Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Playground for Wall Street, housing for Main Street

A long walk yesterday up through Villa Doria Pamphili, a huge public park that used to be the private reserve of the Pamphili family. Their wealth is still on display, though now in a splendid state of decay. A perfect place to vent one's anger at the wealthy in these post-crash days. Hundreds of trees in the park have recently been trimmed Roman style--thoroughly, but expertly-- with piles of wood deposited at the base of each trunk for later pickup.

Some of Rome's talented graffiti artists have been working the villa's interior walls:

On the way back to our apartment we came upon a stunning example of the fascist-era public housing program: a Casa Popolare from 1932. This set of massive buildings, with rounded balconies, massive curving stairways, and commodious courtyards, still hints at a time when public authorities sought to combine low-cost housing with striking modernist touches (while moving the inhabitants out of the central city into what was then the suburbs). This is the kind of architecture that we feature in Rome the Second Time (see Itineraries 7 and 10).


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