Rome opens new cultural venues in old bus depots

Rome's debt-laden public transport company leases its unused spaces.

Three long-abandoned bus depots in Rome have become centres of culture after the city's debt-laden public transport company ATAC leases its industrial properties in Piazza Bainsizza (Prati), Piazza Ragusa (Tuscolana) and Via Alessandro Severo (Ostiense-S. Paolo).

ATAC has leased the three buildings to Ninetynine Urban Value, the company behind the successful Guido Reni District in Flaminio and Palazzo degli Esami in Trastevere.

Under the agreement, ATAC is renting out the properties on a renewable eight-month basis before putting the buildings on the market in 2021. The total rent for eight months is €60,000 on top of which ATAC will receive 25 per cent of the revenue from ticket sales.

The venues, which now host markets, festivals and installations, have new names for the duration of their cultural use. The 5,000-sqm depot in Piazza Bainsizza has become PratiBus District, the 11,000-sqm two-storey storehouse in Tuscolana is Ragusa Off, and the 7,000-depot on Via Severo is now known as S. Paolo Garage.

Photo Lucilla Loiotile