About Rome's Fascist Past: Walking Tour of Mussolini's E
Escape the downtown Rome crowds and head off the beaten track to discover one of the city's most infamous districts. The Esposizione Universale di Roma (better known by its acronym, EUR) was commissioned by Italian dictator Benedito Mussolini in the 1930s to showcase architecture that portrayed his fascist ideologies. Today, it is a thriving commercial suburb. On this four-hour walking tour, visit EUR's Square Colosseum, the Via dei Fori Imperial road and much more. As you explore, your guide will give insight into the historical and political significance of its buildings and monuments.
After meeting your knowledgeable guide in central Rome, head off by luxury coach to Rome's EUR district, just south of the city center. The creation of the EUR was a huge, 1930s urban regeneration project, spearheaded by Mussolini, Italy's controversial prime minister and self-titled Il Duce (meaning "the Leader"), who intended to showcase the area at the 1942 World's Fair to celebrate 20 years of fascist Italy.
However, the World's Fair was abandoned at the onset of World War II, and, subsequently, Mussolini's ambitious EUR project was left incomplete. Although work continued after the war ended, the newer buildings lacked the influence of political agenda and failed to match the grandeur of the regime's earlier architecture. The area as it stands today retains the tantalizing air of an unfinished project.
During your morning walking tour, walk through the EUR's large, symmetrical streets and see examples of Neoclassical architecture from the fascist era. Hear tales of 1930s Rome from your expert guide, and learn about Mussolini’s notorious reign.
Highlights of your EUR walking tour include the Via dei Fori Imperial, the road that linked the Rome Colosseum to the fascist party's headquarters in Piazza Venezia, and the Square Colosseum (Palazzo della Civilta del Lavoro) with its distinctive arches imbedded in its white, marble facade. Just outside of the EUR, visit the Foro Italico, Rome's impressive, fascist-era sports center that is home to an incredible 120-foot-high (36-meter) obelisk and the Stadio dei Marmi, a running track surrounded by 60 marble statues.
After you’ve seen the best EUR sights and satisfied your curiosity about fascism in Rome, head back to central Rome, where your unique morning tour ends.