Celebration and Construction, 1932–1934

  • Borden W. PainterJr.
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


The year 1932 marked an important stage of development for fascist Rome. The tenth anniversary of the March on Rome, the Decennale, offered the regime the opportunity to celebrate its achievements and especially to introduce new spaces and events in Rome. An English-language pamphlet of the state-sponsored tourist agency boasted that the regime had “completely transformed Italy” in its first decade. “Anyone visiting Rome after an absence of ten years can hardly believe that so many and such important works could have been accomplished during this short period of time.” It pointed to the Via dell’Impero, the new towns in the reclaimed areas of the Pontine Marshes, and the opening up of the city’s ancient monuments.1 Mussolini’s imprint already gave the city a new look appropriate to the rhythm of modern life, with one construction project after another superimposing a new and beautiful city on imperial Rome.2 “It is not exaggerated to affirm that side by side with old Rome and even within its walls, another city has sprung up or rather has been revealed during the last ten years: a new Rome that deserves to be visited as much as the old one generally described in guide-books.”3


Historic Center Circus Maximus Ancient Monument Fascist Regime American Political Scientist 
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  • Borden W. PainterJr.

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