Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome, also known as Colosseo Quadrato (Square Colosseum), is an imposing palace, entirely clad in travertine marble, conceived to celebrate the Colosseum and considered an icon of neoclassical and fascist architecture. It was designed by the architects G. Guerrini, E.B. Lapadula and M. Romano to have a series of superimposed loggias, similar to the Colosseum ones, on the four façades and it was constructed, between 1938 and 1943, as part of the program of the Esposizione Universale Roma, which was canceled while the building was being finished. It stood empty, abandoned for over a decade until it hosted the Roma 1953 Agricultural Exhibition.
Its new life began in 2015, when luxury fashion label Fendi signed a 15 years lease contract to turn it in its headquarters. After 18 months of renovation, during which Architect Marco Costanzi headed the makeover of the interior, the Palazzo was ready for Fendi’s use. One of the spaces where it is possible to fully breath in the new atmosphere of the Square Colosseum is FENDI Caffè. Here, the vibrant feel is perceived right from the entrance, where a hallway featuring 1960s furniture and photos of the Palace by Karl Lagerfeld serves as access to the bar area, announced by the ‘FENDI Caffè’ neon sign on the wall. From here, the gaze sweeps towards the library, with its large raw tables by Controprogetto.
The retro feel of the brasserie is given by blue velvet sofas, industrial lamps and round tables with textured tops by Hein Eek. The bartender’s position has several niches containing hundreds of colored Flower Bottles created by renowned Japanese flower artist Azuma Makoto, and a counter made of reclaimed wood, resin and cement.
Ilona Catani Scarlett