Amusement Park




In my book Best’ generation, there is a passage in which I refer to Amusement Park: Who was there before, before? – I wonder.

In fact I needed the Amusement Park up to twenty-five years and more. I never stopped going, I just stopped telling everyone I went to it. It was a magical journey which materialized. You had it handy whenever you wanted it. Or when the world of adults was inaccessible.

My Pleasure Island was on the opposite side of the city. To get there you had to take two subway lines. It was the dream which perpetuated, the little boy who came back, the reigning Peter Pan. Or, since it was a pleasure island, it was the Lucignolo in all of us. The desire to play secretly. Endlessly. Until someone calls you to tell you dinner is ready. Well, there was all junk food for boys. Pizzas and fries. Hot dogs and sandwiches. Cotton candy and gummy liquorice. Ice creams and chocolates. Too bad there wasn’t a place to sleep. After all, night slipped away like a beer in the throat and there was no time to rest. From what, then?

You found your classmate, school friends or neighbours. The school, in fact, the oppressive and obligatory institution, became a distant nightmare. Teenage stuff (but not so much). Feelings of lightness. Temptations.

In Rome, Via Cristoforo Colombo leads from the centre to the sea, in Ostia. The last thing you leave behind, leaving the city, is the Eur district. From the street, looking to the left, there was the Big Wheel of its Amusement Park which was imposing itself to the sight, reigniting the fantasy, suppressed by a purely presumed seriousness.

I’ll not be writing as it was better once, even if the reverberation of my words suggests it. And it wasn’t all free either (except the entrance). You could spend large sums for your enjoyment.

Times change. Today we use a playstation or a mobile phone, what need would there be? Everyone should keep the games of their own generation. It makes no sense to dig up. If you fall into abstinence, you can always take your vacation on a trip to Disneyland Paris.

But that morning made me a strange effect. I passed there by chance and I stopped to look at what remained of a childhood dream. Let’s talk clearly: I couldn’t go on the Tagadà. Now that is stuff for teenagers or astronauts and I would have entered the ambulance soon after came down, cursing hernias and various disc brits.

The Amusement Park of Eur in Rome was the oldest stable amusement park in Italy and the structures that housed it dated back to 1953. On the morning of April 14th 2008 the Park was closed. Issues between companies, complaints, tenders and concessions, represent the degeneration of the project.

I tried to force my imagination. I entered the old realm and I searched in my memories for a song which made me dream like I was young, dancing on those today’s rubble. I was saddened to think sooner or later all the fairy tales have an end.


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