Location Feature: Testaccio

Testaccio Market. Image by myVideoMedia. Click image to visit their blog.

Click per la versione italiana.

With each successive generation, there is a perceptible shift and perhaps distortion from the classic understanding of tourism.  Until a few decades ago, traveling meant settling on one major destination with all its bells and whistles.  This was, for a variety of reasons, in contrast to the prevalence of today’s do-it-yourself planning and the popularization of backpacking to contain costs and expand options for where to go and how much to see.

In essence, this mode of travel relies no longer on being placed in the center of a city, next to a famous monument or archaeological site.  Instead it focuses on the impact that placing the traveler in midst of the quintessential everyday life experiences of a new culture can have.

Street of Fame. Image by myVideoMedia. Click to visit their blog.

Rome is no exception to this new mode of travel.  In fact, it goes beyond the usual (and fascinating) goals of seeing the baseline of the everyday to a truly immersive experience of capturing the soul of the city.  The Testaccio district (rione), the popular par excellence, is perhaps the space-time dimension in which the historical and cultural traditions of ancient Rome still survive intact while displaying the pioneering, contemporary avant-garde that marks the Eternal City’s entrance into the third millennium.

Watch Dario Andreucci’s Tour of Testaccio with myVideoMedia, incl. the Slaughterhouse.
Once home to trade (the market, the Emporium, and the port), Testaccio is today the beating heart of popular Rome thanks to its continuation of culinary traditions and presence of the modern “historical” architecture of the early 20th century, e.g. the Campo Testaccio, where the Roma football club won its first championship in 1942.  There is also the remains of the Slaughterhouse which opened in 1887 but closed in 1975.  It has since reopened as a restructured community space, housing art exhibits, educational opportunities, and even an organic food market.

Pyramid of Caius Cestius. Image by myVideoMedia. Click image to visit their blog.

Not far from the Slaughterhouse is the Pyramid of Caius Cestius that dates back to 18-12 BC, and follows after the contemporary fashion that back then endorsed Egyptian architecture.  The Pyramid, being a burial space, remained on the outskirts of the city walls but eventually became a part of them as the city expanded, and the Pyramid was merged with the Aurelian Walls (270-275 AD) to form a triangular bastion.  One can still see parts of the wall embedded in the Pyramid today (see above).

Nightlife Lane. Image by myVideoMedia. Click image to visit their blog.

Piazza Testaccio, Via Marmorata and Via Zabaglia are a must for anyone who truly wishes to see the contemporary evolution of the district.  And if you are wondering just where Rome’s nightlife is, then a few steps away from the Marco (Museum of Contemporary Art) is the area that marks the lane along which are multitude of clubs, including everything from rock to salsa.

Many Thanks to myVideoMedia!

Read their article: “Rome off the beaten path”

Original Article by Samir Hassan

(Translated & Edited by Diedré Blake)

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The MindtheGuideTeam 


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