Paris has its Eiffel Tower. Manhattan, the Empire State Building and Vegas, its Vegas. Now Rome (for a week, at least) has a collossal mega-watt structure to join the illuminated metropolises of the world. Here, we unveil Gasometro (pronounced gas-so-MET-ro). No, it's not a publicity stunt for an antacid formula. It's Italgas' skeletal petrol depot on the banks of the Tiber (viewable from my flat).
It was introduced to i Romani this Saturday night as part of the Notte Bianca festivities -- an all-night, all-free walkathon of concerts, open museums, etc. Everyone flocked to Gasometro thinking that acrobats would dangle from the rim in truly spectacular fashion. We arrived to find kids tossing handkerchiefs in the air and Romans agitating that somebody must pay for leading us astray. Our friend Franco called the Commune switchboard at 11 p.m. The conversation went something like this:
Franco: Ciao. We're standing under Gasometro and cannot see the performance.
Commune official: where exactly?
Franco: Right. Under. Gasometro. And we can't see a thing.
Commune: Try moving.
Perhaps out of guilt, the good people at Italgas (my gas company, btw) will keep the structure illuminated for a week. The electricity costs will no doubt be covered by customers.