A cultural Saturday evening in Garbatella

GarbatellaLast night was the Festa per la Cultura in Garbatella, our neighbourhood in Rome. Garbatella is asouth of the historic center of Rome, but only three metro stops from the Colosseum. It was built in the late 1920s/early 1930s, a Borgata Giardino with inspiration from the garden city movement in the UK, developed by the Istituto Case Popolari to provide affordable housing. Arriving by metro you see generic modern eight floor buildings, and you would never know that there is a very pretty older part just a few streets in. Winding streets, internal courtyards with laundry drying, archways and stairs and terracotta buildings, slightly scruffy and very atmospheric. Architectural competitions were held at the time for the apartment blocks and civic buildings such as schools, theatres, and community centres. The old part of Garbatella was originally social housing. It is still a predominately Roma-supporting  working class neighbourhood, with many families who have lived here since the 1920s. 

GarbatellaWe wandered up to Piazza Eurosia, to get a cartoccio (paper cone) of fried seafood. There was a photography exhibit at the fountain of Carlotta, and preparations for for a concert.

Garbatella sunsetWe could hear music from other piazzas nearby, and there was a lovely breeze after the hot day. There were old ladies leaning out of windows, the occasional cat passing by, and lovely colours in the evening sun.

GarbatellaWhen we got to Piazza Eurosia, the piazza was packed (there’s also a nice winebar there, Acino Brillo). We discovered that the friggitoria had closed and become a seafood restaurant, no take-away deepfried moscardini anymore. What a pity! Must find out if they have re-opened elsewhere. We didn’t fancy a sit-down dinner, as there was culture to explore, so we wandered on.

bacon and egg pizzaJust around the corner there is a triangular park, which is usually busy in the evening with families. It has a small play park, a pizza place, an icecream shop and benches for the grandparents. What more could you need? There,  on Via delle sette Chiese 101/B you’ll find Mi Garba la Pizza, an excellent pizza a taglio. No tables inside (it is tiny) but they have tables outside in the summer, and even live music last night. We took a number and squeezed in to get some pizza. Look! Bacon and egg pizza! Haven’t seen that before.

Pizza boxOur number finally came up, we took our pizza to go and found a bench nearby to enjoy it.

Pizza a taglioThree kinds of pizza a taglio: bacon and egg, margherita, and fiori di zucca  (zucchini flowers with anchovies). Very tasty. Music was playing loudly from the pizzeria, and these kids were dancing away. Here, to “Gangnam Style.” As you see, it’s a lively spot.

kids in piazza IMGP1259

Then we wandered on to Piazza Sauli to have a look at the festival (lots of people, booths for worthy causes, concerts, photography exhibits, and more). Very lively. We wandered home while listening to the live music echoing across the rooftops on the warm summer evening. Very nice.

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