Rome Travel Guide

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Architect Gino Coppedè in Rome's Center

We've blogged about the 20th century architect Gino Coppedè several times, and included his Quartiere Coppedè at #20 on our RST Top 40 list.  It took us a few years, however, to discover that one of Coppedè's signature buildings is right in the Centro Storico, off Piazza Barberini.  This large palazzo, at via Veneto no. 7, is not his best, in our opinion, but it offers insight into this particular (in the Italian sense of the word) architect if you can't make the trek out to the Quartiere.

classic Coppedè sculptural detail
You can peak inside too.

The palazzo, built in 1927, the year Coppedè died, has his signature sculptural effects and, like Coppedè, defies categorization.  Coppedè has been variously described as an architect in the Art Nouveau, "Liberty" ( a particularly Italian designation falling between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, we think), and barocchetto traditions.  For many years his architecture was not highly valued in Rome.  He was seen  mostly as idiosyncratic.  But there has been a rehabilitation of his reputation, and the Quartiere Coppedè is now a highly prized, and very expensive, residential area.

One of the paired via dei Ramni buildings in the San
Lorenzo district
Not too far out of the Centro, in the San Lorenzo district, are two more Coppedè buildings we had never noticed until recently.  They are on via dei Ramni, a block from the University (La Sapienza).  As of this March, an apartment in one of them was for sale.  See the video here:

Back to Piazza Barberini and via Veneto:  there is no dearth of visual stimuli - Bernini's Triton fountain, his bee fountain, the Capuchin crypt nearby that was a subject of a recent post, the Cinema Barberini designed by Marcello Piacentini, the Hotel Bernini Bristol with its rooftop bar, a view of Palazzo Barberini.  But, if you take time to look up at the corner of via Veneto and Piazza Barberini, we think you'll find the view worthwhile.
Look up at the corner.
And a reference to Fascism

See also a nice photo essay in English at this site:

1 comment:

Beth Thompson said...

Thanks to Rome the Second Time, we explored Quartiere Coppedè and were blown away by the eclectic architecture and art. Should be on a list for Rome the First Time. It's not far from the center, and it would give visitors a lesson in how diverse the city is in terms of historical architecture.