Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

Historic Building in Southern Rome

Also known more prosaically as the Square Colosseum, this iconic building in the EUR district is a masterpiece of rationalist architecture with its symmetrical rows of 216 arches and gleaming white travertine marble. For much of its history – it was completed in 1943 – it has remained unoccupied, but in 2015 the Fendi fashion house transferred its global headquarters here. Watch for some dazzling contemporary-art exhibitions, hosted by the Italian fashion house, on the ground floor of the Fendi palace.

The distinct form of the palazzo was designed by Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano; each side of the building consists of six rows of nine arches, rising to a height of 50m. According to some, these numbers are a homage to the project’s Fascist patron, with the six rows reflecting the six letters of Benito and the nine arches the nine letters of Mussolini.