Amide rotation of peptidyl–prolyl fragments is an important factor in backbone structure organization of proteins. Computational studies have indicated that this rotation preferentially proceeds through a defined transition-state structure (syn/exo). Here, we complement the computational findings by determining the amide bond rotation barriers for derivatives of the two symmetric proline analogues, meso and racemic pyrrolidine-2,5-dicarboxylic acids. The rotations around these residues represent syn/exo–syn/exo and anti/endo–syn/exo hybrid transition states for the meso and racemic diastereomer, respectively. The rotation barriers are lower for the former rotation by about 9 kJ mol−1 (aqueous medium), suggesting a strong preference for the syn/exo (clockwise) rotation over the anti/endo (anticlockwise) rotation. The results show that both hybrid rotation processes are enthalpically driven but respond differently to solvent polarity changes due to the different transition state dipole–dipole interactions.