“We must be nearing it now”, I am thinking to myself, as the orange bus rattled slowly up the hill. The real estate agent gave me precise instructions for the voyage into a “wonderful piece of the world”, “park-like neighborhood” – “just get the 301 bus at Piazza Mancini and ride it all the way up the Cassia until you see the American School. Get off there and I will wait for you at the stop.” Sounded easy enough, but here I am trying to navigate on the bus in Rome and rendezvous in a place where I don’t speak the language, or know my way around. Well, anyway, forward! I am here to look at several apartments in this neighborhood, because I was going to teach at the school, but most of all because the rents were generally reasonable. As we came up the hill away from the river, the area grew more parklike and more beautiful. For a city neighborhood, the agent was right — a wonderful piece of the world. Actually, part of it is a park – Parco di Veio – the Cassia traffic flows right through it and into the area of Roma Nord, still within Rome’s borders but not the historical center.
The housing seems to date from post war boom times, low-rise apartment buildings, condominiums, properties surrounded by very old stone walls, a hospital complex nestled in the trees, situated on what appeared to be the grounds of an old villa, mature Roman pine trees, and green everywhere. Really nice. An interesting feature amidst the condos and the greenery is the wealth of shopping available – street shopping, individual shops, grocery stores galore, all types of services, and the questionable feature was the amazing quantity of traffic on this two-lane road. This area seems to have everything. This was my first introduction to the neighborhood which has been my home in Rome for the last 20 years – a part of Roma Nord known as Tomba di Nerone.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want to acquaint you with a wonderful area of Rome, in Lazio, which to me is one of the best places to buy or rent a home in Rome. It has the best of all possible worlds; a property here gives you excellent variety and condition of housing, affordable housing stock, garden-like properties in the middle of a very congested city, all the shopping you can ever want, walkable, schools of all types and levels, sports and health facilities, family centered activity centers, 20 minute drive to Rome center, 45 minute drive to lake Bracciano, all forms of public transit ranging from trains, busses, metro. The apartment buildings feature a variety of architectural styles, some even displaying driveway and brick designs dating from ancient Rome – in other words even though when first built considered a suburb, Roma Nord has benefitted from some very creative engineers and architects, as well as being blessed with rolling geography, the result of which is an unconventional look far removed from cookie-cutter neighborhoods. Many of the condo properties were built into the hilly land contours of the area as well. Yes, a wonderful piece of the world.
I am giving you the same informational pitch the real estate agent gave me those 20 long years ago – it was true then, and it remains so. The agent and I successfully met up, I chose the second apartment I saw, and have been here ever since. In truth, this is a great place to live.
Several weeks ago, we posted a blog about Green Rome, in which we featured some of Rome’s wonderful parks.https://www.casacapitalinvestment.com/green-rome In that piece we noted the statistic that, despite its reputation as a congested, busy place, Rome is the third greenest city in Europe in terms of park land expanse. Roma Nord is a good example of this quality – the Parco di Veio runs a green swath through its northwestern area. The pocket park which holds Nero’s Tomb is a piece of the Veio. Originally part of the Etruscan lands, it has been protected from ancient times by all subsequent civilizations; it has been managed, but left in its original natural state, hosting ruins, as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna.
The recent and ongoing pandemic lockdown here in Rome has caused me to appreciate my Roma Nord neighborhood in a greater way. As you may know, lockdown in Rome has meant going out only for food shopping and medical appointments – during the first few weeks anyway, exercise (OK, we snuck out for some local walks) was prohibited. This bore heavily on the children, who were out of school and for the most part kept to their apartments. But…..we in our condo are so lucky, in that we have our very own private park which stretches away from the Cassia to down behind the last of the condo buildings – it is in actuality part of the Parco di Veio, with plenty of room to run, tennis facilities, benches for sitting and sunning, even paths for children on scooters. Some of the neighbors set up group exercise times (always keeping correct distance of course) even with music to urge on the participants.
So, we residents of Tomba di Nerone are in pretty good physical shape despite the lockdown, not only due to our exercise facilities but also due to the proximity of grocery shopping in the area. 3 supermarkets and several smaller alimentary, fruit and vegetable, and fish shops. Hardware stores as well as computer repair stores are allowed to be open for “emergency” needs, but you can walk just across the street, tell the owner what you need, and he will serve you at the door. The whole neighborhood is just so convenient! You get exercise just going out to do your shopping, without breaking any lockdown rules. Efficient too.
The housing here varies in size from single-room apartments to 3- bedroom, 3-bathroom models, many with panoramic views (of the Veio) as well as 2-level apartments. European apartments tend to be small when compared to what Americans and British are used to, but Tomba area housing is on the generous size, even the 2- bedroom models.
The pictures give you an idea of the look of my condo on the Cassia, as well as the Veio backdrop.
CCI can assist if you are interested in this area. (Or in any area for that matter). Think about it.