Rome desperately needs more underground transportation, and the city is making an effort to provide it. The current project is Metro C, designed to connect Rome's eastern suburbs with the central city, and to connect stations along its 18 km route to existing lines A and B. Stations on the eastern part of the C line have been completed and are operational; we've walked that route and shown our readers some of the new stations and neighborhoods they serve.
The inner-city section, where the all-important connections with other lines will be made, is under construction. When completed, there will be a new Amba Aradam station at Porta Metronia, serving a large and heavily populated neighborhood (one of our favorite places to live) to the south and east of the Coliseum, with completion to the Colosseo station and Metro B. The C line will also connect with Metro A at San Giovanni. The completion date for these connections is 2022. And there may be a station under Piazza Venezia, if it proves possible to do the work without destruction of too much Roman heritage.
The plan sketched above seems reasonable, and we're looking forward to riding the fully-automated line, assuming we live that long. In the meantime, those who live near or adjacent to the construction route face years of irritation and disruption: noise, of course, and traffic problems caused by re-routing, but more important, hundreds of yards of tall metal Metro fencing, sometimes within a few feet of apartment buildings that not so long ago were adjacent to small parks, a tennis club, a soccer field, and a portion of a Roman wall. In short, Metro C has its human costs. That said, when the work is completed, residents of adjacent areas will have some of the best Metro connections in the city.
A few months ago we toured the construction zone near Porta Metronia. The tour begins at the porta and runs southeast down via Ipponio, turns left at a nameless, curving street just beyond via dei Laterani, and left again on via della Ferratella in Laterano. Here we go.
|From Porta Metronia|
|Down via Ipponio. A tennis club at left escaped the construction--for now.|
|Inside the yellow walls|
|Yellow walls outside your door. Trees inside and outside the construction zone.|
|Turn left here for the hospital and the church. Sure.|
|Looking back. Pedestrian crossing. |
|This one's particularly depressing.|
|This used to be a nice street to walk on, to a supermarket.|
|Eugene Debs, the American socialist labor leader?|
|Headed back toward Porta Metronia. The sign says the parking spaces are reserved for motorcyles (and scooters, no doubt). Romans are adept at marking things off with tape.|
|There's a Roman wall on the other side of the yellow wall.|
|One of the pleasures of a walk like this is reading the posters. This one says Dino, hands in the air, was shot and killed by|
a police officer.
|A small park, largely intact despite the construction, close to Porta Metronia, where we began.|