Rome Travel Guide

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Pier Luigi Nervi: Palazzetto dello Sport

Pier Luigi Nervi's Palazzetto dello Sport (little palace of sport) sits on its own small piece of land in the Flaminio district, a thing apart.  It's a stone's throw (even for this tired old wing) from the Parco della Musica, so we've been by it, and around it, many times over the last few years, admiring its space-age design while wondering why the roof always seemed to need a coat of paint.  Bill recalls being inside in 1962 with a touring group of Stanford students, unsure what to think of the building, which was new then, having been constructed for volleyball and other events at the 1960 Rome Olympics. 

The Palazzetto beckoned on a recent trip to the neighborhood, when the late afternoon light drew our attention to the building's striking colored glass windows.   The Palazzetto is also featured in the Flaminio itinerary in our new book, Modern Rome: 4 Great Walks for the Curious Traveler. More on the book at the end of this post.

Walking around the exterior, of the Palazzetto, we found an open entrance (!) and walked in.  Voilà.  Some very good volleyball players were practicing.  We admired the space, took some pictures and, not wanting to press our luck further, left.  A few hours later we photographed the same windows, from outside (photo at top).  Lovely.

As noted above, the Palazzetto, and more around it, are featured in the Flaminio itinerary of 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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