Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, January 4, 2024

The Auto Repair Garages of Rome

While walking in Rome, don't neglect the garages--the places where Romans get their cars and scooters repaired, or washed. Unlike many businesses, they are usually open to public view from the street. And they are in a variety of ways revealing--revealing of the interests and inclinations of the proprietors, who are invariably men. (We've seen a lot of women doing physical work in Rome--sweeping the streets, collecting garbage, delivering mail--but we have yet to see a female mechanic.)

Rome's a soccer town, and city-center Romans tend to be fans of the AS Roma team. 

Lots of AS Roma stuff, and a shout-out to the military, at left.

More sedate. Just a Totti jersey. Tools organized.

Sometimes you have to wonder how the mechanic can find anything. Not sure I would take my car here (below).

Garages represent the last bastion of sexism. Pin-ups are less common than they were, say, 20 years ago, but they're still around, here and there (far left and elsewhere in the photo below). This garage in the photo below (taken in 2018) is in Tiburtina. [And see the garage pin-ups Bill discovered in 2012 at the end of this post.]

Very organized, clean, highly decorated. 

Scooter repair shops often have a more subdued vibe:

This gommista (tire place) was closed when we went by, but the seranda was "revealing." 

Another tire place had created a waiting area for customers. Very "Los Angeles" we thought. 

It's not uncommon for auto repairs shops to do much of the work on the street. One could quibble about the use of "public property," but the activity is fun to watch. 

Steps from Piazza dei Re di Roma

This garage is interesting because of its location. It's cut into the Aurelian wall, in San Lorenzo. We saw it first on one of our "Wall Walks" in 2014, written up here.

And this garage is interesting because of what's inside and for sale: a 1965 1500L Fiat.  

We'll close with a couple of car-wash places. The first is an Auto Lavaggio a Mano--a hand car wash, probably do-it-yourself (fai da te). The attraction here is a large picture of Jesus (and a smaller one upper right, not too prominent).   

Christian car wash

And finally, from avant-garde Pigneto, a suggestion of who might be washing your car (as long as it's a Mercedes).

Bill (who else?)

A PS - In 2012, we found a set of pinups in a garage, and Bill declared it was the only one he had found to that point.  His post titled "Garage Art: the Pinup in Rome" is here.