Trastevere Walking Tour

Santa Maria in Trastevere
Santa Maria in Trastevere

By Vicky · Published Feb. 29th, 2024

Trastevere is full of hidden gems, and on this walking tour you’ll explore scenic views, historic churches and quaint cobbled streets.


This walking tour of Trastevere starts from the Ponte Principe Bridge. It’s 5 minutes walk from the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo, and about 10 minutes walk from Piazza Navona. There are also several bus stops nearby. Heading to the Vatican Museums in the morning and walking to Trastevere in the afternoon would make a great day in Rome.

Trastevere Walking Tour Map

Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the bookmarks.

Tips for Trastevere Walking Tour

Top Things to See in Trastevere

On this self-guided walking tour, you’ll discover the best things to see in Trastevere. One of the best things to do here is to eat, and after this walk, going on a street food tour of Trastevere* is highly recommended.

  1. Gianicolo Hill Viewpoints
  2. Fontana dell’Acqua Paola
  3. San Pietro in Montorio
  1. Santa Maria in Trastevere
  2. San Francesco a Ripa
  3. Saint Cecilia in Trastevere

If you have more time in Trastevere, you can discover the delightful Botanic Gardens, Villa Farnesina and/or Palazzo Corsini. Read on for more details!

Trastevere Walking Tour Route

This walking tour starts from Ponte Principe Bridge. Head to the opposite side of the bridge from central Rome, cross over the road and walk a short distance up the left side of the road leading away from the river. Soon you’ll see some steps on your left. Head up these and continue walking gently uphill along the quiet street.

Once you reach the larger road at the top, turn left and walk along the pavement.

1. Gianicolo Hill Viewpoints

You’ll soon reach the first of several viewpoints along Gianicolo Hill, known for its lovely views over Rome. The first one is called Belvedere Dei Salviati. There’s a small gravel square here and a little cafe where you can get both coffee and cocktails (closed on Sundays).

Walking up to Gianicolo Hill Viewpoint
Gianicolo Hill in Trastevere, one of the best Viewpoints over Rome

Just around the corner, you’ll see some steps to your left. Take these a short distance through the park to miss out a bend in the road. You’ll next come to the Faro di Roma, or Lighthouse of Rome. This small lighthouse is in another little square with great views over the city.

Continuing along the road, just after the slightly dilapidated little villa there’s another small park with views. Just fifty metres further on is the most popular viewpoint on the hill, called Belvedere del Gianicolo (or Janiculum Hill Viewpoint). There are a couple of small touristy stalls here, some selling snacks and drinks. Spend a while sitting on the wall and admiring the view.

When you’re reading, continue walking along the pavement down the road, beneath the shady trees. It’s all downhill from here! In a few hundred meters you’ll reach a fountain on the left. It’s quite big so you can’t miss it!

2. Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, one of the things to see in Trastevere

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola is a monumental fountain and yet another viewpoint over Rome. It dates from 1612 and the theme of the fountain is simply ‘water’. The much more famous Trevi Fountain, built over a hundred years later, was inspired by the design of this fountain.

Continue down the hill, passing a war memorial and mausoleum on your right, to the church on the left at the corner.

3. San Pietro in Montorio

Tempietto di Bramante, one of the best things to see in Trastevere.
Tempietto di Bramante

Key Information: Church open daily 8:30 am-12pm & 3-4 pm. Tempietto open 10am-6pm, Tue-Sun. Both free to enter.

Church San Pietro in Montorio is a small church with great views over Rome from the courtyard in front. It’s most famous for the Tempietto di Bramante, a perfect mini temple in the courtyard of the church. This little temple was designed by Bramante and though small, is considered one of the greatest buildings of the Renaissance period. It’s one of the best things to see in Trastevere. The entrance is through the Spanish Academy next door, not through the church itself.

Take the steps down leaving from the end of the square in front of the church. Once you reach the road, turn left and then take some more steps down to the right. At the bottom, take the right fork, then turn left at the T-junction. This brings you to the next stop.

4. Santa Maria in Trastevere

Mosaics inside Santa Maria in Trastevere Church, a highlight of a walking tour through the area
Mosaics inside Santa Maria in Trastevere Church

Key Information: Open daily 7:30am-8:30pm, on Fridays from 8:30-am. Free entry.

The church of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome, founded in the 4th century, and it’s one of the highlights of the neighbourhood. One of the best features is its beautiful mosaics, some remaining from the 13th century. Note the large columns in the nave, which were taken from much older Roman ruins.

After exploring the church and the lively piazza outside, leave the square from the back right corner when facing away from the church. Take a left at the fork down the cobbled street, lined with restaurants and little shops. Keep walking along this straight street, across a larger road, and it will bring you to a square in front of the next church.

5. San Francesco a Ripa

San Francesco a Ripa, a stop on a walking tour of Trastevere

Key Information: Open daily 7:30 am-12:30 pm & 4-7:30 pm.

San Francesco a Ripa Church is a small, quiet church. Inside is one of Bernini’s last masterpieces, a sculpture of a lady lying down, face thrown back on a pillow.

Leave the church and turn right, then take the first right again. Take the next left and you’ll soon come to the final church on this walking tour of Trastevere on your left.

6. Saint Cecilia in Trastevere

Saint Cecilia in Trastevere on a walking tour of the neighbourhood
Mosaics inside Saint Cecilia in Trastevere

Key Information: Open daily 10 am-1 pm & 4-8 pm.

There’s a lovely, peaceful courtyard in front of Saint Cecilia in Trastevere. Inside, the church houses the tomb of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.

From here, this walking tour wanders back through some of the nicest streets in Trastevere, including Vicolo del Cinque, a picturesque alley with cute restaurants and cobbles. The walk ends at Piazza Trilussa, a small square next to the Tiber and Ponte Sisto bridge. There are often street performances here, and it can get quite crowded in the late afternoons and evenings, with people coming and going across the bridge.

More to See in Trastevere

If you have more time to walk about Trastevere, then check out the lovely Botanic Gardens, or two grand villa displaying famous artworks.

Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens on an afternoon walking tour in Trastevere

Key Information: Open daily, 9:30am-4pm.

The Botanic Gardens of Rome covers a lovely hillside full of plants and flowers from around the world. There’s a tropical greenhouse, a large orchid collection, a wide variety of bamboo and much more. It’s very peaceful and a lovely place to stroll around.

Villa Farnesina

Key Information: Open Mon-Sat 9am-2pm with occasional entrance on Sundays.

Villa Farnesina is a Renaissance villa, known for its frescoed interiors by renowned artists such as Raphael. Inside you can take a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Renaissance era.

Palazzo Corsini

Palazzo Corsini

Key Information: Open Tue-Sun, 10am-7pm.

Palazzo Corsini is a large Baroque Villa and houses part of the National Gallery of Antique Art. It displays art mainly by Italian artists from around the 15th to late 18th centuries.

Best Guidebooks for Exploring Rome

Lonely Planet Rome*

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Rome*

Lonely Planet Italy*

For other great walks in and around Rome, walk along Via Appia Antica, check out Ostia Antica, discover the Park of the Aqueducts, or for more walking tours and hikes see our Italy page.

FAQS: Trastevere Walking Tour

Can you walk to Trastevere?

It’s easy to walk from central Rome or Vatican City to Trastevere. If you’re walking from Vatican City, the best route is via a series of great viewpoints and then down into the heart of Trastevere.

What is special about Trastevere?

Trastevere doesn’t have too many famous sights, but it does have slightly authentic cobbled lanes and restaurants. Since about 2005 it’s become a lot more touristy so has lost some of its authentic character, though it’s still worth visiting. It’s now very popular with tourists to go there for a late afternoon aperitif and dinner.

Which is the best square in Trastevere?

The best square in Trastevere is the Piazza di Santa Maria. It’s in front of the famous Santa Maria church, surrounded by restaurants, always bustling, and a highlight of any walk through Trastevere.

What does Trastevere mean in English?

Trastevere means ‘across the River Tiber’, a corruption of the Latin ‘trans Tiberim’.

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