The neighborhood of Trastevere in Rome has always stood out fire its charming streets and Bohemian atmosphere
Located along the banks of the Tiber River (Italian: Tevere) in Rome, just south of the Vatican, the region of Trastevere is one of Rome´s most bohemian neighborhoods. This area of narrow serpentine streets is filled with bars, restaurants and unique little shops that reminded us of Greenwich Village in New York or Malasaña in Madrid. It turns out that Trastevere has been considered the more multicultural area for centuries, and its cobblestone streets, too narrow for a carriage to pass are just what give Trastevere its modern day charm.
We arrived just after sunset and immediately fell victim, as almost any visitor in Rome to the danger of all dangers: overpriced gelato. Yes. I know, you were counting on Rusko to steer you clear of such a common and basic downfall of traveling in Rome, but alas and alack we couldn´t avoid it. I will, however, note that once I got over the exorbanent price of my pistachio gelato, I proceeded to enjoy it, as if I were discovering ice cream for the first time! If, in fact, you find yourself in a similar situation, I suggest adopting this attitude, at least until your dish is empty (you can then go back to being your pragmatic self and vow to look closely at the prices and small print in the future. But just for a moment. I raised a spoon and enjoyed my dish of pistachio goodness to the fullest.
We had been advised, and rightly so, to allow ourselves to wander and get turned around in the neighborhood of Trastevere, as the charm lies in the confusion. Even so, we decided to start out in the main square Piazza Santa Maria where there is a gorgeous old church. From there, we walked up and down the streets illuminated in part by the twilight and in part by yellowy street lamps. There were lots of students and tourists, but also Italians taking advantage of the last hours of a Sunday.
We stopped into a café and had a glass of red wine while watching out the window as people passed by, couples holding hands, tourists with their guidebooks cracked open, and next to us on a sofa in the corner was a group of middle aged women, clearly friends who went way back, enjoying a glass of wine and many laughs. This seemed to me, the epitome of enjoying the moment, and, while perhaps this was all a travelers illusion and romanticism, a little of that never hurts.
When it got a bit later, and it was time for dinner, we looked around and finally stumbled on a place that, while perhaps not the best restaurant in the neighborhood, was filled with Italian families (something which at least assured us of avoiding another overpriced ice cream fiasco). The pizza and pasta we shared was decent, although perhaps not the best I´ve ever eaten ( to tell you the truth, the best pizza I had in Rome was at Baffetto 2). And after dinner we made a final stop at a bar in the neighborhood before heading back to our hotel.
We ruskommend the neighborhood of Trastevere with 5 boquerones as it is a bohemian neighborhood that allows you to escape a bit of the touristy feel that the area around the Vatican or the Coliseum brings. Trastevere is a great place to go, especially if you enjoy photography or if you just want to get lost in a centuries old multicultural, artistic neighborhood. If you are looking for a hotel in Trastevere, a good place to start would be the website Oh-Rome, as it has lots of different options.