They paved paradise…

… and put up a parking lot under the beautiful and historic Roman Hill known as il Pincio.

The new mayor of Rome opposes the plan on account of it sucks so hard I can barely describe the depths of its suckery, but the building has already begun and penalty fees to stop it now could soar into the $70 million range.

Pincio remains one of the most beautiful corners of Rome, home to the Villa Medici, where Galileo was imprisoned during his trials, and boasting great views across to St Peter’s and beyond. But if plans backed by Mayor Alemanno’s predecessor, Walter Veltroni, go ahead, Pincio will became a huge building site as diggers tear the guts out of the hill and replace them with a seven-floor underground car park with spaces for more than 700 vehicles.

The idea is that, after the dust settles, Pincio will look much as it does today. But that view was contested by Giorgio Muratore, a professor of architecture and one of a group of wise men appointed by the mayor of Rome to advise on the project. In an open letter he said, “This project is a monstrosity. That’s all there is to it. There are no possible compromises.”

One of the most grievous losses, he said, would be that of the panoramic piazza on the hill’s flat top, “a large part of which would be redefined merely as the roof” of the car park, with “large ventilator wells, extensive grilles, access stairs and emergency exits”. Tourists, instead of “enjoying one of the most enchanting panoramas on the planet,” would “walk among air vents fixed on the roof of a gigantic car park”.

I’m so mad right now I could spit. I spent hours in that park. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in Rome with one of the most beautiful views.

This idea blows goats. The notion that 700 measly parking spaces will alleviate the problem of parking in the Piazza del Popolo area is risible. It won’t do shit.

Oh! Oh! And there’s already a huge parking lot less than 500 feet from the Pincio, and it’s so underused they’ve recently sold part of it to turn it into a gym.

Hopefully the national government will step in. For sure they will find amazing Roman ruins while digging, and that should stop the work.

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8 Comments »

Comment by Livia
2008-09-03 07:44:55

There’s a parking lot not far from it suffering from underuse? And they wanna build another parking area, WTF? That is so many kinds of stupid.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-09-03 07:48:34

It really is. Even if that other parking lot were packed to capacity every day, 700 more spots wouldn’t begin to solve the problem of downtown traffic. Rome is just a hugely congested city. Take the Metro and STFU. :angry:

 
 
Comment by Dina
2008-09-03 08:48:00

Grrr. :angry: I hope those who decided to pave over paradise get tarred and feathered in the process. I feel your pain for your Eternal City.
Do they need any volunteers for the salvage dig?

Comment by livius drusus
2008-09-03 10:43:59

Not yet, but I’ll keep you posted should they stumble on the remains of the Lucullus’ garden.

 
 
Comment by Clutch
2008-09-06 11:24:31

What is it about getting elected mayor that suddenly makes ideas like destroying irreplaceable heritage sites or building a Wal-Mart on the edge of town seem like prize-winning insights? It’s tempting to believe that crony capitalism is playing a large role somewhere in this scheme…

Comment by livius drusus
2008-09-06 11:57:42

Just maybe. I mean, he had to know when he was campaigning against the project that there would be massive penalties incurred. Unless his opponent hid the truth, shocking thought that.

There aren’t enough plagues for all these fucking houses.

Comment by Clutch
2008-09-08 08:04:59

Yeah, I still don’t quite know what is meant by “the money aspect”. It can’t just be the penalties, since they say the new mayor is being swayed like the old one (who set up the deal, I take it, hence it couldn’t have been penalties at that point).

 
 
 
Comment by Mike M
2012-09-06 02:38:40

Ohhh….I was there when I was a kid! Twice! The second trip to Italy is what REALLY sparked my interest in history! I so remember that view, and it really sparked my imagination about the significance of our famous and legendary ancestors who once trod on that ground, and built those beautiful buildings! At the time I thought: “to think that I am here, now, at the age of 14 in 1997, I am now walking on the very ground that Julius Ceasar himself may have stood upon in the year 47 BC, and looking at some of the buildings that he laid his eyes upon!”

Ever since, I have been a bit of a history nut. Shame, for the city of Rome to even CONSIDER destroying such a place….. :cry:

(BTW, this post is four years old now. Any news on this by any chance?

 
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