see exhibition at RAM radioartemobile, Rome 2006
From Vatican to Piazza della Repubblica with no return - Bicycling Roma, Rome 2006
Dal Vaticano a Piazza della Repubblica senza ritorno, Bicycling Roma
video/dvd 16 min
Rome is a city full of bikes (and cars) but without bicycles. During my 16 min bicycle ride, I didn't come accross a single bicyclist, but many motor bikes and scooters.. (Ladies ride scooters in high heels!! and the men, in suits!). In terms of traffic, this city needs drastic change. I recommend bicycle lanes, bicycle taxis, and a system of bicycle exchange points (see Vienna and other cities) free of charge to make miracles happen again.
Like in all my bicycle videos, I test Rome's street behavior, going against the traffic without holding the steering wheel. In Rome, I decided to bicycle between two significant points that not only geographically but also historically and institutionally define this city. Topographically, the Vatican and Plazza della Repubblica (i.e.a main square dedicated to Italy's democracy) are opposite places linked by Rome's main traffic axis. The beginning of the video coincided with the weekly Wednesday morning masses by the Pope who can be seen and heard at the beginning of this video.
Since I don't want to be the art world's stunt man (there is never any payment for my risky driving = one mistake and I 'm out) nor do I feel suicidal, I only follow the logic of the game - claiming more or less the middle of the streets. The bicycled distance has only 3 short one-way stretches and therefore didn't expose me for very long to Rome's crazy drivers ( the city's motorcyclists and scooter riders !!). For the rest of the 16 minutes on the street, I was sticking mainly to the hardly contended for middle line.
PS: Watch the great classical Roma movie The bicycle thief - Ladri di biciclette.