Last week we went on a walking tour of Garbatella, which was really interesting: see Part 1. This is our neighbourhood in Rome, a working-class area which is well worth a visit for the architecture and ambience. Here, the Roma logo, on a house wall.
Here, an internal courtyard, where our excellent guide Franco pointed out the decorative pillars on the facade. Many of the houses have decorations of pillars, reliefs and mythical figures, part of the barochetto romano movement. Decorations were done with simple materials, not marble.
This is a fervently Roma supporting quartiere, and you see the giallorosso (yellow and red) echoed on lampposts, bricks and walls. More Roma-fandom (with added grafitti, I noticed later…..) There is a lot of grafitti in Rome, unfortunately.
Cesare Battisti school on Piazza Sauli, example of civil architecture in Fascist era. See the massive eagles! This school is also featured in “I Cesaroni”, a soap opera that has been on for years. It is mainly set in Garbatella, at the bar just around the corner. The 673 bus ends here, three stops after the Garbatella metro, and there are often Italian tourists on the bus, doing a Cesaroni pigrimage.
Architecture buffs might especially enjoy Lotto 24, which has the 13 “model houses”, built for the International Congress of Housing and Town Planning in 1929. Look for them on the triangle of Via delle Sette Chiese, Via De Jacobis and Via Borri. Here, we arrived at Piazza Eurosia. This is one of several excellent areas for eating out.
We ambled down Via Rubino, a tree-lined little street with litlle houses and beautiful gardens, and arrived here at Piazza Sapeto.. If you go straight through the piazza, you come down the steps to the Fontana di Carlotta. We went left instead.
Franco pointed out the communal washing lines in some of the internal courtyards, still very much in use. Many of the courtyards have lovely gardens, well looked after by the inhabitants, and there are footpaths so you can criss-cross through and have a look.
What we found really interesting about this walk through Garbatella is seeing how people live: people walking dogs, hanging out laundry, the smells of dinner cooking, the sounds of conversations drifting from windows, the sun illuminating the faded reds and yellows of the buildings, and getting the feel of Garbatella as a neighbourhood.
In Rome and interested in seeing Garbatella? Contact Garbatella Mon Amour: https://www.facebook.com/garbatellatour regarding the new free walking tour around Garbatella, offered in English. About two hours, very enjoyable and highly recommended. For information and booking, call or text +39 351 1245 664. PS Generally this is offered in the morning at 10AM.