|Giò Ponti's entrance to the University|
of Rome's Math Department
You'll find a nice collection of big doors at the University of Rome (La Sapienza), built by the Fascists in the late 1930s after a portion of the troubling, leftist quartiere of San Lorenzo was levelled to make way. Giò Ponti, an architect and designer who did everything from buildings to dessert plates (we own a set), created the enormous entrance to the Mathematics Building at the University. (If you're intrigued, see our complete post on this building, with contemporary photos.)
|Entrance to EUR's Museo della Civiltà Romana|
At EUR, the quintessential example of Fascist monumentality, you'll find the portone (big door) at right, welcoming teenagers on a field trip to the Museo della Civiltà Romana.
The non-state examples are just as cool. We found one in the upper reaches of Trastevere, just beyond the hordes, on what we remember as Via Goffredo Mammeli (left).
We came upon the one we like best (below right) in our current neighborhood, just west off Via Tuscolana, a couple of blocks from the railroad station.
A third has to do with humility--the humility of those who pass through these gates of momentality, feeling grateful but also just "small," and hence intimidated, not quite victims, yet rendered passive by those who created the building and built the entrance. Think of the Scarecrow and the Lion and the Tin Woodman, cowering in the cavernous space where the Wizard did his magic in the The Wizard of Oz, made in 1939. The ordinary people of Rome, experiencing Fascism.