Esposizione Universale Rome (EUR) Its History The area dubbed EUR, short for Esposizione Universale Roma, was intended to showcase Rome in the World Exhibition of 1942, coinciding with the 20th year of the regime of dictator Mussolini. It was meant to become the monumental gateway of a large city that would stretch all the way to Ostia. Mussolini and other Fascists had a passion for erecting large buildings, so as they were planning EUR along with architect Marcello Piacentini, the order of the day seemed to be “the bigger, the better.” The result was a number of large, modern buildings that some insist were built to the detriment of Rome’s wonderful early architecture. The exposition was eventually cancelled because of the war, but work on some of the buildings still continued after the war, absent of Mussolini’s political agenda. Many visitors believe that EUR has the feel of a failed project but find it interesting to visit nonetheless. As an urban project however EUR can be considered successful: it is popular with residents thanks to its open layout and easy accessibility. In contrary to Rome's historic center, EUR is easy to drive in and not overcrowded. Square Colosseum The largest building and seemingly the centerpiece of EUR is the “square Colosseum,” known in Italian as the Palazzo della Civiltà di Lavoro (Palace of the civilization of labor), a supposed nod to the achievements of the Romans. The many arches of this building were meant to mirror Rome’s famous Colosseum. Museums Visitors will find a small cache of museums, most of which are rarely visited. The most notable, however, is the Museo della Civiltà Romana where you’ll find an interesting scale model of Imperial Rome among other exhibits touting the history of the city. The building also houses a planetarium. The neighboring Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico features a diverse collection of African, Chinese and American handicrafts. Other notable buildings The round UFO-shaped building near EUR's large lake is the former Palazzo dello Sport, meant to host athletic events. Today, it is often used as a concert hall. Near the lake is a pleasant park, a perfect place for a picnic lunch. The Palazzo dei Congressi (Congress Palace), a low-domed building, was designed to reflect the style of the Pantheon, and the church in the midst of EUR (Sts. Peter and Paul) is said to have been modeled on St. Peter’s at the Vatican.turkeyarena.com You’ll also find an obelisk structure dedicated to Guglielmo Marconi, an inventor known for his groundbreaking work in radio transmissions. The 45m (148ft) high obelisk in white marble was built in 1959 for the 1960 Olympics in Rome. The panels display scenes in the life of Marconi. Many of the other imposing buildings in EUR are used as offices, which means there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops in the area that cater to those who work in the complex.