Garbatella 2020 – the anniversary of the foundation of a “model” popular neighborhood

In the evening, driven by the red light of the sunset, we were entering the “lots” of the Garbatella district.
The walk starts before the events of the white night organized for the centenary celebrations of the foundation of the Garbatella district began.
The appointment is in front of the Palladium Theater, which hosted some centenary events. The space that had been the temple of “transgressive” Roman nights in the 90s of the last century is now a temple of culture managed by a university.
In my “nocturnal 90s” memories there were crowds of guys dressed in very punk black to welcome the artists at Palladium with studs and metal everywhere and not only in musical arrangements.
The sound of sociability now connotes the neighborhood and while I take the photographs I think about who lives there.
In this area of ​​Southern Rome, so different from the rest of the metropolis, there are almost 50,000 people who constitute a unicum with an anthropological value.
We are walking through the oldest lots, among the most beautiful buildings built around small gardens while we feel observed from behind the window shutters.
Armed with maps and cameras, we are browsing through the hanging clothes of this community.
The neighborhood’s centenary party has been widely publicized but our walk continues to seem like an intrusion into the home of others.
In the drying rooms of the courtyards there are giant photos of the inhabitants taken in the last century. The progenitors of many of these citizens have always been proud to be able to live in this context; this area has been theirs for generations.
It’s all very human here, there are still people in the Latin sense of the term with that heavy and colorful drop that is tinged with blue on the tattooed skin. The People pronounced with two “thundering” consonants as only in Rome is pronounced is attentive to tourists like us.
As evening falls, this popular neighborhood is covered in red, reminds you to vote for Garibaldi and does not hide the smells of the kitchen …
Our guide is telling us what a sociological experience it is to spend a few hours at the post office, a meeting place for alcohol free for the elderly in any season.
So we decide to come back again, maybe to try a cacio e pepe in one of these Roman restaurants. These urban spaces deserve a deepening even if a hundred years for the city of Rome seem like a blink of an eye.
The architectural and social experiment of the Garbatella district suggests putting a few more hours on the agenda in the next Roman tour. In addition to the Roman forums and the Vatican city, you can also try the essence of the city by walking in a popular neighborhood.


The guide or muse of the experience was Anna Maria Selini, a journalist from Bergamo who has long lived in this Roman urban space.

There are many curiosities or historical and architectural features of the Garbatella area which I gladly refer to the wikipedia page:
Palladium Theater, Roma Tre University,,

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