Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Monday, May 9, 2011

RST Top 40. #5: Foro Mussolini/Foro Italico

A new expanded itinerary of Foro Italico and the area across the Tevere from it, Flaminio, is now one of 4 walks in the new guide: Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler.  Along with the tour of Flaminio and Garbatella, Modern Rome features three other walks: the 20th-century "garden" suburb of Garbatella, the Fascist-designed suburb of EUR; and a stairways walk in classic Trastevere.

This 4-walk book is available in all eBook formats for $1.99 through and all other eBook sellers.  See the various formats at  Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler now also is available in print at and other retailers for the retail price of $5.99.

Dianne and Bill


Riley said...

Nice picture of a fascist man-thong.

Have you considered why Italy has preserved (or at the very least not destroyed) so much of its fascist iconography? Has Germany done the same? Also, although this is "Rome the Second Time," I wonder to what extent these areas exist throughout Italy or was this erection of symbolism restricted to Rome?

Bill Thomaz said...

While visiting Rome,I came across a row of pink buildings. The place was Trastevere.
There in a square I met 6 elderly in their 80's who told me that those buildings were built by Mussolini for the poor. They praised the men and were upset when I said that the fascism was not good for the people.
Can anyone confirm the history of these buildings?

Dianne said...

Thanks for your comment, Bill. Although I can't tell you the history of the particular buildings you saw in Trastevere, I can respond to the exchange you had with the elderly Italian men over Fascism. During its 20+ year run (1922-1943), the Fascist state built thousands of apartment units all over the city. Most were constructed by the Istituto Case Popolari (ICP) [Institute for Public Housing], and they were often designed by good architects. One interesting one is in Trastevere, in Monteverde Nuovo, in Piazza di Donna Olimpia. It was completed in 1938, but its buildings are not pink, and it's probably not the one you saw. There are others--all worth seeing--in Triofale (constructed 1919-1926); in Garbatella (1920 and later); in the Piazza Bologna area (off Piazza Pontida)[described in our book]; and in Flaminio, off viale del Vignola, just off Piazza Melozo 1924-26). We've presented all of these on our blog. You can find them by searching for "Public Housing."
That said, there's no easy way to judge these projects. Many had to be built because Fascism was tearing down areas of the central city to make way for automobiles and to reveal ancient monuments, and the displaced residents had to be housed somewhere. Fascism also feared a working class concentrated in the Centro, and the new public housing was a way to disperse that threat. And much of the housing was very basic--small quarters, without amenities. Still, the Fascists were builders, and in our view, their public housing efforts were a success. Bill (and Dianne)