The long-lasting relationship between the symbols and the narrative imaginaries of Rome and crime is thoroughly affected by the places of the Eternal City: they incorporate such symbols and meanings that, with merely showing or mentioning them, is capable to provide a specific crime-oriented representation. This symbolism may refer to some locations or monuments (like the “Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana”, a fascist “reinterpretation” of the Coliseum, immediately renamed as “Colosseo Quadrato”) but also to entire districts like Ostia or Tor Bella Monaca. The narrative semantization of places is reinforced by the frequent contrast between those peripheral zones and the better-known old town of Rome, an “en-plein-air museum” in which the criminal identity is subtle and hidden. The paper’s intent is to explore the role of those places in the narration of Rome-related crime stories. For this purpose, the Eternal city is considered as narrative universe to which apply a transmedia approach (Freeman, Gambarato 2018, Ciofalo 2020) and develop a qualitative content analysis (Losito 2006; Krippendorff 2018) on a textual corpus composed by crime Tv shows and movies located in Rome that accomplish specific features (productive, narrative, distributive, but also co-productive with a grassroot participation) to make the products belong to the narrative universe created around the city. What results is that places bear a mediatic representation that suits the expectations of the social world (Couldry, Hepp 2016), creating implicit rules for the geography of narrations. Specifically, what results is a strong dichotomy between the city center (in particular the area with State buildings and the Vatican), where crime interconnects with the State and the movers and shakers, and the suburbs, a jungle of desperation where no rules apply and where crime define the social norms; the middle-class area appears as not relevant for this study because persist as a quite zone where crime represent a personal deviance.
Places of Rome as the Stage and Symbol of “Noantri”’s Criminality / Ugolini, Lorenzo; Ciammella, Fabio; Quercia, Grazia. - (2021). (Intervento presentato al convegno Detecting Europe in Contemporary Crime Narratives: Print Fiction, Film, and Television tenutosi a Online).