Testaccio is a large and pleasant neighbourhood in Rome, Italy, a peaceful alternate near the historic city centre with just as plentiful cultural roots and a growing appetite for cuisines. Testaccio’s coat of arms shows an amphora, or pot with a pointed end, which was a common early storage container. Pieces of these pots remain scattered throughout Monte Testaccio, a testament to the original working-class area. With public city walls, the area’s locals utilized its surrounding meadows for recreational as well as industrial and manufacturing purposes, having easy access to the land.

With the increase of wealthy residents and businesses, Testaccio has become more appealing for tourism in modern times, drawing culinary specialists of all kinds and, in particular, butchers. The two main squares Piazza Testaccio and Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice hold most of Testaccio’s interest, with prominent churches, several theaters and a sizeable park.

Testaccio in Rome - one of the highlights of 12 Best Things to Do in Rome and 11 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in Rome (Read all about Rome here)

What are the highlights of Testaccio in Rome?

The broken remnants of amphorae that form Monte Testaccio can be viewed in the Flavio al Velavevodetto Restaurant. Testaccio’s significant churches include Santa Maria Liberatrice and Santa Maria della Divina Provvidenza. The Pyramid of Cestius was created by Romans to be the tomb of the Epulones religious member Gaius Cestius. By the gate Porta San Paolo in the Aurelian Walls and the Pyramid of Cestius lies the private Protestant Cemetery. The graves of the famed English poets Keats and Shelley reside in this cemetery.

Another ancient wonder, Porticus Aemilia is an enormous, preserved storehouse and distribution center of goods for the Tiber in ancient Rome. The Fontana delle Anfore, or the Fountain of Amphorae, is a carefully crafted fountain bearing multiple symbols of Testaccio’s amphora. In addition, Testaccio has a public library that obtained its name from Enzo Tortora, an Italian television host.

Where to eat and drink in Testaccio in Rome?

Although becoming more modern with menus as well as designs, Testaccio’s restaurants and trattorias are primarily known for their traditional cuisines. Flavio al Velvavevodetto includes heaping helpings of spaghetti and ravioli with its unique atmosphere, and even provides chocolate tiramisu in a glass. Altro Pasta e Vino boasts high-quality pastas and wines, and Pizzeria da Ramo supplies classic Roman pizzas. Barberini is a sit-down breakfast bakery with specialties such as cornetti, genovese and maritozzi, whereas the bakery Il Panifico Passi delivers hot and ready rosette soffiate, scrocchiarella and pizza bianca.

Bars like Testaccino and Tabacchi da Rosa e Andrea emphasize function over style, serving basics like coffee, Campari spirits and sandwiches. Among Testaccio’s distinct market stalls are FoodBox and Mordi e Vai. FoodBox offers stuffed rice croquettes and Jewish-style, flower-shaped artichokes. Mordi e Vai offers a variety of meat dishes innovatively prepared by an ex-butcher.

What else is good to know about Testaccio in Rome?

Street art is as rampant as performing art in the area, taking similar inspiration from both old and new influences. Nightlife thrives in clubs like Caffe Latino, L’Alibi and Akab, attracting young Italian residents alongside international newcomers. There are many day trips as well, with themes like tastings at Testaccio’s burgeoning food scene. Still, with its humble village beginnings and generous hospitality, the area tends to be more easily affordable and enjoyable than nearby neighbourhoods, even when factoring in places like the slaughterhouse Citta dell’altra Economia and Museum of Contemporary Art.

Testaccio is near the populous neighbourhoods of Prati, Monti, Ostia, Ostiense, Trastevere and Termini. Therefore, Testaccio is also near the attractions the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Centrale Montemartini Museum, Aventine Hill, St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, Vatican City, the Vatican Museums and many more of Rome’s renowned sights.

Testaccio in Rome

Location: Roma RM, Italy