Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Worst Public Sculptures in Rome: Some Competition in Piazza Lodi

We've been through Piazza Lodi many times, but until recently we had never stopped to admire the small plaza at its center, nor noticed the public sculpture that decorates the space.  Not long ago, on a walk through the area, we came upon the piazza--located at the eastern end of Via La Spezia--eager to savor its pleasures.  Among them are the two benches that grace the plaza, nicely placed for a good view of the splendid aqueduct that runs just behind it in the direction of Porta Maggiore, close by. 

Getting to those benches is another matter.  The plaza is isolated by a circle of traffic.  There are no lights or stop signs to slow the relentless string of vehicles, no crosswalks to suggest safe(r) passage.  It took us 5 minutes to find a gap through which we could sprint. 

Another attraction is the sculpture.  It's in the well known and, in Rome, overused form of the monolith.  It was probably installed in the Cento Piazze (Hundred Piazzas) program (see an earlier post on this - and on other candidates for WPS - worst public sculptures) begun about twenty years ago by then-mayor Francesco Rutelli, to bring art and culture to the masses.  Any attempt by the masses to get to this one would result in fewer masses.  

Regardless, it's probably not worth the effort.  The outstanding feature of the monolith are the slots on two sides, filled with cast metal that's designed to resemble (we're guessing here) primordial ooze.  Perhaps one is expected to feel humbled in the presence of humanity's origins.   Instead, we were thrilled just to make it back across the street.  

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