The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana is one of the most imposing, interesting and unusual buildings in the Eur district in Rome. It is also known as the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro, but the most beautiful name of the building is the nickname it got from the Romans themselves: Colosseo Quadrato, or “Square Colosseum“. At the moment (until 2028) it is the seat of the Fendi fashion group.
Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Quadrato della Concordia – Rome (tel. +39 0633450970). The building is now the headquarters of the fashion company Fendi and cannot be visited.
History and description
Constructed between 1938 and 1943, the Square Colosseum is one of the most important and famous examples of fascist architecture.
The inauguration of the building, which was meant to become the focal point of the Esposizione Universale Roma, took place before it was finished, in 1940. The Esposizione Universale Roma never took place, but did give its name to the EUR district.
The building was a result of a collaboration between the architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano.
The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana was of course meant as a kind of homage to the original Colosseum and by extension to the Roman Empire’s power and achievements.
Colosseo Quadrato main features
The Square Colosseum is a huge rectangular building, consisting of six (the letters in the name Benito) rows of nine (the letters in the name Mussolini) enormous arches on top of a square base.
The surface of this base is no less than 8.400 square meters and the total height of the building itself is 68 meters.
Like most fascist buildings in the EUR district, the walls of the building itself have been covered with layers of white travertino marble.
On each corner of the building is an equestrian statue representing the mythological Dioscuri, sculpted by Publio Morbiducci and Alberto de Felci.
Around the building’s base another 38 statues can be seen. These are all covered by arches and represent various qualities, industries and arts.