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    Città universitaria: an architectural masterpiece

    Sapienza University has many campuses in Rome but its main campus is the Città Universitaria (University city), which covers 439,000 m2 (4,730,000 sq ft) in downtown Rome and hosts most of the 11 Faculties of Sapienza ( 


    The main Campus was opened in 1935 and is a masterpiece of Rationalism, designed by architect Marcello Piacentini. Piacentini was appointed by Mussolini to design the masterplan for what is now known as ‘La Sapienza’ campus. He designed the main building, but many young Italian architects of the day contributed to the scheme: Arnaldo Foschini (Monumental Entrance), Pietro Aschieri (Faculty of Chemistry), Giuseppe Pagano (Institute of Physics), Giuseppe Capponi (Botany & Pharmacology), Gaetano Rapisardi (Faculty of Law), Gio Ponti (Institute of Mathematics) and Giovanni Michelucci (Mineralogy & Geology). The masterplan was intended to include “very Roman” buildings in brick and travertine, but the young designers used these materials primarily as cladding on buildings constructed using the latest building technologies and stripped of ornament in a Roman interpretation of international Modernism. The complex stands in contrast to the EUR district of several years later, as it represents Fascist modernism yet still retains a human sense of scale (



    "Italy between arts and sciences” fresco by Mario Sironi, 1935