Trastevere or Trestevere in local dialect, is rione XIII of Rome, and it lies on the west bank of the Tiber. Its name comes from the Latin trans Tiberim, meaning "beyond the Tiber".
In Trastevere young and old people, locals and tourists alike spend their evenings roaming in the narrow cobbled streets lined by medieval houses, eating in a typical Roman restaurant, and drinking in one of the several pubs situated in the area.
Thanks to its many typical restaurants, pubs, pizzerias, as well as the little and stylish shops, Trastevere remains one of the most lively and picturesque districts of Rome.
The maze of narrow streets leads to beautiful squares such as Piazza Trilussa, gathering point for the young at night, or Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, which features the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere (Basilica of Our Lady's in Trastevere ) boasting a XIII century mosaic on the upper side of the façade.
Did You Know..?
At the very beginning of Rome’s history, Trastevere belonged to the hostile Etruscans. Rome conquered it to gain control of the river from both banks, but was not interested in building on that side of the river. In fact, the only connection between Trastevere and the rest of the city was a small wooden bridge called the Pons Sublicius. Thanks to the area partial isolation and its cosmopolitan environment, the people of Trastevere, known as trasteverini, were a sort of population of their own, famous for their tenacity, pride and honesty.
The beauty of the local women boasting dark eyes and hair and regular features also had a wide appeal.
In the Middle Ages Trastevere had narrow, winding, irregular streets: a real maze with a strong contrast between the huge mansions of the rich and the small houses of the poor. The streets had no pavement until the end of the 1400s, when Pope Sixtus IV decided to renovate the area. For the paving project bricks were initially chosen, but these were soon replaced by sampietrini (cobble stones), because they were more suitable for carriages.