Cycling through the cycle paths of Rome – 3rd episode

Play Video about Cristina Galardini On the Tiber Island

Pedaling through the cycle paths of Rome – Cristina Galardini’s Vlog.

As always, if you haven’t seen the previous episode, here’s the link.

Today we are going from Isola Tiberina and Gazometro to arrive Piramide Cestia. The Isola Tiberina is a river island and the only urban island in the Tevere, and we have the chance to have it in the center of Roma.

In the Forma Urbis for a different age, it was called “Inter duos pontes”: in fact, it is connected to the two shores of the Tevere by Ponte Cestio and Ponte Fabricio.

The legend said that the island was formed in 510 B.C. from the sheaves of wheat harvested in Campo Marzio, owned by King Tarquinio il Superbo, thrown into the Tevere at the time of the revolt that caused its expulsion. However, some modern studies, would prove that the island has origins long time before this event. Just because this island was far from the vicissitudes of the city, it became the house of the temple of Esculapio (God of medicine).

His cult was introduced in 292 B.C. following a plague. We meet a cat on our way, the four-legged inhabitants of Torre Argentina, the Piramide and even the suburb of the city are now a symbol of the capital fully entered into the collective imagination. Just think of the calendars and postcards that depict cats under the sun on some monument, on a bench, that are so popular that the people want to buy in bookstores or newsstands.

The bicycle path on the Tevere is like the backbone supporting the local network system of mobility. After a long stretch along the area of Porta Portese you pass under the bridge of Testaccio, the railway, and after you see the Ponte dell’Industria, if you continue you will arrive from the Lungotevere degli artigiani, at the point where you can see the ex Gazometro with the old industrial area.

The Gazometro, also known as Gasometro and Luxometro, was the largest gasometer in Europe and is located in the Ostiense district of Rome. Built by the genoese company Ansaldo from 1935 to 1937 on behalf of the Anglo-Roman Society for the Illumination of Rome with the Gaz and other systems.

The Gazometro become over the years an undisputed symbol of the 10th Roman quarter, representing an important example of industrial archeology. After it had stopped to work, the actual gasometer, the giant hollow cylinder that contained the gas, was removed. What we see today is the metal structure that surrounded it.

Adjacent to the Ostiense district we find Testaccio the twentieth district of Rome. The name comes from the “mountain” an artificial hill 35 meters high formed by shards and various debris, accumulated over the centuries as a residue that had been transported from the port of Ripa Grande.

This area was populated by poor farmers and shepherds, subjects to the floods of the Tevere and infested by malaria, which began at the gates of Rome.

After 1870 in this area they had started to drain the land and make the urban reorganization. the result led to assign this territory for industrial activities and “heavy” services, along the Via Ostiense to the Basilica of San Paolo.

The space between the “Monte dei cocci” and the public walls, they called «the meadows of the roman people», was frequented by the “Roman from the city” for their pleasure.

For them, the meadows of Testaccio were a traditional destination for Easter Monday and days of October. Along the cycle track of Via Marmorata we arrive at the Piramide Cestia, a roman tomb in the shape of a pyramid of Egyptian style built in Rome from 18 to 12 B.C. As a tomb for Gaio Cestio Epulone, it is made of concrete, with brick design and covering of Carrara marble slabs.

It is 36.40 meters high and rises on a concrete platform. The pyramid was built in just 330 days, maybe less. In fact, Gaio Cestio expressly ordered at his heirs to erect the pyramid tomb in this period of time, under penalty of the loss of the inheritance, as the inscription carved on the eastern side of the monument.

Did I record with the camera?

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