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La Rotonda

La Rotonda
What to do

The locals call it La Rotonda (the roundabout), but in fact it is a big panoramic terrace, which signs the end of via Cristoforo Colombo , the former via Imperiale designed in 1937 within the project of EUR (Roma Universal Exposition) of 1942. It had to link the city centre to the Tyrrhenian sea.

The history

When WWII breaks out, via Cristoforo Colombo is not finished yet and for this we must wait 1954.
The following year the designers decide to give it a monumental end. At the crossroad with via Litoranea, they create a horseshoe shaped square of 110 mt of diameter, with a central flowerbed which serves as roundabout.

On the straight side which extends on the beach, there is a 4.000 square metres terrace, that you reach after some stairs. It is composed by the intersection of a rectangle and a circle. The paving, like the stairs, is in travertine. It is decorated with geometric shapes and the signs of the zodiac, in Bagnoregio marble. These are in trapezoid shaped squares. They form the rays of the central fountain. The protective balustrade is composed by little pillars and come horizontal rods.

This terrace is about 1 mt higher than road level and 4 above sea level. It offers a spectacular view and in clear days it is a 180° view from Anzio to Fiumicino.
In 1962 Pier Luigi Nervi presented 2 projects to complete the site. Both ideas were not carried out, but they both wanted to extend the terrace with a 400 mt pier, with a beach, restaurant, bar and shops, where also yachts could dock. The most incredible element was the revolving tower with a lift which would have taken up to a panoramic restaurant, 80 mt high up in the sky.

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