Walk

As an ancient and cultural city, Rome is packed with museums which demonstrate its value in the world of culture and civilization. When it comes to art, Rome contains the most significant artifacts in the world, including sculptures, paintings, pottery, and porcelain; all hidden within the splendid palaces of the city. Take the following tour to better acquaint yourself with the splendors of Rome.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Souvenir Shopping Tour

Souvenir Shopping Tour

It would be a pity to leave Rome without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Rome, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km
Campo Marzio Shopping Walk

Campo Marzio Shopping Walk

As well as being one of Rome's most central quarters and, thus, one of its most desirable neighborhoods, Campo Marzio is filled with enticing boutiques and markets. Known as a mecca of fashion, this neighborhood actually has everything from antiques and foods to pop culture. To ease your shopping experience, we've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs that you can buy from some of Campo...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Monti and Celio Walking Tour

To stay close to the action in Rome but be able to mingle more with the locals, look no further than the districts of Monti and Celio. Although Monti – the city's oldest district – doesn't boast grand monuments, it more than makes up for that with its lively, friendly atmosphere. Sitting on the fountain steps at Piazza Madonna ai Monti and watching the world go by is as rewarding as...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Souvenirs Shopping: 15 Authentic Italian Things To Buy in Rome

Rome is the Eternal City and, as such, the list of gift options available here is countless. Whether it's something edible, drinkable, wearable or pleasing to the eye that you want - you will find it all here in abundance. However, if time or budget is the factor, perhaps you might want to...
10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

10 Best Food Markets in Rome Italy

Of all the things Italy is most famous for (cars, music, fashion, movies, etc.), food is, undoubtedly, top of the list. Rome may well not be the whole Italy, but no Italy is whole without Rome... And the Romans, much as all their fellow-Italians, like it "fresco", hence the abundance of...
17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

17 Best Gelaterias in Rome Italy

For ice cream lovers and dabblers this guide is a treasure chest of Rome’s best gelato shops. There are gelaterias everywhere. Many visitors to Rome only have a few days to explore the city. You owe it to yourself to make the most of your time and find the gelato locals eat. Often the authentic...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Rome for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Rome has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Rome's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Rome Tourist Card, OMNIA Card, Best of Rome Sightseeing Pass, or Omnia Vatican and Rome Pass.

A city pass combines all of or multiple Rome and Vatican City's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time. Some of them you don't even have to pick up but can scan straight on your phone at any of the city's major attractions/museums!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Rome hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Corso 281 Luxury Suites, Hotel Cosmopolita, Hotel Piazza Venezia.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Rome, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Rome typically costs from around US$20 up to US$80 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Rome and the Vatican City from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the route.

- Cruise along the river Tiber on a similar hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat to view Rome's top attractions from a different angle and be able to get on and off as often as you want at any of the stops along the Tiber riverbanks. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to include a hop-on hop-off bus tour as well.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts 3 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Rome on a 3-hour bike and food tour to visit the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the Eternal City from an informative group leader, plus savor some of the iconic food of the Italian capital.

- Come see all of Roman highlights at a great discount on the Rome Super Saver tour combining two best-selling guided tours for the price of one! Be guaranteed to skip the lines to all the major sights like Colosseum, Roman Forum, and more.

- Take a guided walk to explore Rome's renaissance after the demise of the Roman Empire, learn about the contribution of many popes towards the Eternal City's rise to its present glory. Along with viewing the iconic landmarks, on this tour you will also get a chance to taste Rome's famous gelato (ice-cream).

- Step back in time to the days of the Roman Empire on a 3-hour night tour of Rome to discover the city's top attractions in a different light. Experience Rome's nighttime ambiance amid the twilight and the evening lights adding a romantic touch to the famous sights.

- Explore the artistic trail of Caravaggio in the Italian capital on the Caravaggio walking tour of Rome paying tribute to the great artist's legacy manifested in numerous paintings throughout the city (churches and monuments). Ideal for those on a short visit to Rome and not sure where to start!

- Combine sightseeing with cooking on a 4-hour experience incorporating the “best of Rome” walking tour and the authentic pizza-making class led by a professional Italian pizza chef.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Rome, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like the chic island of Capri, ancient Ostia, Siena and San Gimignano, Assisi and Spoleto, Amalfi сoast, or the ancient city of Pompeii. For as little as US$70+ to US$170+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including gorgeous coastal scenery, historic seaport, charming medieval structures, birthplace of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan religious order, ancient Roman ruins, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight at your hotel or a designated place in Rome, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned bus, boat or a private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.