Book / After the Fall: The Legacy of Fascism in Rome’s Architectural and Urban History


After the Fall explores the many traces of fascism that can be found in the architecture and urban form of Rome – from its buildings, monuments and piazze, to its street names and graffiti. It reveals how the legacy of this short period in history shaped – and continues to shape – Rome’s contemporary cityscape in powerful ways, and examines what this can tell us about the persistence of troubling political and historical legacies in the built environment.

Italy’s fascist period (1922-1943) is perhaps the least-understood episode of Rome’s architectural history. Yet paradoxically those two decades have, arguably more than any other, defined our contemporary view of Rome’s world-famous ancient, Renaissance, and Baroque urban landscapes. The book examines the ways in which the fascist regime sought to remake Rome according to its own vision of the past, and surveys the afterlife of Mussolini’s architectural and urban projects, from the Roman Masterplan to the Foro Italico. Internationally, there is currently much debate on the controversial status of public monuments – their abandonment, defacement, re-integration or removal – and, as After the Fall demonstrates, Rome provides a rich setting in which to examine these topical, pressing questions.

Adding a new chapter to the architectural history of Rome, this fascinating history brings architecture, politics, and art together as living, contested experiences in a host of different locations around contemporary Rome.

Flavia Marcello is Professor at the School of Design and Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, and is an expert on the architecture and urban planning of Rome, in particular of the Italian Fascist period. Her areas of research also include: virtual heritage, Classical reception studies and Italian prisoners of war in Australia during World War II.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Note on Terms and Acronyms

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Mussolini’s Mark: Tracing the Legacy of Fascism in Rome’s Post-war Urban Planning
Chapter 3: The Architecture of Fascist Rome between Politics and Practicality
Chapter 4: The Fascist Phoenix: Virgilio Testa and the Resurrection of EUR
Chapter 5: Mothers, Martyrs and Military Men: The Changing Meanings of Rome’s Fascist Monuments
Chapter 6: Aspirations and Illusions of Control: Re-contextualising Rome’s Fascist Epigraphy
A Conclusion for a Centenary