Thursday 17 July 2008

Red light Rome

One of my favourite areas in Rome are the side streets running parallel to Via Cavour; Via Madonna dei Monti, and Via Urbana which leads you to some nice piazza's a little off the tourist track even though the area is a block from the Colosseum and the Forum. Bel ragazzo and I can often be found there having an aperativo or dinner. The area feels a bit like a small albeit beautiful paese as there are only local cars driving through, the restaurants (or at least the one we go to) has decent food for local prices, and there are not that many tourists around, it is mostly just the locals.

The streets are filled with small, alternative shops selling music, clothes, furniture and ethnic goods. All in all there is a laid back feel about the area.

I never knew that this area was also a hot spot for prostitutes - not until bel ragazzo told me today. This afternoon bel ragazzo decided to divert from the usual path of walking along Via Urbana and took Via dei Capocci instead (which is parallel to Via Urbana.) He was going for a meeting at one of our 5 star hotels so was dressed to impress. As he walked along this new found street he noticed it was relatively deserted except for two chubby foreign ladies who were not that close to each other but talking. As he walked past the first lady who was leaning against a car he thinks she said something like "ti vuoi divertire un pò?"

Bel ragazzo was confused, it was hot and maybe his ears were playing tricks but he was sure they lady had just asked him if "he wanted to have some fun."

He continued walking up the street and avoided eye contact with the second chubby lady.

In a few metres he came upon a beautiful girl who was with a middle aged man and they were getting onto a scooter. The girl was young, maybe 25 years old and waved and greeted another a middle aged man who had appeared on the street. As bel ragazzo walked by, the the young girl said in a loud voice "che occhi belli" and gave bel ragazzo a 'look.'

Bel ragazzo kept walking...

As soon as he told me his tale of stumbling across some 'working ladies' I looked on the inernet and low and behold it seems that Via dei Capocci is indeed a sort of 'red light' street. I will definitely have to divert and take a look at that street tomorrow (for interest sake only thank you very much!)


Anonymous said...

Actually, when Rome used to have case aperte (brothels), Via dei Capocci was one of the main streets for that kind of "entertainment". I LOVE the Monti area, it has changed drastically in the past 5-6 years, it's become much more chic with all these boutiques & cute restaurants, and naturally much more expensive but it's a beautiful area.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Romerican,
Interesting...I never knew there used to be open houses years ago in Rome.

Romerican said...

Oops, meant to say "case chiuse". My bad!

Anyway, up until 1958, when the Merlin Law was approved (, there were brothels and prostitution wasn't illegal. Wild, isn't it?

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Crazy that none of this was illegal before but now a days it is...Going to go and check out your link now. Thanks!

Alex W said...

You'll still find prostitutes up and down the streets at various hours. I had lunch with one, she was funny as hell. Monti is simply great, but it has picked up that edgy/trendy feel over the last few years. Still, a great place to walk through if you're trying to get to the forum from St.Maria Maggiore.