With each successive generation, there is a perceptible shift and perhaps distortion from the classic understanding of tourism. Until a few decades ago, traveling meant settling on one major destination with all its bells and whistles. This was, for a variety of reasons, in contrast to the prevalence of today’s do-it-yourself planning and the popularization of backpacking to contain costs and expand options for where to go and how much to see.
In essence, this mode of travel relies no longer on being placed in the center of a city, next to a famous monument or archaeological site. Instead it focuses on the impact that placing the traveler in midst of the quintessential everyday life experiences of a new culture can have.
Rome is no exception to this new mode of travel. In fact, it goes beyond the usual (and fascinating) goals of seeing the baseline of the everyday to a truly immersive experience of capturing the soul of the city. The Testaccio district (rione), the popular par excellence, is perhaps the space-time dimension in which the historical and cultural traditions of ancient Rome still survive intact while displaying the pioneering, contemporary avant-garde that marks the Eternal City’s entrance into the third millennium.
Not far from the Slaughterhouse is the Pyramid of Caius Cestius that dates back to 18-12 BC, and follows after the contemporary fashion that back then endorsed Egyptian architecture. The Pyramid, being a burial space, remained on the outskirts of the city walls but eventually became a part of them as the city expanded, and the Pyramid was merged with the Aurelian Walls (270-275 AD) to form a triangular bastion. One can still see parts of the wall embedded in the Pyramid today (see above).
Piazza Testaccio, Via Marmorata and Via Zabaglia are a must for anyone who truly wishes to see the contemporary evolution of the district. And if you are wondering just where Rome’s nightlife is, then a few steps away from the Marco (Museum of Contemporary Art) is the area that marks the lane along which are multitude of clubs, including everything from rock to salsa.
Many Thanks to myVideoMedia!
Read their article: “Rome off the beaten path”
Original Article by Samir Hassan
(Translated & Edited by Diedré Blake)
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