Borgo Bello has become quite an interesting place. Even though I only ever visit the two areas I know, the illuminated paintings on Via del Deposito and the Salotto con Vista, I find myself walking there every weekend. Recently I participated in the annual fall clean-up of Salotto con Vista, which was compromised of a small group of people from the community who cared deeply about the terrace, and every once in while a curious person would peek to see what was happening. This community cleaned the terrace because they want to see it flourish and maintained and I find that I want the same. In class, we translated the flyer for the event into English to encourage more students to come and join us. Unfortunately, apart from the students in my class, I did not see any present Umbra students but I was introduced to past Umbra Placemaking students. This must be from direct result of taking the class but I want to change that and introduce this area to more Umbra students so they may enjoy the terrace as well.
The day started once we had our gloves on. One person started raking, another picked up large pieces of trash, and I found myself pulling weeds from the ground with another student. When we started, there was trash here and there, the chairs were moved around, and the grass had overgrown a bit but these are all good signs of use because it means the terrace is being used by the locals. From the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing but there was a rhythm with the group and I felt like it didn’t matter because I was helping one way or another. However, in the end it was much easier to know what had to be done and the time flew by so quickly it didn’t seem like it was noon yet. Throughout the whole experience, it was helping one another reach the same goal: a clean terrace.
Having participated in such a community event allows one to feel part of the family in Borgo Bello. Hopefully by the end of the semester there are more people sitting there while chatting about their day and enjoying the same view I enjoy. Perhaps next year’s annual clean-up will not only include more locals but Umbra students as well.