The picturesque quarter of Testaccio began as a peasant area at the end of the 1800s, before becoming one of the most alternative and fashionable areas in modern Rome. In the area new trends live alongside ancient Roman traditions. It is the ideal area to get to know the real Rome, far enough from the crowds of tourists, but only a short walk from the historical center.
The history of Testaccio begins in Ancient Rome. Along the banks of the Tiber river which lie near the area, ships and boats off loaded their cargo of amphorae filled with oil. These shards were abandoned and over the years formed a hill which became known as the "morte dei cocci", the heart of the Testaccio quarter. It's possible to visit the remains today, for information see the official website of the Comune di Roma. The current lay-out of the district was formed at the end of 1800s when Rome became the capital of Italy. It was designed as an industrial quarter and was full of the homes of the laborers who worked there. The most significant example of this type of architecture is the ex-slaughter house. Begun in 1888, development continuing until 1975, today it is one of the main cultural centers of Rome. It holds the Museo Macro where interesting modern and contemporary art exhibitions are held. To see the current calendar of events, visit the official website for the museum Museo Arte Contemporanea Macro Testaccio. As well as the Macro, the area is home to other places of interest such as the protestant cemetery and the Cestia Piramide. Testaccio, however is most famous for its "trattorie" small restaurants where the secrets of Roman cuisine are jealously protected, and where you can enjoy typical traditional meals.
Dating from the 11th century, for many it is one of the most important religious buildings in Rome.
Found on the Via Ardeatina, it is one of the oldest and biggest of Rome 's catacombs.
One of the most symbolic and romantic places in Rome, it is known also as the garden of the oranges and offers a splendid view of Rome.
An unusual monument to see in Rome, the pyramid was built sometime between 18 and 12 BC as a tomb for an important Roman.
Found on the Aventino, beside the villa of the Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta, from which its name derives. Famous for the so called "buco della serratura". Looking through a hole in the large door you can see St. Peter's Dome.
Known to Ancient Romans as the regina viarum (the queen of roads), Via Appia Antica originally commenced at Porta San Sebastiano near the Baths of Caracalla and ended at Brindisi in the southern heel of Italy.
It is here that the first Christians came to profess their faith and hide from persecution in the II century.
Built in the 2nd century BC in honor of Cecilia Metella, a Roman noble woman.
Found on the Via Appia and built at the request of the Emperor Massenzo, it hosted famous Roman games.
One of the four papal basilicas, according to tradition it holds the remains of Saint Paul.
The Basilica, on the Via Ardeatina, is one of the seven churches to visit during the year of the Giubileo. Below the Basilica lay the remains of the martyr Sebastiano.
Built on the Aventina hill and dedicated to an anonymous martyr from the 1st century, it was built on a Roman domus in the 2nd century.
It was here that three hundred and thirty five civilians were deported during the second world war, after the roundup of Via Rasella. The place emits a strong sense of suffering and sadness, but also encourages reflection on such a tragic moment in Italian history.
A captivating historical place, also known as the English or non-Catholic cemetery, it is the final resting place of poets such as Keats and Shelley as well as the Italian political theorist Antonio Gramsci.