Rome Travel Guide

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fire Escapes to Heaven: The Stairs of EUR

You'll have to cut us some slack here, dear reader. We know that all except the most far-out architectural buffs will wonder if we've gone insane when we tell them what today's subject is: outside stairways on modern buildings. Sounds like the worst lecture in a bad course. But we (Bill, actually. Dianne didn't have much to do with this) couldn't resist offering you a tour of some of the loveliest staircases in all of modern architecture. Our fancy was piqued as we toured EUR (Esposizione Universale di Rome; Rome Universal Exposition),

a community south of Rome (on the Metro) begun in the 1930s to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Fascists' March on Rome (1922) and now a thriving center of business and government, especially the Italian postal service. The stairways we found come with buildings built after World War II--most of them, we guess, after 1970--likely as fire escapes. Despite what we imagine to be their prosaic origins, we--and that does include Dianne--find them unusual and, need we say, lovely.

And we were so entranced by the stairways that they found their way into the EUR itinerary of our latest book, Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler.  See below for more information on the book.


 Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler features tours of the "garden" suburb of Garbatella; the 20th-century suburb of EUR, designed by the Fascists; the 21st-century music and art center of Flaminio, along with Mussolini's Foro Italico, also the site of the 1960 summer Olympics; and a stairways walk in Trastevere.

This 4-walk book is available in all print and eBook formats The eBook is $1.99 through and all other eBook sellers.  See the various formats at

Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler
 now is also available in print, at, Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores, and other retailers; retail price $5.99.

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