In early December passengers leaving the metro at Tiburtina station in northeast Rome had a surprise. In addition to exiting directly into a tunnel leading to the railway station or, via a long underpass, onto the busy Circonvallazione Nomentana, they could emerge onto a stylish square below ground level, known as Piazza Ipogea, that links the metro station with the road and mainline station above. This area contains the railway ticket office, bookshop, newsagent and bar, and other shops and services are ready to open shortly.

Piazza Ipogea is the first stage in a ?304 million project by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the wholly-owned subsidiary of state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), to turn Rome