Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

An Ostiense View, to the south of Rome

We've been living in Ostiense, not far from the Pyramid, on the 9th floor.  Although the view from our balcony is to the south--and hence does not encompass the Centro Storico--it is in its own way, we think, not only fascinating but spectacular.  We offer it here in a 30-second sweep (wobbly, yes--we don't take many videos).  Below the video, for connoisseurs, is a left-to-right description of what you're seeing (also available on YouTube at

9:30  In the distance, the Alban Hills (Colli Albani), and closer in, the beginning of the neighborhood            of Garbatella
10:00   The peak at right is Monte Cavo and beneath it and just to the left, the city of Rocca di Papa
10:30   The tall building with lettering is the headquarters of the Lazio Region, of which Rome is a                  part.  Just to its right,  the cupola of San Francesco Saverio, in Garbatella.  This was the first                parish visited by John Paul II after he became Pope.  
11:00  A Calatrava-style bridge, the Settimia Spizzichino bridge, named after a Jewish woman who               was deported to the concentration camps in October, 1943--and somehow survived, the only               Rome woman to do so.  The structure bridges the Metro "B" line and the Lido train and              connects Garbatella with the Ostiense quartiere.  
           To the right of the bridge, wall art by Clemens Behr (he also has a piece in Tor Marancia - for a fuller description, see the app, streetartroma).
11:30   Cupola of Santa Maria Regina dei Apostoli da Montagnola, c. 1950
9:30-1:00, forefront: the remains of the Mercati Generali (General Markets) of Rome, constructed c.                 1913, abandoned 2002.  Now supposedly being reconstructed, but we've seen no workers there, despite the presence of a crane.  
12:30  The slim campanile of the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura (Saint Paul outside the wall).                The church burned down and was rebuilt--sumptuously--c. 1850
1:00  The squarish building in the distance is the Colosseo Quadrato (square coliseum), formally                   known as the Palazzo della Civilta' Italiana, c. 1940, located at EUR as part of what was                       supposed to be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Fascist March on Rome (the war                             intervened).  
          To its left, also at EUR, and only partially visible, the tower known as Il Fungo (the                             mushroom)--something like Seattle's Space Needle.  
          To its right, also at EUR, the church of Saints Peter and Paul
2:00   Across the broad via Ostiense, an old industrial area, now in part vacant, rapidly being                          transformed into housing and museums.  And beyond Ostiense, and across the nearby
           Tiber River, the Marconi quartiere
2:30    Round metal structures known as the gazometri (gas meters).  These structures once held                    expandable gas liners.  They're considered icons of Rome's industrial-era skyline.   

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