Rome’s Testaccio Neighborhood
Life in Rome can be pretty hectic; you don’t have to be a local to realize how busy our City is at times. VAtican Museums, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain. These are some of the top attractions Rome has to offer, but it doesn’t end there. In fact, there are a few neighborhoods in Rome only known to few non-locals that are worth a visit. One of these is Testaccio neighborhood, located near Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto neighborhoods. Its history, market and nightlife will make you want to stay for more than one night out!
Testaccio Neighborhood: History
The name Testaccio comes from the latin Testaceus, meaning hill of “broken clay vessels”. In ancient times, the Testaccio neighborhood used to be a marketplace for people who worked along the river. Up until a few years ago, butcher shops were the largest businesses in Testaccio, until they moved the slaughterhouse a bit further away. Markets are still present, but the whole area has now been remodeled to be filled by university campuses and modern museums.
One of the attractions in Testaccio neighborhood that’s worth visiting is clearly the Pyramid of Cestius. Built in 12 B.C. as a tomb for a member of one of the religious orders in Rome, it still stands as of today, right next to the protestant cemetery. Another interesting site to visit is the Order of Malta’s headquarters, located on top of the Aventine hill. If you want to know more about the Order of Malta, we recommend you read our article or that you check out our walking tour of the location.
Testaccio Neighborhood: Market
Historically known as a marketplace, Testaccio neighborhood still provides its citizens areas where they can buy groceries. The Testaccio market is a huge modern building located on Via Galvani. Open from Monday to Saturday 6am-3pm, this market is one of the biggest in Rome. If you visit their website, you’ll be able to see a series of events planned. This involves locals (but also people from all over the place) and invites them to be a part of what might seem an “old” reality, but also a good way to form strong communities.
Testaccio Neighborhood: Restaurants and Nightlife
If you’re looking for authentic Roman cuisine, Testaccio is where you must go. There, you are (almost) sure to avoid tourist traps and eat what a local would at reasonable prices. Due to the slaughterhouse being in the neighborhood, the restaurants nearby used to have the freshest ingredients to make their typical Carbonara and Matriciana. Luckily, they have not abandoned the cooking tradition and you’ll happily go back once you try it. With time, Testaccio has shifted its role of working class neighborhood to something a bit more “hipster”. For this reason, bars and clubs you find in Testaccio neighborhood are really one of a kind and guarantee fun for any millennial who finds themselves walking along Testaccio’s streets.
We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to have fun in an unusual neighborhood of Rome. If you want to some other sites during the day (or night), check out the tours of Rome that will take you anywhere you want! Leave a comment below to tell us your experience in Testaccio neighborhood, we can’t wait to hear all about it!
Bye for now,