Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feast of Rome Art and Architecture: Moretti's L'ex GIL Open for Business

Young and hip outside L'ex GIL on opening night of
art exhibition
We lovers of 20th Century Italian architecture again found ourselves in of our favorite building – L’ex GIL by the prolific Roman architect, Luigi Moretti. 

Inside, opening night, Leuce tryptich in foreground,
wall-size map of Italian empire, upper left
This former Fascist “youth complex” shows off 30s architecture at its best.  And the City now has recognized that by restoring most of the building.  We recommend a visit to the building both in RST, The Book, and in RST's Top 40, where Moretti’s L’ex GILcomes in at # 10. 

Photo from the glory days
For a few weeks, you in Rome can get a good look at the building, inside and out, from 4-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  The occasion is the exhibition of winners of a painting competition – Premio Catel 2012.  The title of the exhibition is a bit misleading:  “Painting in Rome from Futurism to Now” (“La Pittura a Roma dal Futurismo ai nostril giorni”.  The exhibition is just of the current painting competition and, while that is worth looking at (we especially liked Ovidiu Leuce's triptych of bored men), this is not an historical exhibition and the only Futurism you’ll see is in the building itself.  There are some panels on the architecture and on Moretti, but as I recall, all are in Italian.  There are also some photos from the building’s original days.  And don't miss the spiral staircase - in a back part of the building (go in from the sports field). 

Fragment of original frescos
Moretti was also one of the architects of the Foro Italico (formerly Foro Mussolini). 

Directions to the exhibit are at the end of this post.  The exhibit closes June 16.


Directions:  L’ex GIL is in Largo Ascianghi, 5 (next to Nanni Moretti's – no relation – Nuovo Sacher movie house) in  Trastevere, just northwest of Porta Portese.  It occupies a block of via G. Induno, the street running from Ponte Sublicio to viale Trastevere.  Many buses pass along here (including the 3, that should be a tram), and you can get off the 8 Tram at the corner and walk along the building itself. Buses 44, 75, 115, 125, H, 780 all get you there or within a block.

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