We recently went with our friends over to a lovely little piazza in Trastevere. We had never before been to Piazza San Cosimato. There were two reasons for the visit that day. The first was to let our friends’ toddler have some time at the marvelous little playground there (she loved it).
The second reason to go was to enter a marvelous place, the old entrance to which was visible just beyond the playground.
The massive door in the little tower is no longer the entrance to the wonderful place we were to explore. Instead, just past the old entrance, you walk into a hospital parking lot — yes, you read that correctly. We were going to the Ospedale Nuovo Regina Margherita, a polyclinic housed in an ancient monastery complex (that happens to accept foreign tourists).
Pass through the small hospital parking lot, and you enter another world… a beautiful, medieval one: the cloisters of the church of San Cosimato.
But this amazing 13th Century cloister is only part of a fascinating, larger complex. We climbed a small set of steps at one corner of this cloister, past the sign for the Contagious Diseases unit — I am not making this up — and arrived at a second cloister. This one is younger, from the 15th Century.
After that, we walked to yet a third courtyard, that of the church of San Cosimato (which, alas, was closed).
Look to the left of the fountain and you see the interior of the door shown in the first picture of this post.
Once done enjoying the cloisters, we headed off for craft beer, pasta, and gelato! Not bad for a gentle fall afternoon in the Eternal City.