The location of Relais Star of Trastevere will allow to visit easily many monuments and churches
Il nome di Trastevere deriva dal latino Trans Tiberim, vale a dire ‘oltre il Tevere’. Trastevere è anche un centro di vita notturna, pieno di ristoranti, bar e pub. La posizione del Relais Star of Trastevere vi permetterà di visitare i seguenti monumenti, tutti a distanza di breve passeggiata:
Saint Chrysogonus: (bus H, 23, 280, tram n.8) dating back to the IV century this is one of the most ancient churches in Rome. It contains rests of Constantinian era as well as frescos and mosaics from the VIII and XI century. These include: Pope Sylvester Capturing the Dragon, St. Pantaleon Healing the Blind Man, St. Benedict Healing the Leper and The Rescue of St. Placid. Several sarcophagi have been preserved here, some beautifully decorated. Below the first church are remains of late Republican houses.
Ponte Sisto: (bus 23, 380) also known as the ‘bridge of Agrippa’ or ‘bridge of Aurelio’, it was built in the XV century so that pope Sisto IV could cross the Tiber. The bridge is architecturally characteristic because of its central circular ‘Oculus’ or eye. It connects the night life areas of Via del Pettinari and the popular Piazza Trilussa.
Santa Maria in Trastevere: (Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, located in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, a 2-3 minute walk from the Relais) founded in the III century by Pope Callisto I, it hosts impressive Bizantinian mosaics from the XII and XIII century along with the 22 columns of granite within the church. Of these, the column on the right side of the altar shows the inscription FONS OLEI, that is, in Latin, ‘spring of oil’. The location of the column indicates, according to the legend, the place in which, the day Christ was born, a stream of pure oil gushed from the earth as a symbol of the coming of the Grace of God.
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere: (located in Piazza Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, a 2-3 minute walk from the Relais) this Basilica was built on the remains of the house of Saint Cecilia, martyred in the year 230 AC. According to the legend, Saint Cecilia appeared in a dream to Pope Pasquale I and she told him the exact place in which her body had been hidden. There the church was founded. Among the main masterpieces within the church there are: the sculpture of Stefano Maderno which represents the body of the Saint, the ciborium of Arnolfo di Cambio and the ‘Universal Judgment’ of Pietro Cavallini.
San Francesco a Ripa Grande: ( located in Piazza San Francesco d’Assisi, south bend of Trastevere) this sanctuary, convent and parish is the place in which San Francesco d’Assisi resided during his visits to the Pope. The place hosts the ‘cell’ where Francesco used to retire, among the lepers, in what was known back at that time as the Benedictine Hospice of San Biagio. The place hosts artistic pieces of pivotal importance among which the ‘Blessed Ludovica Albertoni’ by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the altarpiece by Francesco Salviati and a significant artistic patrimony of Roman Baroque.
Tiber Island: the island, approximately 300 meters in length and 90 meters in width is connected to the banks of the Tiber by two bridges: towards Trastevere by Ponte Cestio, whose central arch dates back to 46 BC and towards the Ghetto by Ponte Fabricio, built in the 62 BC. There are several legends concerning the origin of this little island: one of them is linked to the dethronement of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, last king of Rome. Another one, more widespread, links the origins of the island to the cult of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. In the year 291 BC, the city of Rome had been affected by a terrible pestilence. The priests, after having consulted the Sibylline Books, had sent a delegation to Epidaurus, place of cult of Asclepius. The ambassadors returned to Rome taking a snake with them on the boat, since this animal was loved by Asclepius. At the height of Tiber Island, as reported by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, the snake jumped suddenly from the boat and in the spot in which it landed a temple was erected, dedicated to Asclepius. Moreover, the whole island was architectonically arranged in the shape of a boat.
Villa Farnesina: (on the north bend of Trastevere) it is one of the most representative architectural examples of the Italian Renaissance. It contains frescoes by Raffaello Sanzio, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni da Udine, Giovanni Bazzi known as ‘Sodoma’, Giulio Romano and Giovan Francesco Penni. The Loggia contains the fresco Stories of Cupid and Psyche, from Apuleius, painted by Raffaello and his disciples. The walls of Sala del Fregio were painted by Baldassarre Peruzzi with little monochromatic mythological scenes representing the endeavors of Hercules and other mythological episodes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The ‘Sala di Galatea’ hosts Raffaello’s majestic fresco The triumph of Galatea and the monumental Polyphemus by Sebastiano del Piombo. On the upper level, there is the breathtaking ‘Sala delle prospettive’, with trompe-l’œil frescos by Peruzzi of a painted grand open loggia with city and countryside views beyond. The ‘Sala delle Nozze of Alexander and Roxane’ was painted by Sodoma, with scenes of the life of Alexander the Great.
Janiculum: (by foot walking through via Garibaldi from Trastevere) the mount of Janiculum (or Gianicolo in Italian) rises beyond Trastevere and stretches up to Saint Peter in Vatican. Here the outlook is astounding: visitors can admire the most important monuments of Rome, the Christian churches and, on the background, the majestic Alban Hills. According to the legend, Janiculum hosted the city founded by the two-faced Roman god Janus, from whom the name came. For those visiting this spectacular spot, the must-see are: ‘Il Fontanone’ (‘The big fountain’) built by Giovanni Fontana and Carlo Maderno for Pope Paolo V and the church of San Pietro in Montorio, famous for the Tempietto (‘small temple’) of Bramante, possibly the best example of Renaissance architecture in Rome. Janiculum also hosts a Botanic Garden, with more than 8000 species of plants. On the north bend, along with Villa Sciarra, there is Villa Doria Pamphilii, the biggest public park in Rome. In the center of the park, there is also the ‘Casino del Respiro’, surrounded by a citric grove and well-finished Italian gardens.
Altar of the Fatherland/Piazza Venezia: by taking tram n. 8 towards Piazza Venezia, you will be able to reach in 2/3 minutes the majestic ‘Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II’ or ‘Il Vittoriano’. The monument is built of white marble from Botticino, Brescia, and features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The structure is 135 m (443 ft) wide and 70 m (230 ft) high.