San Teodoro an interesting, and very old, neighborhood of Rome, tucked away between the Circo Massimo, Campidoglio and the Ghetto. It’s said to be the area where Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were said to be suckled by the she-wolf.
Today, it’s a quiet neighborhood: only a few cross roads and a few sites well worth a visit, but it’s a fun neighborhood to explore on your next visit to Rome.
Since I’ve lived in Rome, I’ve favored the neighborhoods close to the Colosseum, but when we sold our apartment and had to renovate our new one before moving there, we decided to play tourist and rent a place in a “new” neighborhood. We chose to make San Teodoro home for eight months until our new place was ready.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to live here long term. The streets are very picturesque, the terraces have great views over the Palatine, and the whole area is remarkably silent at night since very few people live there, but there are also very few services, not great public transport connections, and it grew tiresome to have to trek to a grocery store or go long distances for a hardware store or a pharmacy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good tourist base or a place to wander during a Roman visit.
I’ve already written about the church that provides its name to the area. See my earlier post about the Greek Orthodox church of San Teodoro. This church was originally built in teh 6th century, and later expanded in 1453, although it only became a greek Orthodox church in recent years.
The 9th century San Giorgio in Velabro is another must-see church in the neighborhood. This takes its name from the Latin velabrum, the swamp-like area where Remus and Romulus were supposed to have been found. This church was built on the site of an earlier, 5th century church. It was later remodeled in the 12th century. Unfortunately, a 1993 Mafia bombing caused great damage to the church, parts of which were recontructed from the rubble.
In front of the church is an impressive Roman ruin, the Argentari Arch, built in 204 A.D. by the ‘argentari’ or money changers of Ancient Rome. It was built to honor Emperor Septimus Severus.
The neighborhood also boasts a popular farmer’s market, open only Saturdays and Sundays on the Via di San Teodoro. Here you can find fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, oil, wines, jams, and fresh bread – all direct from the farms around Rome in Italy’s Lazio region.
Enjoy your time exploring this pretty, ancient Roman neighborhood.