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The eighth king of Rome

Berlusconi’sbeautypageant When the streets become art

Interview with former AS Roma

The portraits of the four women

Interview with the stars of

star Falcao.


Rome’s street art scene.

See pg. 16

See pg. 10

See pg. 3

Monthly free newspaper · year I - issue 1

Alitalia’s flight operations are about to be sold to a group of Italian investors CAI Compagnia Aerea Italiana. CAI is headed by Piaggio Chairman Roberto Colaninno. Other partners include Pirelli chief Marco Provera Tronchetti, the Ligresti insurance family, the Benetton family. CAI and the unions must work out to reach an agreement before the acquisition. Several unions representing pilots and cabin staff have rejected the draft contracts for future Alitalia staff, a managerial one

School reforms

United Protests of Italy A million people took part in a national protest by schools and universities staged in Rome after parliament okayed controversial cost-cutting school reforms which include spending cuts of almost eight billion euros, a return to a single-teacher system for most subjects for children in elementary schools, and grades for behaviour for secondary school kids in an effort to stamp out bullying. See pg. 3

Photo: ANSA

Last-minute miracle · November 2008

for pilots and a single contract other employees, and want to renegotiate with CAI. See pg. 2

Mills trial without Berlusconi The so-called Alfano Law, which was passed in July, gives immunity to Italy’s top four institutional figures – the president, the premier and the two parliamentary speakers

Premier Silvio Berlusconi Photo: ANSA

– while in office. Until its ap-

proval Berlusconi and British corporate lawyer David Mills were co-defendants in two 1990s corruption trials. But know premier Silvio Berlusconi

Medicine for absenteeism (ANSA) Rome – Absenteeism in the public sector due to sickness “has been reduced by 50 pct in three months, and on an annual basis this means 60,000 more people at work” said Minister for the Civil Service Renato Brunetta. The minister said that “no country can afford a public sector which is the ball at the feet of the economy”. The minister also listed a few evils in the Civil Service: “in the last 8-10 years salaries have doubled compared to the private sector and well above the rate of inflation; 50 pct of employees are perform-

Alfano Law

cannot appear as a witness for the British corporate lawyer in

ing functions outside the institutional goals but in backoffice functions which ensure the survival of the public sector itself; in the public sector in the south productivity is half of that in the north and in the public sector as a whole productivity is half of that in the private sector”. Minister Brunetta believes “the public sector can therefore be the leading sector for the recovery of competitivity and productivity in this country. A large part of the difference in growth compared to other countries is due the low productivity of the public sector.”

a Milan corruption trial.

See pg. 2

President’s speeches “Tanned” Obama “Obama is young, handsome and also tanned, so he has all

MAXXI: the museum of the XXI century


flowing confluence of lines designing vast interweaving concrete galleries suspended in the air. Huge windows spaced by strips of steel looking down onto a tree-lined plaza. Inside intrigueing new spaces designed to offer maximum flexibility in displaying installations, avantgarde paintings, sculptures and all that’s best from the world of con-

Berlusconi told. As opponents urged Berlusconi to issue an

{ Emiliano Pretto }

immediate apology, Berlusconi

temporary art: paintings by Andy Warhol and William Kentridge, photography from Gabriele Basilico, installations by Charles Sandison. Anyone believing that Rome can only offer a feast of ancient art and architecture – the remains of temples, arches and amphitheatres dating back thousands of years or magnificent churches that have graced the Eternal City for centuries – from 2009 will have to think again. Next year will see the opening of Italy’s first national museum for contemporary art: the MAXXI, the museum of arts for the 21st century. See pg. 9

told a press conference that his “tanned” remark, construed by many as a gaffe, was Photo: ANSA

Contemporary art comes back to Rome

the qualities to agree with you,”

Trevi Fountain

(ANSA) Rome – A man who made worldwide headlines last year by turning the waters of the Trevi Fountain red is facing charges of defacing monuments, judicial sources said. Rome prosecutors have concluded that Graziano Cecchini won’t be charged because cleaners managed to remove all traces of the red dye he used. See pg. 3

“a great compliment”.

See pg. 2

Barack Obama Photo: ANSA

2 ITALIAN JOB Saving Alitalia

President’s speeches

Time running out

Berlusconi: “Tanned Obama”

The Unions don’t accept the CAI’s conditions and threaten blocks.


Alitalia was declared insolvent last August

Photo: ANSA

ome – “Anyone interested in accepting a job at the ‘new’ Alitalia will have to accept the new conditions. Those who do not accept them are telling us that they are not interested in the job,” Colaninno explained. Unions said that CAI’s position not to reexamine the drafts was “out of the blue and incomprehensible”. The independent unions threatened blocks and protests. “We shall make our choice during the month of November”, said CAI’s CEO adding that by Christmas the new Alitalia would be up and flying. The Unions have received letters relating to the redeployment and laying off of personnel in Alitalia Servizi (3,344 employees), Volare (466) and Alitalia Airport (3,239). The total for the five companies is 16,075 people. CAI will take on the 12,639 employees of the New Alitalia. CAI offers for Alitalia’s flight operations is worth a total of 990 million euros with a first payment of 100 million euros at the signing of the acquisition contract, expected November 30. Alitalia was declared insolvent last August and changes to Italy’s bankruptcy laws made it possible to spin off its profitable flight operations and sell it debt-free. Remaining assets and

Camorra wants Saviano dead

“I want to get my life back” The author of the best-selling book “Gomorrah” about the mafia in Naples wants to leave Italy. (ANSA) Rome – After his detailed expose’ of the Casalesi clan’s power, Saviano received death threats from several of its chieftains. But he still continued appearing on national talk shows to denounce the clan, which has led the Italian government to send the army to its fief after a string of murders. Because of his courageous stance, Saviano is considered a national hero by important cultural figures such as Umberto Eco. Gomorrah, a play on Camorra, has been translated in 42 countries. It has appeared on the best sellers lists in Germany, Holland, Spain, France, Sweden and Finland, among other countries. The New York Times rated it one of the most important books of 2007 and The Economist included it among the hundred Books of the Year. Saviano is the only Italian to have been placed in both lists. Gomorra was made into a film directed by Matteo Garrone which won the second prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the 2008 Hessische Filmpreis for best cinematic adaption at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and has been chosen as Italy’s contender for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. ¶

Roberto Saviano Photo: ANSA

services will then be sold or liquidated to help pay the airline’s over-one-billion-euro debt. Alitalia received a 300-million-euro ‘bridge loan’ earlier this year to remain in the air while negotiations continued on its sale. Rival airlines filed a suit at the EC claiming that this was an illegal subsidy and CAI does not want to be responsible for paying it back. By the end of November CAI had been expected to choose a foreign carrier to act as its strategic partner. “I must say that both Air France and Lufthansa have extremely interesting characteristics” said Roberto Colannino. ¶

David Mills and Silvio Berlusconi Photo: ANSA

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi called United States President-elect Barack Obama “tanned”. (ANSA) – Berlusconi responded to a reporter’s suggestion that the remark might be misunderstood by accusing his opponents of not having a sense of humour. “God save us from imbeciles,” he said. The leader of the largest opposition party, Walter Veltroni of the Democratic Left, called on Berlusconi to issue an official apology to Obama, saying he had “seriously hurt Italy’s image and dignity” on the international scene. Veltroni linked the premier’s remark with one the previous day from the head of the premier’s caucus in the Senate who said al Qaeda would be “happier” with Obama in the White House. Veltroni said that, taken together, the two comments “risked causing a fracture in the friendship with that country and people which have given the world a great sign of hope and change”. ¶ Barack Obama Photo: ANSA

Alfano Law

Berlusconi cannot appear in Mills trial

(ANSA) Milan – Premier Silvio Berlusconi cannot appear as a witness for British corporate lawyer David Mills in a Milan corruption trial because a recent immunity law suspends his involvement in the case while in office, prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale said. Mills’ lawyers argued in court that the premier should take the witness stand because the immunity law has “disjointed the two positions and created an incompleteness in the proceedings”. But prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale said the court could not “question someone whose case has been stricken from proceedings and who had moreover previously used his right not to reply to questions”. The so-called Alfano Law, which was passed in July, gives immunity to Italy’s top four institutional figures – the president, the premier and the two parliamentary speakers – while in office. Until its approval Berlusconi and Mills were co-defendants in two 1990s corruption trials. The main trial centres on a $600,000 bribe that Mills is alleged to have received from Berlusconi to hush up incriminating evidence in corruption trials against the premier in 1997 and 1998. In a letter he sent to his accountant in 2004, Mills said the payment was a “gift” and that he had saved Berlusconi “from a great deal of trouble”. “I told no lies but I turned some very tricky corners,” the letter said. Berlusconi and Mills deny wrongdoing. ¶

8 new entries

entries were a golden tench

Italy streches quality-food lead

Gobba Dorata (PDO); salty

from Piedmont, the Tinca

(ANSA) Rome – Italy has stretched its lead

anchovies from the Ligurian

at the top of the European Union quality-food

Sea (PGI), the casatella cheese

charts with eight new entries this year, food

from Terviso (PDO); a spring

and farming associations said Wednesday. Italy

onion from Nocera Inferiore (PDO); a chestnut

now has 173 products which boast one of the

from Roccadaspide, also in Campania (PGI);

European Union’s top food laurels: a Protected

bread from Matera in Basilicata (PGI); an onion

Designation of Origin (PDO) seal or a Protected

from Tropea in Calabria which got a PGI; and a

Geographical Indication (PGI) label. This year’s

salame from Sant’Angelo in Sicily (PGI). ¶


Berlusconi’s beauty pageant Of the 21 ministers in the fourth government of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi only four are women. { Marco Fagioli }

The Minister for the Environment is Stefania Prestigiacomo, 36, who defines herself as “Catholic, married and a businesswoman”. Prestigiacomo is the only woman in the cabinet with considerable political experience. Between 2001 and 2005 she was Minister for Equal Opportunities in the previous Berlusconi government. Prestigiacomo was first elected to parliament in 1994. Her good looks immediately won over her male colleagues who voted her “Miss Parliament.” Giorgia Meloni, 31, is from the working class – and traditionally communist – Roman quarter of Garbatella. Given the portfolio for youth policies, she is the youngest ever minister since Italy

ENI: Quarterly Profit 2.94bn (+37%) Rome – ENI closes the third quarter with a net profit of 2.94 billion euro (+37%) and adjusted net profit of 2.89 billion (+52.7%). This is reported by a communication from the oil giant. ¶

EU: Italy’s Debt stable, up to 104.3pct in 2008


here’s no doubt who is centre-stage, under the spotlight attracting all the attention: Mara Carfagna, 33, a former topless model, tv showgirl and beauty queen (“Miss Smiles and Songs”, Miss Italy finalist in 1997), has enjoyed a meteoric rise in her brief political career. Until two years ago she was a presenter on a Berlusconi TV channel. The prime minister has given her responsibility for equal opportunities. Last year she was at the centre of a furious public row between Berlusconi and his wife. The then opposition leader was made to offer public apologies for telling Carfagna at an awards ceremony he would marry her “immediately” if he were not already wed. Carfagna’s ministerial duties will not be easy in a country where violence against women is rife, where there is a large – but largely unrecognised – gay community and where unmarried couples have no legal rights. At the end of last month it was announced that Carfagna is to be appointed as spokesperson for the Berlusconi government.


Brussels – Italy’s public debt will stay at 104.1pct in 2008, at the same level as last year, will rise to 104.3pct in 2009 and fall back to 103.8pct in 2010. This is the new forecast of the European Commission. ¶

EU: Italy, Inflation will drop to 2% in 2009

Giorgia Meloni, Mariastella Gelmini, Mara Carfagna and Stefania Prestigiacomo Photo: ANSA

became a republic in 1946. Since her appointment Meloni has gone largely unoticed, only causing a media stir last August when she called on members of the Italian Olympic team either to boycott the Beijing opening ceremony or actively to protest over China’s policies and human rights record in Tibet. Mariastella Gelmini, 34, is another attractive addition to the Berlusconi ministerial stable. Born in Brescia she started her political career at grassroots level in Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party. When the new government took office she was appointed Minister for Education. The new minister’s plans for massive cuts and radical reforms to Italy’s troubled education system have sparked a firestorm of protests from teachers, parents and students across the country. The package includes cuts to university and research funding, a return to compulsory school uniforms, the reintroduction of marks for conduct – which were abolished ten years ago, and the reintroduction of a system of “one class, one teacher” in elementary schools that was phased out years ago. Protests against the Gelmini reform culminated in a one-day general education strike on October 30th and mass demonstrations in towns and cities across Italy. ¶

United Protests of Italy School reforms

(ANSA) – Nevertheless, high school and university staff and students swamped the capital’s streets on their way to the main rally in Piazza del Popolo, bringing traffic to a standstill. Around 50 of an estimated 1,000 coaches transporting protestors to Rome from the rest of Italy were blocked on the city’s ringroad, leading students to pile out onto the motorway and head for the nearest suburban underground stations Marches and sit-ins continued to take place to stage sit-ins. Students also unrolled a large “no en- across the country Photo: ANSA try” banner over the main entrance of the education ministry. Following violent clashes between far-left and far-right students during a protest in Rome’s Piazza Navona during which two people were arrested, the rally was largely peaceful. Education Minister Maria Stella Gelmini has pledged the protests will not alter government plans for a sector in serious need of reform. She’s still working on details of the university package, which is likely to include a reduction in the number of degree courses available and an overhaul of recruitment and management. The reforms are also thought to include measures that will allow universities to become foundations in order to top up public funding with private investments. According to the minister, Italian students attend three times as many lectures than the European average. Despite this, the Italian system “produces less graduates than Chile”, while “there is not a single Italian university that features among the top 150 in the world”, Gelmini said. Opposition politicians including Democratic Party (PD) leader Walter Veltroni, Italy of Values leader Antonio Di Pietro and Italian Communists’ Party leader Paolo Ferrero joined students in the streets in Rome, have announced that they will begin collecting the 500,000 signatures required to call a referendum to repeal the law. Meantime, smaller-scale marches and sit-ins in schools and university departments by students continued across the rest of the country. ¶

Brussels – The rate of inflation in Italy, which is 3.6% at the end of 2008, will drop to 2% in 2009, thanks partly to falling energy and foodstuffs prices. The EU Commission made the prediction, adding that in 2010 a slight rise (to 2.1%) was expected. ¶

Photo: ANSA

13% of Italians live below Powerty Line

Photo: ANSA

Rome – Around 7.5 million Italians, or 13% of the population, are living below the poverty line on less than 600 euros a month, national statistics bureau ISTAT said. Around 170,000 people are considered extremely poor, living on a monthly income far below the poverty line, according to the report. ¶

Italian Banks well capitalized Milan – Italian banks “have balanced budgets, funding based on retail which was previously out of fashion, they are less exposed to toxic shares and they have adequate capitalization’”. This was stated by the director of the Bank of Italy’s economic research centre, Salvatore Rossi.¶

Alfa Romeo in USA in 2010 Paris – Fiat plans to have Alfa Romeo cars back on the American market in 2010, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed. “In 2010 we should have distribution under way, while in regard to production a future plant could be anywhere in North America,” he added. Alfa Romeo stopped exporting cars to the US in 1995. ¶

Photo: ANSA

2008 Losses of the Big 10 on Piazza Affari (ANSA) Milan – The stock market crisis has had a heavy impact on the quotations and capitalisation of major Italian businesses. ¶




-67,2 pct


-67,0 pct


-59,3 pct


-53,8 pct

Intesa Sanpaolo

-50,9 pct


-50,4 pct


-38,4 pct


-38,1 pct


-37,4 pct


-36,5 pct


-47 pct


-48 pct ANSA

Rome Post

Redazione: Via Francesco Schupfer 69 – 00167 Rome ph.: 06-97613967 Direttore Responsabile: Giorgio Cirillo Editor-in-Chief: Aniko Horvath Contributors: Francesca Camerino, Francesco Paolo Del Re, Alessandro Mirra, Emiliano Pretto, Translator: Nicolas Stark Graphic & layout: KoPè /

Editor: Rome Post – Fagioli Marco Via Aldo Moro, 18 – 29010 San Nicolò (PC) Reg. Trib. di Roma nr. 339 del 18.09.2008 Printer: Metrotipo S.p.A. – Pomezia Distribution: PromoNew S.R.L. – Roma


Marco Fagioli


4 ROME NEWS Interwiev with Fabrizio Sartori

“Rome: safe city” We asked the chairman of Rome City Council’s Special Commission on Urban Security, Fabrizio Sartori, how safe the Eternal City is for visiting tourists. { Aniko Horvath }


brutal rape attack on a Dutch couple camping on the outskirts of Rome last August earned the Italian capital a vast amount of unwanted publicity in the international press. The attackers, two Romanian agricultural workers, were quickly arrested. – I can reassure all visitors to Rome that it is a safe city. The attack was an isolated incident. And we did catch those responsible straight away. – One of the first commissions set up by new centre-right mayor Gianni Alemanno following his election at the end of April was precisely the Special Commission for Urban Security, of which you are chairman. What was behind that decision? – Unfortunately, the previous administration left a Fabrizio Sartori situation of general neglect in the city, the rules simply weren’t respected. We want to send a clear signal to Romans that those times are over. Their safety and their sense of security are priorities for us. – Perhaps the Alemanno administration will win the Big Brother Award for installing the highest number of CCTV cameras in the shortest time. – The favourites for that prize are elsewhere. For example, Paris and London have a far higher percentage of surveillance cameras. But to be serious, the cameras have been installed in strategic areas like stations. They’re not there to spy on our citizens, but to protect them from muggers and other forms of street crime. – And doesn’t the stationing of troops at high-profile tourist sites, government buildings and embassies create a sense of constant danger? – On the contrary! Their presence is reassuring for honest citizens. We know what the problems in this city are: prostitution rackets, the quite horrifying levels of blight and degradation in the illegal gypsy settlements, street crime. But I’m proud to say we’re already beginning to see the first results of our work. We’re taking prostitution of the streets, our major roads are no longer “sex supermarkets”. We’ve completed the census of all those living in the gypsy camps and – in close cooperation with the national government – we’re now taking the first steps towards resolving their problems. – Doesn’t it seem to you that the initiatives are above all of a repressive nature: fines for the clients of prostitutes, clearing out gypsy settlements. Do you really think that will be enough to solve security problems? – We are building a Rome where there’s support for law-abiding citizens. But our programme is also focussed on social problems and prevention. Obviously the effects of social programmes are always long-term and you don’t see the results immediately. ¶

Rome Film Festival

The winner is... (ANSA) Rome – Resolution 819 by Italian director Giacomo Battiato won the gold Marcus Aurelius award for best film voted by the public at the Rome Film Festival, with the critic’s gold award going to Opium War by Afghan director Siddiq Barmak. A political drama, Resolution 819 follows a UN Security Council detective searching for evidence of genocide carried out by Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica in July 1995 during the Balkans Conflict, when an estimated 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in the largest massacre in Europe since WWII. Al Pacino was given the lifetime Golden Globe winner Barmak’s dark comedy, Opium achievement award Photo: ANSA War, focuses on two United States soldiers wounded in the Afghan desert who stumble across a Russian tank with a group of Afghanis living inside. Opium War is Afghanistan’s contender at the 2009 Academy Awards for best foreign language film, a category in which Barmak received his Golden Globe in 2004 for Taliban regime expose’ Osama. Italian actress Donatella Finocchiaro picked up a silver Marcus Aurelius for best actress in Galantuomini, a film by Edoardo Winspeare focusing on a female crime boss from Puglia’s Sacra Corona Unita mafia and set in the southern city of Lecce during the 1990s. Ukranian actor Bohdan Stupka won silver for best actor in the black comedy Serce Na Dloni (A Warm Heart) by Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi. Among other awards at the festival, lifetime achievement awards were handed to Hollywood legend Al Pacino and 1950-60s sex symbol Gina Lollobrigida. ¶

Giacomo Battiato, director of Resolution 819, which won gold Photo: ANSA


And Yet it Moves Line C and line D: there has been halting progress to planned extensions of Rome’s underground railway system. { Emiliano Pretto }

Today it’s normal find soldiers in the streets


ome’s metro network is considerably less developed when compared to many European capitals. The 2-line system has an X shape, with both lines meeting at the Central Railway Station Termini. There are 49 stations along only 38 km of track in comparison to 150 km in Berlin, 200 km in Paris, 223 km in Madrid, and 400 km in London. Two lines for a city of 3 million inhabitants and which welcomes more than 12 million tourists every year. For this reason, and with a view to improving the city’s perennial traffic problems, some ten years ago Rome mayor Francesco Rutelli asked for a feasibility study on how best to extend the metro system. The proposals which followed were for two new lines C and D and for a branch line off line B to be known as B1. The first of these projects to get underway was line C, where work began in 2006. Possible completion dates have been revised time and again, but the line is likely to open in Only 38 kms of track various stages after 2015. for 3 million inhabitMetro C is due to run from Piazzale Clodio north-west of the historic centre to the ants and 12 million suburb of Pantano in the south-east. There tourists every year will be more than 30 stations along over

ROME NEWS Mafia in Rome Alemanno: “May be widespread” (ANSA) Rome – Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said Mafia infiltration in the Italian capital could be “fairly widespread” after police seized a city centre restaurant near the famous Spanish Steps that they suspected was controlled by the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta. Police say the La Rampa restaurant – popular

La Rampa restaurant near Spanish Steps Photo: ANSA with politicians, television stars and journalists – was run by people with links to the PelleVottari clan, one of two rival mafia families involved in the gangland slaying of six Italians in the German city of Duisburg in the summer of 2007. A total of 20 businesses in Rome, including hotels, restaurants and shopping centres are under investigation by anti-Mafia police. Alemanno described the situation as “very alarming”. “We are not dealing with an illegal business, but a legal business into which dirty money has been recycled,” he explained.

Pincio car-park

Much Ado About Nothing A project that was over before it was even begun: the planned Pincio car-park that had Romans in uproar for months.

in 1955. • Line A was inaugurated in 1980 after 16 years of stop and start work marked by engineering delays, architectural finds and other problems.

Photo: KoPè

25 km of railway. The central section of the new line includes planned station at Largo near some of Rome’s most important – and most visited – monuments: the Colisseum, piazza Venezia and Chiesa Nuova (just a few hundred meters from piazza Navona). The obvious question is: just how will it be possible to complete such a mammoth engineering project without destroying the dozens of archaeological finds that are bound to be unearthed? Engineers and archaeologists working in close cooperation have come up with two solutions. Firstly the tunnels on Line C are being excavated 30 meters below the road surface, well below the average depth of urban underground systems and – the most important consideration – well below levels where any archaeological finds could be made. (Ancient roman remains extend down to a depth of no more than 15 meters below current surface levels.) The second will involve the construction of a series of “museum-stations” which will encompass and put on dis-

• If you feel you really can’t Rome city centre, here are some tips to avoid wasting time looking for a parking space.


• Line B was opened

Stress-free parking in the city centre

do without your car to get to

{ Alessandro Mirra }

robably by the time you read this article, on the extravagantly beautiful Terrace of the Pincio Hill overlooking Piazza del Popolo there will hardly be a trace left of the massive construction site which was opened when excavators started work on 26 October 2007 for what was to be a huge underground car-park with around 700 spaces. The car-park had been deemed necessary as part of plans to make a pedestrian zone of the area known as the Tridente, the trio of avenues fanning out from Piazza del Popolo – via del Corso, via Ripetta and via del Babuino – that stretch to Piazza Augusto Imperatore south by the River Tiber and north up to the Spanish Steps. The project was marked by controversy right from the outset, from when it was first discussed at City Hall to when the first ground was broken. It had been due for completion in 2010; there were to have been 713 spaces on 7 levels sunk a maximum of 25 metres below the Pincio. But even as the digging began it quickly became clear the project faced a huge number of obstacles – perhaps an insurmountable number. First of all the victory in the municipal elections by a right-wing coalition which had always opposed the scheme. Secondly,


• If you’re visiting the Tridente area the best choice is to use the underground carpark in Via del Galoppatoio inside Villa Borghese which you can reach from Via del Muro Torto. • If you’re heading for Pi-

writer-actor Adriano Celentano. Celentano is noted as a long-time supporter of left-wing issues, but he made his views clear on the project when he described it as ”a clear example of an exchange of favours between business and politics”. With opposition to the Pincio car-park growing ever stronger, on 10 September the city council scrapped the project and said funding would be found for 500 new spaces to be added to the existing car park in Via del Galoppatoio across the Villa Borghese. Work there is due to begin in November and is scheduled to last 14 months. By next spring all traces of the excavation work on the Pincio will have finally disappeared. But, on the advice of the city’s archeological service, Mayor Alemanno has suggested the remains which were unearthed during excavation may be left open to view, to create another attraction for visitors to the Terrace on the Pincio. ¶

azza Campo dei Fiori or Piazza

play the archaeological remains unearthed during construction. The proposal will mean the creation of some of the most beautiful underground stations in the world, where travelers will be able to admire ancient roman artefacts and constructions from the platforms, walkways and escalators. Many important archaeological finds have already been made during preliminary excavations, including an ancient road and the remains of roman craft-shops containing marble statues at San Giovanni. Just a few centimetres below the road surface in piazza Venezia engineers discovered medieval buildings, a 15th-century glass factory and an imperial Roman staircase. An ancient Roman wall was unearthed during excavation at Chiesa Nuova. The discoveries naturally caused delays to construction work on the line. The finds brought to light at the start of work on the planned Largo Argentina were judged to be so important the station was scrapped. The remains were so vast and so well-preserved the city’s archeological service called for all work at the site to be halted. Subsequently the city council cancelled the station. Work on a fourth line is scheduled to start in 2010. Line D will run northeast to south-west across the city linking up with the other three lines and will include stations in one of Rome’s most beautiful districts – Trastevere But there’s no doubt the key to modernising Rome’s metro system is line C. The hope is that the new line will help reduce traffic levels that at many times of the day paralyse whole districts of the city. Rome currently has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world: 83 cars for every 100 inhabitants. The solution is within reach. It may be far off in time, but it’s very close: right beneath our feet. The completion of lines C, D and B1 would radically change the way Romans – and tourists – move about the city. Archaeological finds permitting. ¶

Drilling and damage

and it was no surprise in the Italian capital, the discovery of all sorts of archaeological remains as soon as drilling started. In a report sent to the new mayor Gianni Alemanno on 1 August 2008, the superintendent for archeology in Rome Angelo Bottini listed some of the finds that digging under the Pincio had uncovered: an important section of mosaic flooring dating back to the first century BC, a criptoportico (a covered passageway) from before the 4th century AD and no fewer than 16 vaulted rooms dating back to the first century BC. Bottini’s report made no comment on whether the car park project was feasible, but called strongly for the archeological remains to be preserved. Environmentalist groups, especially Italia Nostra, were vociferously opposed to the project from the outset. Perhaps more surprisingly, another voice raised against the Pincio plan was that of radical singer-song-

Navona, especially on Friday or Saturday evening when the area is off-limits to private cars, try finding a space on the Lungotevere (the Tiber Embankment) near the Ara Pacis Museum. • If your destination is across the Tiber to Trastevere, leave your vehicle in Roma Parking at Via Carcani 32, near the Education Ministry. • Finally for evening visits to the centre, if walking is not a problem try parking along Viale Manzoni or one of its side streets where there are often free spaces. From there you can either go on foot along via Labicana if you’re heading for the Colisseum and Via dei Fori Imperiali or you can take the underground at the Manzoni metro station.

Engineers working on line C have paid great attention to making sure that vibrations from excavation and drilling work do not damage ancient monuments. Experience has shown that when the metro system is up and running structural architectural damage caused by vibration from the trains is minimal. In fact damage provoked by road traffic is far more significant. Some minor damage has been reported in the preliminary phases of work. Tiny cracks have appeared on the surface of the massive Vittoriano Monument in piazza Venezia. Naturally the white marble mountain is in no danger of falling down! ¶

6 ROME NEWS “Too dirty, too hard” Sampietrini from Vietnam The survival of the sampietrini may well be assured, but the future for the specialised workmen who lay the stones looks decidedly bleak. The backbreaking work requires considerable skill. The numbers of men entering the trade has rapidly dwindled. Roberto Giacobbi has worked for decades as a selciarolo,

Asphalt or “little stones of St. Peter”?

To be or not to be? { Emiliano Pretto }


oved by tourists and Romans alike for the romantic old-world atmosphere they have given to the city’s streets and squares for centuries; but dreaded by motorcyclists and scooter riders – and cursed by women in high heels – Rome’s famed cobblestones are at the centre of a bitter controversy over whether they should be pensioned off after centuries spent paving some of the city’s most illustrious streets.

one of the men who, by hand, break up blocks of volcanic rock into cobblestones of precisely the right size and fit them onto the street. His father did the same work for 50 years, and with two generations of experience to judge by, Mr. Giacobbi said the art of the cobblestone – and thus making Rome a work of art – is dying out. His company is the only remaining specialised firm in Rome. He laments the fact that young Italians are simply not interested in learning the trade – too dirty, too hard – too unfashionably blue-collar. “Most of our workers are now from eastern Europe,” explained Giacobbi. Even the stone to work with has changed and for Giacobbi it wasn’t a change for the better. Historically the sampietrini were produced from deposits of volcanic rock that once spewed from the hills around Rome. With the closure of the quarries producing the basalt for true Roman cobblestones, traditional supplies of stone are being replaced by cheaper imports coming mostly from Vietnam. Giacobbi is not convinced by the quality of the imported iron-grey stone which is darker than the traditional Italian basalt. “It’s similar but not the same. Even if, at first sight, only the old craftsmen can tell the differ-

Fori Imperiali: Work in Progress

The cobblestones, called sampietrini, (or”little stones of St. Peter” – they were supposedly first used around St. Peter’s Basilica) have been a feature of Rome for centuries, but in recent years there has been growing debate over whether they should go from major traffic thoroughfares and be replaced by less picturesque but more cost-efficient asphalt. Nowhere is this more evident than in the controversial project which for months has snarled up traffic along one of central Rome’s busiest roads – via Nazionale, which every day funnels tens of thousands of vehicles between Stazione Termini and Piazza Venezia. The idea of replacing the road surface along via Nazionale was first put forward a few years ago when then

The mayor Gianni Alemanno

mayor Walter Veltroni began a programme to tear up the cobblestones and lay asphalt on streets with the highest traffic levels, recycling the sampietrini for use on pedestrian walkways and piazzas treasured by tourists. As part of Veltroni’s programme several main streets in the historic centre and long sections of the Lungotevere, the ancient Tiber embankment, were paved over, Resurfacing via Nazionale was included in the programme and was due to begin six months ago, but was never actually started before Veltroni left City Hall. One of the first decisions by the new mayor, Gianni Alemanno, was to halt the project on via Nazionale. He swiftly announced that repair work on the street would go ahead – but that the sampietrini would be back in place when repairs had been completed. As any visitor to Rome will know, the work is still going on. Alemanno’s decision, like that of Veltroni before him, has elicited mixed feelings among Romans. Defenders of the historic cobblestones were naturally overjoyed. Many people who have to drive along via Nazionale every day were less sure, predicting the road surface would look good and be smooth and even – but not for long. “In a few years it will be back to like it was before: a cross-country rally in the heart of the city,” was a frequent comment. Of course via Nazionale is just the symbol of the continuing battle in Rome to find a balance between modernisation and protecting the city’s historic landscape. Sampietrini still cover many streets in the city centre and the next battleground in the struggle between ancient and modern could well be piazza Venezia – the large square in the historic heart of Rome and a major confluence of city traffic. The centre of the piazza is currently closed off by yellow hoarding as construction work continues for the new metro line C. But when work is completed will the old cobblestones be returned or will they be replaced by swathes of asphalt? Although clearly under threat of extinction in many of Rome’s major roads, the future of the sampietrini seems assured, with plans for them to be used to pave new extended pedestrian areas throughout the centre. They will certainly survive in historic squares like piazza Navona, Campo de’Fiori, the Pantheon and in many of the ancient streets of the capital. There are even proposals for much of the centre to be closed off to traffic and for the roads currently covered with asphalt to be repaved with the famous old cobblestones. If that does happen, the sampietrini will no longer be endangered by the daily pounding from cars and buses – and the only threat will come from the high heels of fashion models as they glide down the Spanish Steps into piazza di Spagna. ¶

Sampietrini in the centre Photo:

The beginnings The square topped sampietrini were introduced at the end of the 16th century to replace the huge slabs over which carts had rattled in Rome for some two thousand years. These larger, ancient stones are now visible only in sections of the via Sacra near the Coliseum. These small cubed cobblestones are the least used but may be seen in some of Rome’s most beautiful locations, including piazza Navona one of the first sites where they were laid. In 1736 Pope

Clement XII ordered that all road surfaces in central districts should be covered with sampietrini. The papal order also included via del Corso, the thoroughfare which runs arrow-straight from piazza del Popolo to piazza Venezia. The street derived its name from the traditional horse races held there at Carnival time. To protect the horses – and riders – from injury, the sampietrini were covered with sand at race time. ¶

ence.” ¶

Trevi Fountain

Futurists’ leader won’t be charged ANSA Rome – The waters of Rome’s most famous fountain turned blood red when Cecchini, 54, threw his dye into the basin in a bizarre act of vandalism apparently inspired by the Futurists of the early 20th century. Cecchini, 54, a former right-wing extremist, carried out his stunt during the Rome Film Festival, delighting tourists and enraging officials. “There’s the red carpet, Valentino red and now red Trevi too,” he said, adding that he was trying to raise awareness of the plight of Italy’s casual workers. The dye assault was claimed by ‘FTM Futurist Action 2007’, a previously unknown group which said it aimed to turn this “grey bourgeois society into a triumph of colour”. Cecchini followed up the attack on the iconic fountain by sending about half a million coloured balls thundering down Rome’s Spanish Steps on January 16. Cecchini said the prank was a protest against the “balle” (balls, or Futurists’ leader won’t be charged lies) allegedly fed to a gullible public by politicians of all stripes. ¶

O’Leary: “Viterbo is not ready” Ryanair chooses Ciampino (ANSA) Viterbo – ”We will launch a campaign to demonstrate to the citizens of Ciampino that, as proved in a study done by Enac (National Civil Aviation Group), low cost carriers are not polluting; military, cargo, and state flights are doing so. There are not reasons for our passengers to move from Ciampino to a future airport in Viterbo”. This was said by Michael O’Leary, managing director of Ryanair, which is against the realisation of a second airport in Viterbo. “We will not let go of Ciampino – added O’Leary – because Viterbo is not ready and there are no fast and efficient connections with Rome.” ¶


A Race against Time

7 hills of Rubbish After the Naples garbage scandal, here’s the plan by the regional government of Lazio to avoid a similar crisis in Rome. { Emiliano Pretto }


ountains of stinking garbage covering every street corner. Columns of dense black smoke rising from overflowing trash containers in flames. Rats scurrying between bursting rubbish bags abandoned outside apartment buildings by residents who have given up hope they will ever be collected. Tv pictures of Naples literally covered in piles of festering rubbish were screened around the world. That was last spring and many tourists before coming on holiday to Italy must have wondered if it was a problem throughout the country. Fortunately the rest of the country, including Rome, has not been affected by similar emergencies. But the crisis in Naples did cause concern among Romans, who sought to find out more about how the city’s refuse is collected, sorted and disposed of. So where does Rome’s rubbish end up? Of course there are several destinations but by far and away the most garbage is taken to the largest landfill site in Europe at a place called Malagrotta. The dump, next to a busy road junction close to the coastal Aurelia highway

and some 14 km due west of Stazione Termini, was first opened fifteen years ago. Then it was simply a huge hole that had been excavated out of the ground and the plan was that the dump would function only until the capital’s trash had reached the height of the surrounding land. Today anyone who manages to brave the stench of putrefaction rising from the site will see an enormous mountain of rubbish 40 meters high. The vast dump stretches over 240 hectares. Between 4,500 and 5,000 tons of garbage arrive every day to swell the towering piles of trash. Despite its size, Malagrotta simply cannot handle the ever-growing quantities of rubbish flowing out of the capital. The amount of refuse just keeps growing – as the number of tourists visiting Rome continues to increase and Romans themselves use more and more disposable packaging. For months the site has been on the point of saturation: the mountains of rubbish continue to rise even though the regional council

Where does Rome’s rubbish end up?


major problem is the number and capacity of specialised wasteplants capable of dealing with differentiated refuse collection. “They’re saturated. More must be built urgently,” admitted the operations director for AMA Giovanni Fiscon. The capacity of AMA’s Organic Treatment Centre at Maccarese near Fiumicino, which transforms food waste into compost, is currently being doubled. The plan is that capacity will eventually be quadrupled. Construction of five other OTCs across Lazio is also scheduled. Multi-

material waste plants recycling glass, plastic and metal are also saturated, and AMA has warned that many more will need to be in place if plans by the city of Rome and the Region of Lazio to recycle 50% of all refuse by 2011 are to be feasible. But even if that ambitious target is met, what will happen to the other 50% of the region’s garbage? One alternative is simply to burn the trash in massive high-temperature incinerators that transform the waste into fuel. 8 of these gasifiers will be operating at 4 locations in Lazio by 2011. ¶

has repeatedly extended the surface area of the site. Problems have been exacerbated by a European Union norm which came into effect on 1 january 2008 banning the dumping of untreated refuse on landfill sites. The regional administration and the national government rushed through emergency measures and managed to obtain an extension for Malagrotta until the end of 2010. But after then the site will have to be closed and the long process of land reclamation will begin. Without Malagrotta, and excluding the possibility that a site of similar size can be found, just how can the problem of the thousands of tons of trash produced every day by Rome be solved? There’s no doubt that an efficient programme of differentiated refuse collection holds the key to avoiding environmental catastrophe for Rome and its hinterland. The regional government has set a target of recycling at least 50% of all waste products in Lazio by 2011. But there’s a long way to go: at the moment only 23.9% of rubbish in Rome is differentiated. In other words, only one Roman in four uses differentiated containers to throw away the trash. On a brighter note, according to figures from AMA (Agenzia Municipale Ambientale), which is responsible for the city’s rubbish collection, differentiated waste collection in the capital has increased by 2-3% annually in recent years. But Romans have clearly been slow to recognise their ecological responsibilities over rubbish. Even with the best will in the world the target of 50% will never be reached by

Photo: KoPè

2011. If the figure for differentiated collection in Rome is low, the figures for the Lazio region as a whole are even worse: just 13.5%. In an effort to boost eco-friendly refuse collection Rome city council and AMA have made plans for the introduction of a new service of door to door differentiated collection that will eventually be extended throughout the city. Initially the service, scheduled to start before the end of the year, will reach 100,000 residents and the minimum target for the early months of 2009 is 730,000. The President of the Lazio Regional Government, Piero Marrazzo, has set out a timetable for increasing differentiated refuse collection across the region. According to the programme 20% of rubbish will be recycled by the end of 2008. In 2009 that should rise to 27%, in 2010 40% and in 2011 50% of Lazio’s garbage should be recycled. That at least is the programme… ¶

Ecological time bomb Photo: fabbriciuse/flickr


t is clear, however, that the longer it takes to get these plants onstream, the greater is the risk that the explosive situation at the Malagrotta site will become unmanageable. It is a race against time. Meanwhile, environmental damage caused by the monster plant at Malagrotta and at other landfill sites in Lazio continues to cause widespread concern. Eurispes, one of Italy’s leading independent think-tanks, has warned that liquid formed by decomposing waste at Malagrotta has seeped down into the water table polluting local ground water. And that’s not all,


the sheer weight of rubbish at the site is pushing down the natural level of the soil at the rate of 1 meter a year, causing the formation of large hollows which collect rainwater that then turns into malodorous, noxious and stagnant pools. ¶

8 GREEN TOURIST Parco Capoprati

Easy bikers

A green oasis worth fighting for One of Rome’s best-kept secrets is that a stone’s throw from the crowded and traffic-clogged centre lies a small green oasis: a quiet riverside haven for walkers and cyclists. { Aniko Horvath }


etween two historic bridges crossing the Tiber – Ponte Duca d’Aosta and Ponte del Risorgimento, not far from the Foro Italico and the Olympic Stadium – is via Capoprati. Here you’ll find the entrance to Parco Capoprati which, thanks to the work of thousands of volunteers, has over the past ten years become one of the quietest and cleanest corners of Rome. But now it faces closure. It all began when a members and supporters of the environmental association Legambiente set out to clean up a stretch of the Tiber riverbank that over the previous three decades had fallen into a state of abandonment and decay. It was no simple job of Sunday gardening. The whole area had become hugely overgrown with brambles and impenetrable shrubbery and had to be thoroughly cleared. Small constructions which had crumbled with disuse had to be demolished. More than 30 tons of assorted rubbish of all shapes and sizes that had been dumped on the site was gradually removed. It was a painstaking process. But now the park is once again flourishing – there are more than 40 different kinds of trees and 25 species of animal life within its boundaries. Every weekend

Tree Day Have you ever planted a tree? If not, you can get your chance on 21 November, when Legambiente will be offering the chance to plant or adopt a tree and help limit the damage caused by pollution. In every Italian city Legambiente stalls staffed by volunteers will be available to explain how citizens can help make their hometowns a better place to live. Information: (in Italian) 06 86268352

Parco Capoprati is a small green oasis Information: (in Italian)

this little green jewel of just over two hectares attracts hundreds of Romans seeking a quiet riverside stroll; or cycle ride – running through the park is the Viale Angelico-Castel Giubileo bicycle path. Bikes may also be hired from a kiosk in the park. In the summer months the park is full of children and the elderly. But right next to the park construction work is beginning on the Ponte della Musica (Music Bridge) a 200m bridge for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the Tiber that will connect the Olympic stadium and other sports facilities on the west bank in Monte Mario with the Flaminio district and its host of sports arenas and cultural centres including the Auditorium and the new MAXXI contemporary arts gallery. The risk is that when construction gets fully underway the park will have to be closed to the public – and that the area could once again slide back into abandonment and degradation. Legambiente is campaigning to save the park. Let’s hope the city council will listen. It’s not enough to talk about environmental policies for the future, we need also to support existing projects. ¶

Did you know that 20 trees compensate 14 tons of CO2 – the equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of an office with 10 employees.


etter late than never. Following the example of many other major European cities, Rome has finally set up its first bike-sharing programme. The first 200 bicycles for the service were presented at a ceremony attended by Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno last June. The programme was set up the Spanish consultancy company Camusa at no cost to the city council. Romans or visitors wishing to travel round the city by bike simply have to buy a 30euro pre-paid card which serves as a refundable deposit and then pay a rental fee of 1 euro/30 minutes. Bikes may be picked up and dropped off at any one of 19 locations in the city centre. The service runs from 7am to 11pm. Rome authorities are hoping to emulate the hugely successful Velib self-service bikehire scheme launched by Paris in July 2007. In the space of a year the number of bikes available has doubled to 20,000, with 1,450 terminals or one every 300 metres, making it the largest initiative of its kind in the world. It has to be said, however, that cycling in the French capital is perhaps easier than in Rome. The Eternal City features not just Seven Hills, but a whole range of punishing climbs and descents that require training to tackle comfortably. Despite the difficulties, the bike-sharing scheme is a worthy initiative; Rome is one of the world’s most traffic-clogged cities. Unfortunately as often happens in Italy, perhaps the scheme hasn’t been fully thought through. The bikes are now available; but where can you ride them? Bicycle paths and cycle lanes in Rome are distinctly thin on the ground. For the moment the only truly safe place to to ride is on the bicycle path running alongside the Tiber. It’s estimated there are not much more than 60 kms of bicycle paths in all of Rome. Compared to 400 km in Paris and 900 in Berlin ¶

19 locations in the city centre where bikes may be picked up and dropped off Piazza del Popolo – Via del Corso Piazza Venezia – P.zza Madonna di Loreto Piazza del Parlamento Piazza Colonna Piazza di Spagna Largo Argentina – Largo delle Stimate P.zza Navona – Piazza delle Cinque Lune Pantheon – Via S. Caterina da Siena Campo dei Fiori – P.zza del Biscione P.zza San Silvestro P.zza Sforza Cesarini Tritone – Via della panetteria P.zza S. Andrea della Valle Scrofa – Vicolo della Campana Largo Arenula P.zza dell’Oratorio Trevi – Via di S. Maria in Via P.zza dell’Oro Via dei Pontefici

Return to Nuclear

New plants within 2018


ith the approval of a development bill

have passed. “The first group of power plants – he continued

in the Lower House “Italy will return to nu-

– will be operative by 2018”. And the final objective will be

clear energy” and will be able to count on its

to have “8-10 power plants in 2-3 sites” to achieve a target of

first group of operative power plants in 2018. Economic

25% of our energetic needs coming from nuclear”.

Development minister, Claudio Scajola was more than satis-

Italy held a referendum the year after the 1986 Chernobyl

fied while commenting on the go ahead given by the Lower

disaster, deciding to shut down Italy’s four nuclear power

House to a bill that will officially give legal sanction to return

plants (the last was closed in 1990). This decision was re-

to nuclear energy. “I believe that we will be able to respect

versed in 2008 (see also nuclear debate). Calling the phase-

the time frame and approve measures for the first power

out a “terrible mistake, the cost of which totalled over €50

plant within the legislature by Christma”, he underlined, re-

billion”, Industry Minister Claudio Scajola has proposed

minding that from the first announcement made by the gov-

building as many as 10 new reactors, with the goal of in-

ernment of interest in resuming with nuclear power at the

creasing the nuclear share of Italy’s electricity supply from

end of May at a Confindustria assembly, only a few months

today’s 10% to about 25% by 2030. ¶

Rome has set up its first bike-sharing programme

Street artists in Rome

Tapas on tap

San Lorenzo: the heart of street art in the Italian capital. Interview with Sten, Lex and Lucamaleonte, the stars of Rome’s street art scene. See pg. 10

Don’t you want to bust your budget? A useful guide to the best and cheapest bars of Rome where take a drink with buffet for just 5 euros. See pg. 12


he Maxxi, the museum of arts for the 21st century is intended as Rome’s answer to the Tate Gallery in London, the Guggenheim in Bilbao and New York’s Moma. The vast project is the latest extraordinary design from one of the world’s highest-profile architects Zaha Hadid. It’s being built in the Flaminio district north of Rome’s historic centre a stone’s throw from the Tiber. Once a sleepy residential quarter enlivened only by the Olympic and Flaminio stadiums and some smaller sports arenas, over the last decade the area has unZaha Hadid, dergone a town planning transformation which was the Anglosparked by the opening of Renzo Piano’s Auditorium. Iraqi architect The Arts complex, which opened in 2002, has proved a huge success with the public and has been credited with changing Roman attitudes to contemporary architecture. The idea of building Italy’s first national contemporary arts museum in Flaminio was first put forward by then Minister of Culture Walter Veltroni, who subsequently was Mayor of Rome 2001 to 2008. It was 1998 when the Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, out of 273 candidates, won the international competition to design the ambitious, publicly funded MAXXI. The concrete structure with glass roof will cover a surface of 30,000 sq m, on a site that was originally occupied by a car factory and subsequently by an army barracks that were turned into the first site of the museum. Hadid was already an internationally renowned architect and is still the only woman ever to have won the Pritzker Prize (architecture’s Nobel). Her stunning design was acclaimed for its originality and formal fluidity. Its essential feature is the su-

Modern Projects

The new face of an ancient city From Renzo Piano to Richard Meier, modern architecture finds a new home in Rome. { E. P. }


ome has enjoyed a strange relationship with modern architecture. The cultural and artistic capital of the world for 2,000 years, in the 20th century the Eternal City lost its once leading role and in many ways became an artistic backwater. Under fascist dictator Benito Mussolini striking, monumental architectural projects such as the EUR complex and Foro Italico saw radically new buildings added to the Roman skyline and in the late 1950s Pier Luigi Nervi produced stunning designs for the Palazzo dello Sport and Stadio Flaminio in time for the 1960 Ol-

Contemporary art comes back to Rome

MAXXI: the museum of the XXI century

In a few months MAXXI, the first national museum of arts for the 21st century, will open in the Italian capital. { Emiliano Pretto }

perimposition of long flowing galleries on various levels which offers a flexible, interdisciplinary arena for the exhibition of contemporary art and architecture and for live events. The building flows in long smooth curves. In the architect’s words: ”The curving walls I designed are not only on the interior to be exhibited on, but on the exterior too. So you can have murals, projections, installations: it is all about an interior-exterior existence.” The intersection of volumes and walls lend character to the project, alternating empty and full spaces, interiors and exteriors. The continuity of the space guides the visitor along a fluid route, all covered by a glass roof which means every angle is flooded with natural light. There will be five galleries, up to 7 meters high and some almost 100 meters in length. There’s not a right-angle in sight; all is smooth curves. There are no stairways, only gently rising and falling walkways connecting one exhibition space to another. Huge windows will offer visitors a wonderful panorama of the Rome skyline. One-third of the museum site – 10,000 sq m – will be given over to exhibition space. The facade of the old Montello barracks has been restored but otherwise remains unchanged. Inside has been completely modernised to make way for the startling geometries of Hadid’s design.

ympic Games, but from the 1960’s onwards Rome’s urban landscape remained largely unchanged and unchallenged by major new buildings of striking design. It was the absence of a multi-purpose arts and concert centre that provided the impulse for the dramatic return of modern architecture to Rome. Work began on the massive Auditorium project in 1995 in the Flaminio district. The centre was inaugurated in 2002. The breathtaking design, centering on three clam-shaped concert halls, was by Italian architect Renzo Piano. The success of the Auditorium seemed to show the city fathers that modern architecture and Rome could co-exist. Top international names were commissioned to design a string of major buildings. The American architect Richard Meier received the challenging comThe Auditorium’s architect Renzo Piano

Pio Baldi, who from the spring of 2009 will be the museum’s director, has long been working to set up MAXXI’s permanent exhibitions. Among the artists whose work will be displayed are Francis Alys, Michael Raedecker, William Kentridge, Alessandro Pessoli, Thomas Schutte with a work composed of 140 engravings and Kara Walker whose large cut-paper diptych “Hunting Scene” (2001) was one of the museum’s first acquisitions. Prestigious works by Andy Warhol and Gerard Richter will also feature. There wil be plenty of space for contemporary photography and graphic art. Installations will also play a important part in the life of the museum, including works by internationally renowned artists like Anish Kapoor, Maurizio Mochetti and Michelangelo Pistoletto. An entire section will be dedicated to architecture, in a space that will grow into Italy’s first museum of architecture. The five-year construction of the centre has been blighted by delays. It is to be hoped that work in the next few months goes smoothly and that the spring of 2009 will mark a new future for contemporary art in Rome. ¶

mission of designing the first major contemporary building in the heart of Rome’s historic centre. Meier had designed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He had also worked in Rome before, designing the Jubilee Church (formally known as Dio Padre in Misericordia) in the outlying quarter of Tor Tre Teste in 2003. The new project was for the Ara Pacis Museum, which encases a 2,000-year-old sacrificial altar. The striking building, of glass and travertine stone, now sits surrounded by Baroque architectural masterpieces on the banks of the Tiber behind piazza Augusto Imperatore. Also working on new projects at the same time as Meier were Zaha Hadid (The MAXXI Contemporary Arts Centre) and Odile Decq (the MACRO Museum – due to open next year). After 35 years in which practically no

Meier’s Jubilee Church

new building of architectural interest was constructed in Rome, the last 10 years have witnessed a renaissance of contemporary architecture in the city. Over the next 5 years more major projects will be completed by leading international architects such as Santiago Calatrava, Massimiliano Fuksas, Rem Koolhass, Franco Purini, Jean-Marc Schivo and Paolo Desideri. But that’s another story… ¶

X Street artists in Rome

When the streets become art San Lorenzo: the heart of street art in the Italian capital. Interview with Sten, Lex and Lucamaleonte, the stars of Rome’s street art scene

BOOKS ABOUT ROME Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante by Lily Tuck

Woman of Rome” represents the first biography of an Italian literary icon Elsa Morante who is revered in her native country and admired abroad. ¶ Harper

{ Francesco Paolo Del Re }


an Lorenzo, Rome’s student quarter, is also one of the liveliest centres for street art in the Italian capital. The walls offer a vast open air gallery of graffiti, posters, stencil art and stickers. At via Piceni 1 a new studio-gallery, Off the Street, has just been opened by Rome’s three most active and best known street artists Sten, Lex e Lucamaleonte. The trio have been working together for years and are the organisers of the annual «International Poster Art» exhibition at the Esc community centre in San Lorenzo. Some have decried them as vandals, but they claim the status of art for their work – even when they choose as their canvas the walls and buildings of the city. Sten, Lex and Lucamaleonte started out by creating stencil art on the walls of San Lorenzo. Their work soon became hugely popular and some was even shown in galleries. After returning from a tour of major street art events in London, Paris, Barcelona, New York and Oslo they came back to Rome to open their own studio-gallery. Every two months Off the Street will host exhibitions of street art from around the world. Until 20 December the gallery is featuring the latest works by its three owners in an exhibition called “Genesis”. – What is Off the Street? – Sten: “It’s our first studio, the place where our works take shape before we display them on the street or in galleries. It’s also a space for exhibitions and we hope it will become the centre of a worldwide network linking up artists who, like us, have been making stencil art for years.” – Lex: “Off the Street is our headquarters, a place where people know they can find us. Those elusive characters with fantastic biographies which we’ve constructed through the internet and our street art, here become flesh and blood. It’s also a practical way of displaying our work without getting sucked into the commercial trap of the galleries. We also hope it will be a place for our work to be displayed alongside – and compared with – that of other artists.” – Where did you get the name Off the Street? – Sten: “Off the Street takes its name from the website, one of the most important in the world. They have a section ‘on the street’ with works photographed in their original urban setting and another ‘off the street’ which has works made using the same techniques but designed for exhibition just like paintings. A work that was conceptualised as street art becomes a work for exhibition. – What are your plans for this space? – Lex: ”Recently we’ve been travelling abroad a lot and we’ve met many artists who’ve never had their work exhibited in Italy. We want to bring their work here, artists like us, who’ve been working for a long time along similar lines. We’re going to hold exhibitions every two months. As we’ve been doing with the annual independent festival “International Poster Art” which we’ve been organising in Rome since 2006, we want an event that gets off the ground without middle-men, with just the artists that we like. We want to raise the profile

here in Italy of the best that the underground international art scene has to offer.” – Lucamaleonte: ”It’s also a space for experimentation. An experience to share with the artists we’ve met around the world. We have always been inspired by the motto ‘do-it-yourself’, which is the basic idea behind the whole street culture movement.” – What’s on display in “Genesis”? – Lucamaleonte: ”I’m exhibiting my works which have never been shown in Italy before. Some have only been posted on the internet, others have only been in exhibitions abroad. They’re new stencils which I’ve cut out in the past few months from photographs I took myself. Then they were printed on canvas. There’s a self-portrait, a series of views of San Lorenzo, with the walls covered with graffiti and tags. There are also examples of my latest obsession: images of closed doors and windows.” – Sten: ”I’ve got some new work in the show too, including posters on wood panels. Each one has a different subject, but they’re all in black and white.” – Lex: ”There’s no common theme in the works I’m showing. I’ve made a selection of images, some taken from historic Italian banknotes. They’re all new works.” – What’s the situation of street art in Italy now? – Lex: “There’s enormous energy and change. Just look at the major exhibitions which have taken place in state-owned galleries in Rome and Milan. Street art is having a huge influence on the visual arts; it’s close to the kind of graphic art used in advertising. More and more it’s becoming a major element in contemporary creativity. Increasingly it’s becoming part of our collective visual consciousness.” – Sten: “There’s a great Italian street artist called Blu: he climbs high off street level and uses his markers to create imaginary characters. He’s helped create a whole new style of Italian street art which I like a lot. The rest is crap – including my stuff.” – Lucamaleonte: “I think things are more or less stationary, there’s been little change recently. I think the biggest obstacles are posed by the critics and by those who’d like to make money out of exploiting street artists – their art is born on the street and they haven’t got a commercial mentality.” ¶

Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous

A small culturally mixed community in the center of Rome is thrown into disarray after one of the neighbors is murdered.. ¶ Europa Editions

The Garden of Evil by David Hewson

Heart-stopping crime novel steeped in richly atmospheric modern-day suspense and Rome’s treacherous history. ¶ Delacorte Press

Rome Encounter by Cristian Bonetto

Book about Rome’s trends and subcultures, interviews with film directors, archaeologists, DJs, and writers. ¶ Lonely Planet Publications

Rome New Architecture by Sebastiano Brandolini

Volume about Rome’s varied architectural landscape with over forty projects and a map, demonstrating how the geography of the city is evolving. ¶ Skira International Corporation

Cinematic Rome by Richard Wrigley

This book explores Rome as a site for the making of films and its changing role as a setting for cinematic narrative. ¶ Troubador Publishing

XI The world painted pink

A Roman in America

A passion for Japan

No one would ever have thought that Tokidoki the lifestyle brand created by Rome-born artist Simone Legno would become a worldwide phenomenon. Well, no one would have thought it in Italy. In the United States they did. And they were right.

Simone Legno has always been deeply intrigued by everything about Japan, from the timeless, magical beauty of its traditions, to the

{ Francesca Camerino }


super pop flashy aspects

imone Legno is a soft-spoken 31year-old Roman who might look like the fresh-faced boy next door but is in fact the creator of the multi-million dollar lifestyle phenomenon Tokidoki. Born in the capital’s Nuovo Salario district, Legno studied at the city’s prestigious Istituto Europeo di Design. For the last three years he has been riding a startling wave of success that took him from the Eternal City to the coast of California. It all started when the co-founder of American cosmetics company Hard Candy, Pooneh Mohajer, and her husband Ivan Arnold discovered Legno’s personal website, which the

Sicily in Rome Gastronauts Have you ever eaten at the Sicilian fast-food café Mondo Arancina in London’s Notting Hill district? If you haven’t, (and even if you have) take some advice and try the original at via Marcantonio Colonna 38, where, if you like strong, decisive tastes, you’ll be able to savour a vast array of unique delicacies.


part from classics like pizza by the slice, panini, panelle (delicious deep-fried chick pea flour patties) customers come especially to enjoy the speciality of the house arancine

artist used to show off his creations. The couple fell in love with the adorable concept of Tokidoki – and realised its huge potential. They immediately flew Legno out to Los Angeles and made him an amazing offer to move from Rome to California to build Tokidoki into a global lifestyle brand. Tokidoki (“sometimes” in Japanese) was launched in 2005 and spread quickly across the United States. Recently the brand has moved into the European market in a big way. Tokidoki’s first products were tee-shirts but the brand expanded rapidly and now produces apparel and other products using art and iconic characters all designed by Legno, including vinyl figures, small toys, skateboards, watches, knitwear, sportswear, accessories and jewellery. The designer works out of his California home and does not have a special studio, preferring to work in the kitchen. Tokidoki is inspired by Legno’s classical training as an illustrator and his love of all things Japanese. Tokidoki is a happy world that is delightful, charming, whimsical, and pure, with a sophisticated sexy edge. It transmits a positive feeling through everyday simple objects. Legno creates a dream-like world with his signature characters: Cactus Friends, Milk Carton, Ciao Ciao and Tulip. They transmit a positive childlike innocence which he believes everyone has within him- or herself. The designer also integrates a modest sensuality to his art with beauti-

piping hot risotto balls. Bite into an arancina (“little orange”) and you get a succulent, grainy mouthful of Italian risotto with a surprise at its heart. It might be a warm dollop of spinach and ricotta, bolognese ragu, peas or creamed funghi. And there are other, far richer varieties. The arancine are deep-fried in fresh olive oil which is changed after each batch and are available in 15 flavours. Cost: 2.20 euros each. I would suggest you try ‘Stromboli’ filled with aubergine (eggplant) and tomato or ‘Etna’ which features a spicy filling of tomato and chilli. The ovens are fired up early and from 8.00 am onwards you can drop in for arancine, pizza, sfincioni (thick Sicilian pizza with a spongy crust), anelletti (Sicilian oven-cooked pasta rings), pitoni, (savoury coiled fritters stuffed with a range of fillings) or typical pastries like pignolata, made with almonds and pine nuts. The owners personally guarantee the quality of all the ingredients used at Mondo Arancina: flour, olive oil, ground-

ful Japanese women with delicate postures and pop flair to them – elegant geishas for the modern age. The characters in Tokidoki are not complex, they have no back-story. Their message is warm, innocent and simple – and appeals to the brand’s vast and varied target audience, which ranges from young children to kidults – those thirtysomethings who still haven’t lost the thrill of stylised, colourful characters. There’s clearly a global empathy for Legno’s style, which is constantly switching between young-adult and tender-passion. Internet played a key role not only in making Legno’s designs better known, but also in developing his own highly individualistic style, full of animation and colour. began as Legno’s personal website, a creative diary where he could display the drawings which had always been his passion. Thanks to the internet, he was able to escape the arid artistic panorama of his homeland and find a global audience. And sometimes it’s not just a question of talent but also flair and timing: knowing how to seize the decisive moment in that instant when it’s available. Dreams do sometimes come true; in this case thanks to a couple of far-sighted Americans who were willing to bet on the future of a young artist from a country where homegrown backers for talented youngsters are hard to find. But this is just the beginning for Simone Legno. He’s riding the crest of a wave and there’s still a long way to go. ¶

nut oil, tomato sauce, cheeses, almonds, sugar, chocolate, etc. How can you say no? Even after a hearty meal why pass on dessert? Next to Mondo Arancina is Gelarmony, a Sicilian ice-cream parlour with a vast array of hand-crafted gelati made on the premises that is open everyday until late. As I entered the first thing I saw was a giant brioche filled with ice-cream – a classic Sicilian treat – and if you really want to go to town it can all be topped off with whipped cream. The display cabinets offer a colourful and bewildering array of flavours to choose from but the staff at Gelarmony are more than happy to offer advice on mixing and matching your choice: intense flavours which delicately caress the senses. Only natural products are used at Gelarmony and all the icecreams – fruit-flavours or creamy – are hand-made in-house. For people who are allergic to dairy products there’s also a range of soya ice-creams. And there’s not only ice-cream; you might want

of its ultra-modern cities, and most of all, it’s people. His fascination with Japanese culture started at an early age. He grew up in the 1980’s when Italy was bombarded with Japanimation cartoons and comics. Although influenced by the master Japanese artists

like Takashi Murakami, Legno gradually began to develop his own highly personal style. He can also speak a few words in Japanese: his girlfriend and his closest friends all come from Japan.

to try the deliciously refreshing granite, a crushed ice drink made with fruit or coffee, or any one of the dozens of tempting cakes and pastries that fill the cool cabinets: Frozen yoghurt, mousses, mignon pastries with a dazzling choice of fillings, ice-cream cakes, orange slices glazed with chocolate, sponge cakes filled with ricotta cheese and covered with almond cream - and of course, that most classic of Sicilian pastries: cannoli – fried pastry dough filled with sweet creamy ricotta cheese topped with chocolate chips and candied fruit. You’re simply spoilt for choice. ¶



icasso at the Vittoriano E x hi b i t on

Until 8 February 2009 an exhibition celebrates Picasso’s prolific twenty-year period of creativity that began with his visit to Italy in 1917 and ended with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. { Francesca Camerino }



Picasso 1917-1937 The Harlequin of Art Vittoriano Museum Complex Via di San Pietro in Carcere Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 09.30 – 19.30 Friday & Saturday 09.30 – 23.30 Sunday 09.30 – 20.30 Tickets: € 10.00 (€ 7.50 reduced) Info: tel. 06 6780664

Harlequin, 1917 Barcellona, Museu Picasso

Tapas on tap Trends { Alessandro Mirra }


t doesn’t take long for any visitor to Rome to discover that it’s not a low-cost destination. Eating out in any simple trattoria or pizzeria may well cost more than 20€ a head; if you fancy fish or grilled meat the bill will rise to at least 35/40€ per person. That’s why Roman foodies who refuse to give up on eating out but don’t want to bust their budgets are increasingly opting for the relatively new formula of aperitif plus buffet – also known as

tornado, an unstoppable vortex: that was the force of Picasso’s creative genius in the interwar period. It was a restless and unstable time, full of contradictions, in certain respects similar to our own troubled times. Of course we are not now between two World Wars, but the parallels between the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the ongoing financial crisis are all too clear: there is that same undercurrent of uncertainty that Picasso interpreted so majestically and which provided him with such a sudden and powerful creative drive. The Andalusian-born artist devoured differing styles and genres in a creative whirlwind that could almost seem a raptus.The organisers of the exhibition «Picasso 1917-1937 The Harlequin of Art», which will be at the Vittoriano Museum Complex until 8 February 2009 have sought to underline the enormous creative drive and diversification of Picasso’s artistic expression in this period, something that cannot fail to strike the visitor. The organisers have taken the idea of the ‘’harlequin’’, a recurring figure in Picasso’s art, as a springboard for exploring the huge variety of styles he used at different times. Harlequin, the most popular comic character from the Italian commedia dell’arte, is in Italy a potent symbol of imagination and fantasy, but the character’s origins also hide a darker side – thus in some ways reflecting that diabolical genius, that mask of fantastic disquiet which Picasso donned in that very special historical period. After the experiments of the Blue Period, the Rose Period and of Cubism, Picasso sought even greater levels of personal creativity, unleashing the Harlequin within that had by then possessed him. This extraordinarily rich exhibition features over 180 truly superb works including oils, drawings and sculptures from the Picasso family itself, private collections and museums around the world, not least the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. Picasso experimented with as many styles as possible during this 20-year period and the exhibit showcases his ability to use a vast array of creative possibilities to build up his personal range of artistic expression. According to the exhibition’s curator, Yves-Alain Bois, Professor of Modern Art at Princeton University, the sheer variety of works Picasso produced in this era will provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of his lengthy career. “It’s possible to admire, in the same gallery, a ‘neo-classical’ Harlequin, a cubist version and a surrealist transformation of the same theatrical character.” The earliest Harlequin piece is a 1917 portrait of a Russian ballet dancer, Leonide Massine, on loan from Barcelona’s Museu Picasso. One of a series of portraits of dancers from the Ballets Russes, which Picasso spent months travelling with on tour, it is a classical painting depicting the male star in a turquoise and cream harlequin costume. Picasso’s 1924 ‘Harlequin Musician’ is a much more familiar cubist creation, on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

«aperitivo alla milanese» as it was in Italy’s financial and fashion capital where the imported trend first caught on. It means starting to eat at least an hour earlier than is customary here, around 6.30-7.00 pm, but it also means your can save a sizeable amount of money. Basically for the

price of your first drink – usually between 5-10 euros – you also get the right to tuck into the buffet. Among the city’s watering holes with the best aperitifs is without doubt DoppioZero (Via Ostiense 68) where the buffet offers a huge variety of pizzas, suppli and cold pasta, etc. Friends at Piazza Trilussa 34 is also well worth a visit; for just 5 euros you get an excellent aperitif and you’re just a stone’s throw from the vibrant nightlife of Trastevere. Fine aperitifs are also on offer at Momart Café, one of the bestknown lounge bars in the capital (Viale XII Aprile 19), and at Société

Two Harlequins from 1927, one from the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the other from a private collection, offer abstract and surrealist interpretations of the familiar theme. The choice of Rome for this historic exhibition is by no means a casual one. Picasso chose the L’atelier (Deux personnages), 1934 Eternal City for a brief holiday Indiana University Art Museum, with his friend the poet Jean CocBloomington, Gift of Mr & Mrs teau. It is about this time that alHenry R Hope though his experiments with cubism continued, Picasso chose also to work in the opposite direction, depicting figures of a subtly detached classicism – linear, sculptural and monumental. In Rome in the summer of 1918, Picasso married Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina with Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe, for whom Picasso was designing a ballet, Parade. Olga became not only his wife, but also his muse. She was to bear his first son Paulo. The exhibition marks the first return to the Italian capital since 1917 of L’Italienne (Foundation E. G. Bührle Collection, Zurich) the cheerful and highspirited cubist de-composition depicting a young Italian girl with the huge dome of St Peter’s Basilica in the background which Picasso painted during his Roman holiday. Picasso’s attraction towards neo-classicism is nowhere more evident than in the extraordinary series of 100 etchings known as the Suite Vollard (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) exceptionally on show here in its entirety. In the 1930’s the interior unrest and instability provoked by world events that seemed to be tumbling towards chaos and brutality (the rise of Hitler, Stalinism and the Spanish Civil War) were reflected in Picasso’s depiction of bloody bullfights and women in tears. The distress was to culminate in the 1937 mural Guernica, named for the Basque town ruthlessly bombed by Fascist aircraft. From 1933-37 the leit-motiv of the Harlequin was to be replaced by the more surrealist mythical figure of the Minotaur – a dark brooding myth which Picasso used in a series of disturbing paintings up until the outbreak of bloody civil war in his homeland. The exhibition will take you on a fascinating artistic journey as it follows the enthralling development of Picasso’s creative genius. “According to tradition, Harlequin can be whatever and whoever he wants, he dodges and side-steps rules and regulations by taking on a totally different and unexpected identity each time. Picasso was also like this” – explains the curator Yves-Alain Bois. Enter and enjoy your journey in the glowing company of the genial Harlequin! ¶

Lutèce (Piazza di Montevecchio 17, near Piazza Navona). Other appetising bars well worth a visit include Freni e Frizioni (Via del Politeama 4, Trastevere), Caffè Emporio (Piazza dell’Emporio 2, Testaccio) and Tribeca Cafè (Via Messina 29, Metro: Barberini). A special mention should go to the aperitif-buffet on offer at Ore 20 in Piazzale Appio (Metro: S.Giovanni). It’s available every Sunday evening in the top floor bar of the Coin department store; it’s not cheap – 15 euros for the first (obligatory) drink – but the buffet is excellent and includes a wide variety of starters and first courses. A meal in itself. ¶

P r o g r a m s

i n



R om e

A brief entertainment guide Teranova festival:

EXHIBITIONS Chiostro del Bramante

Centre Culturel Saint Louis de France Largo Toniolo 20-22 tel. 06.6802626/27/28 · 24th Nov. h 21.00 and 27th Nov. h 16.00 “Mon meilleur ami” with the partecipation of Patrice Leconte – who will be awarded the Grand Prix Teranova 2008.

The Myth of Julius Caesar, first ever show focusing on him alone; until April 5. Via della Pace, tel. 06.68809035

Vittoriano: Picasso 1917-1937, the Harlequin of Art; until February 8. Via S. Pietro in Carcere, tel. 06.6780664


Scuderie del Quirinale: Giovanni Bellini, biggest show in 50 years on artist Durer called ‘the best of them all’; until January 11. Via XXIV Maggio 16, tel. 06.39967500

Villa Torlonia: La scuola romana; until January 11 Via Nomentana 70, tel. 06.0608

Palazzo delle Esposizioni:

Music by Ferdinand Hérold

Foyer Auditorium: I Fuochi dell’Arte e le sue reliquie. 23 fire-damaged works of Roman artist Jacorossi; until January 10 Viale Pietro de Coubertin 30, tel. 06.80241281


· Etruscans, The Ancient Metropoli of Latium; until January 9. · Luciano Pavarotti; until December 8. · Exhibition on video artist Bill Viola; until January 6. Via Nazionale 194, tel. 06.39967500.

STREET ART – PERFORMANCES Attraversamenti Multipli/ Multiple Crossings – 8th annual festival of contemporary artistic languages

Basquiat, 40 works; until February 1. Via del Corso 418, tel. 06.6874704

Museo del Corso:

Museo dell’Ara Pacis: Bruno Munari, retrospective on one of the most interesting Italian artists and designers; until February 22. Lungotevere in Augusta tel. 06.0608.

Capitoline Museums: The invention of the Roman Forum – How the city’s urban aspect drastically changed during the period from 1924 to 1940; until November 23 Piazza del Campidoglio 1, tel. 06.0608.

Conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti, Director Nicolas Joel From 12 November to 18 November Teatro dell’Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 7

Conductor Riccardo Muti, Director Stephen Landgridge From 06 December to 14 December Teatro dell’Opera, Piazza Beniamino Gigli 7

Fondazione Memmo:

The Wolf And The Sphinx, Rome and Egypt From History To Myth; until November 9. Lungotevere Castello 50, tel. 06.681911

Music by Richard Strauss

Music by Giuseppe Verdi

Ruins and Rebirths, 80 works charting development of heritage protection; until February 15.

Castel Sant’Angelo:

Der Rosenkavalier



Golden Age of Dutch Art shines in Rome; until February 15. Via del Corso 320, tel. 06.67862098

Choreography Jean-Yves Lorneau , Conductor Benedetto Montebello From 08 November to 14 November Teatro Nazionale, Via del Viminale 51

· 17th Nov. Sala Petrassi h 21.00 Gianluca Petrella Cosmic Band · 20th Nov. Sala Sinopoli h 21.00 Italian Instabile Orchestra · 22nd Nov. Sala Sinopoli h 21.00 Sun Ra Arkestra · 23th Nov. Sala Petrassi h 11.00 Orchestra Napoletana Jazz · 24th Nov. Sala Sinopoli h 21.00 Yael Naim “New Soul” · 26th Nov. Sala Santa Cecilia h 21.00 Herbie Hancock Sextet featuring Terence Blanchard · 27th Nov. Sala Santa Cecilia h 21.00 Events: Roy Paci, Frank London, Boban Markovic; Boban Markovic Orkestar · 29th Nov. Sala Petrassi h 21.00 Hr Bigband, Gary Husband, Colin Towns Meeting of the Spirits (A celebration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra) · 30th Nov. Sala Petrassi h 18.00 Focus Orchestre: Berna Touch Point Orchestra, Enrico Pieranunzi, Uni Big Band Bern

Il Pitigliani Kolno’a Festival Ebraism and Israel in Cinema: Casa del cinema · From 15 November till November 19 Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1 (Villa Borghese) tel. 06.423601 · 16th Nov. Sala Deluxe h 22.00 Evento Julia Mia by Yuval Granot with the partecipation of Hagar Ben Asher · 17th Nov. Sala Kodak h 21.45 To See if I’m Smiling by Tamar Yarom · 18th Nov. Sala Deluxe h 20.00 Il Grido della terra by Duilio Coletti, 1949 · 19th Nov. Sala Deluxe h 20.00 Mishehu Larutz Ito – Someone to run by Oded Davidoff with the partecipation of David Grossman, Oded Davidoff

Cine en Construcciòn Nuevo Cinema Latino Americano: Casa del cinema tel. 06.423601 Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1 (Villa Borghese) · 12th Nov. Sala deluxe h 21.00 Familla tortug by Ruben Imaz (Messico, 2006, 139’) · 13th Nov. Sala deluxe h 21.00 Esas No son penas by Amahi Hoeneisen and Daniel Andrade (Ecuador, 2005, 90’) · 14th Nov. Sala deluxe h 21.00 La perrera by Manuel Nieto (Uruguay, 2006, 109’)

· 11th Nov. h 15.00 Stazione metropolitana Linea “B” San Paolo dancer/performer Stefano Taiuti / Zeitgeist “Ciclo” · 13th Nov. h 15.00 Stazione Metropolitana Linea “A” Arco di Travertino dancer/choreographer Annika Pannito · 15th Nov. h 18.00 Officine Marconi, Via Biagio Petrocelli Final happening: dance/performance/music

ROMA JAZZ FESTIVAL The festival includes concerts and special events across the city of which only some are listed below. For full programme details contact:

Auditorium Parco della musica: Viale Pietro de Coubertin 30 Infoline: tel. 0680241281 · 12nd Nov. Sala Santa Cecilia 21.00 Milton Nascimento Jobim trio · 13th Nov. Sala Sinopoli h 21.00 Globe Unity Orchestra · 15th Nov. h 18.00, 17th Nov. h 21.00 and 18th Nov. h 19.30 Sala Santa Cecilia Gershwin “Porgy and Bess” Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Wayne Marshall · 16th Nov. Sala Santa Cecilia h 21.00 Chick Corea – John Mclaughin

Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia Tel. Tickets: 06.8082058 Viale Pietro de Coubertin 30. tel. 06.80241281 · 22th Nov. h 18.00, 24th Nov. h 21.00 and 25th Nov. h 19.30 Sala Santa Cecilia Prokofiev, Quinta Sinfonia – Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Conductor Tugan Sokhiev · 29th Nov. h 21.00, 1st Dic. h 21.0 and 2nd Dic. h 19.30 Sala Santa Cecilia Carmina Burana Orchestra and Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos · 30th Nov. h 20.00 Sala Sinopol Caikovskij and Bizet – Juvenile orchestra of Sofia, Conductor Deyan Pavlov · 6th Nov. h 18.00, 8th Dic. h 21.00 and 9th Dic. h 19.30 Sala Santa Cecilia Donald Runnicles – Radu Lupu Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia


gui d e :

e x h i b i t s



I t a l y

The following is a city-by-city guide to some of Italy’s top art exhibitions Archaeological Museum:

Same venue:

Retrospective on British sculptor Matthew Spender, who has lived in Tuscany for the last 40 years; until December 30.

Tiepolos and Canalettos from the Terruzzi Collection; until January 11.

Palazzo Medici-Ricciardi: Raphael’s Madonna del Cardellino (Madonna of the Goldfinch) on show from November 23 to March 1 after eight-year restoration.

GENOA Palazzo Ducale: ‘Lucio Fontana Light and Colour’; until February 15.

Van Gogh, Self-portrait

Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation: ‘Great Works 1972-2008’; until March 22.

Brera Academy and Palazzo Stelline (Credito Valtellinese): Mario Schifano 1934-1998, Selected Works; major retrospective marking 10th anniversary of artist’s death, previously at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome; until February 1.

Van Gogh, Masterpieces from the KroellerMueller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands; until January 25.

Herculaneum: Three Centuries of Discoveries; until April 2009.

FLORENCE Accademia di Belle Arti: Giovanni Fattori Past and Present, 130 works; until November 23.

Spazial concept

MAMIANO DI TRAVERSETOLO (PARMA) Giovanni Fattori, The Poetry of Truth; until November 30.

Palazzo Reale: Giovanni Fattori: Patrol (1875)

Palazzo Strozzi:

Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and the neo-Impressionists; over 100 works from major international museums; until January 25.

30 masterpieces of Etruscan art from Russia’s Hermitage museum including the only Etruscan bronze funerary urn ever found; until January 6.

Photo: ANSA

Madre modern art gallery: Robert Rauschenberg, Travelling 1970–76; until January 19.

NUORO MAN gallery: Man Ray – Unconcerned but not indifferent – 300 pieces from his private collection; until January 6.

PALERMO Palazzo dei Normanni:

Palazzo Pitti:

The Fantastic World of Picasso, 66 works until March 8.

The Medicis And Science; large collection of scientific writings and tools; until January 11.


Same venue:

National Gallery:

The Other Face Of The Soul, 60 portraits by Giovanni Fattori, some unseen, showing other side of 19th-century artist famous for military subjects and Maremma landscapes; until January 25.

‘Correggio’, biggest exhibit on once-neglected artist in years; around 80 works flanked by 40 by contemporaries, plus chance to see three most important frescos up close in city churches; until January 25.

Seurat: Peasant Woman sitting in Grass (1883)

Ex-Pescheria Centrale:

TURIN Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli:

11th International Architecture Exhibition from 56 countries entitled Out There: Architecture Beyond Building; until November 23.

MANTUA Ducal Palace:



VENICE Biennale venues including Arsenale and Padiglione Italia:

Fondazione Magnani-Rocca:

first major show on Jacopo Alari-Bonacolsi aka Antico, an acclaimed sculptor in Mantegna’s time; until January 6.

Canaletto, Venice and its Splendours; until April 5.

164 works from the famous Bischofberger collection including Miquel Barcelò, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mike Biblo, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Enzo Cucchi, Dokoupil, Damien Hirst, David Salle, Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol; until March 1.


30 masterpieces of Etruscan art from Russia’s Hermitage museum including the only Etruscan bronze funerary urn ever found; until January 6.

Matilda and the Treasure of Canossa, 200 works of Medieval art; until January 11.

Trieste 1918, The First Redemption; military equipment, memorabilia, photos from WWI; until January 25.

Amico Aspertini (1474-1552), A Bizarre Artist in the Age of Durer and Raphael; until January 11.

Etruscan Academy Museum (MAEC):

REGGIO EMILIA Palazzo Magnani and other venues:

Casa dei Carraresi:

NAPLES Archaeological Museum:

BOLOGNA Pinacoteca Nazionale:

From Corot to Picasso and Fattori to De Pisis, modern Italian and European art from two private collections including Monet, Van Gogh and Modigliani; until January 18.


MONTECATINI TERME Ex-Terme Tamerici: Boldini Mon Amour; 180 works by Parisian School portrait painter Giovanni Boldini (18421931), many unseen including three portraits of secret lover Countess de Rasty; until December 30.

BRESCIA Museo di Santa Giulia:

PERUGIA Palazzo Baldeschi al Corso:

Guggenheim Museum: Carlo Cardazzo (1908-1963), A New Vision Of Art, major pieces from his collection including de Chirico, Sironi, Campigli, Scipione, Marini and the architect Carlo Scarpa; until February 9.

Palazzo Grassi: Italics, Italian contemporary art 1968-2008; until March 9.

VICENZA Palazzo Barbaran: ‘Palladio 500’, 200 works including 30 models of Palladian architecture plus art by Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian celebrate Andrea Palladio on the 500th anniversary of his birth; until January 6, when exhibit moves to London (Royal Academy of Arts, 31 January – 13 April 2009) and on to Washington in Autumn 2009.


Torneo Pezzana

Grassroots football in Rome The story of a competition that made a virtue of necessity. { M. F. }

Time out


he bitter rivalry between Rome’s top professional soccer clubs AS Roma and SS Lazio is well known even outside Italy, but that is nothing compared to the fierce antagonism that flares when teams from the city’s amateur sports clubs clash. The real derby is not played on the plush green turf of the Olympic Stadium but on dozens of synthetic all-weather pitches measuring 40x60m where teams of eight-a-side battle it out across the capital. Rome was the birthplace of futsal football in Italy. Not many know that for more than 30 years the eight-man version – in Italian handily known as “calciotto” (calcio=football + otto=eight) – has been the most popular sport among amateur players in the capital. “Calciotto is hugely popular. It far more similar to the traditional game than futsal,” explained Andrea Antenucci, the organiser and president of the Torneo Pezzana, the oldest soccer tournament in Rome for eight-a-side teams. Calciotto was invented by chance in 1978 when, in via Pez-

zana near the elegant residential district of Parioli, a fullsized football pitch for amateur teams of 11 players a side was cut in half because of city council plans to build a mosque near the site. “What were we supposed to do?,” asks Antenucci. “No way were we going to abandon our sports field. There was only one solution: the pitch is smaller? All right, then. We’ll use fewer players!” From its beginning the number of teams taking part in the Torneo Pezzana increased every year. Word of mouth meant the competition soon became a huge success. Thirty years on more than 2,500 players in Rome regularly turn out for eight-a-side games. A fully-fledged national calciotto championship is now in its third season. The latest edition of the Pezzana tournament attracted more than 40 teams playing in two parallel competitions: one for Over-40’s, one for younger players. What are the reason’s for the sport’s phenomenal success? “First of all Romans are deeply passionate about football,” says Antenucci. “Then because organisation of sport at amateur level in the city is more or less non-existent. “Also the level of competition has risen consistently. A lot of ex-professionals have now joined our ranks. This year Mihajlovic and Di Canio (two former star players in Serie A for Lazio) have signed on to play.” The tournament has become so popular it now needs its own press office. “For the game between Canottieri Roma and Canottieri Lazio there were more than 500 spectators,” confirms Antenucci, adding: “Our web-site is now constantly updated with This year news, photos and comments; and Mihajlovic there’s an archive section with photos since the start of the tourand Di nament.” Canio have After trying out a number of signed on to venues the tournament has now found a permanent home at the play. beautifully equipped sports com-

Rossi sets new record


Love for Rome, love for futsal

plex belonging to the police on the Tiber embankment towards the north of the city. “Now we can play on these magnificent pitches and there’s plenty of space for the families and children who come to watch,” said a satisfied Antenucci. Rivalry, fierce competition and goals. But that’s not all. Last March organisers set up the first “Memorial Raciti” Tournament in honour of the Sicilian policeman Filippo Raciti who was killed in February 2007 during clashes between rival fans before the Catania–Palermo Serie A match. Antenucci describes the event as “a huge success.” The organisers involved the schools in Rome in the tournament in an effort to raise awareness among children of issues related to violence and crime in general. “In 2009 we’d like to make it a national event. We’re currently looking for commercial partners who can help turn this dream into a reality.“ Perhaps one day there will even be a world championship for calciotto. Whatever happens, the sport has certainly come a long way since it all began when a municipal building project meant a dusty all-weather pitch was chopped in half.

Roma 2009 logo unveiled

Photo: ANSA


(ANSA) – Valentino Rossi capped the 2008 MotoGP season by setting yet another all-time record: collecting 373 points in one year. Rossi, who earlier clinched the riders’ title with three races left in the season, placed third in the season’s closing Grand Prix in Valencia. “Third place allowed me to set the record for season points and I tied the record I already held for podium finishes in a season: 16. I don’t think I’ve done that since 2005,” the Yamaha rider said. Rossi, who this year set the all-time record for victories in the premier class, 71, was already back on the track to prepare his bike for next season, which will see all bikes using the same brand of tires, Bridgestone. “I’m curious to see what difference this will make. In my view the best thing would be to limit some of the electronics in racing, but no one is listening to me. Fortunately, it’s not as boring as in Formula 1 where electronics has taken all the fun out,” Rossi said. ‘”The most important thing for me now, after a season where I showed I was once again the man to beat, is to continue to work hard and focused. There’s no time to rest on our laurels,” the world champion added. Rossi won his sixth MotoGP championship after a two year gap which followed his strong of five titles in a row. He is now just two titles shy of the all-time record of eight titles held by the legendary Giacomo Agostini, his idol. After beating Agostini’s record for the number of wins in the premier class, Rossi now has his sights on Agostini’s record for Grand Prix career wins in all classes, 122 compared to Rossi’s 97. The Yamaha rider is also closing in on his Rossi testing with Ferrari in 2006 idol’s record for career podium finishes: 150 to 159.

EFA has unveiled its new visual identity for the 2009 UEFA Champions League final in Rome, a design that combines today’s competition trophy with the ancient Roman symbol of victory, a laurel wreath. Wreaths were worn by victorious emperors as they rode through the streets of Ancient Rome in carriages drawn by white horses, and have a special place in the city’s history. Framing the main elements of the design is a stylised portrait of Rome’s famous landmark, the Colosseum. Taken together, the different parts of the new identity reflect the city’s history, architectural heritage and passion for football. Tickets for the final, the last to be held in midweek, will go on sale from 16 February. The match will be watched by a television audience of some 150 million people in more than 230 countries and territories. ¶

Rossi to test Ferrari (ANSA) – MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi will be back behind the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car on November 20 and 21 at the Mugello circuit in Tuscany, Ferrari confirmed. Sources at Ferrari said that this month’s tests would be “a chance to celebrate the success of a friend and a team”. The 29-year-old Yamaha rider flirted with the idea of moving to Formula 1 after he won his fifth MotoGP championship in a row in 2005. He tested a modified F2004 car in Valencia and even shared the track with ‘real’ Formula 1 drivers but in the end decided to stick to two-wheeled racing. Although he did better than many had expected, Rossi said at the time that “it’s like being on another planet. It’s like a soccer player switching to basketball. The sensations are all different. Braking is different, the lines are different, the acceleration is different,’” he added. Many fans and observers believe that Rossi’s earlier Rossi’s infatuation with Formula 1 distracted him and were in part responsible for him failing to win the 2006 and 2007 MotoGP championships. Rossi will test drive a F2008 car. Ferrari’s parent company Fiat is the chief sponsor of Rossi’s Yamaha team. ¶



8of king Rome th

The million dollar question: who was the eighth king of Rome, also known as the Divine One? Don’t go looking for the answer in history books. Look in the history of AS Roma. { Marco Fagioli }


aulo Roberto Falcao arrived in 1980 when Roma’s only championship title was almost 40 years in the past. His glorious five-year spell at the club coincided with the Serie A championship, a brace of Italian Cups and a final in the European Champions Cup. Falcao (a native of the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, now aged 55), is still an idol for the tifosi who pack the Curva Sud behind the south goal at the Olympic Stadium. Last year at celebrations to mark the club’s 80th anniversary the stadium rose as one to offer the Brazilian a standing ovation. Even today Falcao is still considered one of the best players ever to have graced the beautiful game in Italy. It all began in 1980. – What can you remember about your arrival in Rome? – It was an incredible day. I knew Roma fans were passionate but, …I expected just a couple of team officials would be there to meet me at the airport. Instead when I arrived at Fiumicino I was submerged by hundreds of celebrating fans. The newspapers next day said there were 6,000 people. It was then I knew that people weren’t there for Falcao, but for a hope, a dream. I felt the responsability that I had to help the club win again, to bring some satisfaction to these fans after years of gloom. – Was it difficult to get used to life in Rome? – When I knew the move was going through I asked some friends who already knew the city. They told me about the Colosseum, the Forum, the unique air of history. When I arrived I concentrated above all on the team, on going about my business as a professional soccer player. It was my job to adapt to the team and not the other way round. Rome is a city that offers marvellous opportunities, but I was there to play football. – So, no Colosseum? – I went there for the first time on my last day before going back to Brazil, where I ended my career at San Paulo. In five years in Rome I’d never managed to visit it before. I have fond memories of my house in the Balduina district, in via Alfredo Fusco. Then the emotion of seeing via San Pietro in carcere. – Nowadays (AS Roma playmaker and captain Francesco) Totti Falcao with Bruno Conti at celebrations of AS Roma’s 80th would never dream of going for a stroll in the city centre. How was anniversary it for you? – The same. I didn’t go out much, but the few times I went to Trastevere I went there late at night and only in the summer when the football season was over. But when my career was finished I made up for it and came back and really visited the city where I had spent five beautiful years. – Do you come back often to Rome? – Not much. There are too many work commitments. I work for radio Gaucha, the newspaper ZeroHora and TV Globo. It’s difficult even to catch a Serie A game on tv, at that time I always seem to be on a plane. – This season’s Champions League final will be played at the Olympic Stadium. Perhaps it will finally be possible to wipe out the memory of that cursed final 24 years ago when Liverpool beat Roma 2-1 on penalties. You were there. – It would be great if Roma could get back to the final. After many years they’ve finally got a top level team again and it would be fantastic to avenge that awful evening. But it won’t be easy. – A promise. 23 May 2009, Olympic Stadium, final Roma–Liverpool. Will Falcao be there? – Work permitting, yes I will. ¶ Advertisement

Ferrari proud over 2008 season results

Stefano Domenicali

(ANSA) - After Ferrari won the Formula 1 constructors’ championship but lost the drivers’ title in the last 18 seconds of the final Grand Prix of the season, team principal Stefano Domenicali said he was proud of what the squad had achieved this year. ‘’It was an incredible end to the season and once again I think we have to be proud of what we have done. There is no reason for us to look back and say, what if, what if. You can’t build anything on whatifs ‘’ Domenicali said in a statement. ‘’The only thing I can say is that we are extremely happy with our achievement in the constructors’ championship. In eight of the last 10 years we have been the champions. I am very proud of the whole team,’’ he added. Domenicali then turned his attention to driver Felipe Massa, who won Brazilian Grand Prix and was world champion for a handful of seconds from when he crossed the finish line until McLarenMercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the last corners passed the Toyota of Timo

Glock to clinch fifth place and the drivers’ title by one point. ‘’I am very happy for Felipe, he had an incredible season. He had two races which will remain in the history of his growing career. One was Hungary, where unfortunately we had a problem but he was really fantastic. And then there was in Brasil,’’ he added. ‘’I think that Felipe has grown a lot. He is really a great driver. From a victory lost you can grow stronger inside and that will be the case for him,’’ Domenicali said. Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo also had words for Massa: ‘’I believe he deserves a very special mention. This not only for what he did on the track, dominating the race in front of his home fans and demonstrating how he deserved to be champion, but also for the maturity and sportsmanship he showed off the track. He is a great champion and a great man’’. ¶

Photo: ANSA

A demigod in yellow and red

Massa was was world champion for a handful of seconds

Armstrong is back (ANSA) – Lance Armstrong announced he will ride his first-ever Giro d’Italia in his comeback year in 2009. Next year is also the centennial year for the round-Italy race, the world’s second greatest stage race after the Tour de France. “I’m very happy to tell you I will take part in the Giro d’Italia in 2009”, said the seven-time-straight Tour winner. ”I never took part in a Giro and it has been one of my greatest regrets. I want to fill this gap. This is the Centennial Giro and I know how meaningful it is to Italian people,” he said. The US cyclist, who beat testicular cancer to become one of cycling’s all-time greats, hinted that the Giro might be “my real three-week race (next) year”, instead of just being a prelude to the Tour. Armstrong, 37, used to skip the Giro to prepare his Tour campaigns in relative isolation. He was sometimes accused of “snubbing” the Italian race. ¶

November 2008  

monthly free press in english in Rome

November 2008  

monthly free press in english in Rome