Coppedè District: one of the most fascinating places in Rome

Rome is a magic place, offering to its visitors something beautiful to discover in each corner, but there is a district very different from what you usually see during the tourist tours that is worth of attention: Coppedè District.

Actually, it is not exactly a district: it is the complex of buildings situated in Nomentana, the street in Trieste District, made up 26 buildings and 17 houses designed by the architect and sculptor Gino Coppedè from Florence.

The district astonishes you because of its fantastic and surreal architecture, a mix of Liberty & DecòGothic and Baroque art. An eclectic style that created a one-of-a-kind district thanks to the symbols coming from the esoteric world Gino Coppedè was expert about. Exploring Coppedè district is an original experience: walking along streets where you don't even feel to be in the Eternal Rome made of classic monuments. There is a fantastic atmosphere made of pretty decorations disclosing symbols hard to be interpreted. The fascination of this district increases when the night hugs the atmosphere, making it very suggestive.

The history of Coppedè district

The district was created between 1915 and 1927 by Gino Coppedè project, but it is still incomplete because of the sudden and mysterious suicide committed by the Florence architect. The architecture of the district is different from the fascist period one, as it usually was at the beginning of the 1900s. Coppedè lines are soft and rich in decorations, in opposition to the Fascist rationalism. Gino Coppedè went over the limits of the style of the time, but just because the work was commissioned by the local bourgeoisie. Rome was characterized by a great expansion during that times, indeed, despite the laws of 1909 tried to limit that phenomenon.  Even if Coppedè had a very different style from the Fascist one, he well understood Rome represented a reality very different from the European cities, where Liberty style had found success, as well as the history of the ancient Rome represented the heart of the urban structure.

For this reason Gino Coppedè created an independent style to express the connection with the Italian historical and artistic tradition and not only to create a break with the past, typical trend of the European Liberty Style.

A walk to Discover Coppedè District

Our tour can start through the arch that connects the two buildings named the buildings of the Ambassadors, under Which there is a big lamp made of wrought-iron bed. We leave behind us the traffic of via Regina Margherita, getting inside the quiet atmosphere of Coppedè District. Going over the arch covered by symbols and flower decorations, you get in the middle of the district that represents the centre of the whole project: Piazza Mincio. In the middle of the square, there is a fountain made of two tubs completely decorated by frogs. Probably, the inspiration came from Fontana delle Tartarughe, by Bernini, situated in the Jewish ghettoFontana delle Rane is famous because the Beatles ahd a bath in it, after their concert at the Piper Club nearby.  Around the square, you can see very interesting buildings, such as Palazzo del Ragno. This three floors building takes its name by the decoration on the main door: a black and white mosaic representing a spider, indeed, and on the third floor there is an ochre painting and a writing saying “Labor".

The spider is the symbol of work and now we understand its meaning: the decoration and the writing have the aim to celebrate work. In front of the building, there is another very interesting building and its main door is decorated by a sculpture creating shadows and light effects, inspired to the famous film “Cabiria”, from 1914, in which Gabriele D'Annunzio took part as playwright. Not so far from piazza Mincio, there are the most peculiar buildings of the district: Villini delle Fate. The three buildings are independent and each one of them is a homage to one of the Italian cities. Petrarca, Dante and the writing” Fiorenza sei bella" for Florence; Romolo and Remo with the wolf to celebrate Rome and the sailing boat to celebrate Venice. The walls are decorated by cherubs and flowers, too. There are other Liberty & Decò style buildings with modest decorations.

Coppedè District and the cinema

Walking around the district, you will be astonished by the decorations of the buildings making the district fascinating but mysterious too, as well as you will ask yourself which are the meanings behind those particular facades. If you pay attention, you can find some historical and artistic connections but it is impossible to completely explain them. Despite of any attempt, the district will always be a mystery that only its designer could think about. Visitors can only have the impression of understanding Coppedè imagination, rich in esoteric symbols and icons.

The fantastic atmosphere you feel along the streets of the district, often captured in some films such as noir movies: “Il presagio",  “La ragazza che sapeva troppo” and” Il profumo della signora in nero”. Dario Argento is the one who mostly gave homage to the mysterious beauty of the streets: “L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo” (1970) and” Inferno" (1980). In these films, the famous directors decided to capture images and sequences characterizing the fantastic  atmosphere of the district, to tell fragments of stories around its buildings. The spectators feel the suggestion by the story and the place creating unforgettable pictures in their minds.

Do you want to stay in Rome?

For this location we recommend Hotel Oxford, the ideal starting point to discover Rome!

Coppedè DistrictnomentanaTrieste DistrictGino Coppedèvia Regina MargheritaPiazza MincioFontana delle RanePalazzo del Ragno