|Piazza Salerno. It looks peaceful and isn't. At left,|
1929 housing for railroad employees.
|A remnant of Fascism|
|You could be in Vienna|
|Unlikely the sign is as old as the building, but|
it's cool anyway.
The statues above the impressive curved façade represent the arts. Today, two theaters and what appears to be a defunct bar, Binario Uno (Track One) occupy the space.
Just around the corner to the west, on via Como, a set of lovely elevated statues depict the four social virtues and bridge the art nouveau and art deco styles. Beneath them, an entrance decorated
|One of the four social virtues: a good body|
Beyond the architectural pleasures of the area, there are social and political lessons to be gleaned: that railroad workers had considerable power, as they did elsewhere at this time (e.g., in the United States, where in 1934 they were rewarded with the Railroad Retirement Act); that the Mussolini regime sought to provide reasonable housing for the industrial working class; that Fascism, for all its faults, valued good architecture and, more remarkably, supported the arts. Oh, yes: privatization is everywhere.
The railroads, if not railroad workers, remain important to Italians, as we discovered on our next stop, Piazza del Popolo, where a chunk of one of the most Europe's most elegant squares had been
|Another good use for Piazza del Popolo|
Not so. After a few minutes waiting in line, we were handed 3-D glasses and ushered into a small (and stuffy) theater, where we watched a short film of a very fast train ripping silently through the Italian
Our third railroad event of the day was a bit of serendipity. Having been turned away from a neighborhood restaurant on via Taranto ("all sold out"), and famished from another hard day of tourism, this wandering couple happened upon La Veranda, a pizzeria at via Appia and, most
|Entrance to the pizzeria - not exactly the club car.|
RST acknowledges Eva Masini, Piazza Bologna: Alle Origini di un Quartiere 'Borghese' (Milano: FrancoAngeli, 2009).