1. What makes you happy in this city?

Local

Going for a walk in the Caffarella, an enormous green lung into the city, just three metro stops from San Giovanni square. A quite unknown park compared to the famous and touristic ones like Villa Borghese or villa Pamphili. Being in few seconds into the wildest nature with horses, sheeps, esotic birds and ancient roman ruins has no price. Beautiful and terrifying at the same time, like just nature can be.

Visitor

The charms of Rome are obvious – put simply it transcends the monotony that characterizes too many other cities. Blessed is the man who goes beyond the evidence because every single street of the eternal city has a secret waiting to be discovered, a little gem preciously hidden, an unexpected source of joy, of unique beauty, of perpetual enlightenment. Each time I have walked down the narrow alleys, discovering a sumptuous palazzo, a craftsman’s studio or an anonymous little boutique, my path has always led me to the most surprising places. Rome is famous for its vibrant colours competing with the sun, but it’s probably during the night when lovers rest that the treasure hunt is the most exciting.

2. What inspires you in this city?

Local

Contraddictions, above all. Old suburbs that became new centers, like Mandrione, Torpignattara, Quadraro, neighbourhoods in the est, where violent poetry is given by abusiveness of the sixties mixed with antique roman architecture. Thousand of old and new stories in a handful of kilometers with no logic and no balance. Everything is there just to be perchance descovered.

Visitor

Rome is a city that oozes beauty. Well-balanced proportions, light and shades, forms and curves are around every corner. No one ignores the temples, the churches, the villas… but the gardens? There I found the Hesperides’. Rome has inspired generations and it will no doubt continue to do so for centuries. Between rose-trees and terracotta, the art of gardening as it has been practiced there should inspire all our cities. As the saying goes, all paths lead to Rome. In that sense, all of us come from Rome.

3. What works for you very well in the city?

Local

The center continues to be the most efficent part of the city, even if the most part of roman people moved to live outside. A big Luna Park for tourists and strangers, with thousand of excellent and well manteined architecture treasures, it makes of Roma one of the most suggestive cities in the world.

Visitor

The alchemy of human contacts are never as magical as they can be in Rome. Those who have visited one of its markets – just think of the Campo dei Fiori – will confirm it because there you can hear the sun, you can smell the voices, you can taste the smiles and see the mysterious nuances of fragrances. No wall, no rule, no pre-defined route to follow. In those places of exchange where moments are shared, products from the land pass from one hand to another to perpetuate another art which Rome celebrates gloriously: gastronomy. Rome’s heart will forever be in its markets.

4. What would you do better?

Local

Tangenziale Est is a big monster of cement built during the sixties to regularize traffic. Still on function, It could be converted in some ecologic destination. People would like but institutions donʼt answer about it since years. It could become a great occasion to create green areas for bikes and walking, an experiment of recycling, as other european cities already did with similar buildings.

Visitor

Rome has all reasons to be proud. But while every single street is a living testimony of how the most gifted artists could shape stones and stucco, today’s citizens tend to forget that such a cultural heritage requires protection. I acknowledge that creativity also comes from the fusion of contrasting styles but I think that investing more in the past will also preserve Rome’s future as well as our own.

5. How would you do it better?

Local

Cedric took this photo in the neighbourhood of Villa Borghese. Protecting the cultural heritage means also to stimulate the new, and sometimes the solution is not to clean or to mantain everything as it was. I put on the wall an illustration by MP5, one of the most talented new italian illustrators. I did it because yes, Roma is great, but often too powdery to really be a contemporary european capital.

Visitor

I can easily resonate with a purely mineral environment but when harmony and integration in the current space haven’t been part of the modernisation of the city in a holistic approach, the answer has to be organic. Climbing plants, green grass… and also facades rid of electric tentacules are a quick and easy answer to the monotony induced by concrete. The next step will be the natural re-appropriation of those green areas by humans in an effort to make the city alive in all meanings of the term.