The Coppedè district: a triumph of eclecticism

The Coppedè district includes eighteen historical buildings and twenty-seven high-rises and other structures that revolve around Piazza Mincio, in Rome. Designed by architect Gino Coppedè after 1915, for the Società Anonima Edilizia Moderna, this complex of great architectural value is renowned for the mix of styles in its decorative elements. Indeed, you will see many baroque details and esoteric symbols on the façades of this corner of Rome, which has charmed creatives and directors – often inspiring them to choose it as the location for their work.
Case in point: Dario Argento filmed “Inferno” and “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” in the district; Nanny Loy directed Vittorio Gassman here in “Audace colpo dei soliti ignoti” (also known as “Fiasco in Milan”); and Richard Donner picked Coppedè for his “The Omen”.

The entrance to the district is through an evocative monumental arch that connects the two structures known as “ambassadors’ buildings”; underneath, a splendid and iconic wrought-iron chandelier is still visible. Amongst the many remarkable buildings, the Palazzina del Ragno (“Spider Palace” – nicknamed after the large spider on its front) flaunts an Assyrian-Babylonian style and an eclectic black-and-gold mosaic with the inscription “Labor” (“work”, in Latin). Another noteworthy sight is the Villino delle Fate (“Small Villa of the Fairies”), famous for its asymmetrical volumes and blend of construction material: travertine, tuff stone, glass, marble. On Piazza Mincio, you’ll find the Fountain of the Frogs – which was named after the twelve frogs decorating it, but really went down in history once the Beatles jumped in it after holding a concert at the nearby disco, Piper.
Gino Coppedè died before the district was finished. His work was completed by architect Paolo Emilio Andrè.

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The Coppedè district: a triumph of eclecticism



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