Colonia montana P.N.F. di Genova

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Colonie montane

other name:

Colonia montana "Gioventý Italiana"
Colonia montana di Rovegno
address: Rovegno (GE),
strada provinciale di Pietranera
client: P.N.F. - Partito Nazionale Fascista di Genova
architect:   Camillo Nardi Greco
year: 1934
capacity: 450


The Fascist Party of Genoa was the client of this mountain colony in Rovegno which was built in 1934 for 450 children.

Under stilistic and geometrical terms this colony is a kind of Janus face. The front with its monumental portal is designed strictly symmetrically and in the manner of the neo-classicism. But the left wing with its rotunda and tower is a clearly asymmetrically and avant garde style.

The three-storey central part of the building is dominated by the entrance portal, which is formed by four pilasters in giant order. Lastly this monumental frame was painted in orange colour, but the black-and-white-images on postcards are indicative of a originally marble imitation. In its sopraporte was written in big letters "P.N.F.", while today only lightly "Gioventý Italiana" can be deciphered. The cartridges of the great door leafs are designed as stylized fasces.

The side wings surmount the central part of the building with one level and shape a kind of court yard in front of it. Against this traditional arrangement stand the corner windows. All windows are partitioned in small panes connotating industrial architecture. They let the walls look more smooth and plain.

The left wing with its annexed tower and rotunda housing the dining hall and the kitchen below. Its semicircular roof serves as a terrace, which can be reached by outside stairs. According to its circular shape the dining hall is constructed with a mushroom like pillar, which also houses a dumb waiter lifting the food from the kitchen in the basement.

The top of the clock respectively water tower shows beside the watch the common national emblems as the stylized fasces and the construction year "A XII" (Anno 12 = 1934). To the knowledge of the author no other colonia offers such a big clock.

Originally the design of the colonia shows also a tower on the right side, but which wasn't built. The upper floors of the side wings as well as the central part have two dormitories each, while the central part also houses the washing and rest rooms as well as the grand staircase. On ground level of the right wing a hall for different purposes is for disposal. Attached lies a chapel for services where all doors windows are shaped as round arch and the windows as portholes.

In front of the colonia lies a vast field for sports and games. At the foot of the right wing also lies a pool.

One year after inauguration the Fascist Party of Genoa opened his seaside colonia in Chiavari, which was designed by Camillo Nardi Greco as well.

In the 1950ies the colonia was extended with a further building aside which houses another dining hall. But for the continuous use at least the fascist ax blades at the tower obviously were knocked off. The colonia is abandoned for years and because of its location a little away from Rovegno but along a country road it draws "visitors". By their vandalism and natural decay the colonia is in a very desolate state.

historical photos

free lightbox photo galleryby v6.1

photos © Dan Dubowitz

Rovegno 1 Rovegno 2 free lightbox photo galleryby v6.1

photos © Arne Winkelmann

free lightbox photo galleryby v6.1





Ground floor

Upper floor

bibliography: Cities of Childhood. Italian Colonie of the 1930s, (Ausst.-Kat.), ed. Alex Wall u. Stefano di Martino, London 1988, p. 26
Domus, no. 659, 1985, p. 26
Architetture in Liguria dagli anni venti agli anni cinquanta, ed. Silvia Barisone, Matteo Fochessati, Gianni Franzone, Andrea Canziani, Milano 2004, pp. 45, 166
De R., N.: Una colonia montana a Rovegno, in: Architettura, XIII (1935), febbraio, p. 96-98
La colonia montana di Rovegno, in: Edilizia Moderna, no. 17, 1935, p. 42-43