Imagine that one of your ancestors arrived in Rome a thousand years ago, or more. Travelling to the powerful state was something that many dreamt of; a chance to earn a fortune, or at least a steady living.

Rome relied on the river Tevere, or Tiber, for its port, which in those days was next to the city. Foreigners came, often by ship, with skills or a willingness to learn. The original city, on the eastern side of the river, became crowded and many newcomers settled instead on the western bank.

The Trastevere

This western settlement became the Trastevere (‘across the Tevere’). Today it houses families who have lived there for generations and prosperous newcomers who