Rome Travel Guide

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fuksas' "Cloud": An Architect's Fantasy, Under Construction

A couple of years ago we headed out to EUR, the community south of Rome that was created in the late 1930s and early 1940s (before the war intervened) by Mussolini and his fellow Fascists to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the March on Rome (1922) and to affirm Rome's links to the sea and the Italian nation's role as an imperial power. We went there to find a work of art, this one designed by an architect: Massimiliano Fuksas' "Cloud,"
which we had heard was somewhere in the Palazzo dei Congressi, one of EUR's most famous buildings. Once in the Palazzo we poked around, went upstairs and downstairs, opened this door and that, but all to no avail: no Cloud to be found. Later we learned that it didn't exist. It still doesn't, but it might. They're building it now--the Cloud will house, or be contained within, a "congress" or meeting place-- obviously at considerable expense (photo of the construction site, below).
And we are astounded that they are. Yes, it will probably be pretty cool. But when was the last time that a government that couldn't afford to pay its pensions or teachers, not to mention fix potholes or collect the garbage, invested millions and millions in an architect's visionary concept? If you build it, they will come? We'll come, but I don't know about "they."

You will come too, if you take the EUR itinerary in our latest book, Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler. More on the book is at the end of this post.


Fuksas's Cloud is on the EUR itinerary, as we noted above, in our new print AND eBook,  Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler.  Modern Rome 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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