Salambo Blog

Living in Rome


To follow up on the previous blog, some areas of Rome can be more than boring: they are depressing. The worst of them in my view is Parioli. Located on the Monti Parioli hills just north of the historic centre, it is a highly praised area amongst Romans, and could be compared to a provincial equivalent of maybe Holland Park in London or the 16th arrondissement in Paris. Parioli was initially built in the 1930s to house the new Bourgeoisie of Rome, created after the city became Italy’s capital in 1871. It started as a residential area and has always remained the same. It is full of non-descript residential buildings and condominiums, well sought after because they are functional and secure. At weekends the area is dead, as most of its residents go to their country house. During the week, it has no atmosphere and certainly no charm. A few shops (mainly small supermarkets) are there not for pleasure but because they serve a need. It is not unusual to see maids in a full uniform shopping for their respective employers. It actually feels like another world, a leap back in time.

What I find the most depressing are the aimless teenagers hanging around in the local park on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, with obviously nothing better to do. Sadly they already look like their disillusioned parents. The girls are showing off their designer sunglasses and label handbags (the usual expensive high brand names), and the boys are just as inspiring with their bikes or mini cars (which can be driven from age 14 or 16). Teenagers everywhere hang around, it is part of being a teenager, but in Parioli there is no sense of an imminent rebellion, no sense of a search for one’s direction in life. They are already conforming without even thinking that they do. I avoid Parioli…

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This entry was posted on May 12, 2010 by in English, Rome's neighbourhoods and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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