Today, nearly a century after the National Fascist Party came to power in Italy, questions about the built legacy of the regime provoke polemics among architects and scholars. Mussolini’s government constructed thousands of new buildings across the Italian Peninsula and islands and in colonial territories. From hospitals, post offices and stadia to housing, summer camps, Fascist Party Headquarters, ceremonial spaces, roads, railways and bridges, the physical traces of the regime have a presence in nearly every Italian town. 

The Routledge Companion to Italian Fascist Architecture investigates what has become of the architectural and urban projects of Italian fascism, how sites have been transformed or adapted and what constitutes the meaning of these buildings and cities today. The essays include a rich array of new arguments by both senior and early career scholars from Italy and beyond. They examine the reception of fascist architecture through studies of destruction and adaptation, debates over reuse, artistic interventions and even routine daily practices, which may slowly alter collective understandings of such places. Paolo Portoghesi sheds light on the subject from his internal perspective, while Harald Bodenschatz situates Italy among period totalitarian authorities and their symbols across Europe. Section editors frame, synthesize and moderate essays that explore fascism’s afterlife; how the physical legacy of the regime has been altered and preserved and what it means now. This critical history of interpretations of fascist-era architecture and urban projects broadens our understanding of the relationships among politics, identity, memory and place.

This companion will be of interest to students and scholars in a range of fields, including Italian history, architectural history, cultural studies, visual sociology, political science and art history.

chapter 1|9 pages


The afterlives of fascism
ByKay Bea Jones, Stephanie Pilat

chapter 2|44 pages

The fascist legacy in the built environment

ByFrancesco Cianfarani

chapter 3|13 pages

Urbanism, 1 architecture, and dictatorship

Memory in transition
ByHarald Bodenschatz

chapter 4|6 pages

Regarding the legacy of fascism: Interview with Paolo Portoghesi 1

ByLuca Arcangeli

section Section 1|63 pages

Global capital

chapter 5|4 pages

Section 1: Global capital

ByStephanie Pilat

chapter 6|13 pages

The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

From fascism to fashion
ByPaola Somma

chapter 7|19 pages

F is for … fluctuating symbolism

The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and its shifting meaning Jelena Loncar
ByJelena Loncar

chapter 8|15 pages

Contesting heritage

Shifting political interpretations of Rome’s Foro Italico
ByAnkie Petersen

chapter 9|10 pages

The spaces between intention and reception

The work of Kevin van Braak and Rossella Biscotti
ByStephanie Pilat

section Section 2|54 pages

Conditional colonies

chapter 10|3 pages

Section 2: Conditional colonies

BySean Anderson

chapter 11|12 pages

The Aeronautical Base Gianni Rossetti of the Italian regime in Leros

A study on the palimpsest of institutionalism
ByGeorgia Gkratsou, Amalia Kotsaki

chapter 12|12 pages

Kallithea, Rhodes

A summer thermal bath resort at the border of the Italian Fascist Empire and its reuse today
ByLuca Orlandi, Velika Ivkovska

chapter 13|13 pages

Failed state(s)

Mogadishu and the making of a post-colony
BySean Anderson

chapter 14|12 pages

Preserved for whom

Reappraising Asmara’s colonial-era architecture
ByMatthew Scarlett

section Section 3|65 pages

Contested territories

chapter 15|5 pages

Section 3: Contested territories

ByFrancesco Cianfarani

chapter 16|14 pages

Beyond Italianization

Conflicts, stories, and reactions of the afterlives of fascism in Bolzano/Bozen
BySara Favargiotti, Alessandro Busana, Daniele Cappelletti

chapter 17|16 pages

Guidonia, City of the Air

A lost identity 1
ByLuca Arcangeli

chapter 18|13 pages

Rural settlers and urban designs

Paradoxical civic identity in the Agro Pontino
ByMia Fuller

chapter 19|15 pages

The legacy of the official borgate

Design, reception and current life of the Quarticciolo neighborhood in Rome
ByFrancesco Cianfarani

section Section 4|71 pages

Figures and frameworks

chapter 20|4 pages

Section 4: Figures and frameworks

ByMia Fuller

chapter 21|14 pages

From fascism to the postwar era

The “two lives” of Cesare Valle, architect and urbanist
ByMicaela Antonucci

chapter 22|13 pages

The silence of modernity

Technology, technique, and reception of Giuseppe Vaccaro’s works since the 1930s
BySofia Nannini

chapter 23|14 pages

The University of Trieste during the period of the Allied Military Government

From fascism to democracy
ByDiana Barillari

chapter 24|11 pages

The afterlife of typology and the resilience of fascist architecture

Two bright examples of the success or failure of typological readaptation
ByMario Ferrari

chapter 25|13 pages

The lessons of Fascist Rome

Venturi, Lincoln Center, and 1960s formalism
ByDenise Costanzo

section Section 5|71 pages

Fabricating fascism

chapter 26|5 pages

Section 5: Fabricating fascism

ByStephanie Pilat

chapter 27|10 pages

The Casa della Madre e del Bambino in Trieste

The afterlife of Umberto Nordio’s fascist welfare building
ByFabrizio Civalleri, Orsola Spada

chapter 28|13 pages

The reception of World War I monuments

From the Ossari to the Case del Mutilato
BySilvia Barisione

chapter 29|11 pages


The rebirth of Bolzano’s former GIL
ByPaolo Sanza

chapter 30|18 pages

Transfiguration and permanence

The Trento Post and Telegraph Building
ByFabio Campolongo, Cristiana Volpi

chapter 31|12 pages

Efficient linoleum

ByD. Medina Lasansky

section Section 6|65 pages

Remnants of place: Reception and polemics at the extremities of empire

chapter 32|5 pages

Section 6: Remnants of Place

ByKay Bea Jones

chapter 33|15 pages

Villaggio ENI

Enrico Mattei and Edoardo Gellner build a new Italy
ByKatie MacDonald, Kyle Schumann

chapter 34|12 pages

1938: Mussolini’s visit to Genoa and its architectural heritage

ByMatteo Fochessati

chapter 35|14 pages

Piazza della Vittoria in Brescia

The history and difficult legacy of fascism
ByPaolo Nicoloso

chapter 36|17 pages

Adalberto Libera between fascism and the Republic

ByPaolo Castelli, Damiano Castelli

section Section 7|63 pages

Continuity or crisis

chapter 37|6 pages

Section 7: Continuity or crisis

ByBrian L. McLaren

chapter 38|16 pages

Ojetti’s prophecy

Italian identity from architectural debate to everyday life
ByAlessandro Canevari

chapter 39|16 pages

Problems of abstraction

BBPR’s Monument to the Fallen in Concentration Camps, Milan (1946, 1950, 1955)
ByFlavia Marcello

chapter 40|14 pages

Monuments across the fascist divide

Questions about formalism and symbol
ByKay Bea Jones

chapter 41|9 pages

Carlo Enrico Rava and the postwar legacy of fascism

ByBrian L. McLaren

section |15 pages


chapter 42|13 pages

Small victories (“BZ ’18–’45”)

ByJeffrey Schnapp