From the end of 1800 this area was developed without a significant urban planning. It started from several factories and large industrial buildings, laboratories and artisans‘ shops, which occupied an area of several acres just outside Porta Maggiore.
This industrial agglomeration lead the expansion of housing and urbanisation of Pigneto by private and cooperative housing for railway and tramway workers who built the houses, outside of any urban design unit, around the winding path of Pigneto.
In the immediate postwar period Pigneto became one of the most popular and proletarians sites in Rome, located exactly between San Lorenzo and Tor Pignattara. At the beginning of 1900 the entire area east and south east of the capital was marked by a strong presence of employees of various industries, despite the fact that either the monarchy nor Mussolini never favoured the creation of big concentrations of the workering class in one area of the capital with the clear intention to be able to better control any protests.
The Pigneto was chosen as setting for some of the most important movies of Neorealism: „Roma Città Aperta“ (Rossellini, ’45); „Bellissima“ (Visconti ’51); „Domenica della brava gente“ (Majano’53); „Il Ferroviere“ (Germi ’55); „Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti“ (Loy ’60); „Accattone“ Pasolini (’60). The vocation of being a setting for the most important movies of Neorealism is due to the particularity of history in this area; a history of simple people, railway workers, labourers, craftsmen, living in suburbs near from the centre of Rome. Pasolini himself affectionately called these suburbs „the crown of thorns that surrounds the city of God.“