Coming down from Janiculum Hill (Il Gianicolo), we are now walking into the heart of the artistic area of Rome — Trastevere. This is a place with lesser crowds and if you would believe the tour guides, the place to stay to enjoy the real atmosphere of Rome. There are plenty of quiet alleyways, cobblestone streets and various nooks and crannies for you to explore.
“Are we lost?” asked the wife.
“That’s the thing we are aiming for,” I replied.
“That’s what you said for Venice too,” she retorted.
It is kind of easy to get lost in Trastevere compared to Venice, most of the time it is due to the fact that the landmarks are being obscured from your view. But once you orientate yourself to those that you found, it isn’t that hard. Worse comes to worst, just find the Tiber.
As expected, the crowds are less over here, mostly the elderly from what we saw, because they are a couple of nice churches in Trastevere. Here, we have one, Santa Maria di Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome.
Fior di Luna
Our first stop on such a hot day, was at Fior di Luna, Via della Lungaretta 96. This is considered as one of the finest Rome gelato on the other side of the Tiber. The ice cream is made from natural products with no artificial flavourings or colour added, or so it says on the door.
After spending another half an hour traversing Trastevere (pun intended), we decided to stop for a late lunch. Trastevere is also home to many university students, and they could be found at Ai Spaghettari, munching lunch whilst poring over their books.
If I’m not mistaken, this was suggested by one of the Spotters for Rome but when I checked it today, I couldn’t find the post anywhere.
You can have yours either inside or outside, we decided to go for the outdoor version, let us watch some of these Romans and their daily chores. Service was fast and impeccable, surprisingly enough, quite reasonable prices too. We had one of the pizzas and a macaroni side dish, and the bill came up to €25.30, inclusive of drinks and if I’m not mistaken, Rome’s tourist tax.
This would be the recommended restaurant for cheese lovers, it was actually in every single dish that we have had here. After 5 days in Italy, I think it was time we switch our palettes from the cheese dishes to something else, I made a mental note for tonight’s dinner.
After a few twists and turns, we came to Santa Maria Dell’orto, another of Trastevere’s churches and also a place to rest our feet in complete silence. I like the atmosphere at churches, the sombre mood and the quietness. Not to mention the abundance of seats for us to rest and recheck our maps and itinerary.
Another not to be missed church in Trastevere is Santa Cecilia, it was located quite near to the Tiber, and was also our last stop before we cross it. A word of warning though, they are no English translations for this church, but that doesn’t mean it will stop you from enjoying what it has to offer.
(to be continued)