Rome – Foro Italico

In the north-west of Rome is the sports complex Foro Italico. This complex was built between 1928 and 1938 and built with the 1944 Summer Olympics in mind that Rome intended to seek. The complex came to consist of several different facilities of varying sizes. The largest was Olympic Stadium, which began to be built in 1937. Other spectacular arenas were the Stadio dei Marmi, surrounded by sculptures of athletic men. Until 1945 Foro Italico was called Foro Mussolini as a tribute to the Italian fascist leader.

Current status: Preserved (2018).

Address: Via Capoprati, 00135 Rom.

Get there: Tram to Mancini stop.

My comment:

Any olympic games were never held in 1944, instead Rome had to wait until 1960. Olympic Stadium is currently used for various major sporting events and is also the homeground for the football teams, Roma and Lazio. The facilities around it are also used for events and training.

Italy has a pretty relaxed approach to Mussolini and his fascism, and this can be seen at Foro Italico. Just outside the entrance to the Olympic Stadium stands an obelisk with Mussolini’s name clearly engraved. Similarly, in the former Olympic area, both Mussolini and fascism are constantly present in the form of sculptures, monuments, reliefs and buildings. Above all, the surface between the obelisk and the stadium is full of marble monuments and mosaic reliefs with tributes to fascism/Mussolini and the ancient. The purpose was to show that there is a connection with the new (fascism) and the old (antique). All with strong influences from futurism. Other things that are hard to miss are the hundreds of sculptures of athletic men throughout the Olympic area.

Follow up in books: Hibbert, Christopher: Mussolini: The Rise and Fall of Il Duce (2008).