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Camilla Verdacchi

Fast and underground Rome


All of us Romans, happen to be jealous of the metropolitan transport networks of other capitals and cities abroad, even if doesn't mean we forget all the treasures our city owns .

Most of us citizens of the capital dream of being able to move "underground" fast and efficiently, perhaps living in a neighborhood full of green, away from traffic, but from which you can reach the center in a flash, adding that pinch of modernity to the impressive hystorical treaures surrounding us.

However, it is necessary to state that the mere presence of an underground transport network, here in the Eternal City, represented a considerable achievement, a leap towards the future that the engineers, technicians and workers who worked there have achieved by solving problems seemingly insurmountable, that most other capitals do not have.

In the 1940s, Line B experiences one of the most delicate moments of its construction: the passage between the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine.

A subway officially arrived in Rome in 1955, and to be exact on February 9 of that year.
At 10.15 that morning, the first train of what we now call "Line B" leaved Termini Station to reach EUR.
An interesting tip: on board the inaugural train, among the authorities joining the President of Republic Luigi Einaudi, there is also the Minister of Transport of the time, Bernardo Mattarella, father of our current President.

A very rare photo of the inauguration of the Rome Metro, on February 9, 1955.

The inauguration trip to EUR is not a random choice: the underground transport network, in fact, was conceived in the 1930s precisely to connect Termini Station to the site of the Universal Exposition E42, which then could not take place due to the occurrence of the events of the Second World War.
Of course, for the same reason, the construction of the subway is also interrupted, t in order to be resumed after a decade.

After the war, the hard work restarted to give the city its first underground transport network, and this image gives the idea of the context in which the works took place.

Rome, in the complexity of the stratifications that have occurred for twenty-seven centuries, is a vulnerable city.
The idea of running convoys under sites such as the Colosseum or the Circus Maximus has presented very complex problems since the very beginning of the project, and of course the constant probability of unexpected and exciting archaeological discoveries.

A photo that gives the exact measure of the delicate situations with which the companies working on the subway of the capital can cope.
This is what appeared to the eyes of the workers at the Amba Aradam station, in the San Giovanni area

In this context, already complex in itself, it must be considered that, from the earliest years, the network was equipped with convoys capable of easily reaching 70 mph per hour which, equipped with comfortable and soft green leather seats, stood out for their modernity, if compared to those of other contemporary subways.

One of the first convoys with which the Rome Metro was equipped

After the inauguration of 1955, the development of the underground transport network continued in the following years, with various projects concerning the line that from the Prati district leads to Cinecittà, through the intersection of Termini.

In view of the 1990 Soccer World Cup, Line B was refurbished and extended up to Rebibbia.

A current map of the Rome Metro, which also includes (dashed in green) what should be the future route of Line C, whose construction, however, does not seem to be completed in the short term.

Later in the 1990s, after the extension of line B, line A was also put into service, which was extended to the current western terminus of Battistini.

And here history takes us almost to the present day.
The dream of a fast Rome is always alive, even if the times of realization - if compared to those of other European cities - are necessarily slowed down not only by the continuous archaeological finds, but also by the bureaucratic result that each of them inevitably entails.

In fact, when a company working on the line is faced with a new archaeological discovery, the law obliges it to stop the works to allow the intervention of the committies for conservation of cultural heritage, and this inevitably ends up extending the times of realization in an indefinable way.
We are in a city that has no equal in the world, and all this is part of its destiny.

The new San Giovanni station, inaugurated in April 2017, has been transformed into a real museum, thanks to the invaluable findings that took place during the excavations of line C
Ancient amphorae exhibited at the San Giovanni Museum Station

Pending the project to create lines C and D, the archaeological investigations that the project itself involves continue to reserve daily surprises.
Just think of Piazza Venezia, where for years they have been trying to create a coveted station, but where even the bowels of the earth continue to return all kinds of preciousness of the past centuries and millennia.
The same goes for Via dei Fori Imperiali.
And the critical issues don't stop at archaeological sites alone!

While the projects, in their first draft, took into consideration a passage of the line under the riverbed of the Tiber, it was recently discovered that about sixty meters below the historic Capitoline river a second underground river flows, mysterious and with abundant flows, and this forced the planners to permanently set aside the sub-river section, while studies are underway at the Roma Tre University to make this generous stream an alternative power source capable of bringing heating from natural sources to Roman homes.

The inauguration of the first short section of line C is very recent, with its futuristic cars.

Therefore, many conquests have already been made to equip this city with a transport network comparable to those of the most modern capitals, even if - objectively speaking - all the situations mentioned above lead us to think that a capillary coverage of the city could, perhaps, be seen by the grandchildren of our grandchildren.

But this does not scare us and does not surprise us: in Rome everything is evaluated with the millennia unit of measurement.

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Some reviews of people that I have had the pleasure of guiding on my tours

Daniela L.
Daniela L.
The tour I wanted
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The tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill that I have wanted to do for a long time. Camilla was a perfect choice. Prepared, friendly, patient with my many questions. I will recommend her to my friends. Thanks Camilla!
Fabio T.
Fabio T.
The squares of Rome are very interesting
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My wife and I went on a tour of Rome's squares with Camilla. Although I was a little skeptical at first and took this tour by suggestion of my wife, I must say it turned out to be spectacular, and that Camilla was simply a fantastic guide.
Gianna B.
Gianna B.
Vatican exploration to remember
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I had always tried to imagine what was behind the Vatican doors. This tour finally introduced me to a reality that had intrigued me all my life.
Roberto R.
Roberto R.
Rome in a Day
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Without straining we were able to see in one day all the most famous glimpses of Rome, also recognizing many places seen in the great films of Italian cinema. A day that I would suggest to anyone who goes to Rome.
Cristina C.
Cristina C.
Forum and Palatine
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We all know the Colosseum, but perhaps we know less about the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Camilla has a perfect way to make you "travel" in Imperial Rome, among historical data, curiosities, secrets ... Not only a great day, but also useful, very useful!
Luigi Z.
Luigi Z.
As a teacher I tell you: do it!
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All my life I taught History and Letters in high school, and I thought that a tour like the Colosseum could tell me little, and in fact I had organized it mostly for my wife and my daughter. Actually, this guide has been able to illuminate some aspects of the life of Roman citizens that were completely unknown to me. We never know enough about Rome.
Emma G.
Emma G.
The Sistine Chapel is an incredible emotion
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Before doing this tour of the Vatican I knew that the Sistine Chapel is one of the most important and famous works of art in the world, but I would never have imagined the emotion that entering that place caused me. There are no words to describe it. Thanks Camilla, for your expert and complete guide.
Mara K.
Mara K.
How nice the tour of the squares!
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When we think of the squares of Rome we always imagine the most famous ones, such as the Spanish Steps or Piazza Navona. But those who are not from Rome, like me, often do not even suspect how beautiful many other squares of this incredible city can be! I recommend you do this tour with Mrs. Verdacchi, you won't regret it!

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