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Lo Forte Giacomo

The site for it was beyond the stadiums on a direct line with the obelisk at the entrance. Work got as far as the head of the statue, which bore a striking resemblance to Mussolini. The war put a stop to this piece of megalomania, which was melted down for the war effort. It claimed to bring together scientific, artistic, historical, and political purposes in one huge complex. For the regime, the very word foro recalled the glories of ancient Rome, but it also stood for the same sort of political program that engaged the ancient forums as centers of training and education.

The 48 3. Therefore, what more appropriate place could there be for the Palazzo del Littorio, the fascist headquarters sometimes referred to as the Casa Littoria, including the permanent Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution? Great attention went to the flow of traffic to the foro.

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City buses would bring many citizens, and plans also called for an automobile parking lot. The Foro Mussolini thus gave the Opera Nazionale Balilla a magnificent sports city to train and showcase youth. The regime both developed the facilities and made use of the open space available for the annual rally of fascist youth known as Campo Dux.

The principal stadium in Parioli was commonly known as the Stadio Nazionale; it opened in , the fiftieth anniversary of Italian unification, with a seating capacity of 30, Marcello Piacentini supervised expansion and alteration in , which increased the number to 40, The enlarged stadium had facilities for soccer matches, track meets, fencing, indoor and outdoor pools, and a gymnasium.

Four new statues of athletes by Amelto Cataldi graced the entrance. In addition, there was the horse racing track, Ippodromo di Villa Glori.

The open space between these sites and the Tiber provided ample space for the annual Campo Dux. Up to sixty thousand members of the fascist youth organizations throughout Italy gathered for a week in September. For those boys who were fifteen years old, the event was a rite of passage as they moved from the Balilla to the Avanguardisti. The event began in In , they saw the Exhibit of the Fascist Revolution, and a contingent of Avanguardisti took a turn as one of the daily honor guards. Various sporting contests taught a healthy spirit of competition.

The Olympic Village stood where fascist youth had once gathered for the Campo Dux and where squatters had camped out in the years immediately after the war. The work to clear the Circus Maximus and construct the new Via del Circo Massimo had been completed the previous year.

Mussolini had inaugurated the new street and the Piazzale Romolo e Remo, overlooking the Circus Maximus, on October 28, The new Balilla building had been a restaurant, the Castello dei Cesari, which fell on hard times and faced going out of business. The owner gave the property to Mussolini as a personal gift. It was and is a prime piece of Roman real estate with a view of the Circus Maximus and the Palatine Hill.

Mussolini employed the architect Gaetano Minucci to reconstruct the facility. The two floors contained a small theater, a refectory, a locker room and showers, a library, classrooms, a large game room, and offices. Outside were courtyards, terraces, a garden, and ample open space.


Cheering fascist youth, male and female, greeted him. Ever a remnant of a glorious past, they will see the promise of a more splendid future. Another Balilla structure was built from to in the Trastevere neighborhood.

The location was just over the Tiber, across from the Aventine Hill and the Testaccio neighborhood, steps beyond the Porta Portese. Compared to his Foro Mussolini and exhibits in the Circus Maximus, the youth complex afforded Moretti relatively little space. His solution was to build up. The tower section of the complex on the Via Induno rose six stories, and the adjacent section on the Via Ascianghi had three levels. The facility contained three types of spaces: 1 health assistance services, 2 sports and recreation facilities, and 3 offices.

Fascists in Italy, the nostalgics of Benito Mussolini ENGLISH SUBTITLE

Each had a separate entrance. Altogether it could service up to two thousand people at the same time. The Via Aschiangi is now closed to traffic and blocked off by large gates, making it difficult to view the building as originally planned. Across the river in Testaccio was another sports area, or campo sportive, which provided space for soccer and other games. It predated the fascist period but was maintained by the regime and disappeared after World War II. The 52 3.

Facilities all over the city attested to how important sports and physical training were in fascist Italy. See those young Fascists on the athletic field. Here men accustomed to hard campaigning grew soft on enervating pleasures. The oval-shaped space worked well for equestrian events. The initial reforms of Giovanni Gentile as minister of education favored a traditional humanistic curriculum, whereas Giuseppe Bottai, in the same post in the mids, was a proponent of a more modern system emphasizing professional and technical education.

Schools of all types, from vocational to classical high school, or liceo, appeared prominently in government press and publications. Sometimes, the programs as well as the buildings were new. A picture of a school outing in showed the students raising their arms in the fascist salute as they paraded around the Altar to the Fascist Fallen, the Ara dei Caduti Fascisti, on the Capitoline. The Opera Nazionale Balilla ran the camps, which were found throughout the country.

The Governatorato responded by planning a major new school for the central piazza in the neighborhood. The Piazza Domenico Sauli, built in the s, had truly monumental fascist proportions, with a large open space and a church in the middle. The new school, named for the fascist leader Michele Bianchi, dominated the south side of the piazza.

It had a central tower and four imperial eagles perched over the main entrance. The facility provided fifty-one schoolrooms divided into two sections, one for boys and the other for girls. It opened in with fifteen hundred students. Boys made up two-thirds of student body, and they studied a variety of subjects in the practical arts, such as wood and metalworking, electricity, gardening, and various forms of applied engineering. The girls took subjects in domestic arts, such as sewing, cooking, and weaving.

The program included trips to appropriate businesses, industries, and shops, as well as museums and other sites of public or civic importance. A major new classical high school, the Liceo Virgilio, occupied a central location along the Tiber across the street from the Ponte Mazzini. The original sloping walk to the main entrance is now behind locked gates, but the statue of Virgil still stands guard by the door. The new neighborhood between the Via Salaria and the Via Nomentana provided ample space for a large and prominent site on the Corso Trieste. The school had first-rate facilities: an auditorium seating fifteen hundred people; a gymnasium with a surface of three hundred square meters; ample classrooms; faculty offices; facilities to teach physics, chemistry, natural history, and art history; and a fine library.

The regime constructed a new elementary school in on the Via Vetulonia, within sight of the Porta Latina, designed by a young architect Ignazio Guidi for the Governatorato. Wide corridors and staircases could accommodate heavy student traffic, and attention was given to proper insulation and ventilation as well as ancillary facilities such as a cafeteria and showers.

Romans and visitors saw throughout the city these tangible examples of the new Italy that charted a modern course for an ancient land. The sports programs in particular aimed at a mass audience. No sport is a closed book to the young Italians who are growing up today; at the same time participation in these sports is compulsory.

The political and historical messages became more numerous and sophisticated in the higher grades. After the conquest of Ethiopia, the quantity of propaganda in texts increased perceptibly. Both Mussolini and Rome received great attention. By teachers were required to wear uniforms in class.

Benito Mussolini | Myles Dungan

As much as the Duce and fascism permeated the messages and demanded loyalty, rival objects of loyalty appeared: the king, the pope, the church, the Catholic faith, the armed forces, and the family. However much the children might dress in fancy uniforms, sing songs and march around, they still came home to their families whom they never learned to desert, denounce or dislike.

The regime, through the Governatorato, supervised building patronage on a grand scale. Much was at stake, both in terms of money and architectural style. In the late s and early s, Mussolini often favored a modernist style and gave some encouragement to the rationalist architects. His mistress and cultural adviser, Margherita Sarfatti, supported the so-called Novecento school, which sought to combine traditional motifs with modern ones. With conquest and the declaration of empire having come about by , support grew for projects and buildings on a huge, imperial scale to evoke the grandeur of ancient Rome.

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Ultimately, of course, only Mussolini could decide. What all the architects had in common was a willingness, often an eagerness, to work for the regime and thus participate in constructing the new fascist Italy. Fascist patronage meant both money and prestige. After World War II, the architect Ernesto Rogers commented on the dilemma and ultimate confusion facing artists and architects who sought to work with the government in the s.

As you saw, the first proposition was wrong, and the consequence could only be disastrous; fascism was not a revolution. The debate and competition among architects continued as well.