Trastevere (Tras-TEV’-eh-reh) is the 13th rione or district of Rome and the home of Milo Peretti, the private detective and main character in my mystery novella, Blood Will Tell. The rione is separated from Rome’s centro storico (historical centre) by the river Tiber, hence the name Trastevere or ‘across the Tiber’.
Known for its maze of narrow cobbled streets and the medieval houses that line them, Trastevere is one of the most quintessentially Roman neighbourhoods. To many tourists, this is what Rome is all about. Even the Trasteverini themselves claim that their neighbourhood is the true heart of city and it doesn’t take long to see what they mean. There’s definitely something distinctively vibrant about the place.
Trastevere is a feast for the senses. The colour of the buildings – from terracotta to sky blue, from golden maize to rose wine; all draped in ivy and dotted with window boxes. The rattle and buzz of Vespas as they fly down the street. The freshly washed bed sheets hung out to dry on lines stretched above the streets between apartment windows.
The air filled with the rich smell of roasted coffee beans and of freshly baked pizza. And later on, the arrival of the street entertainers, artists and poets add to the Bohemian atmosphere.
Then, open air dining in front of an ancient trattoria, old men playing cards and young lovers strolling arm in arm through a lamplit piazza. This is Trastevere.
(Photo credits: Daniele Zedda, Mozzercork, Debs-eye, The Wolf and technologic)