Protestant Cemetery (Cimitero acattolico )

You might think that visiting a cemetery on your trip to Rome is a bit morbid, but this cemetery is nothing like what you might normally be used to. Strange as this might sound, the Protestant Cemetery, known officially as the Cimitero acattolico, is one of my favorite places to visit when I go to Rome.

Lined with lush vegetation and Cyrpus trees, the cemetery has a somber feel to it, and it’s relaxing and enthralling as you walk amongst the graves.

The cemetery is located in Testaccio, one of Rome’s 22 rione. Testaccio is a curious area — by day it features markets and butchers. By night, it is home to some of Rome’s most popular nightclubs. Testaccio is located south-east of Trastevere and is just across the Tiber River. It is quite easy to reach by foot, tram, metro or bus. :

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The Cemetery is opened Tuesday through Sunday. It is closed on Mondays. While admission to the cemetery is free, it is customary (and expected) to leave a small donation. This donation helps to maintain the cemetery. The English poets, Keats and Shelly (who died within a year of each other), are both buried in this cemetery as is the son of Goethe.

The Cemetery is open from 9:00am to 4:30pm.

The grounds of the cemetery are quite marvellous, and I find that a stroll through the cemetery is relaxing. During the summer months, it is nice to walk around as there is an abundance of trees, making it ideal place to cool off, pay your respects, and relax — all at the same time.

Reaching the cemetery is quite easy and is not hard to find at all. There are some well known landmarks nearby, most notably the Pyramid of Cestius and the Porta San Paolo, which make finding the area easy. You really can’t miss it. Your options are:

  • Take the Metro, Linea B to Piramide.
  • Take the bus, #23, 30, 170, 271 or 280 – each of these lines take you to the Piazzale Ostiense.
  • Tram #3 also goes to Testaccio.

A better idea, if you are not pressed for time, is to simply walk. The streets and avenues leading to and through Testaccio are unique and interesting, and you are bound to discover other sites and places on your own.