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Garbatella is a poetic neighborhood

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Garbatella is a poetic neighbourhood.

Garbatella is a maze of courtyards, each one with its own gardens, squares, stairs, balconies and fountains.

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella is the decadent charm of its small houses built with a refinement and a preciousness that other Roman suburbs don’t have, according to a tradition of eclectic, noble architecture -whose references range from Borromini to the Futurist movement and Art Deco.
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella is sociality: people gathering at the local bar while children play soccer in the middle of the square, students hanging out for a drink and old men arguing about the football match at the corner of the street. It’s a neighborhood with an exceptional sense of community!
Garbatella is a striking detail: it can be a stair, a chimney, a relief, a fountain, an old street lamp or a raw wall.
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella is a Roman dish: all around the neighborhood you can taste some authentic traditional cuisine entering one of its many trattorie (the more shabby, the better!).
Garbatella is a bag full of biological vegetables from the farmers’ market.
Garbatella is a concert at La Strada (a very popular squatted place in Rome) and a beer sipped on the steps just outside its entrance.
la strada csoa Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Garbatella is street art, don’t forget to look up!

C215 street art in garbatella, rome

street art by C215 in Garbatella, Rome

sten&lex street art in garbatella, rome

street art by Sten&Lex in Garbatella, Rome

alice street art in garbatella, rome

street art by Alice in Garbatella, Rome

space invader street art in garbatella, rome

street art by Space Invader in Garbatella, Rome

C215 street art in garbatella, rome

street art by C215 in Garbatella, Rome

I love this neighborhood so much that when I moved back to Rome I looked for an accommodation around here, fascinated by its relaxed lifestyle, its authenticity and most of all its courtyards, where the life of the neighborhood still takes place.

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Actually all my best Garbatella’s memories are all somehow linked to its beautiful courtyards: one night I had a romantic walk under the stars crossing one courtyard after another and ending up at the railway -which is the border of the neighborhood- and I was impressed by the fact that you can cross the whole neighborhood off-the-beaten paved path, taking a charming walk across Garbatella’s picturesque courtyards instead.

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Or when I had such a shitty day at work that I took my lunch bag and headed until my favorite courtyard to enjoy the approaching spring and let bad feelings blur away.
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
What I love most about these courtyards is that they can be at the same time intimate and open, a meeting point and a quiet island to recover from the chaotic metropolis all around, and they are crowded with beautiful flowers and plants.
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Garbatella: a bit of Background

Garbatella is a 1920s working class neighborhood inspired by the english concept of “Garden City” (an urban area “intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by greenbelts, containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture“) and -together with Città Giardino– it is the most beautiful example of Garden City in Rome. Garbatella is a peaceful island within Ostiense neighbourhood which -at that time- was becoming the Industrial district of the new capital town of Italy.
When Mussolini destroyed the urban structure of the historic centre, many residents were evicted and moved inside the two big buildings at the entrance of Garbatella -which served as hotels to host people that were waiting for an accommodation- and eventually brought to their assigned social houses.
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Also Jews moved to Garbatella during WWII persecutions and once there they didn’t built a close community as everywhere else but mingled with locals, who themselves showed great solidarity and protected them from the Fascist troops.

Everything changes, especially in such a big city as Rome; and Garbatella already started its transition from a working class neighborhood to a cultural district (with the re-opening of the Palladium theatre and the inauguration of the third University of Rome) but the neighborhood hasn’t lost its authentic charm.

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy
Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Garbatella: Eating out

Here is my Top-5 list of places to eat out in Garbatella:
ARdente (CSOA La Strada), via degli Armatori 2: a cozy and very homey place with simple but tasty food. It is inside La Strada squatted place, so the company is always interesting and fun.
Casetta Rossa, via Magnaghi 14: I am not crazy about its cuisine, but their outside garden is the place where I’d like to spend all my summer nights! They also organize several activities and events, as they are really involved in the life of the neighborhood.

Al Solito Posto, largo delle Sette Chiese 16: a gourmet bar perfect to have a draft beer with friends, often it organizes live music concerts and many other live events.

La Maisonnette, via Giacinto Pullino 103: a brand new restaurant in Garbatella within an unusual location.
Il Ristoro degli Angeli, via Luigi Orlando 2: this place is renowned all around Rome, so it is also more expensive than the previous ones, but if it is so well-known there should be a reason, right?

Find these and many more cool spots in my Rome Google Map!

Garbatella neighborhood, Rome, Italy

Would you like to explore Rome off the beaten path with me?

Then book one of my alternative walking tours in Rome!

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