The Two Colosseums
I went back to the Colosseum this weekend with friends, and the light was magical. I deleted every picture I took the first time. It is surely the most famous building of ancient Rome, possibly the world. Walking around inside, it’s hard to imagine it housing 50,000 people or quickly flooding to accommodate water battles. It has gone through innumerable changes, especially during the 500 or so years it was in use. It’s pretty great.
However, there’s another colosseum in Rome, and I may like it even more. Below is Mussolini’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. In Italian, that means the Palace of Italian Civilization, but it is often referred to as the Square Colosseum, for obvious reasons. Italy was supposed to host a World Fair in 1942, and the Fascists began building accordingly in 1935. Because of the war, the Exposition never happened, but the neighborhood built to accommodate it — Esposizione Universale Roma (or EUR) — still stands in all of its Rationalist glory. I know all of things that Italian Fascism means, but that doesn’t prevent me from being extremely compelled and impressed by this architecture.
bottom photo courtesy of flickr user hidden side