Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Walking to Trullo: for Art's Sake

The plan seemed reasonable, to Bill, anyway.  We had had heard that the working-class Rome suburb of Trullo--we'd been there once before--had been redecorated by volunteer street artists, and we wanted to see the community in all its new glory.  We decided to walk--Bill did, anyway--from our apartment in Monteverde Vecchio, 6.4 google map kms (3-3/4 miles one way): down via dei Quattro Venti, right on via Portuense, across via Isacco Newton, left on via del Trullo.  Voila!

Via Portuense is one of Rome's less fashionable streets, but even so, not without interest.  Early on we noticed (right) a building that had once been a gas station, perhaps a car wash. Many elements, frequently modified.  Concrete block, air conditioning, a covered terrace, a nice old wall, a tattered banner and, of course, graffiti.  In a curious way, a delight.

Further on, a sad memorial to a tragic accident: a young woman, Valentina, had died at that spot.

And two very different buildings, side by side: on the left, what appeared to be a municipal building, constructed in the 1930s; on the right, an apartment complex, perhaps of 1970s vintage, with its brazen rounded balconies.

An architectural find on via
dell'Imbreciatto.  Modernist
brutalism, recent vintage.  

Just beyond, we discovered a flaw in our plan.  Via Isacco Newton is an enormous highway, and there are no sidewalks on the fast-moving portion of via Portuense that crosses it.  Only Evil Knievel would walk that route.  So we doubled back to via Pietro Frattini and turned south through the 'hoods, onto via dell'Imbreciatto, right onto a country road, right again along Isacco Newton and over it, on a bridge, then up the hill and down the hill into Trullo.  Including the doubling back, this route is about 8.2 km, or roughly 5 miles.

Trullo has, indeed, been upgraded, as your exhausted duo discovered.  We didn't see any burning trash cans this time around.  Many of the 1930s housing project buildings that dominate the area have been decorated in one way or another: some simply and playfully--the kind of work that could be done by an untrained crew with a bit of direction. There's lots of poetry, too.

Others have benefited from the first-rate work by professionals.   Several examples follow.

Many other buildings, including the market, sport wall art.  At left, the decorated wall of an eyeglass store. Below, the market.

"The voyage is a search for hidden courage that knows no bounds."

View from the bar.

There's a comfortable bar in the center of town where you can sit outside on the covered patio and watch the main street traffic and the kids playing in the park across the street.  Best on a Saturday.

Worth it.  But don't walk.  We took the bus home. Weak!

PS - Posts on other areas 'upgraded' with street art include those on Quadraro and the Nomentana train station.  The book, "Global Rome" also investigates this phenomenon.

In Trullo, even the trucks are painted!  The graffiti on the building at center is older, not part of the remodeling. 

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