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A walk among the many roman treasures of Trastevere

Searching for the “beautiful” to get to know a place: in Rome, a rich itinerary is the one that connects the Renaissance treasures of Trastevere. A neighborhood with ancient and fascinating origins, reflected in its unique spirit and artistic and cultural heritage.

To walk its streets is to experience a certain cosmopolitan Romanity that, since the days of Ancient Rome, has been contaminated by international presences. The urban and social stratification that has occurred over the centuries makes Trastevere a place of strong contradictions.

Discovering the beauty of one of Rome’s most characteristic neighborhoods

An area populated from its origins by Tiber workers, the name comes from the Latin trans Tiberim (“beyond the Tiber”) and has undergone a residential transformation in the last century with more affluent inhabitants and more profitable activities.

Area of the city that also offers characteristic typical dining, ideal for tourism and at the same time with problems of nightlife and public order. Home to the Regina Coeli prison and the territory of valuable basilicas. And it is this latter inspiration that leads us among artisan stores, trendy eateries and ancient streets to seek out period traces of the 16th century.

All under the benevolent gaze of Belli and Trilussa, two Roman poets who expertly described Rome and the character of the Romans.

The basilicas of Trastevere where popular worship has written exquisite pages of art

Trastevere is a neighborhood that is home to many churches of great historical, artistic and religious value. Of these, two are particularly important: the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere and the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome, founded by Pope Calixtus I in the 3rd century and renovated in the 12th century. Throughout its chapels are extraordinary works of art, making it a showcase of Trastevere’s Renaissance treasures.

Admirable are the frescoes by Annibale Carracci and Cesare Nebbia on the life of St. Gregory, and those by the Zuccari brothers on the preaching of St. James. So are those by Antonio Tempesta and Giovanni Battista Ricci with the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist.

Pietro Cavallini, who lived between the 1200s and 1300s, created the splendid apsidal mosaic of the Virgin and Child here.

Another monumental basilica and a villa home to a prestigious institution

Pietro Cavallini represents the trait d’union with the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere where he created numerous works of art. Going back to the 1500s, a marble statue sculpted by Stefano Maderno of the saint is kept here: a Roman noblewoman martyred in the 3rd century and the patron saint of musicians.

Maderno sculpted the saint in the position in which she was found, with her wounds on her neck and her face turned downward. The statue is considered a masterpiece of expressiveness and realism, as well as a testament to the devotion to the saint.

To complete our walk among Renaissance Trastevere treasures, we visit a work of civic construction: the Villa Farnesina. A villa built between 1506 and 1510 for Agostino Chigi, a wealthy Sienese banker in the service of the Pope.

Designed by Baldassarre Peruzzi, the villa is famous for its frescoes depicting mythological and allegorical scenes. Among the artists who worked on the decoration of the villa are Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma, and Giulio Romano.

Among the many contradictions of Trastevere, it is not difficult to make the “beautiful” emerge with the force of universal masterpieces.

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 by Andrea Franchini | photo by Ezio Bocci

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