Rome, My Cut


Photographer Massimo Siragusa brings out the beauty, grit, and romance found in the Rome of today.

About the photographer
Born in Catania, Massimo Siragusa now lives in Rome, where he teaches photography and shoots for various international publications and ad campaigns. He has won four World Press Photos and published several books.


1 Sometimes when I walk by Trinità dei Monti, I imagine myself on a private terrace like this one, watching the city at night. That would be nice. Photo

2 The market in Piazza di Campo dei Fiori is one of the most typical in Rome. It's all here: the antiquated three-wheeler, an old-timer on his daily rounds, and a customer taking fresh fruit a little too seriously. Photo

3 The Parco degli Aranci is romantic on most nights—but there's something sinister about the light here and the mysterious unclaimed stroller. Photo

4 The Vatican, the Mouth of Truth, the Leaning Tower of Pisa....You can buy most of Italy at this store, and fit it in your luggage, too. May I suggest you bring home a good bottle of wine instead? Photo

5 A detail of the Giacomo della Porta–designed Fontana del Pantheon, commissioned in 1575. Sometimes I try to slow down enough to notice the little things that tell bigger stories. Photo

6 In Trastevere, one of the few historic movie theaters to survive the arrival of big chains. I'm relieved that Rome sustains some businesses with long-lived traditions and loyal customers. Photo

7 Looking for the stigmata in Rome? Probably not. But there's still a tradition of the sacred in this secular city. Photo

8 On the only island in the Tiber River, it's still possible to take a walk, enjoy the sun, and have dinner outside during summer evenings, right in the middle of downtown. I always try to catch a movie here during the summer film festival. Photo

9 A view of Rome from Trinità dei Monti, atop the Spanish Steps, with the lighted dome of St. Peter's in the background. This photograph is so striking that I'm going to let it have the last word! Photo

10 I really love the geometry at Foro Italico's Stadio dei Marmi. But what caught my eye here was the relative modesty of this Roman jogger, a tiny (and real!) figure juxtaposed with the exaggerated monumentality of fascist-era architecture. Photo

11 I dread driving on the Lungotevere, which skirts the Tiber. I was once stuck on this very busy road for two hours during a general strike. It's almost never this peaceful, or this appealing... Photo

12 The beautiful church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli stands at the top of a long flight of steps, next to the Altare della Patria and the Campidoglio. It's hard to reach, which may explain the magical light and the serenity you can almost breathe. Photo

13 A little corner of Rome at night: Heat lamps keep the wine drinking and the conversation going late in the Pigneto neighborhood. Photo

14 Itinerant artists are part of the city's landscape. This view reminds me of Montmartre in Paris, but the palm trees give it away. Photo

15 A less-visited side of the city, in Garbatella, near the University of Rome Three. Here, the capital has the vibe of a provincial town: The houses are all family-owned, and it's still possible to hear the Roman dialect and to find people who play cards for hours in neighborhood bars. Photo

16 Tazza d'Oro is a typical counter-only café near the Pantheon. The staff makes coffee and espresso drinks for every mood and season. The granitas topped with whipped cream are my summer favorite. Photo

17 Piazza Venezia. These two men dressed up as Roman soldiers get paid to pose with tourists. In the background, you can see the beginnings of a new subway line. The city's never-finished construction sites are as much a stereotype as the men's costumes. Photo

18 Visitors probably want Rome to be perpetually sunny, but I think it holds up nicely in the rain. And of course, it's almost always sunny tomorrow. Photo

19 With cheapish rents, graffiti, and a new subway line under construction, it's no surprise that formerly working-class Pigneto has gone trendy. Photo

20 By the Mouth of Truth, with the Temple of Vesta in the background. It's still possible to find little havens of calm in the middle of the city's chaos. Photo

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