the third Rome: EUR

The Third Rome: EUR neighbourhood, 1935

The third Rome will expand towards other hills, along the banks of the sacred river to the beaches of the Tyrrhenian sea“.

In 1935 the governor of Rome, Bottai, proposed to Mussolini to nominate the capital for the future universal exhibition of 1942.
The area of the “Tre Fontane” (southwest of the city) was chosen to ideally connect imperial Rome, represented by the Baths of Caracalla, with the Tyrrhenian Sea along the Via Imperiale (today Via Cristoforo Colombo): the new district was designed to be the third pole of expansion in the south-west of the city, “the third Rome“.

The celebrity architects of the time: Giuseppe Pagano, Luigi Piccinato, Luigi Vietti, Adalberto Libera, Gaetano Minnucci, Ernesto Lapadula, Mario Romano, Luigi Moretti, under the technical coordination of Marcello Piacentini took part in the great urbanization project of Rome towards the sea.

The works began on April 26, 1937, the district was inspired, according to the ideology of the time, by classical Roman urbanism, bringing the elements of Italian rationalism: the structure provides a varied system with orthogonal axes and majestic and imposing architectural buildings , massive and square, mostly built with white marble and travertine to remind the temples and buildings of imperial Rome.
The symbolic element of this architectural model is the “Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana” (Italian Civilization palace), nicknamed the “Square Colosseum“.

The universal exhibition never took place due to the delay in construction work and preparations for Italian participation in the Second World War.
After the war ended in the early 1950s, the EUR represented the exemplary case of the post-war reconstruction, which was the basis of the Italian economic-social recovery.
Green areas, a great lack of Rome, would have been the characteristic, the specialty of Eur.
Therefore, a park-district, whose urban qualities needed to be enhanced.

Today the area amazes with the grandeur of the buildings, the surreal atmosphere that you breathe, and that sense of estrangement that is experienced in its streets, as in a painting by De Chirico.
The area around the lake is the liveliest in the area, between recreational and sporting activities, in contrast to that metaphysical soul that appears during the weekends and is accentuated when the sun goes down.
In spring there is a riot of flowers, especially those of the cherry trees that run along the path called “Japan Walk“, a gift from the city of Tokyo.

The EUR, for the characteristics just described, has proved to be an extraordinary set for Italian cinema, many films have been shot in the neighbourhood:
Roma città aperta“, 1945, directed by Roberto Rossellini.
L’eclisse“, 1962, by Michelangelo Antonioni.
Boccaccio ’70“, 1962, four episodes directed by Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Mario Monicelli and Luchino Visconti.
L’ultimo bacio“, 2001, by Gabriele Muccino.
Velocità massima“, 2002, diretto da Daniele Vicari.

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