Colours of Alternative Rome

rome flowers girl
Terracotta, shades of burnt orange and warm stone-beige might be your first thought when thinking of the colour palette of Rome, but there’s actually a lot more to say. Although the city is made up of travertine stone, rippled marble and grey Roman concrete, modern Rome lives with enthusiasm in the same streets.

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In the Ostiense district, where I live, Technicolor street art adorns walls, bridges and as I’ve mentioned before, entire buildings. This set of photos was taken by the awesome April Nicole during our day out wandering the nearby neighbourhood of Testaccio, which is likewise splattered with graffiti and street art.

rome macro site ostiense

We began at the old mattatoio, or slaughterhouse of this once industrial part of Rome. Until the doors were closed for good in 1975, this was a busy complex of buildings all dedicated to the slaughter of animals and production of meat. Signs of its gruesome past are entirely evident today – atop the entrance stands a statue of a winged man grappling with a horned bull.  rome citta dell'economia
Workers’ salaries were supplemented with leftover offal (and other bits!) from the slaughterhouse known as the quinto quarto, the fifth quarter. As a result, the locals became experts in cooking with otherwise unwanted cheap cuts of meat. Visit any Testaccio trattoria and you’ll realise just how expert they became. Today, Testaccio is a foodie’s heaven and you’ll find coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), trippa (tripe) and pajata (suckling lamb intestines) still on many menus.
città dell'altra economiaroma blog
Parts of the mattatoio have now been refurbished in order to house the Macro Museum of Contemporary Art and Città dell’Altra Economia, a space for all things sustainable. These photos come from the still unused grounds of the slaughterhouse which we thought would make a great, industrial background for some alternative snaps of Rome.
rome blogger rome ostiensemacro mercato 99102 Thanks again to April for catching some funny moments on camera, you can see more of her snaps by visiting her Facebook page. If you’re interested in finding out more about street art in Rome, you can read an article of mine about street art tours by Rovescio here.

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1750m Above Sea Level

IMG_5894IMG_5902Oh dear, it’s been another one of those long silences for my blog. I’ve lived in Rome now for about 18 months and I’ve only posted a minuscule amount. Embarrassing stuff.
I could tell you about how I’ve had the best intentions to keep posting here, but the fact remains, I haven’t posted a single word for eight months. Instead, lets take future posts as sporadically as they come and for now, enjoy some snapshots from a trip I took last month to the North of Italy. IMG_5896DSC_0218DSC_0222IMG_5903These photos were taken up in the clouds on Monte Grappa where you’ll find a military memorial monument. As you can imagine, it’s one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever visited and the history of the spot forces life’s contemplations and deliberations upon you. IMG_5904IMG_5906IMG_5913IMG_5971IMG_5975I was lucky enough to stay with friends in a beautiful house in the tiny village of Fietta. Venturing out to the mountains or the neighbouring town of Bassano del Grappa in the daytime, we spent evenings clustered around the fireplace indoors or making pizza in the wood fired oven outside. At one time the villagers would bring their own bread here to be baked, and the toasty room above was even used to put up those in need of a bed for the night.
IMG_5957stone wall backgroundIMG_5939Pizza OvenIMG_5961 Here’s to more venturing into the Italian unknown next year!