Rome Villa Lazzaroni sunlight pigeon

Tuscolano District In Rome – Enjoy The Lively Cultural Environment

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A journey to discover the northern area of Tuscolano, one of the liveliest, well connected and multiethnic districts of Rome.

Tuscolano District

Where is Tuscolano District?

The Tuscolano neighborhood crosses a large area of Rome in a south-east direction. The neighborhood begins just outside the historic center and ends before the Acquedotti park. The Tuscolano winds its way along the Via Tuscolana and is bordered by the Via Appia to the south and the Via Casilina to the north.

rome villa lais horse sculpture

Via Tuscolana begins in Piazza Re di Roma, just outside the walls, a short distance from Piazza San Giovanni which houses the imposing archbasilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.

rome villa lazzaroni sunlight leaves

The fascist regime developed the Tuscolano neighborhood between the 1920s and 1930s. The regime planned to expand and urbanize the city outside the ancient walls, in order to expel the poor population from the more central areas, which were supposed to act as a showcase for fascism. Thus the Roman villages were born, places that for many years remained unhealthy and victims of illegal building.

Tuscolano District Today

Today, the Tuscolano neighborhood appears densely populated, but rather wealthy, because it benefits from its proximity to the center and a better transport system than what Rome generally offers. Along the road communication routes, there are 7 metro stops on the red line A, 1 stop on the green metro line C, and 1 interchange stop between the two lines. Furthermore, the Tuscolana railway station represents an important connection both to the central Termini station and Fiumicino airport.

rome tuscolano nord empty sign

The neighborhood does not have extraordinary historical finds, but it is pleasant for its villas, parks, street art, delicious food, and excellent drinks. At the same time, visiting the neighborhood, you discover the incessant presence of ancient Roman aqueducts. Walking along its streets, the traveler discovers a peaceful multi-ethnic environment, with many communities that have learned to coexist with Roman citizens, full of entertainment and services of all kinds.

rome villa lais flowers tree

We begin our journey just outside the walls, in Piazzale Appio, in front of the Coin shopping center, where the “San Giovanni” metro stop hosts both the metro C and the metro A. From here, the traveler has two choices. He can walk along via La Spezia in a north-east direction, or along via Appia Nuova in a south-east direction.

Villa Fiorelli

The park of Villa Fiorelli

The traveler who travels along Via La Spezia notices elegant Art Nouveau buildings. After a pleasant walk of about 1 km, the traveler reaches Piazza Lodi, where the “Lodi” metro C stop is located. Nearby, you can discover Villa Fiorelli, the smallest of the historic villas in the area.

rome villa fiorelli park tuscolano

The well-known designer Raffaele De Vico designed the garden of Villa Fiorelli, as well as the park of Colle Oppio, the Central Lake Park in EUR and the Virgiliano park.

rome villa fiorelli lamp pigeon

In the past, the area appeared as a vineyard owned by the Costantini family, who were married to the Fiorellis. Subsequently, the Municipality expropriated Villa Fiorelli, demolished the dilapidated buildings and commissioned De Vico to create a square that would also serve as a garden.

rome villa fiorelli park trees

Today, the square maintains the appearance designed by De Vico. It stands out because it divides the lower part, full of children’s games, from the higher part, a suitable place for walking pets and resting in the shade of the trees.

rome villa fiorelli pine sky

The garden is surrounded by a pedestrian area where many children play ball. Here, someone has drawn the words “Villa Fiorelli” on a wall.

rome villa fiorelli street art

Two tiny theatres

In front of the villa, Via Crema is home to two small theatres. The Planet theater is located at number 14. Under the artistic direction of the actress Caterina Costantini, the Planet theater often organizes shows linked to the glorious years of Italian cinema, which after the Second World War was among the most important in the world.

At number 8 there is a small but charming theater which seats just 52 spectators. The Duse Theater is named after the great actress Eleonora Duse, also known for having been romantically linked to the famous poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. Unfortunately, the Duse theater is directed by Sandro Torella, an unpleasant comedian who thinks he can make people laugh by attacking science and denying the usefulness of masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Via Appia Nuova

Piazza Re di Roma

The Via Appia Nuova appears like a large artery, full of parking lots in its centre. Especially in the vicinity of Piazza San Giovanni, you can see some shops of famous brands, such as Zara, Luisa Spagnoli and Intimissimi, as well as cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets. Walking along the shops, the traveler reaches Piazza Re di Roma, a large roundabout with a big garden in the centre. In the center of the gardens there is the lift that takes you to the “Re di Roma” Metro A stop.

Via Tuscolana winds from the square, which gives its name to the neighborhood. Here via Appia Nuova and via Tuscolana bifurcate and become increasingly distant. The first passes south of the Castelli Romani, crossing Ciampino airport, until reaching Brindisi, in Puglia. The other heads towards the northern area of Castelli Romani, concluding its short journey in Frascati.

Initially, the Via Tuscolana appears to be less elegant and interesting than the Appia. Therefore, in this stretch, we recommend travelers to continue walking along the Appia following the route of Metro A. Soon, you will reach the Metro A stop “Ponte Lungo”. If you walk along the multi-ethnic Via Gela from the Metro A stop, you can easily reach the “Roma Tuscolana” train station.

The traveler who continues on Via Appia can cross the bridge over the railway to go to another famous Roman square, that of Alberone.

Piazza dell’Alberone

Here there was a tree that gave its name to the square. Recently, the municipality tried to reintroduce a large tree so that the appearance of the square would match its name. Unfortunately, every time the municipality planted a large tree, accidents occurred. Once the tree withered, other times it was felled either by a truck or by a water bomb. The administration finally planted a 6 meter tree.

Around the square, examples of urban art overlap. On an electrical control unit, the artist Diavù used the stencil technique (the mask on which the spray is passed) to create one of his 100 works, part of the art project “The time of walnuts”.

The time of walnuts painted by Diavù

The artist collaborated with the toy shop “La città del sole” to remember the old games of Roman children, who used walnuts as marbles. This tradition gave rise to the expression “abandoning the time of walnuts”, which means leaving childhood.

Gollum trunks Andrea Gandini

The very young artist Andrea Gandini carved three trunks of dead trees depicting people’s faces. Personally, they are reminiscent of Gandalf and Gollum of the “Lord of the rings”.

trunks carved by Andrea Gandini

I remember then that it was a real shame not to have photographed the washing machine that some rude person had left among the dustbins some time ago. 

Gollum trunks via Appia Nuova Roma

On the abandoned washing machine, an artist had drawn a face using the porthole as a mouth, just before the garbage collectors removed it.

Gandalf trunks Andrea Gandini

Further ahead, you can glimpse the Alberone club, a historic section of the communist party. In 1978, during the years of lead, the young communist Ivo Zini was killed here by neo-fascists who were never identified. A small plaque commemorates those confused years, in which terrorists bloodied the capital, as in the case of the Verbano murder.

rome tuscolano nord ivo zini

Villa Lazzaroni

A little further on, the traveler comes across the “Furio Camillo” metro A station. In front of the station, there is the small Happio shopping center, which contains shops such as “Decathlon” and “H&M”. The catering department houses one of the few KFC restaurants in Rome.

rome villa lazzaroni sun tree

A little further on, you notice a wall that separates the sidewalk from a public park. Villa Lazzaroni is a large green area with wide avenues which houses a small playground.

rome villa lazzaroni pond sunlight

The Lazzaroni family, belonging to the rich Roman bourgeoisie, acquired the area at the end of the 19th century, after the Pope had granted them noble titles. The villa and the park were used by the family to underline their new social status.

rome villa lazzaroni pony family
rome villa lazzaroni vase path

The park hosts a small theater that offers a rich programme, under the artistic direction of Giancarlo Sammartano.

rome villa lazzaroni women path

Furthermore, the branch offices of the VII Municipality of Rome are located here. Despite trying to complete the paperwork here, my friend has never been able to use these services.

rome villa lazzaroni town hall

When he went to the Town Hall offices, they told him that some services can only be requested online, others at affiliated newsstands. Once, they diverted him to the municipal offices in the center of Rome.

rome villa lazzaroni sunset dog

Once, my friend would actually have been able to use the municipal offices. But, one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the premises of Villa Lazzaroni were closed because they did not ensure the containment measures of the virus.

rome villa lazzaroni lion sculpture

He therefore had to go to the offices of the main headquarters of Municipality VII, in the Cinecittà district.

rome villa lazzaroni pond trees

Here, the crush of crowds that accumulated inside the offices guaranteed a safe spread of the virus, rather than its containment.

rome villa lazzaroni fountain park

Via Tuscolana

Villa Lais

The area between Via Appia and Via Tuscolana in front of Villa Lazzaroni presents itself as the beating heart of the neighborhood. Here, the traveler can get lost in the streets teeming with shops.

rome tuscolano santa maria ausiliatrice

In this area, Via Santa Maria Ausiliatrice is the most important axis that connects the two main streets of the neighborhood.

rome villa lais roof decoration

Having arrived on Via Tuscolana, the traveler comes across the Basilica of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, a beautiful modern church. Behind the church, the road rises slightly and leads to the park of Villa Lais.

rome villa lais fountain water

Villa Lais is a small green area that stands out for its cleanliness and attention to detail. While Villa Lazzaroni stands out for its tree-lined avenues, Villa Lais has narrow streets crowded with palm trees, flowers and hedges.

rome villa lais door arch

In 1906, the Lais family acquired an area formerly used as a vineyard to build a villa. Subsequently, the urban expansion of Rome reduced the area, before the Municipality became its owner.

rome villa lais dove mosaic

The villa today appears as an Art Nouveau parallelepiped located in the center of the park. It stands out for its rounded side which houses a door decorated with a mosaic depicting two doves. Inside the villa, the city of Rome has adorned a room to celebrate civil weddings.

rome villa lais children play

The park is always very crowded, with children looking out in front of the fountain, playing football along the avenues or around the amphitheatre. The latter is an open-air building that can host shows in summer.

Angelini Headquarters

Near Villa Lais, there is Via Nocera Umbra, a large street where the two-way traffic is separated by a pedestrian path that includes gardens, games and benches. One of the few modern buildings in the capital stands hidden among the other buildings that populate Via Nocera Umbra.

rome villa lais lamp light

The building that houses the headquarters of the Angelini pharmaceutical company is in fact a futuristic and environmentally sustainable building. The Roman architects of Studio Transit and Studio Pinci have recently created this beautiful innovative work.

Food & Drinks

The northern area of the neighborhood is the one best connected to the historic center of Rome. Consequently, it offers numerous places for both sweet and savory dining options for tourists and residents.

rome ribs osteria cavaliere potatoes

Near Piazza di Ponte Lungo, in via Alba, travelers can dine in one of the best restaurants in the capital, the Osteria del Cavaliere. We highly recommend the baked pork rib, marinated in wine, topped with roast potatoes.

For a simple refreshment, the Super Q-Qualità sandwich shop is excellent. The traveler can in fact taste any flavour, associated with regional Italian specialities. The sandwich shop is located in via Appia Nuova, near the Happio shopping center.

rome cake sweet dolce cuo

In Piazza dell’Alberone, we advise you not to miss Dolce cuò, one of the pastry shops that we love most in Rome. In particular, their croissants are delicious. Near the “Lodi” station you can instead enjoy a zeppola, in the excellent “La Zeppola” pastry shop. The zeppola is a dessert aimed at celebrating the feast of San Giuseppe on March 19th and is typical to eat during the month of carnival.

rome zeppola pastry

In front of Villa Fiorelli, travelers can drink an excellent cocktail or enjoy a good plate of pasta at the Tira e Molla restaurant. A valid place both for eating at all hours of the day (the kitchen is always open) and for socializing with friends over an aperitif.

Written by Enrico, Translated by Hua and Photos from Hua

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