Saturday, November 7, 2015


Hey from Rome!

The weather has finally settled down a bit here (good temps, little to no rain) and I've been settling in a bit myself.  In the past few weeks I've done some traveling and some local exploring, and I've spent way too much time obsessing over my apartment and how to make everything fit just right (shouldn't be hard since I don't have that much stuff, but as a style-impaired person, this move has been extra challenging).

My house isn't ready for any big-reveal, HGTV moment yet, so instead how about a few pictures from a walking tour I did last weekend?

First off, EUR - it's a neighborhood in southern Rome that is pretty far off the beaten tourist path. It was built by Mussolini for the 1942 world's fair that was cancelled because of WWII. An office-mate offered to show me around, but the timing didn't work out and I ended up going on my own. Luckily google led me to a walking-tour guide which was very manageable and mostly up to date.

The major draw in this neighborhood is the architecture. It's described in all the guidebooks as 'Fascist-style', but it's basically the same large-scale, clean-lined look that you'd associate with buildings like the Kennedy Center in DC (or the imagined world of The Incredibles). Mussolini's goal was to make a modern city that echoed the classical buildings from Rome's center. With that in mind, see if you can guess the inspiration behind the buildings below:

1) St Peter and Paul Basilica

2) Palazzo dei Congressi

3) Palazzo della Civilta Italiana - Fendi now owns the building - only fitting for such a slick place - and they've got a (free) exhibit on the ground floor showing the history of the neighborhood and it's development. I highly recommend it.

4) Obelisco de Marconi

The area is actually a nice break from the center of Rome that's perpetually filled with tourists, cars, and noise.  EUR, while certainly not empty, does give you a nice sense of breathing room. There's also a big park which I'm planning to come back and explore - and if it just so happens that this park is home to a truly fantastic gelateria, well, what a coincidence!

Also, this museum was on the walking tour and advertised as a hidden gem. Unfortunately it has been closed for some time and there doesn't appear to be a plan to reopen it any time soon.  But I enjoyed walking around - even more so this weekend when I recognized the building from the newest James Bond movie!

From the funeral scene.

So that's EUR - there are plenty of other interesting buildings in the area, which I did see but didn't include here. Consider a visit if you'll be in Rome and want to see something unusual.

The original plan - I don't think the amusement park ever got built. Too bad!

And for the answers to the mini quiz, these are the inspirations for the buildings above:
1) St. Peter's Basilica
2) the Pantheon
3) the Colosseum (the EUR version is actually known in Rome as the Square Colosseum)
4) Trajan's column

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