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Hugging the eastern bank of the Tiber just south of Rome’s Aurelian walls, Ostiense doesn’t fit the stereotype of a neighbourhood belonging to the Eternal City. In place of venerable churches and palazzos there are striking street murals. The district started out as a working-class energy and industrial hub, with an ageing gasometer a local landmark.

With the decline of industry, opportunities arose to take over abandoned warehouses and factories. The Centrale Montemartini museum, once a power plant, now hosts a collection of ancient Roman and…

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