Monday, August 15, 2016
It isn't the gardens of the presidential palace. It isn't where the Pope takes his morning tea. It isn't even the Arco di Costantino (Arch of Constantine) Golf Club, off via Flaminia.
What we have here is the entrance to the ATAC Dopolavoro. ATAC is Rome's Transport Agency, and dopolavoro means "after work." This is where ATAC employees go to have fun, after work. There's a long history of dopolavori in the transportation sector of Rome; the railroad dopolavoro is storied and quite elaborate. And we have nothing against workers having fun.
But ATAC is the agency Romans love to hate; it brings one sciopero (strike) after another, causing residents and tourists untold grief. Its subway system closes earlier than it should. And its buses are notoriously undependable. What is dependable is the dopo lavoro--lots of tennis courts and other play spaces, right up against the east bank of the Tevere. Workers' kids can take a class in canoeing. They may do croquet on that trimmed lawn. You can have a look--from the street--if you're in the area.