With its narrow cobbled alleys and its lively squares (piazze), this district is considered the most picturesque one in the city of Rome. Situated on the west bank of the Tiber River, Trastevere (meaning “across the Tiber”) has been the stronghold of Roman popular customs and traditions since ancient Roman times. Some ruins of ancient buildings are still visible under the churches of St. Crisogono and St. Cecilia.
Our itinerary starts at the Tiberina Island from where, crossing one of the oldest bridges in Rome – Ponte Fabricio, built in the 1st century B.C., you will reach piazza Santa Maria, the pulsating heart of the spiritual and social life of the area. Here you will visit the church of Santa Maria, probably the very first place of worship dedicated to the Virgin Mary, remarkable for its amazing medieval mosaics and the twenty- two huge columns in the nave, taken from the ruins of the Caracalla baths. Your Rome excursion will continue through a maze of alleys and narrow backstreets until you reach Porta Settimiana, originally one of the entrances to the baths built by Emperor Settimio Severo, then incorporated into the Aurelian city walls and finally transformed into a Renaissance gateway.
Past the gateway, you will continue walking along via della Lungara, a long straight road constructed in the 16th century, where the rich and powerful built beautiful houses and villas such Villa Farnesina. Its simple, harmonious and elegant design made it one of the earliest true Renaissance villas. The first owner, the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, had the best artists of his time working at the decoration: Baldassarre Peruzzi, Sebastiano del Piombo, Raphael and his pupils. You will enjoy the wonderful frescoes on the walls and ceilings depicting mythological, astronomical and astrological subjects as well as extraordinary painted architectural perspectives.