places of interest

Trains, Stations, Food

The Ostiense Station: MONUMENTAL MEMORY OF A DICTATOR

The Ostiense station is located near the ‘Pyramid Cestia’ and the  Porta San Paolo. To commemorate the forthcoming visit of Adolf Hitler to Rome in 1938, the current Ostiense station was built, replacing an existing rural railway station, with the aim of creating a monumental station to receive the  German dictator. A new road was also built to connect the station with Porta San Paolo – this was initially named Via A. Hitler but, after World War II, it became Viale delle  Cave Ardeatine. Hitler’s visit to Rome is cinematically recreated in director Ettore Scola’s film “Una giornata particolare”, who also used archived newsreel footage showing the actual meeting between Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Victor Emanuel III.

Italian architect Roberto Narducci designed the station. In addition to being built in the architectural style favored by Hitler, the design of the station’s marble facade was almost identical to that of the Italian pavilion at the 1942 Rome World’s Fair (a design never fully realized due to the Second World War). The station building was inaugurated on October 28, 1940.

The entire facade is made of Travertine marble and the entrance is marked by a columned portico. On the right side of the façade is a relief by Francesco Nagni representing the mythical figures of Bellerophon and Pegasus. On the left is a fountain built in 1957. A mosaic on the floor made of black and white tiles demonstrates various themes and legends of Rome’s history.

South of the tracks, the station authority constructed a new section to help Ostiense serve as a terminal station for passengers arriving from Leonardo da Vinci Airport . In 2012, the building was converted to a new branch of Mario Batali’s restaurant/market chain Eataly.

EATALY: FOOD, ARTIGANAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOOD AESTHETIC, THE NEW ITALIAN TREND

Eataly, was founded in Italy in 2004, its first center was opened in Turin. Eataly creates or acquires shareholdings in companies that produce food products of high quality. So far, 19 centers have been opened worldwide, nine of which in Italy. A portion of the Ostiense railway station was remodeled according to a postmodern plan designed by the architect Julio Lafuente. Inside 4 floors were created in order to make the structure functional for commercial purposes.

There are 23 dining venues, where you can taste different kinds of sandwiches, coffee, ‘piadina,’ fruit, ice-creams, pizza, fried food, fish, meat, thus meeting any possible taste. Everything is of very good quality since only the best products were chosen to create this food experience area which includes: 40 educational and emotional areas; 8 classrooms for the courses; 8 production sites including a real brewery, a 3 meter large wood-stove where you can watch the preparation of 70 different kinds of bread; a cheese factory producing ‘mozzarella’; a pasta factory; a coffee roasting factory; a chocolate laboratory; a pastry-making shop; a fish market; a butcher shop; a delicatessen shop; an educational garden. The structure also contains two meeting rooms, an exhibition area, a conference center, for a total of 1,588 seats. In short, a visit to this place of wine and food wonders cannot and must not be missed, either as a starting point for your itinerary or as a point of arrival where to refresh after the excursions.

THE RAILWAY STATION OF SAN PAOLO : HISTORICAL CONNECTION TO ROMES BEACH AND RECREATION AREAS

Roma Porta San Paolo is the terminal train station of the Rome–Lido railway line in Rome (Italy). The station is connected to the station “Piramide” of the metro (line B) and to the Roma Ostiense railway station of the “Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane”. It has six rails. The edifice houses the ticket office and service structures, as well as a news-stand and a coffee shop. It also includes the Porta San Paolo Railway Museum.

The building of the station was started, together with the one of the railway, at the beginning of 1919, after the inauguration ceremony of December 30, 1918 in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel III.

The station was designed by Marcello Piacentini. A quite similar one was the Ostia Nuova terminal train station, whose foundation stone was laid on December 10, 1920, also in the presence of the King, and that was destroyed during the war.

The graffiti decorating the interior of the station are works by the Florentine artist Giulio Rosso.

The station and the railway line were inaugurated on August 10, 1924 with a special ride, in which Mussolini – who had become Prime Minister in the meanwhile – took part.

PORTA SAN PAOLO RAILWAY MUSEUM

The museum, inaugurated on 18 September 2004, is in part in the open, where the restored rolling stock can be seen, and in part indoors, where scale models, devices and technical objects are displayed, providing a full outline of the history of public rail transport in the Rome area. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

Entrance is free.

The rolling stock examples kept in the museum include:

  • Locomotive Breda AEG, year 1915, s.n. 01 STEFER from the Rome–Fiuggi railway.
  • Locomotive Carminati-Toselli TIBB, year 1922, s.n. 05 STEFER from the Rome–Lido railway.
  • Electric locomotive ECD “Officine Meccaniche della Stanga” TIBB, year 1931, s.n. 21 from the Rome–Civitacastellana–Viterbo railway.
  • Tram STFER series 400, s.n. 404 “Officine Meccaniche della Stanga” TIBB, year 1941, from the Tramvie dei Castelli Romani.
  • Tram STEFER, s.n. 70, from the extra-urban service on the Castelli Romani lines.
  • STEFER, flat service wagon obtained by modifying a former extra-urban two-axle trailer.
  • Power trolley STEFER used for inspections on the Rome–Fiuggi railway.