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What to see and do in Rome’s Ostiense Neighborhood
20 September 2019

Rome’s Ostiense neighborhood is located in the south part of the city, between Testaccio and Garbatella. The neighborhood is also delineated by the Porta San Paolo, a 3rd-century gate in the Aurelian Walls, which is considered the start of Via Ostiense, the road that connects Rome with the ancient port city of Ostia Antica.

Today Ostiense is a vibrant, mostly local neighborhood of the city that’s at the heart of Roma Sud. The neighborhood is home to many urbanistic museums, like the Montemartini Museum (which is housed in a refurbishment power plant), Transportation Museum and even the world’s largest Eataly. Street art covers walls and buildings to send a message to passers-by the true feelings of artists in the area. Dining is also a treat for those seeking a killer brunch at Marigold, or a solid neo-trattoria experience at Trattoria Pennestri.

If you’re looking to stay near Ostiense, ROMAC manages a few nearby apartments that make reaching this tourist-free part of Rome far more accessible. See below for a few features on where to stay!

What to do in Ostiense

Visit the Pyramid of Cestius

Did you know Rome has a pyramid? The Pyramid of Cestius, built between 18 – 12 BC as a tomb for magistrate Gaius Cestius, is one of the major symbols for the Ostiense neighborhood in Rome. The pyramid recently underwent a renovation to clean the exterior and re-open the interior spaces to the public.

Open for tours on the third and fourth Saturdays and Sundays of each month at 11am. Tickets are €5,50 and tours are given in Italian. Reservations required.

Via Raffaele Persichetti | Website

Museum of Via Ostiense

Located inside the Porta San Paolo gate is a small museum dedicated to the history of the Via Ostiense, the ancient road that connected Rome with her port city, Ostia. Artifacts found during excavations of Via Ostiense are on display, as well as a large scale model of the city of Ostia Antica.

Open Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 1.30pm | Via Raffaele Persichetti, 3 | Website (Italian only)

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Basilica San Paolo Outside the Walls

One of the four papal basilicas, Basilica San Paolo Outside the Walls stands out for several reasons. First of all, it’s located outside the historical center, accessible by the Metro B (Basilica San Paolo stop). And second, because the basilica appears so new. In fact, in 1823 a workman repairing the roof accidentally caused a fire that destroyed most of the original basilica. It was reopened in 1840 after much of it was rebuilt according to the original designs.

The Basilica is open daily from 7am – 6.30pm (free entrance). The Cloister is open daily from 8.30am – 6pm (€4 entrance)

Piazzale San Paolo | Website

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Fu il sindaco di Roma, Ernesto Nathan, a volere una centrale termoelettrica in grado di produrre l’elettricità necessaria per la città di Roma, togliendo il monopolio alla società privata Anglo-Romana e, di fatto, municipalizzando i servizi pubblici. Nacque così, su interessamento dell’assessore al tecnologico Giovanni Montemartini, la AEM (Azienda Elettrica Municipale oggi ACEA) che diede avvio alla prima centrale elettrica pubblica di Roma, inaugurata il 30 giugno 1912. (Dal web) Dal 1997, la sede dismessa della centrale ospita in una mostra permanente parte della collezione dei Musei Capitolini. Il contrasto tra archeologia industriale e archeologia classica introduce in uno spazio senza tempo ricco di fascino. #centralemontemartini #viaostiense #museicapitolini #quantoseibellaroma #laltraroma #romanroots #radici #archeologiaclassica #archeologiaindustriale #ernestonathan #sindaco

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Montemartini Museum

Located in Rome’s first public electricity plant, the Montemartini Museum sets an unexpected stage for classical sculpture and works of art. Marble busts, statues, and even sarcophagi are displayed among the original electricity plant’s equipment presenting a sharp contrast between the various works of art, each one somehow elevating the other.

Open Tuesday – Sunday 9am – 7pm | Via Ostiense 106 | Website

Railway Museum

For train and rail enthusiasts, Rome’s Railway Museum located next to the Piramide metro station is one spot to check out! Outside in front of the museum are several de-commissioned cars for perusing, meanwhile inside the museum you can see exhibits of scale models and technical parts with historical information.

Via Bartolomeo Bossi 7 | Open Monday – Thursday 9am – 4pm; Fridays 9am – 1pm

Take Street Art Tour

The Ostiense neighborhood, along with neighboring Testaccio, are some of the best neighborhoods to catch a glimpse of Rome’s vibrant street art scene. Go for a walk and go on a self-guided tour or hook up with any number of walking tours offering explanations of the works. But to really see the best street art not just in Ostiense but in all of Rome, take a Vespa Street Art tour to cover more ground!

Where to Eat in Ostiense


One of Rome’s hottest new restaurants, Marigold feels like an entirely new world the moment you walk in. Owned by an Italian chef and Danish baker, the cosy restaurant has a strong scandinavian feel given it’s minimal aesthetic and simple wooden tables. Every day loaves of naturally-leavened sourdough bread and rye are pulled from the oven, as well as pastries and baked goods galore, like cinnamon swirls, carrot cake, cheesecake brownie, fruit tarts, buns and muffins, all made fresh daily in-house.

Marigold is one of the few restaurants that can really cater to vegetarians and vegans, despite a limited menu that changes daily. At least half of the lunch and dinner menus are vegetable dishes, meant to be enjoyed family-style or not.

Don’t miss brunch on Saturday or Sunday for a true international brunch experience, with classic favorites like avocado on rye, soft-boiled egg, and cheese omelette or something a little different, like fried eggs with sage or sourdough french toast with homemade creme fraiche.

Open Tuesday – Thursday 8am – 5pm; Friday 8am – 11pm; Saturday 9am – 11pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm; Closed Mondays

Via Giovanni da Empoli 37 | Website

Trattoria Pennestri

Trattortia Pennestri opened its doors just a few years ago but already its got a loyal following of locals and foreigners alike. The take on the neo-trattoria is something that isn’t fully new to the Roman food scene, but when it’s done well it’s worth pointing out. Chef Tommaso Pennestri reinterprets Roman dishes bringing in inspirations from other regional Italian cuisines.

Open Tuesday – Sunday 7pm – 11pm; Lunch Friday – Sunday 12pm – 3pm also; Closed Mondays

Via Giovanni da Empoli 5 | Website


Anyone who knows the Eataly stores may find it strange that the world’s largest is in Italy’s capital, but the 4-story Eataly features dozens of restaurants and a wide variety of fresh and packaged Italian products from all over the peninsula. From fresh meat and produce, to every type of pasta (fresh and dried!) imagineable, there’s something for everyone. In fact, on the ground and 1st floors, there’s also a small Ikea store for any of those smaller house- or kitchen-wares that you just might need!

Open daily from 9am – midnight | Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492 | Website

Vacation Rentals near Rome’s Ostiense Neighborhood

AP44 San Saba Apartment by ROMAC can accommodate up to 12 guests in 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. The spacious apartment is located in a quiet residential neighborhood just a short walk away from Piramide train and metro stations and the exciting Ostiense neighborhood.

ROMAC is a leading vacation rental management company that’s been welcoming international travelers to the Eternal City for over a decade.

Check out the San Saba apartment, the perfect home away from home in Rome for up to 12 guests in five bedrooms and three baths. The apartment is in the heart of an area known as San Saba named also for the basilica nearby, and just a few minutes walking distance from the Piramide train station and metro stop.

For something a bit smaller, the Testaccio vacation rental brings the spirit of the neighborhood inside with a custom art piece by a local street artist. The Testaccio apartment can accommodate up to five guests in this one bedroom, one bath home and spacious living area.

Browse over 40 vacation rentals at ROMAC located strictly in the historic center of Rome, and use filters to narrow your search by neighborhood, number of guests, nightly rate, and amenities. Don’t forget to take a look at our special offers for the lowest rates online, guaranteed!

Have you visited Rome’s Ostiense neighborhood? Share your tips and experiences with us in the comments below!


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  • […] The shows take place roughly once a month (best to check the group’s facebook for upcoming events) at Rome’s first Tiki Bar, Makai Surf & Tiki Bar (Via dei Magazzini Generali 4 a/b/c), located in the Ostiense neighborhood. […]

  • […] For more information, check out our post on visiting the Piramid of Cestius and the Wall Museum. […]

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