Rome Travel Guide

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Look Down Series: EUR's Manhole Covers

This cover reads, "Esposizone Universale E.42"  (Universal Exposition, E (Esposizione) [1942]

E..42 (and lower right,, Rome Foundry)

GAS, in modernist lettering
   If you've been with us for awhile, you know we've entertained you before with Rome's cool manhole covers.  While many of that earlier series were found on the streets and sidewalks of the Piazza Bologna area, the current offerings, no less evocative of the city's 20th-century past, come from EUR, the pompously modernistic quartiere to the south of the center (on the Metro).  The zone is named for the Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR, Universal Exposition of Rome), built by the Fascist regime in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and scheduled to open in 1942, the 20th anniversary of the Fascist March on Rome.  The war came up the peninsula, the expo never took place, and EUR was used in 1943 and 1944 as a staging area for the occupying German army, after Italy surrendered to the allies.  But much of the construction had been completed, including the infrastructure--and including these nifty manhole covers.
Note the Latinate "U" in EUR and tips of Bill's shoes

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