Mussolini Obelisk Rome

The Mussolini Obelisk is located on the Foro Italico, just south of Rome’s Olympic Stadium. The Obelisco Mussolini is also called the Monolite Dux and was created by Costantino Costantini in 1932.

Mussolini Obelisk Rome

Address and public transport

The address of the Mussolini Obelisk is Viale del Foro Italico – Rome. Public transport: Bus: 32.

History and description

Mussolini Obelisk Rome
The Mussolini Obelisk was raised in 1932.

It is right in the middle of the Piazza Lauro de Bosis, a square not unexpectedly characterized by mosaics exalting fascism and youth.

The obelisk was made after a number of industry leaders from Carrara gifted a huge marble monolith that was to be used for the creation of an obelisk dedicated to the former dictator.

The marble was donated in 1927, but it was not until Movember 4th 1932 that the inauguration took place. Both the extraction of the marble and its transportation to Rome turned out to be more difficult than expected. The last time obelisks were moved within Rome was in the 16th century, so nobody had any experience in this kind of task.

The enormous slab of marble was pulled to the coast by sixty couples of oxen. After that it was moved along the coast and up the river Tiber by means of a special boat .

A concrete structure was created in order to be able to finally pull the obelisk up into a standing position.

Although the obelisk in itself does not exceed 17m, its total height including the base and the upper part is over 36m.

Several people believed the shiny top part to be made of real gold. After the war many Romans tried to climb the obelisk only to find out that this gold consisted of no more than some glittery stones.

Piazza Lauro de Bosis – Rome

Ponte della Musica

The Ponte della Musica (“Bridge of Music”) connects the Lungotevere Cadorno and the Foro Italico to the Piazza Gentile Da Fabriano and the Via Guido Reni (where the MAXXI 21st century art museum is located) in the Flaminio district of Rome.

Ponte della Musica Rome

Ponte della Musica Rome

It is Rome’s newest bridge and was inaugurated on the date of the city’s 2,764th anniversary, April 21, 2011. (It would actually be more accurate to say that the Ponte della Musica is Rome’s newest bridge over water, since in June 2012 the Ponte Ostiense was inaugurated. This bridge only crosses railway and metro tracks, though.)

The Ponte della Musica gets its name from the Auditorium Parco della Musica, though it might as well have been called Ponte dello Sport, since the Olympic Stadium, the Flaminio Stadium, the swimming and the tennis stadium as well as the Palazzetto dello Sport are all in the near vicinity.

Originally the bridge was only meant for pedestrians and cyclists, but later it was adapted to also allow public transportation vehicles. It is 18m wide and has a length of 190m and consists of two steel arches. Staircases connect the bridge to each river bank.

The Ponte della Musica was designed by the British firm Powell Williams, who won an international competition in 2000.

Ponte della Musica – Rome

Ponte Milvio Rome

Ponte Milvio is a bridge in the north of Rome, in the Della Vittoria district, connecting the Piazzale Cardinal Consalvi to the Piazzale di Ponte Milvio. It is one of the oldest bridges of the city, and became famous when young Italian couples started attaching padlocks around its lampposts as a symbol of their love. What is not generally known is that without the Ponte Milvio the history of the world might have looked completely diffferent.

Ponte Milvio Rome

History and description

Ponte Milvio Rome
Ponte MIlvio

The bridge achieved an unexpected notoriety thanks to the movie Ho Voglia di Te (2007). The protagonists, who are young and in love, padlock a chain around one of its lampposts, and throw the key into the river, as a symbol of their eternal love. Thousands of teenagers followed the example and at one point there were even fears that the bridge would collapse under the padlocks’ weight. They were finally removed in September 2012.

The Ponte Milvio is a very old bridge, built where the northernmost part of Rome was to be found and where the Via Flaminio, the Via Cassia and the now less famous but in the olden days of the Roman Empire very important Via Clodia and Via Veientana came together.

It was first mentioned in the year 207 BC. At the time it was made of wood, but in 110 BC Marco Emilio Scauro had it reconstructed in brick.

In the year 312 the bridge was the background of the “Battle of the Ponte Milvio” (also called “Battle of Saxa Rubra”), in which Constantine I beat his supposedly stronger rival Maxentius. Before the battle Constantine had a vision of the Cross with the writing In hoc signo vinces (“in this sign you will conquer”), which convinced him to allow the integration of Christianity into the empire. Had he lost the battle, Christianity might not have survived.

Since the Middle Ages, the Ponte Milvio has been restored many times, first by the monk Acuzio, then (1429) by the architect Francesco da Genazzano, and later by Giuseppe Valadier who reconstructed the arches closest to the banks of the river and built a neo-classical tower at its north end (1805).

Ponte MIlvio Rome
Entrance to Ponte Milvio

After the bridge had been demolished by Garibaldi (1849) in order to stop the French troops, Pope Pius IX had it reconstructed and commissioned Domenico Pigiani to sculpt a statue of the Immaculate Virgin. Another statue of Saint John Nepomuceno was already there and a further group picturing Jesus’ Baptism, which used to adorn the south end, has since been moved to the Museo di Roma a Palazzo Braschi.

Of the original Roman bridge only the three central arches are left.

When the Ponte Flaminio was built in 1951 the Ponte Milvio became relatively superfluous and in 1978 it was closed to traffic.

The area around Ponte Milvio has now become one of Rome’s favorite ones for young people to stroll around in and enjoy an aperitivo in one of its many cafes. There is also a fairly big weekday market right by the bridge.

Ponte Milvio – Rome

Olympic Stadium Rome

The Olympic Stadium in Rome (Stadio Olimpico) is the city’s biggest sports facility and, with a capacity of almost 73 thousand people, also one of the biggest in Europe. It is used for the home matches of the two Roman Serie A football teams, Roma and Lazio, for important athletics championships and, sometimes, for big name music concerts.

Olympic Stadium Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazzale del Foro Italico – Rome (tel. +39 06 36857563). Opening hours and admission: Depends on the event.

History and description

The Stadio Olimpico is part of the Foro Italico, which started its existence in 1930 as the Foro Mussolini, just as the Stadio Olimpico initially was called the Stadio dei Cipressi. The names were changed after the end of World War II.

Construction of the stadium itself had begun much earlier, however, in 1901, and was completed in 1910. The architect was Enrico Del Debbio.

Del Debbio’ stands of grassy terraces were changed into masonry in 1920, a project overseen by the architect Luigi Moretti Walter that was completed in 1928.

Apart from sports events, the stadium was often used for Fascist gatherings, the most conspicous one being in occasion of Hitler’s visit on the first day of 1930.

Between 1931 and 1940 the stadium was hardly ever used, but in 1940 a new reconstruction was started by the architect Annibale Vitellozzi. It came to be rebaptized the Stadio dei Centomila, since it could now hold one hundred thousand people.

In 1960 the Olympic Games were held in Rome and the seats closest to the tracks were eliminated, so capacity diminished to a mere 65,000 spectators. To change the name from Stadio dei Centomila to Stadio dei Sessantacinquemila would have been a bit of a letdown, so the name was changed to the present Olympic Stadium.

In 1987 the stadium was restructured again, in order to better be able to host the 1990 Fifa World Cup. After several projects had been started and rejected almost the entire stadium was demolished, in order to allow for a complete reconstruction. The Tribuna Tevere is the only original part still standing.

In 2007 a last restyling took place, in order to increase the Olimpico’s security.

The Lazio football team has been trying to get permission to build its own stadium for a long time, but for the moment they are still at the Olympic Stadium.

During home matches the die-hard (AS) Roma fans, or ultra‘s, take place in the curva sud, whereas the Lazio tifosi have their seats in the curva nord.

Unfortunately there are no guided tours of the stadium, as there are in other important soccer venues in Europe.

Piazzale del Foro Italico – Rome

Ponte Duca d’Aosta Rome

The Ponte Duca D’Aosta in Rome is named after Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta, a commander of the Italian troops during World War I, and connects the quartiere Flaminio to the Foro Italico. It was designed by the architect Vincenzo Fasolo.

Ponte Duca d’Aosta Rome

Construction of the bridge was begun in 1939, when the Foro Italico was still called Foro Mussolini, and the work was completed in 1942. The fascist era is reflected in its embellishments, such as the marble pylons at the head of the bridge depicting World War I battle scenes sculpted by the Tuscan artist Vico Consorti.

The Ponte Duca d’Aosta consists of one single arch and is 200m long and 30m wide. The arch itself has a mere length of 100m.

Ponte Duca d’Aosta Rome

Della Vittoria District Rome (Q. XV)

Della Vittoria is the name of Rome‘s 15th quartiere. It was one of the city’s first quartieri, though originally under the name Milvio. The name was officially changed in 1935. It is a fairly rich neighborhood, with the Olympic Stadium as its main attraction. Continue reading “Della Vittoria District Rome (Q. XV)”