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Rome

EUR and the Foro Italico

EUR: Via Cristoforo Colombo at Piazza Guglielmo Marconi and surroundings.

 

Foro Italico: Lungotevere Maresciallo Cadorna at Ponte Duca d’Aosta



These architectural leftovers of fascism are some of the most bizarre and fascinating sights in the city. South of the center, EUR is a fantasyland of bombastic travertine museums and office buildings, originally constructed by Mussolini to house a great exposition about his “third Rome,” neither of which came to be. Most of the buildings in EUR are rough interpretations of ancient Roman monuments, from the Colosseum to Trajan’s Forum, and it’s fun to look at the parallels in their forms. Vastly more entertaining, however, are the campy statues and mosaics at the Foro Italico, the fascist-era sports complex north of the center that now incorporates the Stadio Olimpico. It’s well worth the trek up here to see marble athletes striking all kinds of ridiculous poses, or peer down at thousands of square feet of open-air mosaics, where inoffensive rhetoric about the glory of sports is told in cartoonish pictures.

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