Free Garbatella: A photo tour through Rome's revolutionary 'garden city' known for its street art
- Located in the outskirts of Rome, Garbatella is known both for its revolutionary, century-old housing experiment and as one of the best places to see Rome's street art.
- Photographer Bruno Federico visited Garbatella to capture its spirit of rebellion and creativity.
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Garbatella is a working class neighborhood in the outskirts of Rome. It's known for a century-old housing project that serves as a reminder of how good urban design can make for happy urban spaces. It's also home to some of the most interesting street art in the Italian capital.
Built in 1920 to house workers from nearby factories, Garbatella was itself a revolutionary idea: A garden-city with public low-cost housing and space to relax and commune with neighbours.
Today, Garbatella remains a wonderful example of the Barochetto Romano. While high-rise buildings would become the dominant form of public housing in the later years of the mid-20th Century, Garbatella, with its winding streets and lush courtyards, is a place where greenery and urbanisation coexist.
The neighborhood is rich in social and culture initiatives and its walls and building facades tell a story of rebellion and the struggle for a better future. Walking through Garbatella, you'll see art that takes on the destruction of the environment, racism and the criminalisation of the migration, the dystopic model of the city, and the cause of Free Palestine.
A common site along one street is Mrs Gisella, who at 81 likes to stay at her windows to greet neighbours and people-watch. She says that Garbatella it is a quiet and pleasant place to live.
Murals also celebrate the neighbourhood's past, like the lady "Garbatella" who is thought to have given the neighbourhood its name, and the Roman singer, Alvaro Amici, who grew up in Garbatella.
One mural pays tribute to Enrico Mancini, an Italian anti-fascist partisan who was captured and tortured by the Nazis. He was among the 335 civilians and political prisoners killed by Nazis in Rome on March 24, 1944, at the Fosse Ardeatine massacre in Rome.
The Case Rosse Social Center is a local bar and cafe, but it's also much more than that. The group offers free classes to migrants, organises cultural and social activities, and runs a food bank.
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