Rome Travel Guide


The Colosseum

The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium), is the largest amphitheatre built in the Roman Empire. Originally capable of seating 50,000 spectators, it was used for gladiatorial combat. It was built in the 70s and completed in 80 CE. The Colosseum is located just east of the Roman Forum.

Construction of the Colosseum began under the rule of Emperor Vespasian in 72. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian. It was built at the site of Nero's lake below his extensive palace, the Domus Aurea, which had been built covering the slope of the Palatine after the great fire of Rome in 64. Dio Cassius recounts that 9,000 wild animals were killed in the one hundred days of celebration which inaugurated the amphitheatre opening.

After the Colosseum's first two years in operation, Vespasian's younger son (the newly-designated Emperor Domitian) decided to sacrifice the ability to flood the arena in return for a hypogeum, a series of underground tunnels used to house animals and slaves.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum, although the Romans called it more often the Forum Magnum or just the Forum) was the central area around which ancient Rome developed, in which commerce, business, prostitution, cult and the administration of justice took place. Here the communal hearth was located. Sequences of remains of paving show that sediment eroded from the surrounding hills was already raising the level of the forum in early Republican times. Originally it had been marshy ground, which was drained by the Tarquins with the Cloaca Maxima. Its final travertine paving, still to be seen, dates from the reign of Augustus.

The Domus Aurea

The Domus Aurea (Latin for "Golden House") was a large palace built by the Roman emperor Nero after the fire that devastated Rome in 64 AD had cleared the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Esquiline Hill. Built of brick (not marble as is sometimes imagined) in the few years between the fire and Nero's suicide in 68, the extensive gold-leaf that gave it its name was not the only extravagant element of its decor: stuccoed ceilings were applied with semi-precious stones and veneers of ivory. Pliny the Elder watched it being built (Natural History xxxvi. 111). Nero was quoted as saying "Good! Now at last I can begin to live like a human being!" on entering his Domus Aurea for the first time.

Baths of Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla were Roman public baths, or thermae, built in Rome between 212 and 216 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. The extensive ruins of the baths have become a popular tourist attraction.

The bath complex covered approximately 13 hectares (33 ac). The bath building was 228 meters (750 ft) long, 116 meters (380 ft) wide and 38.5 meters (125 ft) estimated height, and could hold an estimated 1,600 bathers. The Caracalla bath complex of buildings was more a leisure centre than just a series of baths. The "baths" were the second to have a public library within the complex. Like other public libraries in Rome, there were two separate and equal sized rooms or buildings; one for Greek language texts and one for Latin language texts.

The baths consisted of a central 55.7 by 24 meter (183x79 ft) frigidarium (cold room) under three 32.9 meter (108 ft) high groin vaults, a double pool tepidarium (medium), and a 35 meter (115 ft) diameter caldarium (hot room), as well as two palaestras (gyms where wrestling and boxing was practiced). The north end of the bath building contained a natatio or swimming pool. The natatio was roofless with bronze mirrors mounted overhead to direct sunlight into the pool area. The entire bath building was on a 6 meter (20 ft) high raised platform to allow for storage and furnaces under the building. The libraries were located in exedrae on the east and west sides of the bath complex. The entire north wall of the complex was devoted to shops.

Circus Maximus

The Circus Maximus (Latin for greatest circus, in Italian Circo Massimo) is an ancient arena and mass entertainment venue located in Rome.

Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, the location was first utilised for public games and entertainment by the Etruscan kings of Rome. Certainly, the first games of the Ludi Romani (Roman Games) were staged at the location by Tarquinius Priscus, the first Etruscan ruler of Rome. Somewhat later, the Circus was the site of public games and festivals influenced by the Greeks in the 2nd century BC. Meeting the demands of the Roman citizenry for mass public entertainment on a lavish scale, Julius Caesar expanded the Circus around 50 BC, after which the track measured approximately 600 m (1,968 ft) in length, 225 m (738 ft) in breadth and could accommodate an estimated 250,000 spectators (many more, perhaps an equal number again, could view the games by standing, crowding and lining the adjoining hills). In 81, the Senate built a triple arch honoring Titus by the closed East end (not to be confused with the Arch of Titus over the Via Sacra on the opposite side of the Palatinum).

Catacombs of Rome

The Catacombs of Rome are ancient Jewish and Christian underground burial places near Rome, Italy. Etruscans used to bury their dead in underground chambers. Christians revived the practice because they did not want to cremate their dead due to their belief in bodily resurrection. Hence they began to bury their dead, first in simple graves and sometimes in burial vaults of pro-Christian patricians.

The first large-scale catacombs were excavated from the 2nd century onwards. Originally they were carved through soft rock outside the boundaries of the city, because Roman law forbade burial places within city limits. At first they were used both for burial and the memorial services and celebrations of the anniversaries of Christian martyrs (following similar Roman customs). They probably were not used for regular worship. Many modern depictions of the catacombs show them as hiding places for Christian populations during times of persecution. This is unlikely, however, since the large numbers of decaying corpses would have made the air nearly (if not completely) toxic. Additionally, the general locations of the catacombs were known to the Roman officials, making them a poor choice for a secret hiding place. There are forty known subterranean burial chambers in Rome. They were built along Roman roads, like the Via Appia, the Via Ostiense, the Via Labicana, the Via Tiburtina, and the Via Nomentana. Names of the catacombs – like St Calixtus and St Sebastian alongside Via Appia – refer to martyrs that are supposedly buried there.

Trajan's Column

Trajan's Column is a monument in Rome raised by Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near the Quirinal Hill, north of the Roman Forum. It was completed in 113, the spiral bas-relief commemorates Trajan's victory in his military campaigns to conquer Dacia. See Dacian Wars. The structure is about 30 meters (98 ft) in height, 38 including its large pedestal. The shaft is made from a series of 18 colossal Carrara marble drums, each weighing about 40 tons, with a diameter of about 4 metres (13 ft). The 200 meter (656 ft) frieze winds around the shaft 23 times. Inside the shaft, a spiral staircase of 185 stairs provides access to a viewing platform at the top.

According to coins depicting the column, it was originally topped with a statue of a bird, possibly an eagle,[1] and later by a statue of Trajan himself. In 1588, it was replaced by a statue of St. Peter (which still remains) by Pope Sixtus V.


The Pantheon (Latin Pantheon, from Greek Pantheion, meaning "Temple of all the Gods") is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome, but which has been a Christian church since the 7th century. It is the best-preserved of all Roman buildings and the oldest important building in the world with its original roof intact. It has been in continuous use throughout its history. Although the identity of the Pantheon's primary architect remains uncertain, it is largely assigned to Apollodorus of Damascus.

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the latest of the extant triumphal arches in Rome, from which it differs by spolia, the extensive re-use of parts of earlier buildings.

Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramid of Cestius (in Italian, Piramide di Caio Cestio or Piramide Cestia) is an Egyptian-style pyramid in Rome, Italy near the Porta San Paolo and the Protestant Cemetery. The pyramid is a funerary monument built about 12 BC as a tomb for Caius Cestius, a member of one of the four great religious corporations at Rome, the Septemviri epulonum. It is of brick-faced concrete covered with slabs of white marble, 27 meters high and about 22 meters square, standing on a travertine foundation. In the interior is the burial chamber, 5.95 metres long, 4.10 wide and 4.80 high. On the east and west sides, about halfway up, is the inscription recording the names and titles of Cestius, and below, on the east side only, another which relates the circumstances of the erection of the monument (CIL vi.1374).

The peculiar conceit of a pyramid in Rome must be laid to the fact that Rome had conquered Egypt a few years before, in 30 BC, and the ancient culture of the new province became fashionable for a while; at any rate the tomb is unique among ancient Roman monuments, and not until modern funerary architecture did Rome see another pyramid within its walls. A comparison of their shape reveals that the structural strength of concrete made it possible to build the Roman pyramid at a much sharper angle than those of Egypt.

La Bocca della Verità

La Bocca della Verità (English, The Mouth of Truth) is a famous sculpted image of a human face in Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of an ancient Roman fountain or perhaps a "manhole" cover, portraying a river god. The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its capability of act as lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with his hand in the mouth of the sculpture then it would be bitten off. Bocca was placed in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church in the 17th century.


Ostia is a fraction of the commune of Rome, Italy, on the coast facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was the harbor of ancient Rome and perhaps its first colonia. Located at the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was said to have been founded by Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, in the 7th century BC. A later inscription refers to the event [Anco Marcio regi quarto a Romulo qui ab urbe condita primum coloniam --- deduxit]. However the most ancient archaeological remains so far discovered are no older than the 4th century BC. The most ancient buildings currently visible are from the 3rd century BC, notably the Castrum (military camp) and of a slightly later date are, the Capitolium (temple of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva). The opus quadratum, the walls of the original castrum at Ostia provide important evidence for the building techniques that were employed in Roman urbanisation during the period of the Middle Republic. Although Ostia was probably founded for the sole purpose of military defense — since hostile armies could eventually reach Rome by water through the mouth of the Tiber River — in time the port became a very important commercial harbor.

Capitoline Hill

The Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus Mons), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the most famous and highest of the seven hills of Rome. The English word capitol derives from Capitoline Hill. It was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus. It was considered one of the largest and the most beautiful temples in the city (although little now remains) and was probably founded on an earlier, Etruscan temple of Veiovis, whose remains and cult statue still survive. The role of the Capitoline Hill in city legend is linked with the recovery during the Regal period of a human head (the word for head in Latin is caput) when the foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter.

Quirinal Palace

The Quirinal Palace (known in Italian as the Palazzo del Quirinale or simply the Quirinale) is now the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic upon the Quirinal Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome.

The palace, located on the Via del Quirinale and facing onto the Piazza del Quirinale, was built in 1573 by Pope Gregory XIII as a papal summer residence. It was also used as the location for many papal conclaves. It served as a papal residence and housed the central offices responsible for the civil government of the Papal States until 1870. In September, 1870, what was left of the Papal States was overthrown. About five months later, in 1871, Rome became the capital of the new Kingdom of Italy. The palace was occupied during the invasion of Rome and became the official royal residence of the Kings of Italy, though in reality some monarchs, notably King Victor Emmanuel III (reigned 1900-1946) actually lived in a private residence elsewhere, the Quirinale being used simply as an office and for state functions. The monarchy was abolished in 1946 and the Palace became the official residence and workplace for the Presidents of the Italian Republic.

Palazzo Venezia

The Palazzo Venezia is the name for a large palazzo (palace) in central Rome, just north of the Capitoline Hill. Its name recalls that it once served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice. Begun in 1455, the building was one of the first Renaissance buildings in Rome; although it was built around the medieval tower at the right of its facade. Much of its stone was quarried from the nearby Colosseum, a common practice in Rome until recent centuries. It was originally inhabited by the Venetian cardinal, Pietro Barbo, who later became Pope Paul II. He supposedly had it built on this location in order to view the horse races in the adjacent Via del Corso.

The building became a papal residence, and Pope Pius IV gave use of much the building to the Republic of Venice for use as its embassy. Throughout the nineteenth century, the building was the seat for the Austrian ambassador to the Vatican. In 1917, Italy regained possession of the building, and it was restored. Mussolini had his office in the Sala del Mappamondo, and used a balcony in the palazzo for many of his most notable speeches to people gathered in the Piazza Venezia below. The Museo del Palazzo di Venezia is within the building. It contains galleries of art, predominantly pottery, tapestry, statuary and art from the Christian era up to early Renaissance.

Palazzo Farnese

Palazzo Farnese is a prominent High Renaissance palace in Rome, which currently houses the French Embassy in Italy. "The most imposing Italian palace of the sixteenth century", according to Sir Banister Fletcher, this palace was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1484-1546), one of Bramante's assistants in the design of St. Peter's. Construction began in 1517, commissioned by Alessandro Farnese, who had been appointed as a Cardinal in 1493 at age 25 (thanks to his sister, who was Pope Alexander VI Borgia's official mistress) and was living a princely lifestyle. When in 1534 he was made pope, as Paul III, he employed Michelangelo to complete the third story and revise the courtyard, as an emblematic "power house" suitable to the Farnese family. The massive facade dominates a small piazza; the memorable features of its facade are the alternating pediments that cap the windows of the piano nobile, the central rusticated portal and Michelangelo's projecting cornice. The central window Michelangelo revised when the cardinal became pope, adding an architrave to support the largest coat-of-arms with papal tiara Rome had ever seen. When Paul stepped to the balcony, the entire facade became a setting for his person. The courtyard, initially open arcades, is ringed by an academic exercise in ascending orders (Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic). The piano nobile was garlanded by Michelangelo.

Palazzo Barberini

The sloping site was precedently occupied by a garden-vineyard of the Sforza family, on which a palazzetto had been built in 1549. When the Cardinal Alessandro Sforza met financial hardships in 1625, the then semi-suburban site was purchased by Maffeo Barberini, Urban VIII. Three great architects worked to create a harmonious whole. Carlo Maderno, then at work extending the nave of St Peter's, was commissioned to enclose the Villa Sforza within a vast Renaissance block, such as had been done for the Palazzo Farnese; however, the design quickly evolved into a precedent-setting combination of urban palazzo and suburban villa with semi-enclosed garden. Maderno began in 1627 assisted by his nephew Francesco Borromini. When Maderno died in 1629, Borromini was passed over in favor of Bernini, a young prodigy till then known as a sculptor. The two architects worked briefly together on this project and at the Palazzo Spada: works were ended by Bernini in 1633. After the death of Urban VIII, the palace was confiscated by the Vatican, and returned to the Barberini only in 1653.

Palazzo Spada

The Palazzo Spada is a palace in Rome that houses a grand art collection, the Galleria Spada, assembled by Bernardino Cardinal Spada. It is located in the rione Regola, at Piazza Capo di Ferro, 13 (41°53'38.5?N, 12°28'18.5?E), with a garden facing the Tiber, very close to the Palazzo Farnese.

It was originally built in 1540 for Cardinal Girolamo Capodiferro (1501–1559). Bartolomeo Baronino di Casale, of Monferrato, was the architect and Giulio Mazzoni and a team provided lavish stuccowork inside and out. The palazzo was purchased by Cardinal Spada in 1632. He commissioned Francesco Borromini to modify it for him, and it was Borromini who created the masterpiece of trompe-l'oeil false perspective in the arcaded courtyard, in which diminishing rows of columns and a rising floor create the optical illusion of a gallery 37 meters long (it is 8 meters) with a lifesize sculpture in daylight beyond: the sculpture is 60 cm high. Borromini was aided in his perspective trick by a mathematician.

Palazzo della Cancelleria

The Palazzo della Cancelleria (Italian for "Palace of the Chancellery", meaning the Papal Chancellery) is a palace in Rome, situated between the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and the Campo de' Fiori, in the rione of Parione. It was constructed between 1485-1513, being the first palazzo in Rome to be built from the ground up in the new Renaissance style. The long façade with its rhythm of flat doubled pilasters between the arch-headed windows is Florentine in conception, comparable to Leone Battista Alberti's Palazzo Rucellai. The grand doorway was added in the 16th century by Domenico Fontana on the orders of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese.

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina is an artistically and architecturally influential Renaissance villa in Via della Lungara, in the central district of Trastevere in the centre of Rome. The villa was built by Agostino Chigi, a rich Sienese banker and treasurer of Pope Julius II. Between 1506–1510, the Sienese artist and pupil of Bramante, Baldassarre Peruzzi, aided by Giuliano da Sangallo, designed and built the villa. The novelty of the villa design can be discerned from its differences from that of a typical urban palazzo (palace). Renaissance palaces were decorated versions of defensive castles: rectangular blocks with rusticated ground floors and enclosing a courtyard. This villa, meant to be a summer pavilion, was airy and the rear wings open to a garden towards the river. Initially, the entrance loggia was open; luckily for the frescoes therein, it now is enclosed.

Chigi also commissioned the fresco decoration of the loggias, by artists such as Raffaello, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giulio Romano, and Il Sodoma. The themes were inspired by the Stanze of the poet Angelo Poliziano, a key member of the circle of Lorenzo de Medici. Best known are Raphael's frescoes in Loggia depicting the classical and secular myths of Love and Psyche, and The Triumph of Galatea. One of his few purely secular paintings, which pictures a near-naked nymph on a shell-shaped chariot amid frolicking servants in painting reminiscent of Botticelli's Venus. Additional trompe-l'œil frescoes were completed by Peruzzi himself. The villa became a property of the Farnese family in 1577 (hence the name of Farnesina), later belonged to the Bourbon of Naples and in 1861 to the Spanish Ambassador in Rome. Today, owned by the Italian State, it hosts the Lincei Academy, one of the most ancient academies in Rome, and the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe (Department for Drawings and Prints). Some claim that the Farnese once contemplated linking their two palaces across each other on the Tiber with a private bridge.

Piazza del Popolo

The Piazza del Popolo is one of the most famous places, especially for foreigners, in Rome. The name in Italian means "piazza of the people", but historically it derives from the poplars (pioppo) after which the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, to the north of the square, takes its name. The Piazza lies inside the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls, once the Porta Flaminia of Ancient Rome. This was the starting point of the Via Flaminia, the road to Ariminum (modern Rimini) and the most important route to the north. The layout of the piazza today was designed in neoclassical style between 1811 and 1822 by the architect Giuseppe Valadier, who demolished some buildings to form two semicircles, reminiscent of Bernini's plan for St. Peter's Square, replacing the original cramped trapezoidal square centred on the Via Flaminia.

An Egyptian obelisk of Rameses II from Heliopolis stands in the centre of the Piazza. The obelisk, known as the obelisco Flaminio, is the second oldest and one of the tallest in Rome (some 24 m high, or 36 m including its plinth). The obelisk was brought to Rome in 10 BC by order of Augustus and originally set up in the Circus Maximus. It was re-erected here in the Piazza by the architect-engineer Domenico Fontana in 1589 as part of the urban plan of Sixtus V. The Piazza also formerly contained a central fountain, which was moved to the Piazza Nicosia in 1818, when fountains in the form of Egyptian-style lions were added around the base of the obelisk. The obelisk is currently under renovation.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a square in Rome. The piazza follows the plan of an ancient Roman circus, the 1st century Stadium of Domitian[1], where the Romans came to watch the agones ("games"): today's name stems from the corruption of the latter in in agone, then nagone and navona, which actually means "big ship" in Italian.

Defined as a square in the last years of 15th century, when the city market was transferred here from the Campidoglio, Piazza Navona is now the pride of Baroque Rome. It has sculptural and architectural creations: by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the famous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers, 1651) in the center; by Francesco Borromini and Girolamo Rainaldi, the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone; and by Pietro da Cortona, who painted the gallery in the Pamphilj palace.

Piazza di Spagna

The Spanish Steps (Italian: Scalinata di Piazza di Spagna) is a set of stairs in Rome, ramping a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, with the church under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, Trinità dei Monti, above.

The monumental stairway, of 138 steps, was built with French diplomat Stefano Gueffier’s funds (20,000 scudi) in 1723–1725, linking the Bourbon Spanish embassy to the Holy See, today still located in the piazza below, with the Trinità dei Monti church above.

In the Piazza at the base is the Early Baroque fountain called the Barcaccia ("The Ugly Boat"), often credited to Pietro Bernini, father of a more famous son, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who is sometimes said to have collaborated on the decoration. According to an unlikely legend, Pope Urban VIII had the fountain installed after he had been impressed by a boat brought here by a flood of the Tiber river.

Also in the piazza, at the corner on the right as one begins to climb the steps, is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821; it is now a museum dedicated to his memory, full of memorabilia of the English Romantic generation. On the same right side stands the 15th century former cardinal Cybo’s palace, now Ferrari di Valbona, a building altered in 1936 to designs by Marcello Piacentini, the main city planner during Fascism, with modern terraces perfectly in harmony with the surrounding baroque context.

At the top the Viale ramps up the Pincio which is the Pincian Hill, omitted, like the Janiculum, from the classic Seven hills of Rome. From the top of the steps the Villa Medici can also be easily reached.

Piazza Venezia

The Piazza Venezia is a piazza in central Rome. It takes its name from the adjacent Palazzo Venezia. The piazza is at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and near the Roman Forum. It is dominated by the imposing Victor Emmanuel II monument. Piazza Venezia has a constant stream of traffic, yet no traffic lights. Instead, a white gloved traffic policeman stands on a block and directs traffic.

Palazzo Madama

Palazzo Madama is a palace in Rome, currently house of the Senate of the Italian Republic. It was built atop the ruins of the ancient baths Nero, next to Piazza Navona. The terrain had been acquired in the Middle Ages by the monks of the Abbey of Farfa, who later ceded it to France. The new building was begun at the end of the 15th century and completed in 1505, for the Medici family. It housed two Medici cardinals and cousins, Giovanni and Giuliano, who both later became popes as Leo X and Clement VII, respectively. Catherine de' Medici, Clement VII's niece, also lived here before she was married to Henry, son of King Francis I of France in 1533.

Palazzo Montecitorio

The Palazzo Montecitorio is a palace in Rome, which is currently the seat of the Italian Chamber of deputies. The building was originally designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for the young Cardinal Ludovisi, nephew of Pope Gregory XV. However, with the death of Gregory XV by 1623, work stopped, and was not restarted until the papacy of pope Innocent X, when it was completed by the architect Carlo Fontana, who modified Bernini's plan with the addition of a bell gable above the main entrance.

In 1696 the Curia apostolica (papal law courts) was installed there. Later it was home to the Governatorato di Roma (the city administration during the fascist period) and the police headquarters. With the Unification of Italy in 1861 and the transfer of the capital to Rome 1870, Montecitorio was chosen as the seat of the Chamber of deputies, after consideration of various possibilities. The former internal courtyard was roofed over and converted into a semi-circular assembly room.

Italian Chamber of Deputies

The Italian Chamber of Deputies (Italian: Camera dei Deputati) is the lower house of the Parliament of Italy. It has 630 seats, a majority of which are controlled presently by supporters of the Prodi leftwing coalition (as of 2006). Twelve deputies represent Italian citizens resident overseas. Deputies meet in the Palazzo Montecitorio.

Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II

Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II (Monument of Victor Emmanuel II) or Altare della Patria (Altar of the Nation) or "Il Vittoriano" is a monument located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. The monument was designed and built by Giuseppe Sacconi between 1895 and 1911 to honour Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy. The monument is built of pure white marble and features majestic stairways, tall corinthian columns, fountains, a huge equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas. The monument holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame, built under the statue of Italy after World War I. The base of the structure also houses the museum of Italian Reunification.

Esposizione Universale Roma

The Esposizione Universale Roma (E.U.R.) is a large complex, built in 1935 by Benito Mussolini as symbol of fascism for the world; he wanted to expand the new Rome in the west, to connect it to the sea. The E.U.R. district was originally conceived for the 1942 world exhibition, and was called "E.42" ("Esposizione 42"). However the world exhibition never took place due to Italy entering the Second World War in 1940. The E.U.R. provides a large-scale image of how urban Italy might have looked if the fascist regime had not fallen during the war; large, symmetrical streets and austere buildings of either stile Littorio, inspired by ancient Roman architecture, or Rationalism, built in the traditional limestone, tuff and marble.