A Tiny Island in the Middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy

I watched out the large rectangular window and the massive television screen blaring Italian on the wall at the same time.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Glancing back and forth, I could see where each frame of the movie had been filmed. The main actor would walk into the door that I had just walked through and then up the stairs to the very room I was standing in.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.However, the Italian actress in the movie was upset about something, but I couldn’t be anywhere further from that emotion, as I was delighted to be here. This was dé·jà vu with a twist, where innately I understood that not only did this place have a history, going back 57 years, it had one going back 20 centuries!

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

The new owner of the apartment was visually illustrating to my group about his apartment’s history: An apartment where Marlon Brando once lived in 1965. And where the scene mentioned above from Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni, L’Avventura, was filmed in 1960. Antonioni had owned the apartment as well.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

It was now the home of Fabio Bongianni, whom I would later learn is a master chef in Italian cuisine and teaches Italian cooking classes in his commercial kitchen within this very apartment. This is just one of the #BeMyGuest experience you can have with Trafalgar Tours.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Who knew there was an island right in the middle of Rome? I certainly didn’t, even though I had visited this island before! I simply didn’t realize it was not attached to either side of the banks of the Tiber River! It is called Isola Tiberina, or Tiber Island and it’s the world’s smallest inhabited island. To get there, you only have to cross Rome’s oldest original bridge Ponte Fabricio, still existing in its original state and built in 62 BC!

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

View from the apartment window mentioned above, Ponte Fabricio Bridge, Tiber Island, Rome, Italy

A Tiny Island in the Middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

I had first discovered Tiberina Island when I was on a tour of Undiscovered Rome with the Viking Ocean Liner, Viking Star. This tour was for people who had visited Rome many times before and were looking to visit lesser known areas of Rome. I remember crossing that bridge and walking into the 10th-century basilica but failed to realize it was on an island. I also had no idea there were two apartments here as well, as that particular part of that tour was to see the inside of the basilica.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Many months after my original visit to the island, I was invited on by the CEO of Trafalgar Tours USA, Gavin Tollman. He had a special treat waiting for us, as we would visit Isola Tiberina and explore one of only two apartments built on the island, the home of Fabio Bongianni, who teaches cooking classes here. Not only that, Fabio is very proud to own this apartment and was gracious enough to show us around.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Once inside his private apartment, we were given a tour of the inside area of the residence. It had ancient walls, underground passageways, a foundation built of plexiglass that revealed a crumbling rock foundation below, that was used as a wine cellar.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

It was quite interesting to peer into the old down below with the new juxtapositioned next to it.

Attending a tour and dinner with Chef Fabio Bongianni, where I would later learn a few secrets of Italian cuisine cooking, was a highlight of my trip to Rome!

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

Come along with to explore a tiny Island in the middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy and the only private apartment on the island.

A Tiny Island in the Middle of Rome: Tiber Island, Italy

As mentioned before, this is just one example of Trafalgar Tour’s #BeMyGuest experiences and you can experience it too, as this is offered currently on this Trafalgar Tour in Italy.

  • Rome Explorer – an 8-day trip, dinner with Fabio Bongianni in his apartment, which formerly belonged to film director, Michelangelo Antonioni.

Here are a few other insider experiences in Italy for you to explore with Trafalgar Tours:

  • Italy Bellissimo – 11-day trip, cultural insight about Italian weaving at Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti – a traditional wooden frame hand-weaving shop and a trip to Siena.
  • Best of Italy – 13-Day trip, cultural insight into Venetian tradition of glass making and visit to the island of Burano which is famous for its colored houses and lacemaking.
  • Flavors of Italy 10-day trip, a walking tour of Venice and visit the Rialto Food Market and a #BeMyGuest experience with the Lenzi family – olive oil tasting on their Tuscan farm, enjoying Chianti over a meal. Includes a trip to the UNESCO, walled medieval town of San Gimignano.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Authentic Italian Recipes for the Soul

Tuscany Region:

Luxury Italy: A Journey for the Soul

Lazio Region, Italy

Top Secrets of Rome Revealed

5 Reasons to Rent an Apartment in Rome

Get the Scoop on the Best Gelato in Rome

From Rome to Positano, Italy

Campagna Region, Italy:

The Abbey of Montecasino and Herculaneum

Positano, Italy: Bellisimo Part 1

Positano, Italy Bites Deep: Part 2

Furore, Italy: The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy

La Bottega del Legno: The Woodshop in Forli, Italy

First Words: La Biblioteca Malaestina in Cesena, Italy

A weekend trip to Cesenatico, Italy

Altavita Winery: The High Life of Cesena

The Magnificient Masselina Estate and the Women of Faenza, Italy

Veneto Region, Italy:

A Voyage Thru Time: Things to do in Venice, Italy

The Oldest Coffee House in Italy

Carnival of Venice, Italy

Puglia Region, Italy

The Power of Travel Seen Through the Eyes of a Travel Company

Liguria Region, Italy:

Portofino, Italy: At least Once in a Lifetime

Italian Street Laundry

Genoa, Italy and the BW City Hotel

Le Rune, Genoa, Italy

Treat Yourself to the Suite Life: Hotel Splendido, Portofino, Italy

Hotel Spendido: Absolutely Splendid

Shoo Fly! Shoo Fly!

The Poetry of an Old Fisherman’s Village: Bocadasse, Italy

Italy Revealed: Camogli, Italy

LeMarche Region, Italy:

LeMarche Region, Italy:

Make this Your Next Authentic Italian Vacation

Food, Friendship, and Wine in Le Marche Region, Italy

The Lost Art of Print Blocking in Carpegna, Italy Regenerated

Calabria Region, Italy:

Unique Italian Gelato Culture

Disclosure:  The writer believes in full disclosure and wanted to let you know that this trip was provided by Trafalgar Tours.  As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations, meals and other compensation. 

2017-07-11T16:52:24+00:00

32 Comments

  1. Marcie W. May 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    What a quaint little island! I have yet (keyword yet) to travel to Rome, but I have no doubt that Italian cuisine will be a huge part of my experience.

  2. Stacie Connerty May 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Oh wow! It’s so beautiful there! We have been to Italy three times. How could we have never been here?!

    • Cacinda Maloney May 12, 2017 at 7:39 am

      I know, right? I was even there before and didn’t realize it was an island! Be sure and visit the Basicila on the island as well.

  3. Jen Rattie May 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    That is one beautiful place. I’d love to visit Italy, period. But if we get there, I’ll be sure to make Tiber Island a stop.

    • Cacinda Maloney May 11, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Yes! Be sure and take a walk to the island! Tiber Island, Italy

  4. Vera Sweeney May 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Awesome! We’re planning a trip to Europe, and Italy is on the agenda. We HAVE to include Tiber Island.

    • Cacinda Maloney May 11, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Cool! Enjoy Italy and of course, Tiber Island, Italy!

  5. Bill Sweeney May 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Tiber Island looks like a beautiful place. I love the architecture and the setting. We’ll have to stop there when we visit Italy.

    • Cacinda Maloney May 11, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      Yes, take a stop on Tiber Island, Italy.

  6. Toni | May 11, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    This looks like a great place to spend a vacation! One of the things that interest me about Italy is their cuisine!

    • Cacinda Maloney May 11, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      It is awesome: Tiny Tiber Island, Italy

  7. Theresa May 11, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    How amazing is that apartment!? What an incredible tour that must have been. I would definitely love to explore all that Tiber Island has to offer when I get to Italy!

  8. Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

    This looks like such a beautiful place! I would love to be able to go here one day.

  9. Stacey May 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    This looks like it was such a great trip.
    Trafalgar Tours, I heard, can open up a whole new world of travel to someone.
    This destination looks awesome!

  10. Rosey May 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    An underground passage would be trippy. It’s nice to get an inside peek.

  11. Louise Bishop May 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I had no idea. What a neat little spot!

  12. Annemarie LeBlanc May 13, 2017 at 3:46 am

    How did I not know of this? I travel to Italy almost every year and every time I miss exploring Tiber Island. This time I have to make sure I do. Tiber Island will be #1 in our itinerary.

  13. Veronica Solomon May 13, 2017 at 6:46 am

    How cool! I would love to visit one day!

  14. Dog May 14, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I have been to Italy quite a few times but I have not known of Tiber island! I hope to visit the next time I’m there. It looks like it has a lot to offer.

  15. Amanda Love May 15, 2017 at 11:08 am

    It would be so amazing to be able to tour this island. I wasn’t aware of this island before. I think it’s really lovely and it’s also peaceful, the kind of place you’d want to escape to for some down time.

  16. Madison May 16, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I’d love to visit this little island! Now if only I had a method to remember all the tiny places I want to visit when I go somewhere…

Comments are closed.