Discover “authentic Italy” in vibrant Testaccio, the historically working-class neighborhood that has become a gourmand destination and nightlife hot spot. Aficionados of classic Roman cuisine flock to the bustling Testaccio market, for tastings at the historic Volpetti deli, and to savor a gelato or espresso at the landmark Giolitti café.
If you’d like to sample the best food and wine Rome offers, follow the foodies to Testaccio! Discover the area’s insider gastro spots by joining a walking tour that features tastings of local buffalo mozzarella, street food, and pasta dishes. Guided walks through Testaccio explore great food shops and markets, wine cellars, and trattorias while your tour guide explains the rich culture and unique history of one of Rome’s oldest neighborhoods. If you need to rest your palette, visit the chic MACRO, or Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma), housed in Testaccio’s former slaughterhouse; the recently restored Pyramid of Cestius; and the Protestant Cemetery (Cimitero dei protestanti), where John Keats is buried.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Testaccio food tours are an excellent way to engage kids in learning about the neighborhood’s history and culture through the lens of its historic cuisine.
- Private tours can be easily adapted for those with limited mobility, food allergies, or other special requirements.
- Most Rome food tours are on foot or by bike, so sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
How to Get There
Testaccio is just south of Rome’s city center and across the Tiber River from the Trastevere neighborhood. Take the metro’s Line B to the Piramide station, located next to Porta San Paolo.
When to Get There
This bustling city neighborhood is alive all around the clock. A food-themed tour is best scheduled when the neighborhood market and shops are open, generally Monday through Saturday from 7am to 3:30pm.
Testaccio sits along the eastern bank of the Tiber River and was home to shipyards during Ancient Roman times. Goods were transported into the city via the river and unloaded here, and the broken shipping containers—primarily clay amphorae of all sizes—were discarded in a mound that eventually became Testaccio Hill. Caves dug into the hillside for storage now host excellent nightclubs and restaurants, most famously Flavio al Velavevodetto.