National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Editor’s letter

- PAT RIDDELL, EDITOR @patriddell @patriddell

All cities have layers, but few can claim to be as stratified as Rome. Civilisati­ons that have taken root here over millennia seem to jostle for prominence at every turn — medieval streets constructe­d above Etruscan sewers, Roman columns repurposed by Renaissanc­e architects, baroque churches consecrate­d on top of ancient tombs, 1950s flats built upon the remains of palatial villas…

Part of Rome’s magic is the way in which it honours its icons, like the Colosseum and the Pantheon. But rather than simply dining out on its past and preserving the city in aspic, the Eternal City refuses to stand still. Part of its unique appeal as a modern metropolis is the way its ancient lineage is woven into the narrative of the present, unfolding across its patchwork of spirited neighbourh­oods.

In Testaccio, the menu of a traditiona­l Roman trattoria o†ers a concentrat­ed history of the city, while amid Trastevere’s vast flea market and venerable pizzerias you’ll find a modern art gallery in a crumbling church. Elsewhere, fashion-forward Monti has come into its own, while a regenerate­d Pigneto is now the coolest district in town.

This issue, we weave our way through seven unmissable Roman neighbourh­oods, peeling back the layers to cast new light on one of Europe’s most alluring cities.

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