His entourage that day included giuseppe bottai the

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which launched the project. His entourage that day included GiuseppeBottai, the only major fascist party official to serve as governor of Rome, a posthe held from 1935 to 1937. The major portion of the work was completed by1938, and the broad new Via della Conciliazione appeared in the official guide-books. There were finishing touches after the war in time for the Holy Year of1950, and the new street served the fascist regime well as a symbol of its new re-lationship with the Vatican.Another project begun during Bottai’s time as governor was the construc-tion of the new Corso Risorgimento, initiated on April 21, 1936. It ran fromthe Corso Vittorio Emanuele in front of the Church of San Andrea della Valleto the side of the Piazza Navona. It replaced the Via Sediari and the ViaSapienza, site of the older university building. The widening and straighteningof this street meant the demolition of a number of buildings and the construc-tion of several new ones. The most prominent of the latter sat directly acrossfrom the church and had a small piazza in front of it. The building housed in-surance offices and apartments, and the project had the backing of the NationalInsurance Association, or INA. The fountain that graces this space today wasMUSSOLINIS ROME4.3 Mussolini and Giuseppe Bottai at inauguration of the project for the Via della Conciliazione, 1936
added in 1958 and came from the area demolished to open up the constructionof the Via della Conciliazione. The building’s Latin phrases speak of the glory ofthe new fascist empire.32This project included the one fascist incursion into the Piazza Navona. Atthe north end at the curve, a new building went in that retained the façade onthe piazza side but was a new presence on the outside facing the widened ViaZanardelli. The new fascist building exposed remnants of the original stadiumof Domitian and is today open for tourists to descend to the original level.33AUGUSTUS AND ROMANITÀWhen Mussolini spoke from his balcony on the Palazzo Venezia and declaredthe new fascist empire on May 9, 1936, he shouted to the crowd, “Are you wor-thy of it?” The crowd, of course, roared back “Yes!” Clearly the Duce enjoyedhis imperial role, but it was King Victor Emmanuel III, as head of the Italianstate, who assumed the title Emperor of Ethiopia. Nevertheless, no one presentfor that speech and those that followed could miss the point that Mussolini71ARCHITECTURE, PROPAGANDA, AND THE FASCIST REVOLUTION4.4Mussolini visits workers on the Via della Conciliazione, 1937
72MUSSOLINIS ROME4.5Demolition of the north curve on the Piazza Navona, 1937
played the role of the new Augustus. The next phase of Mussolini’s Rome sawthe emergence of a self-consciously imperial city.Mussolini had already set in motion two new projects to glorify Augustus:the “liberation” of the mausoleum of Augustus through demolition and con-struction, and the exhibit to celebrate the two-thousandth anniversary of Au-gustus’s birth, to take place in 1937. He launched the first project on October

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