Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

RST Top 40. #37: Parco della Musica

This gorgeous new (2006) complex of music space has been highly successful. The performances are many and varied - suiting every taste and pocketbook: classical to folk to dance to new music, Euro 150 to free.

Many of the US's top artists perform here. See the English website for events. It's easier to navigate than PDM's (as it's called, or sometimes it's called just the Auditorium).

Whether or not you're going to a performance, the complex is worth a visit. It's in the Flaminio district, a short tram ride from Piazza del Popolo. Renzo Piano, one of Italy's best known international architects, hit his stride with these buildings. Piano also designed the New York Times building in New York City that opened earlier this year and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's large addition, that opened last year. But we think Parco della Musica is another degree better than his commissions in the US. (It's in Rome the Second Time as a music venue, Chapter 7; and also a highlight of the Flaminio walk in our latest book: Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler. More on the book at the end of this post.)

You can also get food and drink here (and in the adjacent Flaminio neighborhood - in Rome the Second Time, Chapter 8; and in the Flaminio walk of Modern Rome).

Take a look at the basketball stadium, Palazzetto dello Sport, as you walk from the tram to PDM. The Palazzetto was designed for the Rome 1960 Olympics by one of that era's most well-known Italian international architects, Pier Luigi Nervi, a master with concrete - we were taken to the Palazzetto as college students by our Stanford art prof who was trying to get us to appreciate modern architecture (wow, he got what he wanted from us!).  The Palazzetto also is featured in Modern Rome.


As noted above, these sites are feaured in the Flaminio walk of our new print AND eBook,  Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler.  Modern Rome features tours of the "garden" suburb of Garbatella; the 20th-century suburb of EUR, designed by the Fascists; the 21st-century music and art center of Flaminio, along with Mussolini's Foro Italico, also the site of the 1960 summer Olympics; and a stairways walk in Trastevere.

This 4-walk book is available in all print and eBook formats The eBook is $1.99 through and all other eBook sellers.  See the various formats at

Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler
 now is also available in print, at, Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores, and other retailers; retail price $5.99.

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