Rome is famous for its Colosseum, Pantheon, Sistine Chapel, which are all remarkable and well-preserved ancient sights. Unfortunately, they all get flooded by thousands of tourists who at the end of the day have not experienced or lived Rome as today’s Romans do. All they did was stand in the line with dozens of other tourists carrying their backpacks, water bottles and umbrellas. To get an idea of what it feels to be a modern Roman, you need to explore Rome’s neighborhoods.
Among others we suggest Testaccio, which is pretty ordinary, residential and has no popular tourist attractions. But here’s why we love it.
It has creepy sights, great food scene, and the best market ever!
WHAT TO DO
A must-see “monuments” in Testaccio are the graves of English poets Keats and Shelley in the non-Catholic cemetery on Via Caio Cestio. Nearby you will come across an Egyptian looking Pyramid that looks out of place, you will agree, but makes a great meeting point!
While wandering around and looking for good food, colorful markets and hidden sights you will feel how Roman the neighborhood is… Together with the local men that hang out in the squares and bars, or older ladies that rush to the markets you emerge yourself in day to day life and become Roman for a moment.
Finally, we recommend seeing how an old slaughterhouse of Testaccio has been turned into an amazing contemporary art gallery that regularly hosts art exhibitions attracting younger crowd. Right across from there you will find the famous Testaccio market that offers a variety of family-owned stands with good quality and delicious looking foods! The market, opened for over a century, has been recently relocated indoors which increased both, quality and quantity of its vendors!
If you enjoy walking Testaccio is only 20 minutes from Trastevere and 30 minutes from the historical city center. Otherwise, Testaccio has a metro stop Piramide on a metro line B, which makes the city center and Termini train station easily accessible. It is well connected to Fiumicino airport by train from Ostiense station.