ROMA – SPRING 2017 – Pt 4b

DSCN2032A plaque on the edifice of a home near Piazza Navona pays tribute to the Italian actor/singer Romolo Balzani, who was born in the building.  Besides being best known for his interpretation of traditional Roman songs, Romolo was also featured opposite one of my favorite actresses, Anna Magnani, in the film, “L’ultima carrozzella.”DSCN2033DSCN2041DSCN2046DSCN2047DSCN2052I love discovering things that I’ve never seen before.  So when my friend, Giovanna, suggested spending an afternoon exploring the neighborhood of Garbatella, I jumped at the chance.  She picked me up in her car, and we headed down to the area, where we were going to meet a few other friends for lunch.  As we drove, Giovanna told me that we were about to cross one of her favorite bridges in Roma.  It’s called Ponte Settimia Spizzichino, and it links Via Ostiense to the Garbatella neighborhood.  DSCN2066The bridge takes its name, and is dedicated to Settimia Spizzichino — a Roman citizen, who was one of 50 women rounded up in the Raid of October 16th, 1943, in the ghetto, and taken to Auschwitz.  She survived the ordeal, and returned to Roma, where she died in 2000, at the age of 79.DSCN2068Garbatella is one of Roma’s most unique neighborhoods!  It was created in the 1920’s, as a sort of housing project.  Many citizens were displaced at that time, when Mussolini had their homes destroyed, in order to built his monuments, etc.  Many of them were relocated to this area, where each family was given an apartment, in a building, which would be theirs for life.  The neighborhood is made up of groups of these buildings, all built around common courtyards, which are really what gives the area its charm.  Once looked down upon by residents in the city’s other districts, this is now a desired location!DSCN2069DSCN2076DSCN2077DSCN2078DSCN2080The charming courtyards are the area’s piazzas — people congregate there, and even hang their laundry out to dry, on common lines.  DSCN2086DSCN2092DSCN2094A sign pointing the direction to an air raid shelter still hangs.  DSCN2095DSCN2098DSCN2100DSCN2107DSCN2109DSCN2113DSCN2106DSCN2112DSCN2114DSCN2117DSCN2119DSCN2121DSCN2122DSCN2126One of the area’s most illustrious residents was the famous actor/comedian/director — Alberto Sordi.  Sordi grew up in Garbatella, and so it is only fitting that he is honored on one of its walls.  DSCN2134DSCN2135DSCN2136DSCN2141DSCN2144DSCN2148DSCN2149DSCN2152DSCN2157DSCN2158DSCN2160

Next up: a wall of dolls, the Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Lucina, and more from the beautiful city of Roma!

Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please check out our archives for more posts from bella Roma, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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