The blog of Free Tour Rome!
Blog with handy tips about Rome and the Vatican
The Testaccio neighborhood, today full of life and things to see, hides a story the less interesting and worthy of being heard. It dates back to the time of the Roman Empire, when trade between the Italian provinces and the capital was developing. The location near the Tiber River turned this area into the favorite port for loading and unloading of merchandise and food products that came from the Mediterranean; olive oil, fresh fish, fruits, grains, among many other things that should be transported by ship; remember that neither plastic nor cardboard boxes existed at this time, therefore they used pitchers, ceramic containers used to trade with food. When emptying, the pitchers threw the empty ones on the river banks and their pieces were abandoned. Over the years, these fragments accumulated, tree roots began to intertwine, plants flourished thus forming the hill that we now contemplate. It is estimated that the amount of fragments needed for the formation of this hill, is around twenty-five billion ceramic containers, hand in hand with the Egyptian-style Pyramid and the Aurelian wall, impresses at first sight and turns the Testaccio into an unmissable destination for those curious looking for places with particular historical backgrounds.
This area becomes residential a few centuries later, for industrial workers on the Ostiense road. With its new inhabitants came also new traditions and a neighborhood culture. The current example of this is the famous Testaccio Market, simelar to the markets to be found in "La Via Pedonale del Pigneto" or "Campo di Fiori" in Trastevere you can find fresh fruit and crafts made by locals, as well as deepen in the customs of the Romans and know the daytime part of the streets of this city.
Rome is an open-air museum and its tracks are full of monuments and structures of exemplary architectural variety; (about we speak in the EUR article) The fascist architecture was one of the traces left by the Mussolini government and in Testaccio you can see a large part of it, you can also find an sense of what the city was at the time of Roman empire. To get to this area using public transport, you can take the metro, line B and get off at the Pyramid station, fourth station from Termini, direction Laurentina. If you prefer buses, they serve you the numbers 170, 280, 30, 3BUS and 83. Finally, if you are on the outskirts of the city and need to take a train to reach your destination, your options are FC2 and FL1. See our blog post Public transport Rome for more info and how to use the public transport in Rome.
Rome is known to be easy to walk around and easy to get lost into the many squares it has. We do recommend to use applications such as Moovit or Google Maps that will facilitate the journey. We also recommend you to book one or more of the free walking Tours we offer, to get you bearrings and of course the tour guide will be happy to tell you the history and curiosities behind the streets and their monuments.