During my recent trip to Rome, one of my favorite experiences was an evening spent in Trastevere. Far from the tourist epicenters of the Colosseum and Vatican, we arrived in the neighborhood, nestled on the west bank of the Tiber, just after a rainstorm.
After a winding taxi ride through cobblestone streets (every taxi ride in Rome feels like a high speed getaway chase), we were deposited in an unassuming alley way and told we’d have to make rest of the journey on foot. Our destination – Grazia e Graziella,
a Trip Advisor recommended restaurant in the heart of the neighborhood. Dodging puddles, we navigated the snaking pedestrian streets until we found our target.
Seated on the patio, we had front row seats to excellent people watching. From tourists, to locals celebrating the weekend, to eccentric shop stalls to friendly Italian puppies, we took in the sounds and sights of Trastevere reawakening after the rain.
All of this street side entertainment was just a warm up, however, for the showstopping main event – our dinner.
I know I’ve already covered this meal in my “Everything I Ate in Rome”
post, but it is so worth revisiting. Glorious antipasti, amatriciana and tiramisu. Last meal worthy stuff and perfectly Roman – no spaghetti or fettucine alfredo in sight. The sight of it still makes my mouth water.
After we had fully stuffed ourselves, we set out to explore the neighborhood’s streets, with both dusk and Romans settling into them.
I love the golden hues of this city at nighttime. Every random building is so photogenic.
In one of the main piazzas stood the beautiful Basilica Santa Maria. It’s really incredible and overwhelming how many historical and jaw-droppingly beautiful buildings still exist in Rome. Santa Maria dates back to 1143!
Warm summer nights meant many tourists and Romans alike were gathering outside to take in the weekend air. I love the feel of community this brings to the city; people aren’t confined to bars or restaurants, but want to soak up the feeling of Rome and its evening energy.
I couldn’t resist a shameless selfie.
Street vendors litter the streets and squares, like most of Rome’s busy areas. They provide entertainment and window shopping, but you should take your time and use your discernment to sniff out the real deal from tourist traps. I was content to meander and take photos.
Revelers spilled out into the street and around this cute vintage car.
We found our way to the Tiber and Trastevere’s end. More stalls dotted the border of the river below. If you’ve seen the new James Bond film, Spectre, you’ll recognize this river’s edge from a certain high speed car chase. The city is so cinematic and surreal, so I definitely understand the appeal to filmmakers and artists of all mediums.
Darkness fully engulfing the city, we decided to double back once more to take in the neighborhood’s offerings one more time before leaving.
I’m a city girl at heart, so it truly sent my heart racing to feel in the “middle of it all” and take in the buzz of the weekend with real Romans. We just had a glimpse of Trastevere, so I look forward to tasting more of its fine food, ambling through its labyrinth of streets and soaking up its electric spirit on my hopefully very soon next trip to the Eternal City. If you visit Rome, you’d be remiss to skip it.
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