Built in the 19th century to house the workers of the nearby industrial zone of Ostiense, today Testaccio is changing rapidly. From district dormitory it is slowly turning into a popular residential area. Located across the river from parts of Trastevere it gives a good idea of real Roman life, and its numerous clubs offer a vibrant night life. Full of restaurants, of varying prices, it is situated near Rome's old slaughter house, which is now home to the MACRO museum of contemporary art. Life gravitates around its main square and the new market that offers everything you could possible need, from food to flowers, at good prices. Near the historic centre, and well connected by public transport, Testaccio is good value for money.
THINGS TO SEE
Città dell'altra Economia
This large complex was once part of Rome’s old slaughterhouse designed by Italian architect Gioacchino Ersoch. Today it hosts social and cultural events and is dedicated to a spirit of fair trade, renewable energy and sustainability. It is best known for its summer music festivals and year-round organic food markets and car boot sales.
This is one of the sites of the municipal museum of contemporary art (the other is in Via Nizza in the Salario district). Housed in the city’s old abattoir, MACROTestaccio holds cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions and also contains La Pelanda, an art centre with studios and workshops. Tues-Sun 14.00-20.00.
Monte dei Cocci
Also known as Monte Testaccio, this man-made mound of ancient, broken Roman amphorae has provided valuable insights into the economy of Imperial Rome. Its role as a ancient Roman dump ceased around 260 AD and it was later used by the popes for Good Friday ceremonies to symbolise the hill of Golgotha in Jerusalem.
This modern, covered market was opened in 2012 following the demolition of the old open-air market in Piazza Testaccio a few blocks away. The 5,000-sqm premises sells fruit and veg, meat and fish, as well as clothes and household items. It is located near MACRO and can be accessed from Via Alessandro Volta, Via Galvani, Via Ghiberti and Via Beniamino Franklin. 06.00-14.00. Sun closed.