“Rome, ‘the cradle of civilisation’, ‘Roma caput mundi’, or simply Rome, a city of a thousand faces. Rome is the political capital of Italy, but also the centre of Christianity, and hosts the Vatican State within its borders. Seat of the papacy, its current countenance is the result of innumerable urbanistic and architectonic modifications that run through its layers and through the millennia.” This description appears on the National Tourism Agency site, for tourists wanting to visit the city. But the many voices that make up the face of “our” Centre show how history, as each of us remembers it, is intimate. The historical centre we know as the “cradle of civilisation” becomes an extraordinary space of encounter and people. The Centre becomes a place of unusual bonds and involuntary connections. Dario reminds us of a place, Santa Maria della Pietà, “a former asylum where so-called madmen and women lived, but actually an extraordinary place, with encounters of absolutely irregular people who had no status other than being there because they were defective. This place of confinement was naturally opened up and became something else, and now is the Museum of Memory and the Mind. In 1979-1980, there was this world opening up, and many other worlds were opening up, together with these so-called asylums – worlds of images, worlds of street theatre, and worlds of art, which opened completely new horizons and spaces, outside of museums.”

by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini