The Corviale complex is one kilometre long and nine floors high, on a north-south axis just inside the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Rome’s ring road) at the level of via Portuense, separating agricultural fields to the west from the expanse of the metropolis to the east.
This building, known to most as the Serpentone (The big Snake), was the architect Fiorentino’s response to satellite suburbs with no services. It was designed at the end of the 1970s as a true housing machine, in the utopian ideal that the interests of the community would prevail over the idea of so many satellite contexts. A dream that was then disillusioned by reality. Looking at that imposing parallelepiped, rising above the hill, one gets the sensation of an inaccessible place, a fortress where, however, a great vitality is hidden!
There are many residents, but none of them, despite the difficulties, feels defeated. As Aldo says: “Whoever lives here is a hero, it’s not easy to live in situations like this!” Monica talked about “an energy of welcoming, of regeneration” there; just like Patrizia, who starting in the early 1990s fought to open the Punto Ristoro-Centro di Formazione Polivalente Nicoletta Campanella, an abandoned spot that has since become a gathering place. Serena recalls: “Opening this place to the rest of the city was the best thing that could have happened!”

by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini