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, January 12, 2014

Rome Posters: Lines of Excess

A mobile poster, in Piazza dei Rei di Roma.
Rome is the poster child for....posters!  They're in every neighborhood, often long lines of them, often long lines of the same poster, usually framed in iron racks that line the sidewalks, holes having been driven in the asphalt.  At the height of political campaigns, huge posters are driven around the city on trucks.  Most of the posters are political in one way or another, featuring a candidate, a party, and/or a position on some crucial issue of the day, such as immigration, waste disposal, or Italy's relationship with the European Union. 

The poster at top is for a party on the right (destra); it calls for the "immediate expulsion of undocumented immigrants," as well as for the re-election of the right-wing Mayor, Gianni Alemanno (he lost). 

Poster line along a Metro construction site.

We enjoy reading the posters and gathering from them information about the city's elections, politicians, and shared concerns.  That much is good.  What isn't good is that the poster lines are too often a blight on the urban landscape.  They're tolerable when the landscape is itself a mess, so that a poster line placed on an already disruptive Metro construction site doesn't make much difference. 

But this sort of modest restraint, if one could call if that, is seldom practiced.  One line in Prati runs down the middle of what would otherwise be an elegant, treed median/parkway. 

Those that cleave to the sidewalks leave little room for pedestrians and bring clutter--and often refuse--to nice residential areas (see the poster at end). 

Messy.  And badly positioned between a park and a church.

This line borders a park in the Marconi area and is directly across the street from Santo Volto, a lovely and important new church designed by Rome architects Piero Sartogo and Nathalie Grenon

Blocking the view of Acqua Paola (visible at upper left) and
the city below

And now and then, a poster line is placed especially ineptly.  On one side of this line (in back of the photographer) is a comely park on the Gianicolo.  On the other side (if the poster line were miraculously removed, it would be right in front  of you) is one of Rome's treasures: the enormous, elaborate fountain known as Acqua Paola (no. 19 on RST's Top 40). 


Neighborhood blight, this time in San Giovanni


Dianne Bennett and William Graebner said...

We heard from RP, via email. "RST," he wrote, "is still my favourite blog, even though I don't reply much, nor haven't yet accessed your new Ebook....I still don't think you've completely covered Pasolini's Rome, unless I've missed it, and also Paolo Portoghesi's Rome: two of my other Roman heroes."

Thanks so much, RP! As for Pasolini and Portoghesi: you might try the blog search engine at upper left for both. We've written at some length about Pasolini in Monteverde, and Dianne's done her thing with Portoghesi's lovely mosque. We're not aware he designed anything else in Rome proper--if so, let us know!

Dianne Bennett and William Graebner said...

We heard from an old friend, RJ, via He wrote: "From fishing jackets to political posters. Like almost being on the ground in contemporary Rome. Thanks for those sharp observations of things that matter most for anyone who wants to feel more there and a part of what is happening." Thanks, RJ!