The Best of EUR

Beyond ancient and modern Rome, 5 km south along Via Ostiense, there’s another Rome made up of massive white marble buildings and wide streets. The interesting EUR neighborhood was named after the Esposizione Universale Roma, the world fair that was to take place in 1942 to mark 20 years of Fascism. To show the world the grandeur of Fascist Italy, Mussolini asked his best architects to design a majestic neighborhood with large roads and tall buildings, and the style is distinctively rationalist. War halted construction and the fair never took place, but EUR developed into a thriving township of government ministries, offices and apartments. Recently, the City of Rome has also presented a number of other projects, including the much anticipated Aquarium, which is currently under construction. Embedded under the artificial lake on Via Cristoforo Colombo, the Aquarium will host hundreds of Mediterranean species and a marine fauna recovery centre inside a very innovative structure. The new EUR will also feature Fuksas’ so-called “cloud,” a suspended glass structure hanging from the ceiling of his new congress building, and Renzo Piano’s eco-friendly jewel of architecture, a large glass C-shaped structure that will house a fabulous winter garden with trees, plants and flowers. Although these structures aren’t ready yet, it is never too early to visit EUR and the important buildings that already are there, like the Palazzo della Civiltà, known as the square Colosseum, the Palazzo dei Congressi, hosting a number of fairs and events including an electronic music festival, the planetarium and the ethnology museum. EUR is also a great place for shopping, with Rome’s largest mall (EURoma2, Viale dell’Oceano Pacifico) and for nightlife, with the trendy disco-café SPAZIO 900 (Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 26b).