Art lover's guide to Rome: The best of Trastevere

The charming character of Trastevere, with the narrow streets and the vividly colored terracota & ochre walls is a reason enough to visit this beautiful Roman neighborhood and load your camera with amazing (instagrammable) pictures of the area. The abundance of all-kinds of restaurants and bars is another strong reason and it is practically impossible not to spend some of your Roman nights in Trastevere.

Still, the museums, galleries and churches you can find here are some of the best in the city; Renaissance palazzi filled with masterpieces, ancient and medieval churches adorned with works by giants such as Bramante and Bernini and even joints of contemporary art, are the art-treasures you'll find in Trastevere (the area beyond Tiber river, as it's name suggests).
 
Our partner Walkable Rome can help you discover the area’s hidden gems (historical buildings, gardens, places of interest) as well as the best restaurants and bars of Trastevere. Walkable Rome provides tailored services to short-term visitors, bloggers and expats in Rome, based on their curiosities and tastes.
 
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Isola Tiberina

The ship-shaped island is your gateway to Trastevere when you are coming from the Ghetto through Ponte Fabricio, the oldest surviving bridge of Rome. Legends connect the island to a miracle concerning god Asclepius whose temple once occupied a large part of the island. The temple was replaced by San Bartolomeo church (founded in 998 under Otto III) in memory of St Bartholomew the Apostle whose relics are kept inside the church.
 
 
Frutta Gallery

Since you are about to encounter loads of medieval and Renaissance art and architecture in this part of the city, you can take a sip of some fresh and up-to-date art at Frutta. The Gallery (open Monday to Friday, 13:00 to 19:00) is one of the most interesting venues for contemporary art in the city, with an active and busy schedule of exhibitions of art by Italian and international artists!
Address: Via dei Salumi, 53, 00153 Rome - Visit the gallery's website
 
 
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

Entering Piazza Cecilia you’ll find yourself in a charming courtyard which offers a great façade-view of one of the most beautiful churches in Rome. Santa Cecilia was found in the 5th century and it is said that it was built over the house of the saint! The portico and campanile were added in the 12th c. There are countless artworks contained in the church; look for Pietro Cavallini’s Last Judgement mosaic (1289-9) in the gallery above the entrance, the mosaic made for Paschal I in the apse behind the high altar and Carlo Maderno’s statue of Santa Cecilia, modeled after her uncorrupted body of the saint after the re-opening of her tomb in 1599.
Address: Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 22.
 
 
San Francesco a Ripa

The church is reputed of containing a cell in which Saint Francis of Assizi is said to have dwelled in 1219 (you can ask the guard to open it for you) but most visitors end up here to admire the famous statue of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni by Bernini located in the Altieri chapel (last to your right)!  Giorgio de Chirico is buried in the church!
Address: Piazza di S. Francesco d'Assisi, 88
 
 
San Crisogogno

On your way to the Piazza of Santa Maria in Trastevere you’ll find San Crisogono; 5th century church rebuilt in 1130 by Innocent II with a splendid campanile from the 12th century. The excavations under the church revealed remains of several 4th century Roman buildings.
Address: Piazza Sidney Sonnino, 44
 
 
Santa Maria in Trastevere

Being the oldest church in a city full of (really) old churches is a reason enough to visit this historic building. Located in the heart of Trastevere (the square with the fountain in front of the church is the rione’s meeting place) the church is famous for some amazing 12th c. and 13th mosaics both on the façade and the interior of the church. Most of the structure can be dated back to the restoration of 1140-43 but the basic floor plan and the wall structure are parts of the original temple of 340 A.D.! The 22 granite columns that separate the nave from the aisles came from the Baths of Caracalla! The church is filled with magnificent art and mosaics (most notably by Pietro Cavallini) and it’s the burial place of several Popes and Cardinals.
Address: Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere
 
 
Museo di Roma in Trastevere

The former Carmelite convent of Saint Egidio, is a part of the Museum of Rome and exhibits art that is connected with the life of the Roman from the 18th century to the early 20th. The major themes of the collection are the costumes, the popular dances, the secular and religious festivals and the crafts. The Museum also organizes several very interesting photographic exhibitions throughout the year (check cityartnow/rome for the current ones)
Address: Piazza di S. Egidio, 1b. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00- 20.00. Admission: € 6,00
 
 
Villa Farnesina

This magnificent specimen of Renaissance architecture was built by Agostino Chigi, a man famous for his extravagant feasts during which he threw precious silverware into the river (although he had a net installed under the water’s surface in order to collect them after the feast was over). The villa is adorned with great art from Romano, Sontoma, Del Pompio and, most notable, Raphael, whose Galatea is the highlight of the visit!
Address: Via della Lungara, 230. Visiting is only by appointment. Reservations e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Admission: € 6,00
 
 
Palazzo Corsini

The Palazzo was built in the 1730s by the prominent Corsini family and it’s this family’s art collection of Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces that formed the base of the Galleria Corsini. Works by Frangelico, Van Dyck, Rubens, Caravaggio, Murillo, Reni and Poussin are only some of the artworks you can find in the Palazzo. Note that the entrance fee (€ 10) also includes admission to the Palazzo Barberini and it is valid for 10 days! A brief rest in the charming nearby Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden) is recommended!
Address: Via della Lungara, 10. Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays 8:30 am – 7 pm. Admission: Full Ticket Palazzo Barberini + Corsini Galleries: € 12, valid for 10 days

San Pietro in Montorio
 
The church of Saint Peter on the Hill of Gianicolo is built, according to tradition, on the place where the Saint was crucified! You can admire splendid artworks by Sebastiano del Piombo, Giorgio Vasari and Giulio Mazzoni in the church as well as the Raimondi chapel, designed by Bernini! The main attraction, though, of San Pietro is located in the courtyard and it’s the world-famous Tempietto; a small circular temple designed by the great Bramante and paid by the Spanish royal couple of Isabella and Ferdinand. The harmony in the design of the Tempietto, which owes a lot to the Ancient Roman heritage of the city, soon made it one of the most influential structures of the Renaissance architecture!
Address: Piazza di S. Pietro in Montorio, 2.
 
 
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