1) Assistant professor, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Department of Architecture,

2) Assistant professor, University of Padua, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering,


The recourse to bricks as predominant material, sometimes exclusive, in the architectural image, characterised many Italian buildings in the years between the war of Ethiopia (1935-36) and the Second World War. If, on one hand, it corresponded to the instructions of utilizing autarchic materials in construction, on the other hand, it recalled the chromatic valence and superficial “texture” typical of ancient Roman construction tradition.

The abstract is about case studies of such “architecture of consensus” permeated with romanticism, sometimes filled with fairy connotations. In fact, these “narrations” were aimed at the consolidation of the totalitarian regime. The recourse to primary geometrical forms in the design of volumes, the development of colonnades and loggias, the observance of vertical and horizontal alignments were consistent with construction needs and bricklaying. The use of bricks, even in apparently secondary finishes, was one of the tools functional to the “staging” of the Fascist regime.


Keywords: Classicism, totalitarianism, evocation, Roman architecture, ancient Rome