Epoca Romana


Testaccio in epoca moderna

At the end of 19th century and at the beginning of 20th, the “rione” changed its aspect and new citizens arrived, creating a new residential district. In fact after the Unity of Italy, the city plan of 1871 stated that the area had to be used for housing industrial buildings and the connected working class houses.
The modern and functional Mattatoio (Abattoir) was built on the base of the project by the Architect G. Ersoch. On the contrary, the working class houses were not provided with adequate facilities (water supply, electric grid, sewerage, etc.), causing precarious and inadequate living conditions.
The building typology and the living conditions of the district radically changed after 1909, when the Town Council built new controlled rent buildings with the Istituto Romano Case Popolari. The Ex-Mattatoio (ex-Abattoir), the popular buildings, the church of Santa Maria Liberatrice and the Oratorio Salesiano, testify the birth of the workers' district between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of  the next one, highlighting not only the architectural and urban choices, but also the social and economic asset and the social conflict characterizing the district during its creation. The “caves” of the Monte dei Cocci turned from simple wine warehouses into shops, artisanal laboratories, taverns, storehouses. The Fascist regime promoted a new building phase, with the post office by architect A. Libera and the Fire station on Via Marmorata, corresponding to the gradual settling of middle class office-workers into the quarter and to the consequent gradual social transformation. The garden in Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice, dedicated to the Di Consiglio family, martyrs of the Fosse Ardeatine, and the war cemetery of the Commonwealth, represent memories of the war. Today, Testaccio preserves its popular character but is also changing its structure, housing and metabolizing different cultural realities, such as the Faculty of Architecture of the University Roma Tre, The European Institute for Design and a section of the Contemporary Art Museum of Rome, thus showing great potential in the evolution of its social, commercial and cultural aspect,  but there are also savage unauthorized building works on the “caves” of Monte dei Cocci, that are still visible nowadays.