Besides the charming and hip quarter Monti that I wrote about last week, there are four more quarters that will satisfy your inner foodie and spark your interest in shopping and sightseeing. Trastevere, Campo de Fiori, Parione and Ghetto are all four boasting with restaurants and small boutiques, yet also different and distinctive with their own charm. So let’s explore!
Campo dei Fiori
Campo dei Fiori, which means flower field, is a lively quarter most renowned for its daily streetmarket. Early morning merchants set up their stalls to welcome tourists and locals. Surrounding the market there are many taverns and side-streets like Via dei Baullari and Via dei Giubbonari lead to independent shops and delis. At the market you can buy traditional Italian ingredients and fresh produce like cheeses, herbs, sausages and vegetables.
Ghetto is the Jewish quarter of Rome. It’s one of Rome’s most authentic neighbourhoods. Hence, do keep in mind that on Friday evening and Saturdays it’s sabbath and most restaurants and shops are closed. The restaurants serve authentic and traditional Jewish Roman food, like the famous fried artichokes. It’s also in Ghetto that you find the Portico d’Ottavia, one of Rome’s most beautiful archeological sites, the Synagog and Museum Ebraico di Roma, and Piazza Mattei.
Parione is a vibrant quarter just north of Campo dei Fiori. Its name derives from yesteryears when there was a huge ancient wall, probably belonging to the stadium of Domitianus. People called the wall Parietone which means “big wall” in ancient Italian. Parione is a vibrant and cosmopolitan quarter that is most famous for the Piazza Navona, the most beautiful square of Rome. Three beautiful fountains luster the square; the Fontana die Quattro Fiumi, the Fontana del Moro, and the Fontana del Nettuno. Fontana die Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) is the most popular. The three fountains, painters with their art work and the lively ambiance also make it a popular tourist attraction. The square is lined with coffee shops and restaurants with outside terraces.
Parione is however much more than the Piazza Navona. Flock into the side streets and you’ll find hip bars, vintage designer brand boutiques, and some of the best restaurants in the city.
To get to the Trastevere quarter you can cross the river Tiber via Isola Tiberina, a tiny island or by one of the bridges.
Trastevere is probably the most loved quarter by most tourists due to the compact and picturesque ambiance. It’s like a village within the city. Trastevere is a maze of streets, all lined with small fashion boutiques and restaurants with outside terraces. Especially in the evenings it can be quite crowded with locals and tourist trying to find a spot to eat and drink. It’s also the quarter of the University, hence packed with young people. For sightseeing head to the botanical gardens and Villa Famesina in the upper outskirt of Trastevere. There you will also find the Porta Settimiana, one of the 3 ancient city gateways of the Aurelian Wall. Or hike up the hill of Gianicolo for a spectacular view. Also, step inside the Santa Maria church in the center of the quarter to admire the gorgeous ceiling.