This is an interview with Rome Spotter Daniela D’Avanzo. She’s been blogging for our Rome city guide since January of this year. She’s 28 years old, originally from Avellino, a city in the south of Italy, and has been living in Rome for almost 3 years.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I am a communication designer with a passion for cities. I became interested in them first as a citizen and then as a traveler, so when I had the chance I started to study them. I love to travel, discover and get lost in all the places I go, take photos and share my passion with others. I am a strongly convinced vegetarian with a love for good cooking. I love music, both listening and dancing, art and theater. I like to meet people, to get in touch with them, with their stories and their culture.
How do you like being a Spotter?
As I said I’m originally from a city in the south of Italy, I’ve lived there till I was 18 when I moved first to Milan and then to some other cities around Europe. Finally I arrived in Rome, almost 3 years ago. In those three years I’ve lived here, there is always a new discovery. I can’t say I know everything about it, there’s still too much to explore. So every time I have the chance I go around and every time I discover something I didn’t know before.
But what I like most is when some friends come to visit me. I really enjoy showing all my favorite spots and to see them through new eyes and different points of view. I really like to involve my guests in what I love about Rome: spots, activities and stories.
So I started to think…why keep all this just for me? And the answer was: become a Spotter!
Rome is Rome. You can see beauty everywhere, you can breathe it and touch it. You can feel the history around you. Everything is a must do in Rome. You can’t miss the Sistine chapel or the Colosseum, you have to throw a coin in the Fontana di Trevi, try the pizza bianca and the carbonara, take a walk and get lost in the city centre. But, most of all, you can’t miss the small unknown things that make this city even more beautiful and that the others Spotters and I are trying to describe.
What do you know about Rome that no tourist will know?
I can say that I know a lot of things about this city, not everything of course, but a lot. I’m really curious so I really like the small, funny (and not so funny), stories about Rome and its inhabitants. One of those is something I wrote about, related to the so called “nasone”, the small standpipes where all the tourists stop to drink. They usually don’t know that they have a nick name “nasone” ( “big nose” in English) that came from its shape, as you can easily see, but moreover they don’t know that they are drinking from a piece of history.
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Rome in at this moment?
I can’t say which is the most popular neighborhood to live in right now. In Rome every area is popular for some reason. But I can say which is my favourite and is Ostiense. Ostiense takes its name from the main street, via Ostiense, that connects Roma to the sea, Ostia. The area closer to the city center is the one I am referring to. Originally it was a commercial and industrial area with the base of the general market, the river docks, the slaughter…
But for some time now it’s living its renaissance. People are trying to give new life to all its old buildings. So new and different activities are born: from restaurants to museums and arts center, from shops to discos. This makes Ostiense an evolving area that, despite this, keeps a strong identity, thanks to some important landmarks, the gazometro and the pyramid over the others. The main street is really busy and noisy, but if it’s too much for a place to live you can choose the nearby area of Garbatella and Testaccio, typical popular areas with a wonderful human dimension.