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A urban itinerary

Crossing the town, in spite of the changes made on the urban territory, means to rediscover the original dimension and to imagine the old style, which should not be defined simply "littorio", because each time it represents the Rationalism, the Archaism, the Monumentalismo, the Twentieth century and the Neofuturismo in each single intervention. To perceive all these aspects we suggest to start the visit from Piazza del Quadrato, on the ring road, and go to the east-west line centre of the town until Piazza B.Buozzi. Piazza del Quadrato is the symbol of the first "core" and of the first Littoria's project, and it represents the most authentic meaning of the settlement: the rural village which becomes town.

The square has a "vernacular"aspect given by the short buildings, destined as residences and shops, provided with archs, under which there was the agricultural market; opposite the ring road, just to surround the square, there is the ex Opera Nazionale Combattenti (now the Museum of the Earth Pontina).

The buildings are decorated with groups of statues by Egisto Caldana /1887-1961) characterized by the modelled massif of bodies: the Seminatore (sower), the Spigolatrice (gleaner) and the allegories of Fertility whose meaning is pointed out by big vases full of fruit. The colours, the coverings, the rings which fasten the stock, the portico and the controlled dimension, remind of familiar architectures as the hamlets of the Roman country.

In the middle of the square, the fountain, with a bronze statue given by the sculptor Pasquale Rizzoli (1871-1953) represents the marsh free from waters. From this square, it is obvious that the green is an important element of the urban equipment. The palm trees and the eucalypti of the square follow the cluster-pines of viale Italia, which can be reached going through the two side wings created by the INCIS buildings. Piazza dei Bonificatori opens at the end of the avenue, with the Post Office building in the background planned by the architect Angelo Mazzoni del Grande (1894-1979), who followed the Futurism in 1934, signing the Manifesto of the Architettura Aerea.

The building, built in 1932, had a first widening in 1934 by Mazzoni himself, who placed an apse dressed with another tall travertine base. The whole complex, before the big tamperings in 1969 which demolished the caracteristic slope and added an element, was characterized also by the big metal and semicylindric gratings which opened the curve surface, giving a dynamic aspect to the building. Tiled and decorated with travertine trimmings, the building mantains an archaic and massif aspect in its original part, made by the counterfort elements which go around the forst widening. The column with the bronze lion, placed in Piazza dei Bonificatori, has been given by Venice.

A residential building, crossed by two pedestrian crossings, separates Piazza dei Bonificatori from Piazza del Popolo; it has got two archs as just told, which link the two squares and the three different parts of the building itself, which seems unified, on the back, by a taller element ending with the two aspes of the stairs.

This structure, marked by a base and a boundary cornice, just shows the architectural choises which characterized the town: the short horizontal dimension for the residential buildings, the monumental and vertical one for the public structures.

In Piazza del Popolo the Civic Tower, entirely covered with travertine which exalts its verticality, is linked with the big arch of entrance to the Municipio and seems autonomous as regards the arcade of the whole building, of whom it is, instead, an integral part. Its shape reminds of the rich and various inventary of the italian medieval towers, decorated with civic symbols, which, here too, flank the arch, the clock, the sculptures and the bell.

From the entrance it is possible to see the "Dafne" by Elisabetta Mayo (1896-1972), here represented before being transformed into laurel. The work of art was given to Littoria in 1933 by the "Confederazioni Fasciste" of workers.  Going through the inner garden, on the left you can see a fountain.

The buildings which surround the square re-propose the short portico with architrave and the contrast between travertine and plaster: it concerns the actual Circolo Cittadino (ex O.N.D. and F.N.F.), the ex Albergo Littoria, later Italia, and part of the ex Cinema Teatro dell'Aquila. Meanwhile on the east side of the square, the tall portico reminds us that the town, now provincial capital, must show its new role also through the architecture: that is why the presence of the gigantic order of the Finance Office, whose architecture is exalted by the travertine facing and whose impressiveness suggests the direction of the way until Piazza B.Buozzi. To the presence of such an order corresponds a major care of the inside and the combination of autarchic materials (p.e. the aluminium for the hand-rails and the bakelite for the lamps) with the more traditional brass, wood or italian precious marbles. Through the high pillars of the Finance Office you can perceive the palm trees, followed by the cluster pines and the plane-trees of the avenue. In Piazza del Popolo too, the green is functional to the urban choices, for the complex design of the central flower-bed's pavement, made of river pebbles, bricks and basalt's pieces.

In the middle of an italian garden, a fountain represents the trasformation of the territory: it is a monument to the water with a travertine sphere placed  in 1939 as the cardinal point of the town.

Piazza Dante, met after crossing the tall portico, is not on the same centre line of the way and it is separated from it by a flower-bed where there is a memorial stone of 1933, decorated with spikes and spades to remember a group od farmers from Treviso The square's features ar its mesure and the two INCIS buildings which delimit it, built in 1932-33 by the engineer Petrilli, with an inner court and separate blocks linked by a portico which unifies the front faces. Both of them have a mixed facing of plaster and bricks, proposed in a various way; the most interesting one is that on the right side as regards the Elementary School, because of its cylindrical volumes which emphasize the entrance and are linked to the first floor by a wide terrace.

The Elementary School, built in 1932, develops around an inner yard; connected with the stairwell it is known as Clock Tower, symbol of the public use of the building. The educational aspect is pointed out, besides the wide windows, by the travertine sculptures: young people' heads, open books, allegorical basreliefs which decorate the inner and external faces of the building.

Viale Mazzini, on which the side front of the school faces, is surrounded on its sides by the residential buildings INCIS and INA, built in 1936-37. The two groups of biuldings, which, as those in Viale Italia widen at the beginning and at the end of the tree-lined avenue to point out the entrance to the square, show long fronts with simple geometric shapes, weaken in their uniformity by loggias, projecting roofs, and different facings.

The Technical Institute, which was built between the two residential presences in 1936, appears as a public building because of the tall travertine board and the impressive portal similar to the Court's one, placed in the background of the avenue to delimit Piazza B.Buozzi.

The Palazzo di Giustizia (Court), inaugurated in 1936, imposes itself for the progress of its central part, shown up by the tall columns and faced with travertine; the sides repropose the same course, but the pilaster strisps are heavier because of the brick facing.

The interior furnishing is very peculiar and in Assizes court room stands out, in a strong relationship between architecture and decoration, the high relief of D.Cambelloti's frieze, the Justyce Cycle.  The Court too, with his huge order, represents the attempt of correcting the urban image, as regards the first rural aspect: its emphasized monumental quality opposes the archaic and familiar place of the Opera Nazionale Combattenti, from where that centre line starts, going through the imposing portico of the Intendenza di Finanza, and ending at the Court, laying out a course which coincides with the ideal one of the history of the city.