In the past, the square was much smaller, divided into two squares by palace Venezia. The place in front of palace Venezia connected the way Papalis from the Vatican to the Laterano with the via Lata (now via del corso), which led to the Porta Flaminia from the city center. On the square, instead of today's palace of insurance, was the workshop of art by Michelangelo.
The decision to build on the side of the Campidoglio, the monument to Vittorio Emanuelle II caused the destruction of the papal square to give life to a new political-moral of the new Italy. The new arrangement, the result of demolitions and reconstructions, reflects the ideology of largeness and the will to create the myth of "Third Rome" on the ruins of Imperial Rome and the Pope.
Opposite the facade of palace Venezia is the modern palace of the insurances that mimics the shape of the mirror image famous neighbor. On the north corner of the course is instead the seventeenth-century Palace Bonaparte, which takes its name from Napoleon's mother, who after the fall of the Emperor stayed until death in 1836. Still perfectly preserved is the green roof-loggia in which that old lady was watching the passers-by without being seen. Around Christmas time in the square is placed on colorful Christmas tree which acts as a pendant to that of the Vatican in St. Peter's Square, and that makes it even more pleasing large perennially blooming flower beds.
In the early thirties of the twentieth century grow up, within the culture of the fascist regime, an interest in the potential propaganda and popular photographic technique and film. Born in these years the Institute "Luce" with the task of creating reports and to collect the archives of news, while it is entrusted to a group of professionals photographers working in Rome the resumption of operations of demolition.
The many thousands of images thus created is still kept in more than ninety albums in the Photographic Hall, is really not a comprehensive documentation and scientific sites and monuments, but they represent a unique historical document. In the chaos of fragmentary walls, among heaps of bricks and mortar, it shows the portraits of the inhabitants forced to flee their homes and workers, backed with heavy tools.
In this way the target unknowingly an inventory of dramatic moments, a real rhetorical comment to the propaganda of the regime and develop a formal language based on the notion of truth (In the picture here next Excavations to Giulio Romano - photos 1934. Demolition of via Giulio Romano. Roman house and, in the background, the Vittoriano).
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