On January 20, we toured the Forum Boarium, which is located next to the round Temple of Hercules and the Mouth of Truth, and Primavalle, a distant suburb in northwest Rome that was made up largely of people displaced from the city center by fascist visions of the city. Our tour guide was Ferro Trabalzi, who has taught at Iowa State and in Rome, and whose own family was one that was pushed out of historical Rome by fascist urban planning.
As Ferro explained during our tour, the Forum Boarium area was heavily inhabited. Piranesi’s drawing of the Temple of Hercules shows that it was a church in a residential neighborhood. Before the fascist interventions, ancient architecture was integrated into community life.
Now the Temple of Hercules is “cleaned up,” isolated, and no longer part of the life of the neighborhood (which has been primarily moved out of the area). Where there was a dense neighborhood, there now is open space with large streets, lawns, and cars.