Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 700 posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Garage Art: the Pinup in Rome

Grease monkeys like their pinups.  Back where the work is done, where the oil is changed and the tires rotated, there's usually a poster or calendar featuring a fetching young thing in short shorts straddling a motorcycle or leaning over a front fender, ready to replace a spark plug or remove the air filter. 

Center: A helpful auto repairman approaches woman in distress. 
That's true in the US, anyway--at least that's how I remember it--and when I walked by the garage (photo above), on Via Nocera Umbra in a sedate, middle-class area of the quartiere of Tuscolano, I was sure I had stumbled upon the tip of the pinup iceberg.  Surely Rome's mechanics had their calendar girls, too.  I imagined coming upon one suggestive display after another, the sum proving my theory that men are men, mechanics mechanics, and garage art garage art, the world over. 

To make a long story short, I never found another,  Despite zealous, even intrusive observation of every garage I passed on my walks through Rome's neighborhoods, I never found another pinup.  Not a one. 

Where had I gone wrong?  Italy is not a prissy culture, or a censorius one.  For many years the television show "Colpo Grosso" was well known for women "flashing" their breasts.  And today, stores selling sun-tan lotions advertise their wares in the window using luscious top-less cardboard models.  No, it's not that Italians are squeamish about sex or sexiness.

A better explanation has to do with the shape of Rome's car and scooter repair industry.  Many of the shops are small, shallow, room-size affairs, big enough for one or two lifts and tools, and they're open to the sidewalk, so that passers-by are close to the action inside.  The calendar pinups would be there, revealed in all their immodesty to every school girl and grandmother.  Perhaps not the best idea. 
Bill

No comments: