Trastevere

10:17:00 AM Brooke Neal 3 Comments

When you tire of ancient Rome, head over the river to Trastevere. Wander the colorful streets and get lost or, download the Rick Steves' audio tour guide like we did for a bit of history on this side of town.  After crossing the river at the Isola Tiberina we loosely followed his walking tour to discover some wonderfully quiet churches and beautiful piazzas.
Notice the rain cloud in the photo above?  We took refuge in the Church of St. Cecilia while it poured. It is one of the oldest Christian churches in Rome. Cecilia, a wealthy convert to Christianity, held mass in her home when doing so was forbidden by Roman law. She and her husband were eventually martyred because of their actions.
Isn't this a great piazza? Can't you imagine little boys kicking a soccer ball around and young teenage lovers snuggling on the steps of the fountain?
My favorite church in Trastevere was this one named Santa Maria in Trastevere.  Built on the site of another home where worshipers held service illegally, the Basillica was erected after Christianity was legalized.  It has all the gold and coloring characteristic of a baroque period church (notice the ceilings) however these beautiful mosaics in the dome behind the alter were installed between the 800-1000AD.
Notice the mismatched capitals and bases? This is evidence of something which was common through out Rome after the fall of the empire.  Building materials were swiped from pagan temples are reused elsewhere.  Architects had to make up for the inconsistent height of the columns with taller  or shorter bases.
The marble for the mosaic floors was also pilfered from ancient Roman ruins. 
I love the weathered look of paint--for some reason it looks elegant in Italy but trashy in the USA. Anyways, we enjoyed our afternoon walk through Trastevere.  It was an area we hadn't walked through before, so it was nice to see something different and away from the hordes of tourists in the Forum area.

3 comments:

  1. What a charming piazza and also love the botlom photos of the alleryway and the doors. Very much charm

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  2. Oh my, I LOVE this section of Rome! I really like the shot of the dogs on the street. Brings back such wonderful memories :)

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    1. Thank you--the poor critters were shivering from the rain.

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