Friday, March 28

Rome's new Colosseum

As anyone who follows my blog or anyone else's for that matter, you will know that the Colosseum is currently under restoration.  Wrapped with scaffolding, but looking nothing like Christo's Gift-Wrapping the Reichstag* - to this day, one of my favorite art installations - ever.  Rome's Colosseum - at least from the inside - is still magnificent; it just looks like it has braces. [And for you's not like you get to at least see, say, the Arch of Constantine or view the Forum streetside - alas, the Romans have decided that if you can't see the main attraction you won't see any of the sideshows, either.  So, the Arch is covered with scaffolding and the via dei Fori Imperiali is now a construction zone for the Metro (Subway) line still trying to make headway along a path filled with ancient relics most likely from Nero's Golden Home - the Domus Aurea.]  
So, the news we got the other day of - my team - AS ROMA - releasing the plans for their very own stadium was something to look forward to.  Or, as the following fab football fan & blogger put it, very forward considering the Romans have been waiting for their own stadium for the better part of half a century.  Why all the fuss? They share a stadium with their arch-rival, the lily-colored Lazio team.  But more than that, the new stadium is outright gorgeous.  And, it is inspired (as well it should be) by our very own antiquated Anfiteatro Flavio, replete with rooftop and all [although I haven't looked in to see if it can be rolled back on less sunny days].
And since Enzo, "a footballaholic in New Zealand" put things right in a Burnt sort of perspective, he's graciously allowed me to reprint his post about the hullaboo right here [and for that, he will be forgiven for using the colors of Lazio for his title].  Check it out.

Stadio della Roma

‘Stadio della Roma’
Decades of anticipation were brought to an end in the early hours of this morning New Zealand time when Associazione Sportiva Roma unveiled plans for a new stadium. Think I’m exaggerating? I am - but not in the way you might think. The new ownership of Roma may have only started planning this thing three years ago, but Roma fans have been waiting for a stadium fit for purpose since our fabled original home ground, Campo Testaccio, was torn down in 1940. Nothing since has measured up. But while this latest design looks incredibly good for a multitude of reasons, you do have to forgive me for being slightly cynical. The fact is...we’ve been here before. I’ll believe it when I see people with hats digging holes. The anticipation, for me, isn’t quite over yet.
One of the things that keeps me from doing cartwheels down the hallway just yet is it just seems so damn good. My mother used to tell me, 'if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.' And I mean, look at it! It’s gorgeous. Modelled on the Coliseum, the players will rise from the ground like gladiators, the pitch is seven metres below the first row of spectators to stop the stray animals from pouncing into the crowd! Or maybe it’s to stop the crowd pouncing onto the pitch…Which brings me onto the Curva Sud, where the Ultras will stand, set out from the rest, brought forward, embossed.
The new Curva Sud
The new Curva Sud
This is I think my favourite feature.
The location, Tor di Valle, is inside the city boundary, which is huge for Rome. Close to public transport and the southern city heart of Roma’s support base. And the timeline. Completed in time for season 2016/17……… Wait, what?
Here’s the thing: If you’ve ever tried to build so much as a doghouse in Rome, you would surely look at that promise alone and cackle your head off. The Mayor says this is the New Rome. ‘This will all be streamlined!’ Trust me, politicians in Italy say a lot of things. And streamlined in Italy means we’ll scale back our daily quota of cigarette breaks from 186 to 180. Former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti famously quipped that “Madmen either claim to be Napoleon, or boast they can bring order to Italy’s rail service”. When asked about Italian bureaucracy, President of the club, James Pallotta, said “I grew up in Boston, Rome doesn’t scare me.” Oh, my dear fellow, either you have balls of steel or you have no idea what’s about to hit you…
There is no planning permission yet. There is no application for planning permission. There are no details on when they will apply, how they will apply, or, well… actually there are just no details. All there is, is a pretty model and some nice drawings. I know these American owners are different from our previous overlords, the Sensi Family, but the fact remains that as things stand right now, there’s still exactly the same amount of concrete and reliable information as there was a few years ago, when we first saw this:
'Stadio Franco Sensi'
‘Stadio Franco Sensi’
So, yeah. Gorgeous stadium. Very exciting. But like I said – people digging holes. With hats.
* I'm thinking...maybe I should start an Avaaz petition for Christo to do his thing on Rome's Colosseum...


Dave514 said...

Since I don't give a fig about calcio. Hell, if it isn't ice hockey it doesn't count.

I'm much more interested in what they find as remnants of the Domus Aurea.ntioial

Irreverent Italy said...

Yeah, Davide but ya gotta admit...that Stadium is Bellissimo!

Nobody understands that this is the problem with constructing anything in Italy. Right now, they're plowing underneath the various Forums & the Via dei Fori Imperiali which was the main thoroughfare even in ancient times.
Every two seconds the archeologists descend with their toothbrushes to allow the tunnelling to continue. It's sloooow going!