Friday, February 23, 2018


It is mentioned in the sources for the first time in 467 when the Goth general Flavius Ricimer wanted it to be decorated with a mosaic in the apse which eventually collapsed in 1589
Maybe it was originally dedicated to the Savior
It was the only church in Rome dedicated to the worship for the Aryan Gothic community
In 592 it was consecrated to the Catholic rite and to St. Agatha of Sicily by Gregory I the Great (590/604)
According to the Acta Sanctorum (the main collection of literary sources relating to the saints of the Catholic Church, written in the seventeenth century), in fact, St. Agatha, a native of Catania, had freed the city from the Goths with a miracle
It was restored by S. Leo III (795/816) and S. Leo IV (847/855), who entrusted it to the Benedictines
It was restructured in the years 1633/35 by Domenico Castelli (1582/1657) for Cardinals Antonio and Francesco Barberini
It is also known as S. AGATA IN CAPITE SUBURRAE named after the nearby Suburra neighborhood or S. AGATA DE CABALLO from the ancient name of the Quirinal Hill
It hosted the Irish College for 90 years from 1836 to 1926 in the adjacent building in Via Mazzarino. It is currently officiated by Irish monks
1729 Francesco Ferrari (active in Rome 1721/44)
Inscriptions and sculptures from ancient and medieval including in the left arm “Head of a woman on column” maybe of the fifth century AD
At the center “Well” of the sixth century with the carved insignia of Cardinal Nicolò Ridolfi, nephew of Clement VII Medici (1523/34)
It still has the plan of the fifth century with Goths particularities as the two arched windows in the apse now walled in, the dosserets above the capitals and the use of the Byzantine foot as unit of measurement
During the renovation of the seventeenth-century the arches were reduced from seven to five
Organ 1703 for Cardinal Carlo Bichi who was buried in the left aisle
Canvas “Fortress” on the left and “Humility” on the right by Paolo Gismondi aka Paolo Perugino (1612/85), a student from Perugia of Pietro da Cortona
1633, coffered with golden bees, symbols of the Barberini family
“Eight medallions of Irish saints” 1863 reminiscent of the period between 1836 and 1926 during which the church was run by Irish monks
Six paintings with “History of St. Agatha” about 1633/36, recently restored, by Paolo Gismondi aka Paolo Perugino:
On the right
“Martyrdom of St. Agatha at the order of Quintianus”, “St. Agatha resisting the temptations of Aphrodisias and her daughters” and “St. Agatha rejects offers of jewelry from Aphrodisias and her daughters”
On the left
“St. Peter appears to St. Agatha locked up in jail”, “St. Agatha at the stake” and “St. Agatha on her deathbed surrounded by weeping women and angels”
“Tomb of Cardinal Giovanni Marco y Catalan” d. 1841
Statue in gilded wood “St. Agatha” 1681 by an anonymous seventeenth-century monk
Gilded wood reliquary with the relics of Greek martyrs from the Catacomb of S. Callisto transported here at the will of Leo IX (1049/54)
From the window of the altar it is possible to see the urn with other relics of Greek martyrs
“Cosmatesque Ciborium” XII/XIII century, reassembled in the years 1928/32 by Gustavo Giovannoni (1873/1947) who put philologically together the scattered pieces found in the church and in the garden
In the years 1931/33 the PRESBYTERY was painted simulating marble
“Glory of St. Agatha” about 1633/36 Paolo Gismondi aka Paolo Perugino who also painted the two allegorical figures in the spandrels in front of the arc: on the left “Faith” and on the right “Hope”
“These works gave some reputation to Gismondi, despite the pictorial language full of hesitations and quotes from Michelangelo to the Cavalier d'Arpino, although here he proves he is still a novice painter, and uncertain in terms of form, revealing, in his immature Cortona style, obvious limitations in the definition of the faces, in the drafts of color and in the construction of space” (Giovanna Mencarelli - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
1681 “St. Gaspar Bertoni” 1991 Aronne Del Vecchio (1910/98)
Frontal with three reliefs: “Adoration of the Shepherds” and small round reliefs “Annunciation” and “Assumption” in the first half of 1600s by an artist influenced by François Duquesnoy (1597/1643)
“Tomb in stucco of Cardinal Carlo Bichi” first half of 1700s by the Roman Carlo De Dominicis (1696/1758), his first public commission. The Cardinal had wanted and paid for the splendid organ in the counter-façade
“The free treatment of this monument, executed in stucco, does not suggest a sympathy of the artist for the classical idiom of the Academy of St. Luke. Indeed, in the years between 1725 and 1733 De Dominicis collaborated with the more anti-classical architect of his generation: Filippo Raguzzini, papal architect under Benedict XIII and leading exponent of the Rococo in Rome” (John Varriano - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

Monday, February 19, 2018


The first mention of the church in any of the sources dates back to 1121
Rebuilt in 1671 but only completed in the years 1710/11 by Giacomo Onorato Recalcati (?/1723)
Restored in 1821
“Assumption” and apse by Girolamo Troppa (1630/after 1710)
“Our Lady of the Rosary” by Biagio Puccini (1673/1721) from Lucca, student, as well as Troppa, of G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio
Very dramatic and explicit painting with the representation of the torture that, according to tradition, the poor saint from Catania in Sicily suffered in the third century AD: her breasts were eradicated with pliers
“Crucifixion” by Biagio Puccini
At the altar there is the venerated statue of “Our Lady of Carmel” better known as Madonna de Noantri (Our Virgin Mary) carved in cedar wood and carried in procession during the summer festival in the Trastevere district known as FESTA DE NOANTRI (Festival of Ourselves)
It was a member of the Order of Carmelites, the Englishman St. Simon Stock, who created the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, after the mountain range in Palestine where monks lived following the example of the prophet Elijah, and where tradition has it that there the Virgin Mary appeared to Stock on July 16, 1251
It is said that the statue was found by some fishermen after a storm near the mouth of the Tiber. The “Madonna Fiumarola” (Virgin Mary of the River) was given to the Carmelites (hence the name Lady of Mount Carmel) in Trastevere
Having become the protector of Trastevere, the statue was placed in a chapel, built in 1600 by Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese (1577/1633), specifically to shelter it
The chapel was demolished in 1890 for the construction of the Viale del Re (Avenue of the King), today's Viale Trastevere and, after a few decades in S. Giovanni Battista dei Genovesi, the statue was placed in the church of St. Agatha of Sicily
From here, every year on the first Saturday after July 16th (day of the apparition of Our Lady on Mount Carmel) during the Festa de Noantri, the statue, covered with jewels and precious clothes, is carried in procession through the streets of the district to the Church of S. Crisogono where it remains for eight days before returning to the church of St. Agatha of Sicily
Originally some bold young men, also known as cicoriari for being collectors of chicory in Campoli, near Frosinone, in two processions used to carry on their shoulders the heavy structure with the statue. Later it was established a special brotherhood, the so called carriers
Today in addition to religious events there are also shows, cultural events and walks among stalls selling sweets, toys and crafts


Area arranged in 1950 by Antonio Muñoz (1884/1960)
Since 1645 here was the old Jewish cemetery in Rome that was moved in 1935 to the Verano Cemetery
The first Municipal Rose Garden was created in 1932 on the Oppian Hill at the behest of the Countess Mary Gailey Senni, an American lady who had married an Italian count
There are about 1,100 different species of roses from all over the world, from China and Mongolia, with curiosity as the rose petals green, the rose that changes color or the stinking rose
The paths dividing the areas of the collections form the design of the menorah, the Jewish candelabrum

Friday, February 16, 2018


It is located between Monte Testaccio to the north and the Aurelian Walls to the south
The area has been given for free by the Italian government to the Commonwealth after the Second World War for the burial of 426 mainly British soldiers (350) but also of other Commonwealth countries such as Canada (22), South Africa (28), Australia (4), New Zealand (10) and India (2)
Four burials are unidentified soldiers
Throughout World War II, about 42,000 Commonwealth soldiers died in Italy, so the soldiers buried in this cemetery are only about 1% of all the dead
The maintenance of the cemetery is entrusted to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission established in 1917
The cemetery retains a fragment of Hadrian's Wall brought here by the will of the citizens of the city of Carlisle in England to commemorate the Cumbrian soldiers who died in the Italian campaign


1998/2000 Pino Pasquali e Alfredo Passeri on an area formerly occupied by a disused glass bottles factory in the eighties
“The university building reflects, in its form, the deep interest accrued by Pino Pasquali for the Italian architecture of the thirties, (from the weighted symmetry of the University of Rome to the futuristic accents of Guidonia, the air city), the fixed metaphysics of the Piazze d'Italia (squares of Italy) and the Mediterranean environment” (Giorgio Muratore)
“The layout of the complex, when read in plant appears as a counterpoint of abstract shapes, including squares, rectangles and circles. Quite different is the visual path around the area, also for the location of the complex at a higher level than Via Ostiense. So that the building in the foreground, with a repeated shed roof (an immediate appeal to the memory of the preexisting industrial buildings), it is almost as framed by the long horizontal structure behind, interrupted by vertical 'tower' elements in opaque glass” (Enrica Torelli Landini)
The UNIVERSITÀ ROMA TRE (University Rome Three) had 34,366 students enrolled in the academic year 2010/11
It is the third University of Rome in chronological order of foundation after La Sapienza and Tor Vergata, but the second for number of students
In 2007 the Faculty of Law of Rome Tre was ranked second by Censis among all Italian public universities and the Faculty of Architecture was ranked third

Monday, February 12, 2018


1938/43 Luigi Piccinato (1899/1984) with the collaboration of the engineer Giulio Landi
Elegant twin buildings built for a hotel of the residence type consisting of apartments equipped with kitchens
One of the apartments was the home of the great Italian movie director Federico Fellini and before his marriage with Giulietta Masina
Luigi Piccinato also designed the Naples train station and the Stadio Adriatico in Pescara
“This pair of buildings is one of the best known examples of this period of Roman architecture. (...) A very special architectural scheme, designed with a central element of distribution that includes an elevator, an outdoor staircase and a series of air links between the two buildings” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
“The considerable evidence of architecture, projects and achievements, mostly produced from the thirties to the period of post-war reconstruction, are often obscured by the decisive role Piccinato played in the Italian and international events regarding the layouts of cities. For Piccinato, who was among the founders of the Association for Organic Architecture, the city is a 'living organism', like a biological entity, and as such, it can only be understood beginning from the study of its eventful history, and then proceed with the establishment of a methodology for the interpretation of the urban and social dynamics. Vitality and mutability of urban amenities are not going to be stiffened by systems of rules. It is necessary to think about sensitive planning tools, able to interpret the instances of cultural, social and economic conditions that are the basis of urban transformation. So it took shape the idea of ​​'open plan' that Piccinato exposed in the course of the works for the plan of Rome” (Roberto Perris - Enciclopedia Treccani, V Appendix, 1994


1955 Mario Fiorentino (1918/82)
Area of 8.5 hectares (21 acres) comprising of 180 apartments, each with a vegetable garden of about 150/200 m² (1,600/2,100 square feet), given to about 900 war refugees
The type of housing show an interesting Scandinavian influence
“The building types include row houses, simplex and duplex, which extend each one in an open space of their own. The reference to rural architecture is noticeable in both the construction technique, the adoption of a continuous masonry of the traditional type, and in the morphological details” (Giorgio Muratore)
It was built with funds from the United Nations intended to help the populations in distress for the war
UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) was an organization of the United Nations, based in Washington, established in 1943 to assist economically and civilly countries left badly damaged by World War II. It was discontinued in 1947. The funds came from countries that had not experienced devastation during the war
The new neighborhood replaced a rickety township built in the thirties of the twentieth century to accommodate families evicted from the city center during the fascist demolitions
It had been built with the so-called carpelite, a mixture of wood and lime
The houses of the village were so pretty much just sturdy huts and were known as Case Sette Lire (seven liras houses) or Casette Peter (Peter's small houses) from the name of the designer
“It may seem strange a decision to build in a city like Rome a neighborhood of such limited size (180 homes), but given the paucity of funding, it was decided anyway to build a small project that would somehow have an exemplary character. (...) Even today, in the vast outskirts of Rome, the 'Village St. Basil' succeeds in maintaining its particular character, a bit unreal, of a suburban residential area that the city's development hasn't virtually affected” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
1963 by Augusto Baccin (1914/98)
In the building of the parish there is an embedded ancient medieval tower

Saturday, February 10, 2018


It is unknown where the name QUADRARO originated from. It seems to be connected to one Guadralis who received in 1164 land in the area under license by the monks of St. Alexis
The neighborhood was developed in the early twentieth century with two or three floors houses and an irregular housing
With the development of the nearby Cinecittà the number of the inhabitants increased, many of whom worked in the film studios 
During World War II the neighborhood used to be described hornet's nest by the occupying Nazis, because it was populated by vocal opponents of Nazism and Fascism 
On April 17, 1944 following the RASTRELLAMENTO DEL QUADRARO (Quadraro raid), or Operation Whale, directed by Major Kappler, more than 700 male residents of the neighborhood were taken from their homes and deported to Germany. Only about half came back home in very serious psycho-physical condition 
The Quadraro neighborhood was awarded the gold medal for civil merit
It was built on an area of 35.5 hectares (88 acres) with 3,150 homes built since 1950 by INA Case for about 20,000 residents of low income
“The neighborhood has a large variety of types and at the same time, a remarkable unity, great homogeneity of materials and architectural elements. (...) The star-shaped towers of De Renzi propose the scheme already used in the Valco S. Paolo complex, but the architect in this case gives to his work an even more complex articulation” (Giorgio Muratore)
Recently various walls in the area of the neighborhood known as QUADRARETTO were painted with murals executed by well-known street artists like Ron English (1959), who painted in 2013 a beautiful “Baby Hulk” 
“The oil paintings of Ron English stand out in this pop surrealism genre for the impeccable technique that makes it seem like his works were digitally manipulated. The issues that went hand in hand with the economic development of America, soaked with globalization and environmental issues, militarism and loss of control have been entrusted to the pleasantness of cartoon-characters icons such as Mickey Mouse or the puppet Mac Donald, small clown children or Baby Hulk. No canister spray, but only brushes and shock colors to release the pop soul of a mutant universe” (Eleanora Santonocito -
Built in 1950/56 by a throng of architects:
C. Dall'Olio, L. Favini, M. Pallottini, M. Paniconi, G. Pediconi, F. Barbaliscia, P. Barucci, M. Castellazzi, B. Di Gaddo, P. Morresi, M. Serangeli, P. Marconi, L. Ciarlini, L. Orestano, G. Nicolosi, R. Marino, F. Dinelli, O. Fasolo, G. Fioroni, A. Gatti, R. Landriscina, A. Mainardi, F. Minissi, G. Minnucci, M. Tavanti, R. Venturi
Built in 1950/56 by Mario De Renzi (1897/1967) and Saverio Muratori (1910/73)
Building plans: Lucio Cambellotti, Francesco Fariello (1910), Saverio Muratori, Giuseppe Perugini (1914), Giulio Roisecco, Dante Tassotti and Luigi Vagnetti (1915/80)
HOUSE IN LINE in Largo Spartaco and SQUARE TOWERS in Via Cartagine by Mario De Renzi and Saverio Muratori
HOUSE IN LINE TOWERS in Via Sagunto and STAR TOWERS in Via del Quadraro by Mario De Renzi
“The neighborhood still remains unfinished urbanistically for failure to complete the planned public facilities, the social center, cinema theater and the church (which has been built only as a crypt) so that the main square is an unresolved space” (Patrizia Capolino)
Built in 1950/54 by Adalberto Libera (1903/63) in the area between Via Selinunte and the railway with innovative and original HORIZONTAL HOME UNITS for about 200 large families
“It seems that Libera took inspiration from a trip to Morocco. Impressed by the Kasbah, he was struck by how they would mix private houses with social areas, including shops, meeting places, parks. And he wanted to revive this intuition in the suburban Rome of his time not yet clogged by people, even – in its own way - 'desert.' The result was the beginning of a neighborhood of apartments small and inexensive but not poor. Decent, in fact. Houses were no barracks, public areas were airy and had the same importance of the apartments. The emergence of finding accommodations to thousands of people was left behind for another urgent priority: the quality of life that was important to offer to those people. There is something revolutionary in the project for the INA Case Tuscolana. With the same spirit, later together with Libera, other architects worked and left a mark that goes beyond the construction technique and the art of design.It is a 'human' sign that speaks of community, solidarity and happiness as universal rights” (Ilaria Beltramme -
“Each house has total privacy because, with the exception of the kitchen and the dining room, the rooms overlook exclusively on the inner patio; the patio can thus be used as a real 'outdoor room'; the streets (which are also equipped as areas to hang out) and the central green space create an effective transition from the private to the public sector (...). The architectural solutions are very simple and can reach significant quality in the house with gallery with a refined expressive use of technical-structural solutions” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)

Friday, February 9, 2018


The district was built in the fifty years 1870/1920, although most of the buildings for the residents were built after 1905
The area had been assigned for centuries to public use and it was known as PRATI DEL POPOLO ROMANO (meadows of the Roman people) destination for picnics especially on Easter Monday or Sundays in October, the so-called Ottobrate
The district was listed in the city plan of 1873 by Pietro Camporese the Younger (1792/1873) and took the Rione (ward) attribute in 1921
About 8,400 people live here
1908/10 CASE ICP (public housing homes) between Via Bodoni, Via Manuzio and Lungotevere Testaccio by Giulio Magni (1859/1930), grandson of Giuseppe Valadier
“His four-story residential blocks are reinvented in proportions and relative positions in the blocks and compared to the internal voids (courtyards), no more extra spaces of the constructions, but spaces for qualified social life and playgrounds for children and teenagers. The backing up of the peripheral blocks and their adjustments in size re-establish a new visual relationship between these courtyards and the streets outside (visual continuity) and a new system of social relations. It was also special the attention to detail and surfaces so that they get a visual recognition and confer uniqueness whole blocks” (Luigi Secondo Gioggi)
1914/17 THREE BLOCKS OF CASE ICP (public housing homes) between Piazza S. Maria Liberatrice and Lungotevere Testaccio by Quadrio Pirani (1878/1970) who designed them with Giovanni Bellucci
“The attention to detail, the particular decorations and the use of particular materials (brick and Roman plaster with travertine inserts) allow us to recognize and appreciate the architecture of Pirani. Justly Pirani can be considered now as a predecessor of Mario Ridolfi for the appreciation of a building as a product of artistic craftsmanship and as for his effective use of materials” (Luigi Secondo Gioggi)
1930 BLOCK ON PIAZZA S. MARIA LIBERATRICE by Camillo Palmerini (1893/1967) near the three blocks by Quadrio Pirani
“He tries to overcome linguistically the recurring motifs of 'Roman Barocchetto' (small Baroque) or the mediaeval references common to many designers by simplifying the elements of the façades in decorative function. Studied in Testaccio, in particular, intensive block to block with closed courtyard without setbacks where the interiors are enhanced as part common to green homes and services for the same” (Luigi Secondo Gioggi)
1918/19 CATTANEO PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL on Lungotevere Testaccio by the engineer Carlo Mazza
It used to train mechanics and electricians for the automotive industry. It was a model structure in Italy for the production of subsequent vocational schools for industry and crafts
1926 NOVEMBER 4th ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Via Alessandro Volta 43 by Augusto Antonelli (1880/1960)
“Formally, the structure has a certain majesty and by the author reveals the knowledge of the great works of architecture and eclectic public of the time” (Luigi Secondo Gioggi)
1921 RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX IN PIAZZA DELL'EMPORIO, Via Ferdinando di Savoia and Via Andrea Cecchi by Carlo Broggi (1881/1968)
“It represented one of the first examples, later widely followed in the buildings of Rome, of an almost public house, created for a variety of cooperative apartments that would have anyway a character of decent architecture, referring to the examples of seventeenth-century Roman Baroque, and that would come out of the monotonous flat uniformity which had almost completely characterized until then, this kind of developments, and that had created, for example, the disaster architecture of the new district of Prati. In this building I was especially interested in the study of the upper parts and of the roof because I believe that, in a city such as Rome, with steep gradients and visual overlapping, it is a huge mistake to completely forget about this kind of the architecture that had so much influence on the effect of the whole landscape of the city” (Carlo Broggi)
1929/31 TWO BUILDINGS IN VIA MARMORATA 139 and 149 by the great Innocenzo Sabbatini (1891/1984)
The project involved two other buildings that should have faced Piazza S. Maria Liberatrice but that were never executed
“It aims to reinterpret the city and residential apartment blocks, to rediscover an image of Rome in the new constructions, congruent with the past and a modern interpretation nevertheless. Sabbatini's houses are unmistakably 'Roman' because derived from the idea of global architecture of the city, because the knowledge of the past is taken over by the imagination of the architectural present without denying origins, culture, language” (Luigi Secondo Gioggi)

Thursday, February 8, 2018


1907/23 Quadrio Pirani (1878/1970) with Giovanni Bellucci
It was the first major project for the ISTITUTO CASE POPOLARI DI ROMA (Public Housing Institute of Rome) founded in 1903
Excellent public housing. One of the best building experiments in Rome on a hill that had been included by the Aurelian Walls and was known as PICCOLO AVENTINO (small Aventine Hill)
According to the 1921 census, Rome had a population of about 660,000 inhabitants and the neighborhood was at that time on the outskirts of the city, close to the countryside
Semi-detached villas with gardens and buildings of no more than four floors for 546 homes and about 2,500 inhabitants
“At a distance of a century, it remains one of the most significant examples of public intervention in residential construction. This is due to the choice of the building types, the relationship between buildings and terrain, the use of durable materials - especially the brick facing - the clarity of the decorative elements and the overall quality of the architectural solutions” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
“The proximity of the Aurelian Walls and of the church of S. Saba, suggests the adoption of traditional materials such as masonry brick, travertine, tufa, raw plaster, helping to create a design language that is fully integrated into the area” (Giorgio Muratore)
“The intervention has a unitary definition, both for the linguistic aspects (thanks to the use of masonry bricks), and for the articulation between the different building types which follow the morphology of the soil. The first core, built behind the medieval church of S. Saba, develops with single-family homes with two-story, single or aggregated in a row, all far from the road and with independent entrances and gardens. Subsequent interventions are characterized by the composition of buildings in line, in open court. The neighborhood includes also service areas such as a public school, a clinic, a meeting room and public toilets” (Francesca Romana Stable -


1949/52 urban project: Mario De Renzi (1897/1967) and Saverio Muratori (1910/73). 440 lodgings
Projects of the buildings: Saverio Muratori, Mario De Renzi, Mario Paniconi (1904/73), Giulio Pediconi (1906/99) and Fernando Puccioni
TORRI STELLARI (star-shaped towers) by Mario De Renzi
The area consists of almost 5 hectares (12.3 acres) with 440 lodgings for about 3,000 inhabitants and it was the first of the Piani-Casa (plans for homes) designed to give a home to the new Roman working class
The original town plan was not completed
“In the Valco San Paolo neighborhood it is clear how both the whole and the parts have a clear stylistic unity through careful control of the ways of dealing with the different types of buildings, but there is also space for a series of small service facilities for the neighborhood and for elements of urban design” (Mario Carotti -
“The limitation of this approach, very common in the interventions made ​​in those years, is to consider the neighborhood as a closed element, and then to solve within itself the aspects of architectural and urban planning. The balance of these values gets in fact to be completely changed when the neighborhood, often built in the outer fringe of the urban expansion, is absorbed by the town. The Valco S. Paolo is in fact today barely recognizable near the crammed constructions of Viale Marconi and the relationships between the elements, which were the basis of the project, appears to be irretrievably altered” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


1950/56 Ludovico Quaroni (1911/87) with Mario Ridolfi (1904/84)
Area consisting of 8.8 hectares (22 acres) with 771 lodgings for about 4.000 inhabitants and unfortunately incorporated by the larger civil constructions built later
It belongs to a period, immediately after the Second World War, unfortunately short, during which the architects had in mind and still pursued the welfare of those who would live in the buildings they designed, not compromising yet with the lack of scruples of civil constructions companies
“One of the most representative examples of low-budget civil planning in the postwar period which, in terms of architectural research, is the manifesto of Neorealism. The recovery of popular culture is in opposition both to the rhetoric of the fascist regime, and to the icy and alienating experiences of internationalism in the postwar period. The project provides for the creation of an urban nucleus on a human scale, which gives the image of a small and sleepy town” (Giorgio Muratore)
“The enormous and rapid urban development, especially private, that has surrounded the Roman quarters of INA House, formally completed and isolated in the city of the Fifties, has expanded - not only to the Tiburtino IV - the bitter self-criticism formulated by Ludovico Quaroni already at the end the Fifties: to have created a village closed in itself and unable to communicate with the city. The attempt promoted by the plan to reconcile the necessity of living with that of building was modeled in its various territorial applications, but does not establish itself as a paradigmatic transformation of the city” (Alice Sotgia)


1959/62 Giuseppe Vaccaro (1896/1970) designed the SOUTHERN AREA and Luigi Vagnetti (1915/80) the NORTH WEST AREA
It is situated between the Via Tiburtina and the Aniene River and it is inhabited by about 3000 people in 562 apartments
“It is distinguished by the peculiarity of the typological and architectural solutions adopted and the richness of the internal distribution of individual blocks. It constitutes a reference model for settlements with low population density” (Giorgio Muratore)
“He worked often in official commissions, and participated in the monumentality of the time by searching sometimes a futuristic interpretation, with elements in the language of Rationalism (Rome, Ministry of Corporations, today of Industry, Via Veneto, 1928/31, with Marcello Piacentini, Naples, Palazzo delle Poste, 1929/35, with Gino Franzi). His executive accuracy and the use of rationalist terms within a symmetrical architectural system (...) had considerable influence on Italian architecture” (Enciclopedia Treccani)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Housing blocks by Innocenzo Costantini (1854/1937), son of Costantino Costantini and Innocenzo Sabbatini (1891/1984). The two architects were cousins
It was built ​in two stages:
1919/22 southern part with both mediaeval forms and innovative solutions
1925/26 northern part with secessionist ideas and elements of Roman classical tradition
“The decoration is inspired by a significant movement of masses and lines, in search of a musical space with a few notes of shadow and color generated by the slopes of the roofs and chimneys, the boxes of flowers or the small iron motives, the pillars of stone and bricks, or the slight overhangs of eaves” (Alberto Calza Bini)
House for the governorship employees
1927/30 Luigi Ciarrocchi (1902/68) and Mario De Renzi (1897/1967)
The two architects were influenced by both Roman insulae recently discovered at Ostia, and the Futurist avant-garde movement in vogue at the time
“At the end of the Twenties, after some experience in the area of 'barocchetto'​(Small Baroque), Mario De Renzi built his expressive key set on the reduction of the decorative and chiaroscuro apparatus and on the 'stylization' of architectural elements of classical derivation. (...) The building on Via Andrea Doria offered him the opportunity to combine this issue with solutions of Futurist taste, visible in the way he emphasized the stairwells on the front of the building, in the use of terraces with large overhangs, in the volumetric ratio between ground floor and tripartite upper part” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
House for Children
1919/22 Innocenzo Sabbatini (1891/1984)
Preschool for children where it was tested the method of Maria Montessori. The first Montessori Children's House was founded in the neighborhood of S. Lorenzo in 1907 
Now it is home to OFFICES OF THE ISTITUTO CASE POPOLARI (Institute of Public Housing)
“The work of Innocenzo Sabbatini is broadly consistent with a linguistic research aimed at overcoming Eclecticism. Echoes of the Viennese Secession, also present in some works by Piacentini, are instantly recognizable even in this small building” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)


1926/28 Innocenzo Sabbatini (1891/1984) for the ICP, ISTITUTO CASE POPOLARI (Institute for Social Housing)
It is divided in two by Via Eleonora D'Arborea
The southern part includes apartments with two or three bedrooms, the northern part larger apartments
“The generating idea is based on the possibility of creating a meeting point between the building model with low density, typical of the English New Towns and the intensive one, typical of the Roman compact blocks” (Giorgio Muratore)
“One can sense the thoughtful study that the designers did with respect to indoor environmental quality for better and healthier buildings and the importance of including harmoniously the entire complex in the rest of the neighborhood. This intervention of semi intensive constructions highlights a specific research project on how to structure public housing to give continuity to the new buildings with the rest of the city so to get even a low population density. The cohesive element with the rest of the urban area, actually makes the outbuildings more attractive, the ones which in some way define the perimeter of the blocks and almost invite us to come and explore other areas of this city within a city” (Gaia Rinaldelli -
The CASA A GRADONI S. IPPOLITO (House with Big Steps St. Hyppolitus) in Via della Lega Lombarda 41/43, built in the years 1929/30 stands out for its originality
“To the expressionist phase of the work of Innocenzo Sabbatini can be traced back the project for the building, which is the spectacular solution for the head of the block between Via della Lega Lombarda and the staircase in continuation of Via Berengario. (...) A recent English guidebook (Modern Architecture in Europe. A guide to buildings since the industrial revolution) claims the direct derivation of this project to the one of Hans Poelzig for a 'House of Friendship' in Istanbul in 1919. This statement could be debatable, but well corresponds to the ability to tap into models that is characteristic of the work of Sabbatini” (Piero Ostilio Rossi

Monday, January 29, 2018


1919/27 Gino Coppedè (1866/1927)
Known popularly as QUARTIERE COPPEDÈ (Coppedè Neighborhood) after its architect
Commissioned in 1913 by the tycoons Cerruti and Becchi of the Società Anonima Edilizia Moderna (Modern Construction Limited Company)
Architectural and visionary pastiche of 31,000 m² (7.7 acres) comprising 18 large buildings and 27 smaller ones built around the central Piazza Mincio
Coppedè directed the works until his death in 1927, with an interruption due to the First World War. The main part of the district, however, was completed in 1921
After Coppedè's death the job was completed and directed by his son Paolo Emilio André
The Florentine architect, in his eclecticism, mixed different styles: contemporary art deco and art nouveau as well as elements with variations of Baroque, Gothic, Moorish and Mannerism, combined with references ranging from the Middle Ages to Ancient Greece
A lot of travertine stone was used in tribute to the Roman tradition and for the interiors majolica was used for kitchens, wood flooring for living rooms and Pompeian mosaics for bathrooms
“The whole thing seems focused to a taste for the wondrous, the need for luxury required by the clients specifying an instance of the upper-class society for which this architecture, even in the mid-twenties, was the ultimate sophistication” (Mauro Cozzi - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani)
Among the buildings:
PALAZZINA DEL RAGNO (Small Palace of the Spider)
PALAZZO IN PIAZZA MINCIO (Palace in Piazza Mincio)
VILLINO DELLE FATE (Cottage of the Fairies)
In Piazza Mincio there is the FONTANA DELLE RANE (Fountain of the Frogs) 1920/24
In Via Tagliamento 9, adjacent to the district, there is the PIPER CLUB, historic concert venue and nightclub opened in 1965
It was originally decorated with works of art, including two paintings by Andy Warhol (1928/87), some of Mario Schifano (1934/98) and works by Piero Manzoni (1933/63)
Real giants of the music of the second half of the twentieth century played here live, such as The Who, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, David Bowie, Sly and the Family Stone, Lucio Battisti, Duke Ellington, and more recently, Nirvana


1925/31 Dario Barbieri for the National Institute for the Houses of the State Employees on the area of the park of VILLA LANCELLOTTI 
The buildings on Via Chiana were designed by Quadrio Pirani (1878/1970) 
2,000 homes for about 10,000 people
“The architecture is very austere and does not offer a particular interest except in the buildings designed by Quadrio Pirani along Via Chiana, but the overall environmental quality testifies of how the city could have developed, even in its most densely built areas, if the indications of the 1909 plan of Edmondo Sanjust di Teulada had more often found similar forms of application” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Made by the ICP (Istituto Case Popolari - Institute of Social Housing) in the years 1920/32
First works 1920, now partly demolished, around Piazza Benedetto Brin by Gustavo Giovannoni (1873/1947) who, with Innocenzo Sabbatini (1891/1984), described as Barocchetto (Small Baroque) the architectural style of the new district
Buildings for 190 homes well separated, mainly on two floors, with various and well harmonized typological solutions
“The fundamental contribution of Giovannoni to Italian architecture in the twentieth century is to be found far more in his work as a scholar and theorist, than in his limited activities as a designer and planner. The field of his research is very extensive, but it can be limited to a specific field: the study of architectural monuments and of the ancient towns with reference, almost always, to the extraordinary series of examples offered by Rome, his hometown” (G. Zucconi - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Later they were joined by Costantino Costantini (1904/82), Massimo Piacentini, cousin of the more famous Marcello and Mario De Renzi (1897/1967)
“From a linguistic point of view the district testifies of a research for the picturesque, the vernacular, the rediscovery of those elements of the lesser Roman architecture between the '500s and '700s which Giovannoni (...) was advocating on those years and which constituted a form of progressive response to the Eclecticism from which already, in another ways, others, like Piacentini and Sabbatini, were trying to come out with their 'Viennese' solutions. This trend, which was given the name of 'barocchetto' (Small Baroque) to emphasize the nostalgic and resigned tone, characterized for a few years the work of many Roman architects. Among them Debbio, Limongelli, Sabbatini himself (who designed, inter alia, the tall houses of this first nucleus of the district) De Renzi and, at least in part, Aschieri” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
The population of the district is now approximately 46,500 inhabitants
The inspiration came from the urban English Garden Cities, far from the center but well connected by public transport and consisting of small residential units with gardens also cultivable as vegetable gardens
The district name probably derives from the nickname of the owner “graceful and beautiful” of the family-run restaurant Osteria da Maria, which was at the end of 1800s on the Via Ostiense near St. Paul's cliff
The following buildings were all designed by Innocenzo Sabbatini:
It should have been an experiment of accommodation with shared areas for families displaced from the center of Rome, but the shared areas were immediately divided into apartments
“After the 'Viennese' phase, Sabbatini approached the 'barocchetto' (Small Baroque) and imprinted a particular and recognizable character to the production of the Institute. (...) In this climate can be traced the project for the Hotels, where there is no shortage however, even of expressionistic accents related to how to compose the great mass of buildings. The Albergo Rosso was presented at the 1st Exhibition of Italian Rationalist Architecture and aroused mixed reactions for its atypical style compared to the projects of young rationalists” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
CASA ALBERGO (House Hotel)
CASA DEI BAMBINI (Children's House)
The homes were inspired by the House of Diana in Ancient Ostia
“With the rise of fascist authoritarianism, the urban development of Garbatella underwent a sudden change, characterized by an intense period of construction to the detriment of public parks in the area. This new phase, the result of changes in the national political scene, sees the Garbatella become a place of accommodation for all those people, not necessarily poor, who were without a home. During this period, in fact, a decision was taken to redesign the city center, through the destruction of many buildings and the consequent need to find new accommodations for evicted tenants. ICP put into effect a building development based on testing of the 'fast house' in the years between 1923 and 1927. This type could be visually associated with the Garden Homes, but, unlike the English model, it provided the use of low cost materials, was characterized by a high speed, the ornamental elements were marginal and green areas were no longer private gardens but public places” (Site of the Associazione Culturale e Sportiva Rione Garbatella - www.rionegarbatella. it)
1925/27 Via Antonio Rubino/Via Roberto De Nobili by G.B. Trotta (1898/1959)
Thirteen two-story houses designed for a competition among seven young talented architects selected by five construction companies on the occasion of the XII Congress of the International Federation for Housing and Town Planning, held in 1929 in Rome:
Mario De Renzi (1897/1967), Pietro Aschieri (1889/1952), Gino Cancellotti (1890/1987), Giuseppe Nicolosi (1901/81), Mario Marchi (1900/96), Plinio Marconi (1893/1974)              AND Luigi Vietti (1903/98)
“From the architectural point of view some projects, those of Aschieri and especially the two houses of De Renzi, highlight the progressive abandonment of those linguistic references to the minor architecture of Rome, which had partially characterized the research of the twenties. In fact, one can perceive in them the hints of works of formal settling, more sensitive to the echoes of contemporary European experiences” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)
1926/27 Via Gerolamo Adorno/Via Giovanni Ansaldo by Plinio Marconi (1893/1974)
“Only by starting from the fundamental contribution of personalities such as Poletti and Calderini, first, to pass, then, through those of G.B. Milani, Giovannoni, Piacentini and, also, Fasolo, Minnucci and Marconi, it may be possible to define in its most authentic dimension and in its specific essence of the complexity of a situation in Rome which, through its aporias and falls, but also through its not insignificant moments of excellence, it is considered now to have had an important and decisive role, not only in Italy, but also internationally. (...) The case of Plinio Marconi, from this point of view is emblematic and exemplary: practically forgotten, neglected and shunned by critics and contemporary historiography like other personalities, however eminent, (see the case in some ways 'similar' of Giuseppe Vaccaro, only recently 'rediscovered'), gravitating in different ways in the vast and varied cultural orbit of Piacentini, and only for this destined to a specific damnatio memoriae (...). Plinio Marconi, in this context, is a good example (...) of the quality of these young architects, well informed about what was happening in the rest of the world (...) and also capable of catalyzing the theoretical arguments of a complex contemporary debate that, especially around the Thirties, created a moment of extraordinary and accelerated vitality. Especially in the relationship between the latest experiments and the assorted theoretical and methodological, technical and aesthetic ideas that were their basis, the reflection of Plinio Marconi suggests us the wealth of theoretical knowledge of the ones who, in ways more and less evolved and aware, were starting to cross a territory still unexplored, heading to the uncertain, yet fascinating, but still, in many ways, obscure objectives of Modernity” (Giorgio Muratore -