Archive for September 3rd, 2008

They paved paradise…

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

… 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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