EUR... what's that? Art & Culture

3/16/2011 by Silvia Prosperi Italy

EEEE....IU...AR.... what's that? No way, the pronunciation is an Italian E-U-R, acronym for Esposizione Universale di Roma, the Universal Exhibit planned for 1942 (in fact the fist name was E42) celebrating the 20th anniversary of Fascism in Italy. Ok, you probably have been there for some concerts at Palalottomatica (former "Palaeur", which was definitely a nicer name!) or to enjoy a good gelato at Giolitti ice cream bar along the "laghetto" or to visit some museums (the famous model of Imperial Rome which is on every poster and postcard in the city centre shops of souvenirs, this model really exists and it is an amazing reconstruction of 240 square meters sheltered in the Museo della Civiltà Romana). Or maybe you have gone to the recently opened Planetario. Or to the Piscina delle Rose, to spend a lazy august afternoon at the pool. Or, you might be one of those working there and you HAVE to spend your working day in one of the modern buildings of a multinational firm.
Anyway... it is time to know a little bit of the history of this is surely not a long story, considering the district was conceived in 1936, but it is surely interesting and different from all the other stories you have read and heard about Rome: no gladiators, no popes, no Renaissance artists but contemporary architects, urban plans (which is a science fiction plot in Rome!) and dream of greatness... which suddenly fell apart.

Silvia Prosperi Italy

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