Guide to Trastevere & Isola Tiberina

Tourist information on Medieval Rome that includes tourist information on the Medieval quarters of Trastevere, Isola Tiberina, as well as other Medieval attractions of the city of Rome.

Isola Tiberina and Trastevere can be visited on our Private Walking Tours of Trastevere that also include Villa Farnesina

It is not easy to find artistic reminders of the Medieval period in Rome, as quite often they have been incorporated into buildings built during later periods, but walking through these areas you'll see some precious remains from the Medieval history of Rome.

On the Isola Tiberina it is still possible to see the remains of the Castle of Caetani, built against the Torre dei Pierleoni dating from the 10th Century. In 1087 Maltilde di Canossa and Pope Victor III hid in the tower to escape the army of anti-pope Clement II.

The tower which is still at the head of Ponte Fabricio, is also known as the Torre della Pulzella ( Tower of the maid ), referring to the small marble head of a young woman set into the brick facing. Inside the Church of San Bartolomeo all'Isola, is one of the most important medieval pieces of the church: a marble puteal or well curb created from a Roman column fragment.

Heading towards the Trastevere, take a detour to Piazza in Piscinula with the Casa Mattei, an elegant complex of 14th Century dwellings built for a noble Roman family. Follow Via Arco dei Tolomei named after the 14th Century arch that still stands today, and was constructed by a family originally from Siena.

The basilica of Santa Cecilia has a beautiful Gothic tabernacle executed by Cambio in 1293, and precious 9th Century apse mosaics (see other sites of Mosaics in Rome). The monk's choir holds the famous fresco with the last judgement by Pietro Cavallini, the greatest Roman painter of the 13th Century. 

In Piazza Sonnino you'll find the Torre degli Anguillara, better known as the house of Dante. The fortress, consisting of a crenellated wall which strengthened by the tower, enclosed a dwellings and stables dates from the 13th Century. Nearby is the church of San Crisogno, one of Trastevere's great medieval basilicas, with its imposing 5-storey bell tower.

Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of Rome's most precious relics of Medieval times. The church allegedly stands over the Taberna meritora where, in 38 B.C. a miraculous eruption of oil took place, interpreted later as an annunciation of the birth of Jesus. The Church is famous for its delightful mosaics. 

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