Sometimes people ask me what they can do in an hour in Rome while they are changing trains. Hopefully this post will be useful for them as well as people staying in the area. At first glance, the gritty Esquilino doesn’t have a lot to see, but there are a few hidden corners to check out. Neighbourhood map here. City map here.
A useful landmark to know in the area is the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome’s seven major churches.
The rear of the church looks lovely when it’s lit up at night.
I love to wander around markets so I checked out Mercato Esquilino at Piazza Amadeo on Via Principe Amedeo. There’s a central fish market with fruit & veg and other grocery stalls in the walkways surrounding it.
Esquilino is known as Rome’s Chinatown but it’s home to many other immigrant communities as well. The market is truly multicultural with many kinds of international food on show.
Just a block away from the market is the Teatro Ambra Jovinelli www.ambrajovinelli.org at 45 Via Guglielmo Pepe.
Built in 1909 this Stile Liberty (Italian Art Nouveau) was rescued by a group of young artists and is now a working theatre again.
If you’re changing trains and can’t stray too far from the station, you could hang out with a book in Piazza Manfredo Fanti. It’s a quiet little park with sunny and shaded areas that’s literally just over the road from the frenetic station.
Or if you have a bit longer you could visit the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme www.museonazionaleromano.beniculturali.it which is on the square in front of the station.