Rome Travel Guide

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pasolini Remembered: The Ostia Murder Site

The legendary Pier Paolo Pasolini--poet, novelist, filmmaker, sociologist, intellectual--moved to Rome with his mother at age 28, in 1950.  His residences there include two in Monteverde Vecchio, where plaques commemorate one of the city's most admired, and most controversial, figures.

We never fail to enjoy these reminders of Pasolini's presence, but we hadn't yet visited the site in Ostia, not far from the beach, where Pasolini was murdered--run over several times by his own automobile--on November 2, 1975. Apparently he had gone there to recover several stolen reels for his latest feature film.  The murder purportedly was solved, but large questions remain (the "murdered" retracted his confession, e.g.).

The site can be reached by car or scooter (directions at end of this post) --or by bus it would seem; there's a bus stop, Idroscalo, right across the road.  Although the beach is just down the road, the area has several small businesses.  We parked our scooter across the street, and approached the park.

Although there's a sign suggesting that the park has official sanction, we found it hemmed in by impregnable fencing on all sides, a chain and lock securing the front gate, the only entrance.

We sighed, took some pictures through the fence, resigned ourselves to a less than fully successful effort, and returned to our scooter.  The owner of Oriflex, a manufacturer of mattresses, was taking a smoke break in the front of his complex. We approached and struck up a conversation, lamenting the fact that the Pasolini park was closed and locked.

One of these links is a caribiner that
can be opened easily.
He paused, as if wondering if he should continue, then explained that the lock and chain was a kind of ruse, a fake ("finta"), that one of the links could be opened, and with it, the gate.  And we could walk in.

And so, following his instructions, we did.  It's a somewhat scruffy place, haphazardly maintained, lacking elegance and grandeur.  A large white, modernist monument to Pasolini, in the back of the park, seems not to do justice to the man and his life; indeed, it appears awkwardly out of place.

That said, Pasolino's poetry--all in Italian--is nicely represented here, affixed to rocks along the park's narrow paths, and several of his major works are remembered in surface tablets.

We spent a few minutes remembering Pasolini's many contributions, lamenting his early death.  We "locked" the gate behind us, and headed home.


Directions:  From the Pyramid, take via Ostiense [via del Mare] south.  It briefly becomes viale dei Romagnoli, then again becomes via del Mare/via Ostiense.  After passing a Cineland Multiplex on the right, turn right at via di Aqua Rossa, which curves left and becomes via delle Azzorre.  Via delle Azzorre intersects and angles right onto via dell'Idroscalo.  Look for the park on the left, or the Oriflex sign on the right.  The trip takes 35 to 45 minutes by car or scooter.

1 comment:

Dianne Bennett and William Graebner said...

One of our Italian friends sent us a link to this video demonstrating the "fake" gate. The video even features the man across the street who helped us, and helps the woman taking the video. The video appeared in La Repubblica online shortly after this post went up. Coincidence?