Discovering the Foundation Cities

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We take you on a tour of the Foundation Cities, the "New Towns" built as a result of the great urban planning initiative known as the Integrated Land Reclamation, which improved the areas by reclaiming marshes and building roads, buildings, and canals.

There are eight Foundation Cities: Aprilia, Colleferro, Guidonia, Latina, Pomezia, Pontinia, Sabaudia and Ventotene. These towns offer a fascinating mix of history, architecture and natural beauty and integral reclamation works. The main public buildings are arranged around a big square with imposing towers in the centre, and they all have square architecture. They all have the geometric urban design of a garden city with all utilities.

Follow this route to see the structures that best exemplify these "new towns" in order to see them all.

Start your tour with the charming island of Ventotene in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ventotene is a part of the Integrated Foundation City System even though it isn't a "New Town". The lovely Porto Romano, which gives a breathtaking view of the sea, must be seen once you get on the island. Explore the Bourbon Prison on the smaller islet of Santo Stefano as well as the Archaeological Museum, the Roman Peschiera, Punta Eolo, the Church of Santa Candida, and the Villa Giulia Archaeological Area. These institutions collect and enhance the documentary heritage related to political confinement and detention.

Continue towards the coastal town of Sabaudia, which is famous for its golden beaches. Inaugurated on 15 April 1934, it still preserves its original urban and architectural design. Admire the Church of the Annunziata, the Post Office Building, the 46-meter Civic Tower, which dominates the entire town, and the Palazzo Comunale. Stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the sun and the sea.

Head towards Pontinia, inaugurated on 18 December 1935. Its orthogonal street layout is still perfectly recognisable. Visit the Water Tower, the S. Anna Parish Church, the arcaded National Insurance Institute buildings, the Civic Tower and the Town Hall, Piazza Indipendenza with the Post Office Building and the Albergo Pontino, and the Agro Pontino Museum which tells the story of the land reclamation.

Continue your journey to Latina, the first of the "New Towns", which was founded in 1932. Explore the historic centre, which includes the Piazza del Popolo, the town hall's main square, which features the distinctive Civic Tower and the so-called Fontana della Palla al centro (Fountain with a ball in the middle). Don't forget to visit the Cambellotti Museum in the Opera Nazionale Balilla building, the Angiolo Mazzoni's Post Office building, and Palazzo M, now the provincial headquarters of the Guardia di Finanza.

Continue towards Aprilia, inaugurated on 29 October 1937. To find out more about the hystory of this region, visit the Agro Pontino Historical Museum. Visit the Tenuta Calissoni - Bulgari to see the futurist "aeropainter" artists' works and admire the Church of San Michele Arcangelo and Santa Maria Goretti's impressive architecture.

Reach Pomezia, inaugurated on 3 June 1938. Visit the Municipal House, the Reservoir Tower, the Post Office, and the Church of San Benedetto, all located in the City of Pomezia.

Head for Guidonia, the "city of flight", which was established on October 21, 1937, and is situated at the foot of the Tiburtini Alps. You will come across the homes designated for officers, non-commissioned officers, civil servants, and employees as you stroll through the network of streets honouring the greatest aviators and air heroes. Admire the Town Hall and the Civic Tower's architecture.

Conclude your trip in Colleferro, the "city of space" that was inaugurated on 13 June 1935. Visit the Church of Santa Barbara, the Covered Market, the BPD Management Centre, the INA-CASA buildings, the Chemical-Physical Studies Centre, the Cement Factory and the Metallurgical Centre.