But that’s all changing. For centuries the triangular-shaped zone was the home to the working class since it served as the city’s central port location for trade along the Tiber. The neighborhood is characterized by the Monte Testaccio which is actually an artificial hill made from millions of broken pieces of pottery dating back to ancient Rome. More recently gentrification efforts are transforming this corner of Rome from a working-class neighborhood to a burgeoning center for cultural, creative, and culinary innovation. See our past blog post on the best places to eat in Testaccio.
Often overlooked, there are plenty of lesser-known monuments near Testaccio within walking distance. Here are 10 of the best:
Address Via delle Sette Chiese, 282 | Tel. 06 511 0342 | Hours 8:30-12/14:30-17:30
Nearly 150,000 bodies were buried in the Catacombs of Domitilla, which are also some of the best preserved in Rome. The catacombs are unique because they are part of Rome’s oldest subterranean network of catacombs and still contained bones.
Address Via Appia Antica, 161 | Tel. 06 3996 7700 | Hours 9-16
The Tomb of Caecilia Metella is one of the most well preserved tombs along Via Appia (The Appian Way) located at the 3 mi mark. It was built in the 1st century BC for the daughter of a Consul in 69 BC.
Address Via Ardeatina, 174 | Tel. 06 513 6742 | Hours 8:15-17
The Ardeatine Caves (Fosse Ardeatine) serve as an emotional monument commemorating the location of the Ardeatine Massacre that took place March 24th, 1944. Following an attack on German forces during Rome’s occupation by the Nazis, 10 Italians were sentenced to death for every German killed. 335 Italians, the additional 5 was a miscalculation, were taken into the caves located just outside city limits and executed.
Address Via di Santa Prisca | Tel. 06 574 3798 | Hours 8-12/16:30-19:30
Built in the 4th or 5th century, the Church of Santa Prisca is devoted to the 1st century martyr whose relics are kept at the altar.
Address Piazza Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 20 | Tel. 06 6458 0140 | Hours 9-18:30
The long history of the Church of San Saba (dating back to 645 AD) represents a history of the Roman Catholic church in Rome after the city’s depopulation and during the tumultuous centuries of violent foreign invasion. The church’s architecture is marked by interventions from different periods and recycled materials.
Address Via Raffaele Persichetti | Tel. 06 3996 7700 | Hours 10-12 (2nd & 4th Saturday of every month only, reservations required)
Located adjacent the Porta San Paolo and Protestant Cemetery, the Pyramid of Gaius Cestius was built between 18-12BC as his tomb. The pyramid was recently restored in 2015 bringing back it’s original splendor at the intersection of two ancient streets and important in modern Rome, Via Ostiense and Via Marmorata.
Address Via Caio Cestio, 6 | Tel. 06 574 1900 | Hours 9-17
Also known as the “Non-Catholic Cemetery”, the Protestant Cemetery in Rome is the final resting place for English poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Address Piazzale San Paolo, 1 | Tel. 06 6988 0800 | Hours 7-18:30
One of the Four Papal Basilicas, along with Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Basilica San Giovanni, and Basilica San Pietro, Basilica San Paolo outside the walls opened its Holy Doors for the 2016 Jubilee Year. It was nearly completely rebuilt following a fire caused by negligent workman by 1840 and reconsecrated in 1855.
Address Via dei Santa Sabina | Tel. 06 0608 | Hours 7-sunset
The park, also known as the Orange Garden after the bitter orange trees that grow there, offers spectacular views of the city from it’s privileged vantage point on the Aventine Hill.
Address Via Appia Antica 110/126 | Tel. 06 5130 1580 | Hours 9-12/14-17
Built after 150AD, the Catacombs of San Callisto had at one-time served as the official burial place for the Roman Catholic Church. Where more than 50 martyrs and 16 pontiffs were buried, the complex covers nearly 37 acres and is almost 12 miles long.
Rome Accommodation offers the ability to search vacation rentals by the nearest monument – from the biggest and world-famous monuments in Rome to the lesser-known monuments. For more information check out the Rome Monuments guide by Rome Accommodation and start exploring the city!
Have you visited any of these lesser-known monuments near Testaccio? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!