Saturday, January 18, 2020


Piazza dei Cinquecento

1862/63 with the name Stazione Centrale delle Ferrovie Romane (Central Station of the Roman Railways)

In the sixteenth century in this area had been built the Villa Montalto-Peretti owned by Cardinal Felice Peretti, later Pope Sixtus V (1585/90)
The villa was later acquired by the Massimo family, who gave it to the Papal State just when the construction of the train station was being planned, and, as a result, the villa was demolished

The station was built in conjunction with the opening of the rail link from Rome first to Ceprano and later to Napoli

1868/74 by Salvatore Bianchi (1821/84) for a city of just 200,000 inhabitants

After switching to the Kingdom of Italy in 1870, the works suffered several interruptions and slowdowns

The decision was made to build a central station for Roma in this area, despite it would have had more sense to build a station for each line, such as Paris or London
The first two railway lines of the Papal States had in fact the last stops in the Porta Maggiore (the Rome-Frascati, 1856) and in Porta Portese (the Rome-Civitavecchia, 1859, later extended to Pisa). There were also existing projects for the Rome-Ceprano and Rome-Ancona

However, it was decisive the influence of the powerful Belgian Monsignor Francesco De Merode who had interests in the Termini area and in the current Via Nazionale, the street that him himself planned

The Master Plan of 1931 included two main stations in Rome: one in the north, on Campo Parioli where later the Olympic Village was built, and one in the south in the area of Casilino Mandrione. The two stations would have connected by a tunnel and Termini would have been a transit underground station
It was an idea that, with hindsight, was not so bad and would have avoided the huge wound of the railroad tracks that cuts the center of Rome
But then in 1936 it was decided to organize the Universal Exhibition and, with the new idea of developing Roma towards the sea, it was decided to have Termini as the only main station

Begun in 1938 with the sides longer than 2 km (1.2 miles) by Angiolo Mazzoni Del Grande (1894/1979)

“Angiolo Mazzoni Del Grande always tried new ways of expression, up to level of the heterogeneous language that defiled the rationalist lexicon with a rich materiality that Marinetti called futurist, but that demonstrates the need to meet the demands of the administration of which he was a dependent, in some circumstances, the result of mediation in situations of discord among its stakeholders, particularly complex and evident in the events related to the history of the important railway junctions of Florence, Rome and Venice” (Alessandra Capanna – Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

Front building
1947/50 designed by two groups of architects joint winners of the competition: the one of Leo Calini (1903/85) and Eugenio Montuori (1907/82) and that of Massimo Castellazzi (1901/77), Vasco Fadigati (1902/?), Achille Pintonello (1902/?) and Annibale Vitellozzi (1902/90)

The building is 53 m long (174 feet) and the huge CANTILEVER ROOF extends for 19 m (63 feet) to the outside with a bold technical solution. It is nicknamed the dinosaur
Bas-relief 1951 by the Hungarian artist Amerigo Tot (1909/84)

“The front building remains one of the most interesting works in the Italian post-war and it is a concrete testimony of the renewal effort that architectural culture had undertaken in those years” (Piero Ostilio Rossi)

Termini Station was renovated in 2000 and a huge shopping mall was opened in the basement

It is the first train station in Italy and the second in Europe after the Gare du Nord in Paris for number of passengers
It has been figured out that every day about 480.000 people enter this train station, as mentioned on the official Stazione Termini web site

The building is located on the former site of a popular quarter of the second century AD

The frescoes found during construction are now exposed on the top floor of the nearby archaeological museum of Palazzo Massimo
At the side of the front building and inside the station itself are visible sections of the ancient Servian Walls

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