A Travellerspoint blog

More of Central Rome plus Trastavere and Testaccio

sunny 15 °C

A couple of days ago I did an 8+ mile walk from my apartment to Campo di Fiori and Piazza Farnese for a quick stop at my favorite coffee and pastry place right on the piazza. From there I went over to Piazza Navona. It was Jan 7 and the Christmas market was being taken down. Finally stopped into Sant'Agnese in Agone (also called Sant'Agnese in Piazza Navona). This lovely 17th-century Baroque church faces onto the Piazza Navona and is the site where the Early Christian Saint Agnes was martyred in the ancient Stadium of Domitian. Construction began in 1652 under the architects Girolamo Rainaldi and his son Carlo Rainaldi. It is well worth a visit but is often very busy because of its location. I was lucky today.
Moved on to the Pantheon in hopes of catching my favorite street musician. He wasn’t there but a young man playing the violin was excellent and played lovely music while I had a Prosecco Spritz.

I decided to move on to Trastavere. This area used to be considered ‘off the beaten path’ but is now well known to tourists because of its night-life. I like it because it is still charming in many ways especially if you go early in the day. This time my mission was to go up Janiculum hill to see Fonte Acqua Paola. It is a huge fountain built in 1612 to mark the end of the Acqua Paola aqueduct, restored by Pope Paul V, and took its name from him. Also in this park is a memorial to those killed to establish Rome as the capital of the Republic of Italy. It is a sober reminder of the freedoms people have died for. The views from this hill are expansive and fun to try to figure out what you are looking at.
I then made the long walk back to my apartment to rest my feet before heading out to dinner.

Jan 8 – Testaccio
This area, which is really off the beaten path for many who visit Rome, has been on my list for a very long time. It has a very interesting mix of history from its origins as a main distribution point to the rest of Italy from the Port of Ostiense, a major slaughter facility and the EUR, Esposizione Universale Roma, a world’s fair that Benito Mussolini and his administration planned for 1942, to celebrate his rule WWII. There are other buildings, like the post office, which were also designed in this period.

The first thing you see when you exit the metro is a large pyramid. The Pyramid of Cestius (in Italian, Piramide di Caio Cestio or Piramide Cestia) is an ancient pyramid built as a tomb for Gaius Cestius, a magistrate or praetor. It is incorporated into the city's fortifications therefore it is today one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. There is also a in the piazza called “All Potential Target” which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Liberation. This piazza is a historical site of the Capitoline resistance and the monument is dedicated to the victims of Nazism and racism, and more generally, to all persecuted minorities. It depicts five shooting victims with hands tied behind their back in front of mirrors. The five colored triangles on their chests are a reminder of how the Nazi’s distinguished the internees of their death camps: pink for homosexual, blue for immigrants, yellow star for Jews, red for anti-fascists and brown for gypsies. Another stunning reminder of some of the world’s ugliest history.
The slaughter house has been repurposed into a music school, a modern art museum and an exhibition place for temporary installments and/or concerts. Very cool.

The Testaccio market is a large complex of wonderful food – tastings allowed.

Another highlight in this area is the Protestant Cemetery or Non-Catholic Cemetery with many famous people are laid to rest – Keats and Shelley to name a few. The gravestones and epitaphs are intriguing.

Posted by CWalts 03:05 Archived in Italy Tagged rome testaccio trastavere

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Loved your narration of these days! Makes me long to travel to Italy but only if you can be our giude!

by Bonnie Couture

Ciao bella! I usually wait for a quiet time in my day to read your blog because it always has so much information. In fact I normally have to read each excerpt 2 or 3 times to feel that I've absorbed most of the material. I hope that you are enjoying your adventures as much as I'm enjoying reading of them.

by Tricia Syz

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