Testaccio – The Rome You've Never Been To

Get a glimpse of "real" Rome sans tourist crowds in Testaccio's food market.
  • Get a glimpse of "real" Rome sans tourist crowds in Testaccio's food market.

When you’re in Rome and need a break from frescos and friezes, hop onto Metro Line B and get off at the Piramide stop to visit one of its most authentic neighborhoods – where butchers and artists mingle with intellectuals and immigrants, and everyone eats well.

Sign outside Testaccio's Roma AS fan club.

Sign outside Testaccio's Roma AS fan club.

The working-class neighborhood of Testaccio, in the southern part of Rome, is one of its most underrated areas. Still chock-full of the history like the rest of the Eternal City, it contains real pubs, markets, late-night clubs and some of the city’s best restaurants. It feels like everyone knows everyone here. You’ll find authentic Italian pubs with beer menus from around the world as well as extensive wine lists with excellent antipasto at reasonable prices.

A popular spot for off-work bartenders, expats, students and late-night partying Romans is On The Rox located on the busy Via Galvani. The 35-foot bar guarantees that patrons won’t spend too much time off the dance floor, and the outdoor patio caters to those more interested in conversation with their cocktails. There are daily drink specials and an aperitivo buffet.

In the heart of Testaccio, view emerging Italian and European artists at the edgy MACRO Testaccio, the offspring of MACRO Roma (the Museum of Modern Art in Rome).

Sampling of sweets from the market.

Sampling of sweets from the market.

A must-see in the neighborhood is the Piazza Testaccio food market, considered one of the best in Rome. This is a real market where Romans buy everything from meats, cheeses and vegetables to clothing and household items.

If you plan to stay the night here, the Bed & Breakfast Testaccio at Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice is an ideal location with a young international crowd.

Regardless of what time of the year you visit, you won’t be at a loss for things to do or see in this unpretentious section of Rome.

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