Trastevere, The Ancient Neighborhood

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There is a little less than a week before I depart for Rome, trading the skyscrapers and rushed streets of New York for the ancient streets of Rome. As of last week, I have confirmed the neighborhood I shall be living in: the famed Trastevere. Oft heard at the start of conversations when speaking of my upcoming trip to Rome is “You must go to Trastevere!!”

Once a working class neighborhood, it is now a thriving area home to some of the best Rome has to offer in the way of food, culture, history, and yes, it is indeed the center of Rome’s nightlife. From fellow expats I hear it is swamped with tourists, there for the rustic winding streets by day and thriving bar and club scene by night (the area set the stage for Woody Allen’s movie on Americans in Rome entitled To Rome With Love).

Though I may not find the love Woody Allen’s characters continually strive for, I hope to have an equally exciting and surprising experience. As an intrepid American, I plan to get lost in the neighborhoods vibrant history and culture. Home to countless sights of note, I hope to stumble upon them all.

I most look forward to discovering the Tempietto, a surreal garden with a tomb reminiscent of the center structure in Luciano Laurana’s Ideal City. Located in the church of San Pietro in Montorio, the central tomb is a 16th century structure designed by Renaissance architect Donato Bramante marking the very spot of St. Peter’s martyrdom.

Along with visiting this site, I shall run along the Fiume Tevere (otherwise known as the Tiber River) every morning and bike the cobbled streets of my neighborhood. I will visit the farmers market in the Piazza Santa Maria, shopping for the finest produce, meat, and fish from all of Lazio. Just blocks from the Piazza, I am also living across the street from San Crisogono, a 17th church dedicated to St Chrysogonus.

When in Rome, I will outline these sites among many others in much more depth with the inclusion of pictures. I still do not know the shape this blog will take, but I do now believe it will include the intersection between Rome’s  history and food. 

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