Rome, Italy
Adalberto, 45
Technician & Bicycle Builder
see his Rome city guide

a bit about Adalberto

What are you working on?

These days I’m working to build new internet infrastructure in my region.

What makes you happy?

There are many things that make me happy. Too many. Being able to spend time with my family and long rides with bikes with cheerful friends. I’m also happy when I bake bread and desserts.

What drives you mad?

We have crazy traffic in Rome, too many cars for this old city. We got 75 cars for 100 inhabitant (NYC is 20 cars for 100 inhabitant). When it doesn’t rain for so many days like in the last months, the pollution reaches peaks that are dangerous for health. I can’t ride the bicycle when it is so polluted, crazy. I hate cars!

When was the last time you cried?

Last time I cried was for the death of a dear family member, a man who was a little older than me and with whom I shared all my childhood.

What is playing in your earphones nowadays?

When I listen to music while moving in the city, I listen to RAM, Daft Punk, Hombre Lobo 2009 and The Eels.

What was the last movie you went to?

Last movie was Non Essere Cattivo (don’t be evil) by and almost unknown director, Caligari, who directed this movie after a career as a documentary director. His movies are always facing social issues and related to the hard life in the suburbs of Rome. I can say that I learned about Rome from watching his documentaries. Unfortunately, Caligari died a few months ago.

When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?

I usually buy clothes or shoes only when I really need, when the shoes are broken or when the pants were punctured. I usually shop in small shops in the city center.

What’s your go-to café in Rome?

Generally, it depends on the area in which I meet with people. In every area there are places I like. For example in San Lorenzo I love Giufà, a coffee library which is very nice and quiet. In other districts like Pigneto I usually go to Necci or Rosi.

Where’s your favourite street or neighbourhood to wander in Rome?

The neighborhood that inspires me most is Monti, the first district of Rome. It’s the most historical district, with many tourists and Romans who are mixed together; Very close to the Coliseum and the Imperial Forums, the ancient city. Because of the people you can meet in this area, Rome looks more like a European capital.

What do you LOVE to do in the city but never actually do?

Making long and exhausting walks with my friends chatting, singing, drinking.

Who’s your hero and where would you take them out to eat or drink in Rome?

My hero is Michelangelo Merisi, the 16th Century painter. I’d take him in some Roman neighborhood like Tor Marancia, walking with him and looking at the huge graffiti painted on the working class housing.

What would make a perfect day in the sun for you?

In a perfect sunny day, my only thought would be to take my trusty bikes and ride all day. Perhaps in the company of friends cyclists, sharing with them the wonderful day in the city parks and museums. Then have some refreshing water in the one of the most beautiful fountains of the world.

It’s raining for days and you’re sick of staying at home – where would you go?

I’d go to one of the many drink bar in the Pigneto area. They’ll be full of people for sure.

What’s a place in Rome you feel like only you know about?

Sometimes, I take my bikes and pedal to the outskirts of the city, to a special place called Forte Prenestino, a very active social center that’s always full of surprises. On the way to Forte Prenestino I ride through neighborhoods where you can admire some giant graffiti of international street artists.

If tomorrow was your last day in Rome before you left for good, how would you spend it?

I’d make the last tour in the city center, between the endless ruins of the empire, the Colosseum, the Imperial Forums, a visit to The Church St. Louis of the French to admire works of Caravaggio preserved there. I wouldn’t miss a climb to Gianicolo to admire the rooftops of the city in all directions, then down to the historic district of Trastevere. I’ll also definitely do one last tour of the outskirts of the city where new works of street art by international artists pop up every day.

If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?

I’d like to be the mayor of Pigneto, the most exciting neighborhood in terms of night life and arts.

You’ve just got the best news ever, where would you go to celebrate and with whom?

To celebrate an important event I would bring all the people to the beautiful La Casetta Rossa (Little Red House) in the district of Garbatella. It’s a great place in a neighborhood rich in history.

What do you love doing the most that is not work, relationship or family related?

Mainly I love using my hands. I like to paint, draw, do maintenance on my bikes or just carve wood to make small sculptures.

When you feel like going on a night out, what’s the first place you usually consider going to?

In a city visited by millions of tourists every year, we Romans have to find places far from the expensive city center and find cheaper places. Surely the first place where I’d go is Pigneto. The district offers everything you cant want – from bars to restaurants to nightclubs, with many young people and many possibilities for new experiences. Otherwise, I simply go to see the people I know already and definitely with very few tourists.