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Testaccio, a roman neighborhood full of passions

The Testaccio district, twentieth of twenty-two Roman districts, became such after the Unification of Italy; but the history of its area is ancient.

Starting with its name, which derives from the Latin “testa,” meaning the “shards” of the amphorae for oil that arrived at the river port of Ripa Grande on the Tiber.

An authentic corner of Rome to be discovered

Amphorae that could only be used once because of the hygienic regulations of the time and were deposited there to form an artificial mound, Monte Testaccio.

The highest in Rome, with a perimeter of one kilometer, and consisting of an estimated 50 million amphorae piled up.

The caves carved out of this mound, over time, have been transformed from warehouses, naturally cool and ventilated, to fashionable little places that are still popular today or even into dwellings.

Testaccio’s attachment to traditional Roman cuisine

Sustained between the late 1800s and 1975 by the presence of the Slaughterhouse where meat was processed for the entire city, today this passion is preserved by the picturesque municipal market.

A populated trading and meeting center that continues to offer zero-mile products and typical Roman dishes.

Triumphant among these are recipes for the so-called “quinto quarto” (fifth quarter) the innards of slaughtered animals of which nothing is discarded.

Variety of monuments and buildings contributes to neighborhood pride

Testaccio is rich in civic and religious architecture: the former slaughterhouse has become a contemporary art museum (Macro), with a famous popular music school attached.

The fire station on Via Marmorata is a fine example of 1930s architecture, as is the former Centrale Montemartini, now used as an art museum, of industrial archaeology.

Piazzale Ostiense is home to the vintage sea train station, Porta San Paolo, which commemorates the battles of World War II, and the Cestia Pyramid built between 12 and 8 B.C.

On the subject of ancient relics, some remains of the Emporium, the river port, and the Horrea Galbana annonary warehouses testify to the ancient mercantile character of the area. The two cemeteries, the Non-Catholic and Commonwealth cemeteries, are still much visited today.

The early 20th century Church of St. Mary Liberator, desired by Mayor Nathan to promote the neighborhood, is the local landmark parish.

Passion for soccer: Testaccio was home to AS Roma’s glorious stadium

Testaccio is Romanist in its DNA. Founded in 1927, the Giallorossi (yellow-red) team played its home matches there from 1929 to 1940. Capable of seating twenty thousand spectators it had four wooden stands that became the nightmare of opposing teams.

This happened when fans began to rattle its floorboards, simulating an ominous rumble. For many years, the area’s housing market stood still, a sign of the residents’ attachment to their neighborhood.

Those citizens who were no longer just Romans but also immigrants from the rest of Italy and the world who, however, could not help but fall in love with the virtues and vices of this authentic corner of the city.

With the Blog of Rome and Latium Region, Around Rome guides you to discover the territories for the pleasure of satisfying curiosity and putting culture at the service of people and businesses.

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Edited by il NETWORK | text Andrea Franchini | photo Ezio Bocci

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