The early 20th century was Ridiculous: the Quartiere Coppedè

Most people think of Roman neighborhoods as pastel/earth colored Palazzi from the 19th century or older. But if you go beyond the centro storico, the city is also packed with ugly 20th century architecture making you question what architects were thinking over the last 100 years. There is, however an EXCELLENT early 20th century neighborhood easily accessible off of the 3 tram, which reaffirms a positive opinion of modern architecture: the Quartiere Coppedè:

whoa fancy
whoa fancy

Though it was pouring the day I meandered up to architect Gino Coppedè’s artfully composed little neighborhood, the decorative whimsy of the buildings and the sheer weirdness of it all was enchanting.

the house in the background is covered in mosaics depicting scenes of Florence
the house in the background is covered in mosaics depicting scenes of Florence

The nucleus of the neighborhood is a circular piazza with a toad fountain in the middle. Apparently it’s a riff on the famous turtle fountain down in the Ghetto, which is all charming and everything, but the silliness of toads wins every time!

rain and toads!
rain and toads!
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