Miracle. First of all it was a lumberyard. Later, a coffee roasting plant, smelling of mocha, then in the '80s it was turned into a wicker furniture factor, and in the period of globalisation, it became a supermarket. And finally, after all these metamorphoses, it was abandoned, as though all these mutations had tired it out. And there it was, in the industrial area of the Tuscolano, without any purpose, immersed in its own decay. In 2012, however, came the Visionaries. A group of professionals, expert in aspects of culture ranging from photography and museums to from cinema and graphics. Struck by the forlorn sight of this fallen giant in such a run-down area, the visionaries begin to dream, and they put their dreams onto the street, squared off to reality and gave life to Visiva: a place where the supermarket still exists, but instead of hunting for jars of pickles, you can now find photographs, paintings, films, exhibitions and seminars. A cultural centre which has revolutionized that part of the Tuscolano district.
An industrial revolution in every sense, because Visiva succeeds in the difficult task of turning culture into a project which is not only ethical, capable of generating instruments for the interpretation of reality, but also in an economic sense, creating as it does a profitable virtuous circle. And in this particular case, 'profits' has a pleasant ring to it, implying as it does the social improvement of neglected neighbourhoods, the regeneration of high-risk areas, opportunities for growth and redevelopment, more jobs and the generation of cultural activities capable of creating business. Practically a miracle, and all done through independent willpower with no links to the world of politics. Rome can be an obstacle, especially when it comes to bureaucracy, but the visionaries have no intention of leaving it: it is a city whose cultural ferment is a continuous challenge, and from the huge terrace of their visionary city they plan and create desires.
The story of Visiva has been written by Rossella Milone, Italian writer and blogger.