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102. Reminiscences of the Roman Empire: Lo Stadio dei Marmi (The Stadium of the Marbles)

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

By Giulio D'Ercole -

In the 1920s the Fascist regime led by Benito Mussolini took over the Parliament, starting what brought Italy to the fall of its democracy, to the criminal alliance with Hitler's Nazi dictatorship in Germany, the promulgation of racial laws against the Jews, to the crazy colonialist adventure in Africa, and, ultimately, to the disastrous entering in the Second World War.

Though we must not forget that at the beginning of the past century Italy was also very rich in cultural activities and Art new trends like the Futurism, that celebrated the dynamism of the modern era of machines and movement. Somehow Mussolini was fascinated by these ideas that imagined the birth of a new sort of "superman" at the service of the State. Though, being Italian, Mussolini could not help but mixing up this futuristic vision with the conservative rhetoric of Rome's imperial past. So it was that works, strongly connoted by this interweaving of past and present, were born: the EUR district and the complex of the Foro Italico (initially Foro Mussolini). The latter was designed as a logical continuation of the Fascist Academy of Physical Education (now Palazzo CONI, Italian Olympic Committee).

The Stadio dei Marmi (Italian: "Stadium of the Marbles") is a sport stadium placed in the Foro Italico.

It was designed in the 1920s to be used by its students for training. Originally designed by Enrico Del Debbio, the construction was completed in 1928, but it was officially inaugurated in 1932.

The central field is ringed by a cascading stadium marble seats, surrounded on the top level by a oval row of classical athletic statues holding modern sports equipment. This design gives to the overall structure the look of an ancient Greek/Roman stadium. The statues represent classical, muscular figures standing naked, each one holding an implement of their sport, from a cricket bat, to a soccer ball, to a tennis racket, to a javelin, a hockey stick, a bow, etc..

The Stadium of the Marbles is a splendid location for a photo shoot focusing on architecture, therefor it is a terrific choice for the alternative "Your Tailored Made Photo Tour and Workshop" offered by RomePhotoFunTours.

Live, explore and discover Rome to the fullest. Don't miss this tour.

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