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Tram 8 Depot Moves to Piazza Venezia

9 May

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You do realize that someone actually got hired and paid to design a logo for this, do you not? The mind boggles.

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Subtitled: The shitshow formerly known as Largo Argentina/Via Florida/Via della Botteghe Oscure

I swear to God, the passage is so limited crossing Via delle Botteghe Oscure now, that there was this American middle-aged couple last week that caused a major scene. Husband, overweight and majorly grumpy, starts yelling at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS (because clearly the entire area is cordoned off by metal fencing and frankly it’s confusing even for us locals to figure out how to cross the damn street now… they’ve even placed traffic cops with whistles there to help people figure it out) “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE FUC£$(£) DOING HERE! I’M TRYING MY BEST! YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING!” Poor wife. So embarrassed. All the locals nearby start staring. (Who’s the jackass yelling at his wife?!) The traffic cop lady starts blowing on her whistle like our lives depended on it. A local points to the couple. The lady traffic cop goes “SO?!!? Move it! He can scream as much as he wants!”

Oh, Rome, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

So, Largo Argentina is my stomping grounds. (I really just wanted an excuse to say stomping grounds. That’s fun.) I’ve always worked around this piazza and am happy to say so, because clearly I love this square. The gelato. The coffee. The coffee again. And again. The pizza. The theater. The dude named Amadeo who draws chalk murals on the sidewalk, and even merited a Part 2, for God’s sake! Let’s face it folks: I can’t get enough of this place.

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or Roma Nord, you’ve probably noticed that all hell has broken loose around Largo Argentina, due to the expansion of the 8 tram to Piazza Venezia.

Yes, you read me right: ATAC, or rather should I say Mayor Alemanno and his crew, a.k.a. la giunta, decided to extend the 8 line basically THREE BLOCKS. Isn’t that how far 450 meters is? I can’t find any explanation as to why, except that apparently the original plan was to get the 8 tram to head up Via Nazionale and on over to Termini, which is where the 40 Express bus takes people. See, now, that would have been nice. So, I’m a bit confused about the whole thing, but then again, what isn’t confusing around here when it comes to city politics? (Note: mayoral elections coming up at end of month! Brace yourselves! What’s that, you say? Already accusations of corrupted vote-buying? Oh, stop it now! Not here!)

Instead, we get the depot moved a few blocks over to Piazza Venezia, where mystical fortune tellers the city says that it will provide a connection to the much-ballyhooed Metro C.

Shall we go there?

You see, my friends, the Metro C is like a desert mirage. You believe it’s real, you see the signs that say behind there, work is taking place, archaeological investigations, whatnot. But no matter how far along you go, it never really appears. 2020, here we come! It’s only eight years away. Miracles can still happen.

Although I will give kudos to Metro B1. That is so Roman. Three extra stops, took SEVEN years. Seven. I’m not shitting you. (Pssst, come close! Did you know that there’s even a Metro D that’s been planned? Stop laughing! It’s not funny! Ok, they abandoned that folly last year. But still…)

Anyhoo, what does this exciting construction project that’s been going on for nearly a year now, bring us good citizens of Rome? Well, lots of noise, for starters. And a whole hell of a lot of traffic congestion. And confused bus riders who can’t tell from which day to the next where their bus stop is going to be moved to.

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But, look! Lookie here! I see three benches, too!

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Ok, fine, so they’re fenced off. What of it? The point is that they made the effort. And one day, those benches are going to serve an important purpose, I feel certain of that.

I dunno, folks. They talk about this exciting new “pedestrian area” in front of the theater, and I’m like, and? What are we going to do with a cement paved area in front of a whole lot of nothing? With no shade, no benches, and no worthwhile shops or services to speak of? I mean, they just paved over the old tracks where the 8 used to turn around to go back the other direction. BOH.

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It’s fun to complain, though. Complaining, bitching and moaning, free expression of totally unsolicited opinions: it’s all good sport around here. Love it!

So I just thought I’d throw in my two cents.

If traffic is an issue, why don’t we just use more of the city’s Bikesharing program?

Hey! Now that’s an idea! Now we’ve got our thinking caps on!

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Oops, never mind.

But, who cares, really? We’re in Rome! Let them eat gelato! I was so confused by the construction fences they’d set up the other day around my office, that I had to go back the other way as one end of my street was completely closed off. After this crazy detour, I found myself, oops, coincidence of coincidences, near enough to Gelateria Corona to just “pop in.” Holy CRAP. People! They have honey with chili pepper (HELLO!) and licorice with raspberry. Get on over there!

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16 Responses to “Tram 8 Depot Moves to Piazza Venezia”

  1. Marc May 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Question is:
    Why Rome?
    There are so many beautiful town in Italy where to live, and you have chosen the worst!!!
    🙂

  2. rosann May 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Ahhhh. I agree that Italy has many beautiful towns, but Rome is amazing. It has it frustrations, yes. But it is very beautiful and fascinating.

  3. SearchingForBernini May 10, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Ha! I just moved here and … Grazie for telling it like it is.

  4. Andrea Troiani May 10, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Sad (for a roman) and funny (for the rest of the world)! 😀
    I could write too much about metro B1 construction and our mayor’s administration, or why his council decided to link D line with “Rome 2020” olympic’s candidature. But I don’t.
    Just a little info for your audience: you call the place “largo Argentina”, but it hasn’t any connection with the South American country. The real name is “largo di torre Argentina”, because there’s a tower in a square corner dating back to the twelfth century. That tower was of the Argentina family.

  5. april dunleavy May 12, 2013 at 1:24 am #

    Has all the construction chased away the cat rescue group?

  6. ciaochowlinda May 14, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh now I’m totally confused. I used to live in Rome and took the tram from Large Argentino all the time. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. Does this mean I have to catch it at Pza. Venezia now?

  7. Andrea Troiani May 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    don’t worry, you can take the tram from Large of the Argentinas tower as always. It will be a normal tram stop, not the terminal.

  8. Un'americana a Roma May 16, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Always! Benvenuta a Roma!!

  9. Un'americana a Roma May 16, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Ciao Andrea! Thanks for the info on Largo di Torre Argentina. I know it’s Torre Argentina but for some reason I never call it that.
    Is it true that they assassinated Julius Caesar in the square there, because the Senate was meeting there that day? I always hear that.

  10. Un'americana a Roma May 16, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    No but that’s a really good question, especially because they’re under constant threat of being shut down, because they get absolutely no city support whatsoever and are run entirely by volunteers and donations. http://www.romancats.com/

  11. Un'americana a Roma May 16, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Not yet. For the moment the depot has been moved to Piazza Cairoli, which is like a block south of Largo Argentina.

  12. Un'americana a Roma May 16, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Yes, good point, basically all they’re doing is adding a stop, but I’m not sure if the stop is going to come back to Largo Argentina or remain at Piazza Cairoli permanently, who knows, because the curve happens right at Largo Argentina so I don’t see how it would actually stop there.

  13. simcek May 16, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    That picture of bikesharing is amazing.

    I guess it’s just someone who took the very concept of “bike-sharing” a bit too far.

  14. Andrea Troiani May 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    I know that you know, it was an info for the audience! 🙂
    Yes, it’s true, I watched a tv news about that, archaeologists found the stone where he died.

  15. Andrea Troiani May 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    You’ve right, but just right now with “alemannaro” administration!
    Now I tell you a funny story: “once upon a time…” well, just 15 years ago I was in the bus stop side of the square, and a couple from Milan was watching the ruins, and the cats. He said «What a shame! Is it possible the city council doesn’t do anything about these cats in the middle of the history?!?»
    Just a few minute later a municipal car stopped in front of the ruins gate and brought the food for the cats.
    I thought: “See? the city council does something about these cats. FOR these cats!”

  16. Vincenzo Spina May 21, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Last picture, with the bike without a wheel, is fantastic.
    I hope that you’ll have a better experience living in Rome, that’s a fantastic city if you know it.
    I REALLY would like to have you as my personal guest during one of our Tour Guides in Rome. This is our site, hoping that can be interesting for you:
    http://www.romeguides.it
    We organize private Guided Tours in Rome and Vatican…
    I would try to increase your knowledge with some secret place in Rome, unknown to you…I think that, having me as absolutely “personal” guide, you’ll have a different angle of you about my city, that will be able to stun you with its beauty…
    🙂

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