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Archaeologia Industriale – Ostiense

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 | 7 comments

Feeling inspired from the photos I took a few months ago at the ex-mattatoio, I’ve been quite curious about the kind of urban/industrial archaeology the city has to offer. While most people only think of the ancient Roman archaeology (rightly so!), there is a whole other history in Rome that is leaving behind its own legacy. From old factories in San Lorenzo to former slaughterhouses in Ostiense, these are remnants of the late 19th / early 20th century that are either being completely renovated or left to decay on their own. This sort of thing will be the theme of a shot I’m going to do at Al Vino Al Vino in April and so when my friend Vincenzo, the owner of Oblomov I met during the Zilda poster hanging, suggested we go on a photo walk around the Ponte di Ferro (officially the Ponte dell’Industria), I happily obliged. With a location right on the Tiber, this area had historically been an area of commerce, as ships could pull right in and unload their merchandise. One can even see the remnants of railroad tracks along the Tiber where the merchandise would then be shipped into warehouses (Magazzini Generali) for storage. I chose this photograph (taken on the Ponte di Ferro) because it shows a bit of the layout, with the gasometro in the background and the giant metal cranes for pulling up cargo looming over the river. The area is partially used by the city now and you can see them lowering a boat into the water. Vincenzo explained that when the police need to dive into the river to find things, they use this space. I’ll be posting more on my Flickr account in the coming days and will surely make a trip back again to see this other side of the city.


  1. Love the direction of this post and photo. I can't wait to see further installments!

  2. Great info in your post and a beautiful image. Thanks.

  3. Great view, Jessica. I so llike industrial archeology and monochrome is just perfect.

  4. Hi, Jessica! I've been in Rome a week ago and was looking for some information about EUR when I found your blog. It's very nice and it really helped me with this question.

    I'm also interested what this metal cylindric construction at the left of the photo is. We've seen it from the different points but never came close. I would appreciate any help.

    And thanks again for the blog =)

  5. Your post and photo reminded me of the memorial to ten women killed by the Nazis, just on the east and upriver side of the Ponte di Ferro.

  6. Екатерина – Thanks for commenting! Did you enjoy Rome? The object you are looking at is the gasometro, which also confused me quite a bit as well! I posted about them last year, and you can find their full function on Wikipedia. The ones in Rome are no longer in use, but really define this part of town:

    Dianne and WIlliam – As always you teach me a new site in my own city! I'll gave to go and check it out sometime.

  7. Jessica, thank you very much for the info =)
    I enjoyed Rome, it's really awe-inspiring.

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