The Borghetto dei Pescatori of Ostia
appears, to those who arrive there for the first time, as a small place where time stopped a hundred years ago,
when men worked hard on the sea and on their small boats they defied the waves to bring home food for the family, removing it from the stormy waves.
In the surroundings of the BeB barocchetto Romano there are many incredible places to discover,
and one of these is Il Borghetto dei Pescatori di Ostia.
And indeed the history of this place is very ancient.
Like almost everything that has to do with Rome, it begins in the centuries of the Roman Empire, and constitutes the historical nucleus of Ostia, the lido of Rome.
It was 356 BC when the Canale dei Pescatori was built to collect the stagnant waters of Ostia Antica.
The area was cleared and diseases, such as malaria, disappeared.
But it would have been a long time before this area was inhabited, as sand often invaded the canal.
At the end of the nineteenth century, and more precisely in 1880, the first fishermen began to settle in this stretch of the Lazio coast.
They came from Anzio and Procida; they had rough hands for boat work, and faces marked by saltiness.
The Association of Neapolitan Fishermen gave them a statue depicting San Nicola, protector of those who go by sea;
around which a small, delightful church was built, which is still reflected in the canal today.
The living conditions of those men were harsh, and the surrounding environment was still unhealthy.
The fate of the Borghetto dei Pescatori di Ostia changed in the first thirty years of the twentieth century, when Benito Mussolini passed from here together with the writer Margherita Sarfatti.
A team of 360 workers worked for 24 hours, day and night, thanks to the lighting of the lamps, for 52 days in a row.
In the end the houses were erected, the Borgo was born as it can still be admired today. It was 1933.
Almost a century has passed,
but walking through the small alleys, on the canal where small fishing boats are reflected in the water today as then, absolutely nothing seems to have changed.
The tourist feels immersed in a cordial and comfortable atmosphere, that of other times, when the doors of each house remained open to welcome travelers.
The hard past of effort and work that the fathers of those who live today at the Borghetto have experienced can still be read on their faces, as if it had become part of their genetic code.
On the other hand, however, there is also the straightforward simplicity of men and women used to sharing what little they have with the whole community.
At the Borghetto dei Pescatori
how true the ideal of the oyster of Vergian memory is to sailors:
the families that grow on the sea remain united, attached to each other like the fingers of one hand, but also to the place where they grew up and thrived.
Thus, arriving in this small square overlooking the shore, you feel part of this profound identity, which is then part of the collective identity of Italy.
The visitor can experience the reception of fishermen especially on one occasion, or during the tellina festival, which traditionally takes place between late August and early September.
This is not a festival like many, but a moment of sharing in which you cannot taste good dishes made with seafood, but during which,
above all, you can savor the feeling of warmth and gratitude that derives from feeling welcomed in a joyful community, rude but also capable of laughing and smiling.
The Borghetto dei Pescatori is part of the X Town Hall of Rome,
and a short distance away are the pine forest of Castel Fusano and the Borgo di Ostia Antica.
From here you can leave to visit Rome itself, with its indescribable architectural, artistic and cultural heritage.
The Borghetto dei Pescatori instead does not store large finds, but something much more important.
It preserves the historical memory of Italy, which has grown and grown with the work of the land and the work of the sea.
In this place the sense of the maritime civilization is fully expressed, and its intrinsic greatness can still be understood today.