EUR District

Southern Rome

This Orwellian quarter of wide boulevards and linear buildings was built for an international exhibition in 1942, and although war intervened and the exhibition never took place, the name stuck – Esposizione Universale di Roma (Roman Universal Exhibition) or EUR. The area's main interest lies in its rationalist architecture, which finds perfect form in the iconic Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, aka the Square Colosseum, where Italian fashion house Fendi has had its global headquarters since 2015.

The sensational modern building is a masterpiece of rationalist architecture with its symmetrical rows of 216 arches and gleaming white travertine marble. For much of its 72-year history – it was completed in 1943 – it remained unoccupied. Fendi regularly has contemporary-art exhibitions in the ground-floor exhibition space of the building; check what's on when you're in town.

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas’ cutting-edge Rome Convention Centre La Nuvola (2016) – the largest building to open in Rome in half a century – is the most dramatic piece of contemporary architecture. The striking building comprises a transparent, glass-and-steel box (40m high, 70m wide and 175m long) called Le Theca ('The Shrine'), inside of which hangs organically shaped La Nuvola ('The Cloud') containing an auditorium and conference rooms seating up to 8000 people. A separate black skyscraper called La Lama ('The Blade'), contains a hotel that closed shortly after it opened as the entire complex fell into fiscal trouble. Rumours are it will reopen as a Hilton.

While strolling EUR, watch out for artwork honouring the Fascists, which remains decades after their fall.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Rome attractions

1. Obelisco di Marconi

Done up in faux-Egyptian style, this soaring central EUR obelisk was a favourite of Mussolini's. It features the usual array of buff workers beavering…

2. Roma Convention Centre

0.17 MILES

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas’ cutting-edge Roma Convention Centre: La Nuvola (2016) – the largest building to open in Rome in half a century – is a…

3. Palazzo dei Congressi

0.19 MILES

Rome's Congress Palace was constructed for the 1942 Universal Exposition, and hosted the fencing during the 1960 Olympics. The enormous terrace above the…

4. Genius of Sport

0.23 MILES

Originally titled 'Genius of Fascism' and erected on this site in 1939 as EUR was taking shape, this statue was given the flimsiest of post-war make-overs…

6. Sea Life Roma

0.34 MILES

Over 5000 sea creatures, 30 tanks with more than one million gallons of water, a 360-degree glass tunnel for viewing sharks and stingrays, the list goes…

7. Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

0.37 MILES

Known more prosaically as the Square Colosseum, this iconic building in the EUR district is a prime example of rationalist architecture, featuring…

8. Museo della Civilta Romana

0.39 MILES

Wouldn't you know it! The pick of the three seldom-visited museums on this weed-strewn rationalist square is closed for 'renovations'. But just in case it…