My dream night starts by cruising between the two banks of the river Tiber, from Trastevere to Campo de’Fiori, Piazza Navona to the Pantheon: this is the beating heart of Rome. I happily brave the maze of narrow streets and pedestrian zones to watch people having fun.
But it’s time to escape from the labyrinth of central Rome, and point the bonnet south. I cross Piazza Venezia and the elephantine Altare della Patria monument, and the Via dei Fori Imperiali opens up in front of me – wide, straight and clear of traffic. On my right is the Roman forum: a sort of archaeological Disneyland. And as I flash past the Colosseum, standing since 80 A.D, I get a rush of emotion at the sight of this magnificent, ancient sporting venue, the scene of so many cruel games.
The Baroque treasures and imperial ruins of central Rome are still in my sights when I reach EUR, the modern district that was begun in the fascist era and completed in time for the 1960 Olympics.
The district’s essential forms, expansive vistas, geometric lines and dazzling white buildings make it a sort of natural stage set that is neutral yet full of character. It’s easy to see why numerous films and car ads have been shot here. And given the vastness of its spaces, it’s easy to see why EUR is first choice for a possible future Formula 1 meeting in Rome. I’m in the right place, then.