Rome's historical rioni


The rioni, or traditional districts of Rome, have provided a profound link between the city's inhabitants and popular traditions, customs and dialect. Historically speaking, rione derives from the 14 Latin regiones into which Augustus divided the city. Their number changed over the centuries, with combinations and divisions following local political events; the present suddivision dates back to 1921.
The coats of arms assigned to the various rioni with the reorganisation of 1744 are still visible today, next to old wall plaques with various administrative orders which can be found on many streetcorners in the city centre. Of today's 22 rioni, 19 are on the east bank of the Tiber and 3, Trastevere, Borgo and Prati, on the west bank.

Borgo Campitelli Campo Marzio Celio Esquilino Monti Parione
Pigna Ponte Regola Sant'Angelo Sant'Eustachio Testaccio Trastevere Colonna
Trevi Ripa Ludovisi Sallustiano Castro Pretorio San Saba Prati

Borgo

This area grew up in relation to its association with the Vatican palaces, and as a result of the various episodes of Vatican history, it has undergone the greatest changes in urban layout.

Campitelli

This name is the same of Piazza Campitelli; it is the most centrally located district and also includes the Capitoline Hill.

Campo Marzio

In ancient times there were many major buildings here; the Pantheon is the only one which has come down to us intact.

Celio

It takes his name from the hill and has numerous Roman and medieval remains, as well as some fine churches.

Esquilino

In ancient times this was a residential district after Maecenas built his gardens there. In the Middle Age it was known known exclusively for its places of worship. Since the end of the 16th century, the Basilica of St. Mary Major has been a major point of reference for Rome's urban development.

Monti

In antiquity the area was occupied by the Suburra, the plebeian quarter. In the 19th century was opened via Cavour and via Nazionale and these ways modified the face of this rione.

Parione

Despite the Baroque and 19th century constructions, it still has a medieval atmosphere with its labyrinth of lanes.

Pigna

It was named after the bronze pine-cone, perhaps a fountain, which Dante reported having seen in front of old St. Peter's and later found near the present-day Via del Seminario.

Ponte

This was the name of a small square, demolished when the Tiber embankments were builtt, which faced onto Ponte S. Angelo, the only way for reaching the Vatican district.

Regola

The two streets of this district were Via della Regole (from Piazza Farnese to the Tiber) and Via dei Pettinari (from Ponte Sisto to Campo de' Fiori). The municipal pawnbrokers are still located in this district.

Sant'Angelo

This is the smallest rione and was chosen by Pope Paul IV in 1555 to be the Ghetto, and is still inhabited by Rome's numerous Jewish community.

Sant'Eustachio

From the 16th century on, the district, built in the area of the ancient baths of Agrippa and Nero, was under the influence of the Medici. We can recall Palazzo Madama, which housed many administrative services in the 18th century.

Testaccio

The name derives from the mountain of postherds created with the discarded pieces of vases (textae) from Rome's food emporium. Numerous typical dishes are served here (pajata, tripe, sweet bread) associated with the former slaugher house, now used for other purposes.

Trastevere

The fourteenth and last of Augutus' regiones, then called trans Tiberim, it was from the very beginning a popular trading district, and still is today.

Colonna

Grown up on the old structures of Rome, between the Pantheon and the Column of Marco Aurelio, the heart of Rome gravitates around the big palaces Capranica, Chigi, Fiano, Montecitorio and is crossed by Via del Corso.

Trevi

Born in 1743, its name derives from trivium, because in the Middle Ages it was the outlet of 3 ways. After it became a family Colonna's feud and was covered by luxuriant gardens with the splendid palaces Barberini and Quirinale. At the end of 19th century the rione undergone disembowelments for the building of via del Tritone and via Nazionale. But the rione is especially famous for the wonderful Fontana di Trevi.

Ripa

The rione Ripa, born in 1921 of Testaccio and S. Saba, includes the Aventino, the Valle Murcia and the Isola Tiberina,that is the regions linked to birth of Rome. The Aventino, plebeian quarter of ancient Rome, became with the time a renowned residential area.

Ludovisi

Sallustiano

Grown up on the lotting of villas around the Horti Sallustiani, this rione became a variegated look residential, commercial and monumental among modern palaces, sections of ancient walls and churches, in which stands out S. Maria della Vittoria.

Castro Pretorio

Celio

This rione has the same name of the hill. It was born in 1922 of rione Campitelli, the Celio is characterized by gardens, convents and ancient monuments. The most famous is the Colosseo.

San Saba

Nicknamed Piccolo Aventino, this rione has wide areas with gardens in which the Terme di Caracalla stand out.

Prati

It is the most younger rione of Rome. Risen in an area called Prati di Castello, in which there was gardens, taverns and tightly linked to the Tiber, since 1888, when the Palazzo di Giustizia was built, the rione undergone the housebulding. Today it is a renowned residential area.