Conceptio in Itinere

Garbatella quarter

The Oasis inside the metropolis
length 3hrs approx with Aperitif Available: everyday am/pm

"You come to Garbatella during an ordinary afternoon, with the metro that brings you right in the heart of it, and strolling around the quarter you discover ..

the people’s tabernas, the unique architecture, the numerous wall-plates narrating the popular stories. Suddenly you realize there’s something magic, or maybe it’s only the local architecture, so able to create the right atmosphere for a pleasant walk. The attraction is so contagious.. and it’s worth giving us the chance to guide you across this enchanting quarter”

Garbatella is a popular quarter laying near the centre of Rome and St Paul's quarter where the Basilica of the same name (St Paul's outside the Walls) is located, a quarter hosting Commodilla and part of St Domitilla's catacombs.

Among the banana trees, the palms and the stripped walls, beats the heart of the old quarter. It’s a maze of streets, stairs and unique homes deep in the green where it’s easy to get lost. Entering in any of the Lotti (blocks of houses) crossing the blossomed gardens and the old clothes lines, looking up you can be overwhelmed by the particular chimneys, fantasy beasts, balconies, small windows and portholes. It’s an occasion to review the history and the architecture of Rome up to modern times.

It’s an open-pit workshop for architects and master builders always looking for new styles. We start the visit with the historical Piazza Benedetto Brin, the “pincetto” overlooking Ostiense road. (terrace like the Pincio overlooking Piazza del Popolo from Borghese Gardens) Here, Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Italy, laid the first stone of the quarter. At that time the name of this quarter was Borgata Concordia, built to host the workmen of the near industrial area. The first stone is nowadays out in the open. The “case rapide” (quick houses) in the nearby Via Adautto and surrounding streets have been built in only 5 months, during the Fascism, to host the refugees after the bombing of other areas of Rome. These, are houses made of 2 levels with a small private garden initially used as a vegetable garden for the families.
Following the narrow streets we arrive in front of the Palladium Theatre, the ancient cinema-theatre of Garbatella with the actors' houses on the upper level, and the Public Baths once thermal centre for the delight of all those persons who didn’t have running water at home. Passing by the wall-plates dedicated to the young partisan Libero De Angelis, and the historical graffiti “vote for Garibaldi, list nr 1” on the wall of one of these houses, preserved since 1948, we arrive at St Isidoro in Eurosia Church (also called Church of St. Eurosia)
This is one of the churches on Via delle Sette Chiese the Pilgrimage way reaching St Paul's Outside the Walls. This church is dated 1818 and is one of the symbols of the quarter also because, here, the monks (St Philip's monks) hid the partisans from the Nazi-soldiers during the II World War, sacrificing their own lives. Today in the small Church it is possible to celebrate Mass for our groups travelling with their priests. We end this pleasant tour by stopping for a relaxing aperitif in a charming wine bar.

Tour includes: transportation by private vehicle, authorized local English speaking guide (no entrance fees foreseen) and Aperitif.


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Images: typical private houses of Garbatella.