Glocal Eyes - Blog

Rome is the Italian capital and one of the cultural epicenters of the entire nation.
It has a variety of diverse personalities which become evident through the mixture of neighborhoods that comprise the Eternal City.

Visitors who flock to this majestic city often find themselves mesmerized by the elegance and stunning beauty found through the art and architecture of Rome.
In the majority of cases, visitors never leave the touristic areas between the Coliseum and St. Peter’s Basilica.
However, most are not aware of the variety of unique neighborhoods that are very close to the tourist center yet feel like worlds away from the Spanish Steps.
Testaccio is a perfect example of a neighborhood that although not terribly far from the historic center is often missed by many tourists.
Located along the Tiber River just south of the Jewish Ghetto, Testaccio is a Roman neighborhood that has a lot of character.
It takes its name from the mount of Testaccio (Monte dei Cocci), which is an artificial hill 35 meters high, which was formed by the accumulation of fragments (testae) of the terracotta amphorae that were used in ancient times in the area warehouses (Horrea) and in the relevant wholesale market (Emporium).
Today, locals know the area as one of the nearby getaways for nightlife activity due to the plethora of clubs in the area.
However, during the day, Testaccio has a very laid back atmosphere.
There is a notable lack of large crowds as the people in the quarter are predominately Roman, not tourists.
One of the highlights of the area is the Testaccio Market.
The local market is a recently renovated building in which numerous vendors serve patrons with a variety of both Italian and Roman classics.
A porchetta sandwich shop or a stand specializing in Roman-style tripe are certainly common finds.
The market is where one can find classic food in a contemporary and modern setting.
In addition to the fantastic local market, Testaccio is also home to two of Rome’s treasures.
Two of the best sights to see while visiting the Eternal City that many often miss are the Pyramid of Cestius and the Protestant Cemetery.
To get another perspective on Ancient Rome without paying a visit to the Forum, the Pyramid of Cestius is a free way to experience Rome’s dynamic past.
On the other side of the coin, the Protestant Cemetery is widely known throughout the city for being one of a romantic spot despite its actual function.
The manicured trees mixed together with the array of different beautiful tombstones offers visitors a unique look into a different side of Rome, the Eternal City’s afterlife.
Although known as a working class neighborhood in the past, Testaccio’s present and more importantly future is looking quite prosperous.
Merely walking through Testaccio, the many beautiful examples of street art show that the neighborhood is colorful in more ways than one.
When not in the mood for a visual feast one could always sample some of the city’s classics from one of the many food truck vendors.
Although the proper location of each food truck often changes, Testaccio is the permanent home to the annual Streeat Food Truck Festival, which showcases a variety of different Italian food trucks and their respective specialties.
Located in the same complex as the Food Festival is the MACRO, Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
While not as well known as the Capitoline or the Vatican Museums, this is a museum that no art lover should miss.
Even though Testaccio may not have the fame of the Piazza Navona or the notoriety of the Coliseum, it’s certainly a unique local part of the city that is eternally changing and worth a visit from every visitor in Rome.