“In order to understand this place I’m gonna share some history and do some explaining: The CSOA stands for “self-managed occupied social center”, a concept rather common in Italy. Those places normally grow spontaneously out of a need for cultural activities and social assistance where the state hardly offers any (so basically everywhere). Sometimes it may also be to protect a building from being destroyed and/or being substituted, which in this case is an “ex” factory of the Italian chemical firm called “SNIA”.
In the 90s there were plans to turn the whole complex (including a park and a natural lake) into a huge shopping mall. Upon discovering that, some students and many locals occupied the whole thing and saved it from destruction in 1995.
Nowadays the ExSNIA in my opinion is one of the most culturally vivid and beautiful places in Rome. It’s simply a place for everyone, every day and every night. I’ve seen some of the most awesome concerts there, I’ve been keeping my bike alive for years now at their bike-station, they offer free tools and help for all of your bike-repairing needs. And I have passed gorgeous days sunbathing and relaxing with friends at the lake.
Furthermore, they also make their spaces available for theatrical groups and performances, there is a “people’s university of languages”, making teaching and learning languages available for everyone and they even offer a daycare center for children during summer! To me the ExSNIA truly is a beautiful place, in every aspect.”