- Point of Interest
- Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
In the Lateran Palace, in Rome, many Italian antifascists and politicians found shelter between 1943 and 1944. After the liberation, many of these wrote the new Italian Constitution and they subsequently governed the country.
After the fall of Mussolini, on 25 July 1943, the antifascists began to recreate the relationships that were broken by the regime’s repression. The antifascist parties united in the Committee for National Liberation (CLN) to call the Italians to the fight and to the resistance to gain back freedom.
The building at the Lateran was the meeting place to discuss the future of the country. A part of the anti-fascists in the occupied city started to reflect upon how a liberated Italy could look like in the future.
Today, visiting the Lateran University is not at all evoking the atmosphere of fear and lack of freedom of the days of the occupation. To see the most important places for the CLN at the Lateran, follow the road at the back of the basilica, from the University square to the medieval cloister, where, in the house of Mrs. Ronca, the men who would have later governed the country discussed the future of Italy.
The region of Lazio in central Italy was the scene of heavy fighting during WWII: here the battles of Monte Cassino and Anzio were fought before the Allies could capture the capital of Rome. Recall the landings of Anzio and
Rome was the first capital to be liberated from Nazi German occupation on 4 June 1944. Rome had been declared an open city which meant that it could be captured without any fighting. This was a welcome relieve after the heavy fought campaign of Cassino.
During the Roman Ghetto round-up, the Fatebenefratelli hospital hid a number of Jews before they could be loaded on trucks, forcing them in the hospital for the so-called “K syndrome”.
The EUR district, southern of Rome, is one of the biggest examples of fascist urban planning and architecture in Italy. Mussolini planned to build a new Rome looking toward the future, and the EUR district represents the legacy of the fascist rationalist architecture.
The war cemetery in Rome was built after the entry of the Allied force into Rome in June 1944. It contains 426 Commonwealth graves from the Second World War. An inscription recalls the period of the war and commemorates the
In October 1943, the Nazis deported over 1.000 Jews from the former Jewish Ghetto in Rome. The Roman Ghetto had a long history that stretched back for many centuries.
Venice Palace (Palazzo Venezia), in Rome, was the headquarters of the fascist government. Mussolini used its Globe Room (Sala del Mappamondo) as his personal office. From its balcony, Mussolini used to harangue the crowds on the most important occasions, such as 10 June 1940, when fascist Italy decided to enter the war.
The Wedekind Palace (Palazzo Wedekind) on the Colonna Square (Piazza Colonna) in Rome was the headquarters of the National Fascist Party during the period of Fascist rule in Italy. After Italy’s capitulation came the Nazi occupation during which many Italian fascists reappeared on the scene again centering around the Palazzo.
The city of Rome survived the German occupation in an atmosphere of terror, deprivation, and cold. People began to raid bakeries and delivery trucks carrying bread for the German military. The reprisal was quick: ten women were shot at the guardrail of the Ponte di ferro (Iron Bridge), also known as Ponte dell’industria (Industry Bridge).
One of the crucial moments for Italian history is 19 July 1943, when the Allies bombed the San Lorenzo district, speeding up the fall of Mussolini, who a week later was defeated after a vote of no-confidence by the Great Council of Fascism and arrested.
On 23 March 1944, in Via Rasella, in the centre of Rome, a bomb by GAP (Patriotic Action Group) partisans killed 33 Nazis. As a reprisal, the German command ordered the shooting of ten Italians for every German killed.