The One Roman Neighborhood You Must Explore

As opposed to most ‘touristy’ neighborhoods of Rome, Testaccio is an old working-class district with a sense of local flair. Located on the edge of the old city, the neighborhood is a short way south from the Colosseum and the Tiber River is a quick hop over to the east of Trastevere. Our students live at the south end of Trastevere, so this neighborhood is about 10 minutes by foot from their student accommodation.

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Testaccio, known for its rich history, exquisite food and terra-cotta hills, it may not be Rome’s top tourist destination but it definitely allows you to experience the true Roman culture with the locals. Here is a guide to explore this up-and-coming neighborhood of Rome.

Must-see attractions:

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Monte Testaccio: A large man-made mountain, built out of terracotta which was piled up to form the hill in ancient Roman times. The surrounding area is now transformed and well-known for its nightlife and restaurants.

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Slaughterhouse (Mattatoio):  One of the biggest slaughterhouses in Europe, it now houses a museum and farmer’s market and food festivals.

Pyramid and Non- Catholic Cemetery: Testaccio’s most distinctive landmarks is the 37m high pyramid, constructed in the year 12 BC. The pyramid is one of Rome’s most conserved monument.

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Explore:

Experience the local food market: From fresh produce, vintage delis, historic butchers, pastries and local wine, Testaccio Market is a great place to eat (why would you say no to free samples, after all?) and shop.

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Explore Rome’s street art on a Vespa: Watch the abandoned, vintage buildings and hidden walls come to life with graffiti art in these streets.

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Restaurants/ Eating in Testaccio:

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Taverna Volpetti: Searching for a blast from the past? Taverna Volpetti is the perfect dining spot for you, offering ageless Roman specialties, for over four decades. Could you really say no to salami tasting platter with whole legs of prosciutto freshly cut to your liking with assorted cheese?

Perilli: Been around since the early ‘90s, the restaurant is known for its carbonara, amatriciana and gricia. Best known for its simple, elegant and unpretentious ambience.

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Trapizzino: Experience the city’s latest street food craze. The eatery gets its name from its signature dish- the trapizzino, a conical shape pizza with fillings of your choice. Get pizza on-the-go without compromising on the taste.

Mercato Testaccio: For all the organic lovers, you can try fresh produce at this local fresh food market. From classic Roman dishes at Food Box, Le Mani in Pasta and healthy options at Zoe, this place is the perfect lazy, foodie day out.

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Testaccio is the perfect neighborhood if you’re looking to get under Rome’s skin and see an alternative side of this beautiful city. Explore this vintage, untouched part of the town without having to deal with the crowd and the touristic buzz.