5cense 571> Embarking on RomeRioni.com: roamin' the Roman rione of Testaccio (R.XX)

8 Feb 2018 | Roma> So we d-sided not to subject u, dear Inurnet subjects, to our butchering of the lingua italiana by scribing in italian here... still on the fence weather we want to learn italian proper, thinkin' now dat we kinda dig not knowing what folks is a'sayin, being the fish outta water... plus its hard enuff mustering to maintain our current lexicon wich aint got nada to do w/ italiano, sino amerikin english + bits of spañole. We also aint gonna bore u w/ the day to day d-tails of our repatriation (like we done b4 when we moved here in 2010) + apartment search (tho the ink aint dry we found a place, wich we'll reveal in due time, suffice to say it's in the attic of Palazzo Colonna, p.zza SS. Apostoli 66) + getting carte d'identità + codici fiscali (Italy's version of SS#) + bank accts, etc... halving to sign our signature on so menny forms we gettin' carpal tunnel! But we almost legit denizens now. For a while dare aft'r we gave up our merikin # we was thinkin' of going phoneless, or at least sans smart-phone, but we broke down + got an droid vodafone cuz the time we most in dire need = this 1° week or 2 when we hit the ground runnin', house-hunting + whatnot. So hola if u need our +39 digits.

11 Feb> As we donned shoes for our weekly long walk this morning we got to thinkin' how we did the Maphattan Project + figgered why not do Rome the same way? Flâneuring strada per strada. Sure, we considered doing D.C. during our 2+ yrs ther but the prospect of dat dint seem like much fun... what does dat say bout D.C.? Doing the eternal city in such a systematic fashion as Maphattan might pose a challenge, considering the rats nest of alleys + streets, far from the organized grid of Manhattan. So the thinkin' is dat we gunna tackle Rome by rioni (districts), of wich dare be 22 (XXII in Roman #s) in toetill + since we's currently bedding down on the Aventino, close to Testaccio (rione XX), figgered she's as good a place as inny to start, the southernmost rione (in orange below).

If we blow up Testaccio (R.XX) dis be what she looks like:

... probly the most grid-like of all the rioni, dat we could systematically traverse street x street + in fact we did + then sum yesterday (10.FEB.2018), all in all about 11 km. We aint gonna put in nearly the mileage as maphattan, less exorcising + more eating + sight-seeing... not dat we aint traversed all the streets of Testaccio b4 + eaten at most all the restraunts, but this forzes us to stop + smell the fiori, to consider d-tails perhaps we dint know or stooped to think about + then rehash it here in our own parole... + in case u stumbled upon this unbeknownst, dis aint some bait + switch blog where we a'tempt to upsell u on sumpin' like our travel services or cookbook, these just be our jaded + cynical views, often tethered to our musings on books + general weirdness dat might halve nuttin' to do w/ innything, all in the name of art... + be 4-warned dat often we digress into the vox of whatever charactor we might be methud actin' for, currently Anon I'm us, a 12-yr-old street urchin of unknown sex + ethnicity co-missioned by our patron Cal A. Mari to write vol II of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' + apparently now to document the Roman roamings of Cal + his bedder-½, wich we aim todo in this here pocket-sized quaderno dat we bot back when we lived here but haven't had a use for till now.

Here we go... R.XX. We always figgered Testaccio ment sumthing like 'big head' cuz testa = head, but seams testa also means 'pot' in latin. Ends up Testaccio is named for the unnofficial 8° hill of Rome, Monte de Cocci, or 'hill of pottery shards'... a massive garbedge dump cumpliled of cashed oil vessels that accomodated ancient Rome's 7.5 million liters/yr olive oil habit... guess they couldn't re-use or recycle them cuz of them oily residuals. In it's day, Testaccio was the port of Rome, where not only did they import olive oil, but livestock to be butchered. It's still considered to be Rome's working class hood + in recent years a foodie haven.

Piramide + Porta San Paolo (2018)


same scene back in 1865 (from Roma Sparita)

Made sense to start our 1° official Rome-ing @ the piramide dat anchors the SE corner of R.XX. Til recently, Rome had these old metal signs in each rione, often graffiti'd over or rusted out beyond legibility, but cool nevertheless. Seems they've since replaced them w/ ugly plastic billboards w/ barcodes u can scan w/ your dumbphone + figger out what's what. But all the street signs still bear the rhione # in the upper right corner.

Not only does Testaccio got a street named for the dude dat discovered a merika, but they got another named for «Beniamino» Franklin. From the pyramid we followed the wall (perhaps at the end of all this wheel completely circumnavigate the n-tire 19 km length of the Aurelian Wall). From dare, we dint follow no pertickler order, just wandered back + forth thru the streets.

portion of Aurelian wall seperating Testaccio from Ostiense
(photo taken our last week living in Rome in 2012)

Thing is we don't even really need to take photos as we've snapped shots of most everything already. Like in this post we posted another shot of the pyramid + scenes of rione XX, inklooting the Roa Wolf, wich now gots a kiddie playground at hits base, so aint as photogenic.

fire stn on Marmorata


P.O. along Marmorata (technically in R.XXI)


Trattoria Perilli

On this walk today we stop'd for osso buco, melanzane + puntarelle @ Ristorante Pecorino (perhaps worth ★★★★ out of 5), but another night last week we had carbonara @ the above Trattoria Perilli (wich we'd give may'b ★★★). Another night we ate @ Felice, not that we planned on it, but it was a sunday, sorta early for Rome standards (7:30) + other places we wanted to go to were closed. We'd give Felice 1 cuz of their shitty attitude, 1 of them snobby new-fangled places dat make u wait til you're ½-way done eating for a sommelier to push overpriced wine on u, wich aint the Roman way yo. We've bin there a few times over the yrs, we'd just forgotten what dicks they was. Around the corner from Pecorino is Checchino dal 1887 (), sposedly 1 of the oldest ristorantes in Roma, famous for offal, but we member it being sorta awful. Pizzeria da Remo is decent (★★) if our memory serves us, not the best as sum think. Oh, in the slaughterhouse is Stazione Poste (★★), wich is 1 of them modern extra-sensory gastro places, a nice change may'b when you's sick of the typical 3 dishes dat 99% of Roman restraunts offer up, but expensivo no doubt. Lo Scopettaro sticks out cuz they had sum fried pepper dish we dug, but we dont member mush Ls about it. Fraschetta di Mastrogiorgio (★★) is a reliable not-so-touristy place we bin to a few times, whose shtick is serving bread in a brown paper bag. We wint to dat newish sushi joint (Junsei) in the market once when it 1st opened + recall it being decent if you's despirate for raw fish. Sure we've been to other places in R.XX, but nothing Ls sticks out worth writing home about. Not sure we've been to Al Grottino Dal 1936 yet but we got a few nights left in this hood [made a rez for questa sera][(★★) perty good pizza fo shore, we got 4 diffrent 1s... they kicked us out of the table they sat us at but when they told us some family (straight out of Little Miss Sunshine) wanted to sit there cuz it's the last place they ate before the grandpa died, it was cool].

Sides food, we plan to drink from every nasone along the way + include a pic of at least 1 from every rione, starting w/ this 1, which sticks out cuz it's along route iii of our Rome running routes so we've gulped menny a handfulls from this lion's everflowing mouth:


may'b we ate here 2, cant say fer sure [update 25/2: went for pranzo + it rocked ★★½]


the «villagio globale» .. i.e. hobocamp for gyspys + immigrants + squatters down on their luck

+ the nearby banks of the Tiber in R.XX got a high concentration of Roma camps, from the other side looks like a garbage dump cuz them gypsys just chuck all their shit down the banks into the river. Dare's also a bunch of seedy niteclubs byond the slaughterhouse + in generule a popular neck of woods for street art + other hipster nonsense.






il mattatoio


Since last we was here seems the branch of Macro that was housed in the slaughterhouse was riplaced or renamed to a museum called Mattatoio (apt enuff). All sorts of other new develipments a'happening in this complex. We got a macchiato at that bar in back + pressed on.


Sides nasoni, reckon we also gunna inkloot @ least 1 shot of them blank billboards we bin seeing all over town... tho way things are going they'll probly soon be covered w/ Berlusconi propaganda.

via Cestio (dude bury'd in the piramide)


Bin to the protestant cemetary plenty a times b4, in fact rubbed our share of tombstones in our rubbeing dayz, inklooting the graves of Keats + Shelly.



along via Beniamino Franklin (wall also shown in this post in better light)



new Testaccio mercato bilt on the ancient ruins of an old Roman market from B.C. times


Greenwich theatre + S. Maria Liberatrice




Porticus Aemelia (bilt in 193 B.C.) sandwich'd b-tween modern tenements


Porticus Aemelia


typical Testaccio tenement block

The final scene of P. P. Pasolini's Accattone (1961) was filmed in Testaccio—the police chase him down Benjamin Franklin street + he dies outside the slaughterhouse near the Testaccio bridge:


Pasolini sitting on Monte dei Cocci, w/ gasometro in distance

Scenes from Ettore Scola's Brutti, Sporch e Cattivi (1976) were also filmed in Testaccio, along via Marmorata. And a number of films used the ex-slaughterhouse, including Rossellini's Dov'è la libertà (1952, when it was still a slaughterhouse):

The scene in I Soliti ignoti (1958), where a despirate + dipressed Cosimo robs the ol lady then meets his fate under a tram is in Testaccio, on Ben Franklin St... tho there ain't streetcars in Testaccio no mo.




A.S. Roma HQ

Testaccio also houses the headquarters for the Roma (futbol) club, so dont be sportin' no Lazio jerseys in these parts.

the most Roman hood


fontana Anfore in the new main piazza, where the old market used to be


 570 <( )> 572 > R.XII. un RiParian loser brother puts d bank in river w/adamjam'd spacebar!#rippin'cloacamaximanewJanus

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