Friday and Saturday nights in Roman neighborhood Trastevere are extremely busy. So much so that when I actually lived there I rarely was able to sleep in the summer/fall months. Groups stay in Trastevere drinking and carousing until early hours below the windows of people who actually live there. For this reason, it was always better to join them rather than beat them, and Saturday night, drink and carouse until you were too tired to worry about the noise and fall asleep.
This past weekend in Trastevere was no different for me. After a lovely dinner with a friend, where we discussed anything and everything, and topped off our evening with a grappa for her and a Fernet Branca for me, I was more than happy to roll on back home and fall asleep.
But the Fernet Branca was strong in me, and Sunday morning I woke up very early and not so bright. I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that it would be the perfect time to get out of bed and continue my Early Morning series I started with Spoleto and Venice and continue it with one of my favorite neighborhoods in the world at its best: completely empty.
It was also the only time I’ve ever permitted myself to leave the house still in my pajama pants (and jacket and scarf) since I moved here, well, because you just don’t do that in Italy. Luckily for me I ran into hardly anyone.
For more Early Morning visits, check out my previous posts about Spoleto and Venice
And back to Trastevere. The narrow streets of the neighborhood easily fill up even with just a few people walking in them.
Abandoned streets are the most peaceful thing about Trastevere in early morning. I could see straight on until Viale Trastevere without a soul in sight.
Another popular hangout that is just steps away from the Tiber or Tevere river – Piazza Trilussa. Those steps are usually packed with people.
The Piazza of Santa Maria in Trastevere, easily considered the center of the Trastevere neighborhood. A beautiful piazza and one of the loudest in the summer. Often there are performances and inevitably there is at least one or two singers singing “O Sole Mio” or “Besame Mucho.”
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. The building I lived in is at my back.
The golden mosaics on the basilica always look great in the morning light.
Some beautiful morning colors in Trastevere.
If you’ve ever been to Rome, or most Italian cities, there’s always one, two or five rose sellers circulating hoping to entice young lovers to buy one. This rose must have a story – what do you think it was? A love lost and discarded? The last rose of the evening?
Want more Rome? Read some of my other Rome posts.
nyc/caribbean ragazza says
I love being in Trastevere super early as well. It’s such an interesting part of the city.
That grappa kicked my butt.
What a lovely tour, thank you. I wish to visit oneday. Photographs look gorgeous.
Karen @ Mignardise says
Fabulous pictures! Worth getting up early for – you can always nap later.
Oh the beautiful colors of Itlay! I miss the buildings. We are thinking about vacation spots for the year…Italy is on the list. We were going to go to Eritrea but the pediatrician thought it wouldn’t be smart before Matti got his MMR shots which aren’t till 15mos.
The Italian Dish says
I love Trastevere. It’s got such a wonderful neighborhood feel to it than the more tourist focused spots in Rome. Your photos are great.
Kristina Johnson says
Lovely! I especially love the red building with the old blue car.
Jessica, WhyGo Italy says
Lovely pictures, come sempre. I really liked the Trastevere, though I wasn’t there in the busy season or at night! The colors were incredible, though.
Wonderful Trastevere in your photos.
It seems really early in the morning-
About the rose I’m optimistic: it was a very intensive love story, so intensive that the rose played just a secondary role.
I miss Trastevere. When we lived in Rome, we had an apartment in Trastevere, and I loved living there amid the warren of narrow streets, the great food shops, restaurants, markets, etc. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Beautiful post, beautiful photos. You have me dreaming…
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
Yes, I patted myself on the back after going out so early. It was tempting to go back to sleep.
Great series of photos. And complimenti on getting out of bed so early. Haha, I’ve never seen (or photographed) Trastevere so early because I can never get my butt out of bed.
Early morning light in Trastevere is great for photographing its true essence. The scratched red facade and the powder blue vintage fiat is my favorite. Great post. Brava
Leanne in Italy says
Such beautiufl photos. Rome is a different city when there is no one around…it really is spectacular…then millions of people come along and ruin it!
Michelle | Bleeding Espresso says
Aw poor trampled rose!
I imagine it slipped from the grasp of a woman as she reached for her lover’s hand. She only realized she was roseless many hours later and many streets away when she pulled a lone petal from her coat pocket while looking for a piece of gum. The petal must’ve fallen in there on the flower’s journey to the cobblestones.
Great Post, Great Photos! Reminds me of my semester abroad in Roma, when I attended the American University of Rome! I lived in Trastevere and the pictures bring back so many good memories! Thanks for sharing with us.
For those that haven’t made it to Rome and/or Trastevere yet, be sure to walk through and spend some time, it’s not “touristy” and it’s a part of Roma that truly shows the culture of the city!
Margaret Cowan says
Beautiful photos! And an unusual early morning angle too.
One thing I love about photography is it really makes you observe the colours, textures and fine details like the crushed rose on the pavement.
A woman must have dropped it as she was kissing her lover, just before they went upstairs to express more love and forgot it outside the front door.
Last year walking in Trastevere, I was dismayed with the amount of graffiti ravishing the lovely buildings and colours.
Your are brave for venturing out in such a state!! But your photos… ohhhhh … so gorgeous. I would not know you weren’t in top form. I so miss Europe, Italy, Rome….
La Tavola Marche says
I love trastevere – thanks for taking me back through the streets in the early morning! And the part about pjs on the streets – totally true! i am always soo nervous to run out in anything but proper attire! the other day i ran into town with – a baseball cap on! i might as well have had 2 heads!
tracie b says
i can actually smell early-morning italia…aahhh!
Jeremy Parzen says
great post and great photos… so glad Tracie B sent it to me: reminds me of when I used to arrived Roma Termini early in the morning from Pisa and make my way over to the Vatican where I was in the library from 9 a.m.
Fernet Branca…good stuff… will cure anything! ;-)
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
I love the rose stories :)
erin :: the olive notes says
Love the photos…its one of my most favorite things to do when we travel (to get up early before anyone and see the streets empty). I so wish I could have enjoyed an aperitivo with you girls!
Great photo tour Sara!! Gets me looking forward to my upcoming visit. Now,if I could only get up THAT early to take photos. I’ll work on that :)
I have to agree that that was a beautiful photo tour … thank you for taking us along! I love to see the two sides of a city–I enjoy the same when in Kerkyra (Corfu) and we walk the streets of the Old Town in the evening where it is crammed with people and then visit again early in the morning or even better in the fall when the tourist season is just winding down.
YES! People do stay up until all hours there, yelling and drinking and honking horns and things. Good thing my jetlag never let it get to me.
I miss Trastevere! I’m sure you wandered down via della Lungaretta – Shelley’s old street – the bell tower there is beautiful.
My dear!!! So great to see you that weekend as we were like two ships passing in the night. :-) I miss you!! The pics are lovely and gave me a bit of nostalgia. But my Trastevere chapter is closed for now. PS Got the Nduja through customs!!
She first spotted him sitting at the bar, having a drink. He was incredibly sexy (and gorgeous, of course). He had caught her eye several times throughout the evening and smiled, making her blush. Only problem was he was not alone. The woman next to him was holding a rose, twirling it between her fingers as she tipped it to smell its petals. She smiled a satisfied smile, and leaned over to kiss him with her red-stained lips. He smiled back and kissed her on her forehead. It was their anniversary.
The year before he had met her through a friend and a romance had soon ensued. He’d never been into long-term relationships but her beauty had captured his heart. Still, marriage was never something he wanted. And that’s the way it would always be.
Tonight they had come out to celebrate their one year anniversary only because she had insisted. The flower pedlar in the street had pushed the rose on him, making him feel guilty for not buying one for his love. “Va bene. But just one,” he had said. They were now sitting at the bar having their last drink of the night, and soon they would go back to their flat and fall asleep, without saying a word to each other, as they had these last few months. Their love had evaporated. Nothing but friendship was left, in his mind at least.
When the woman excused herself to go the ladies’ room, the sexy man stood up and walked over to the woman whom he had caught looking at him. “What’s your name?” he asked. “Laura. Yours?” she asked fluttering her eyelashes at him. “Gianluca. Very nice to meet you Laura. Are you alone?” “Yes, but I see that you’re not.” Gianluca’s face turned into a wry smile and said “I may be alone very soon.” “Hmmm,” Laura murmered excited by the prospect but also fearful that the woman might be watching their exchange from behind one of the many plants in the cafe. “Wait for me here. I will be back,” Gianluca said.
Laura waited patiently while he watched him disappear behind a corner. Minutes later, she heard a commotion just outside the window next to her. She got up from her chair and peeked out at a couple standing in shadows under a street lamp, ardently quarrelling. She recognized them, it was Gianluca and his girlfriend. The woman was crying and waving the red rose above her head as she yelled at him. He tried hugging her but she slapped him and walked away. Gianluca turned back towards the cafe and the woman stopped and yelled one last thing, finally throwing the rose onto the cobblestoned street and trampling it.
Seconds later Gianluca was back inside the cafe.
“What happened?” Laura asked, a bit shaken by what she had just witnessed. Gianluca unaffectedly slid into the seat next to her and put his arm around her. “Oh, nothing. It’s just I may not have a place to sleep tonight.”
Noel Morata says
Great post on Trastevere! I love walking around Rome and trying all the local foods. One of my favorite spots to visit is the Trastevere and trying the many food venues there is amazing. Here are some of the highlights of my visit there including some wonderful food stops h