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Ben Building: Mussolini, Monuments and Modernism

Jonathan Meades investigates the architecture of Mussolini's Italy. He finds a dictator caught between the forces of modernism and a revivalism that harked back to ancient Rome.

Having previously investigated the architecture of Hitler and Stalin's regimes, Jonathan Meades turns his attention to another notorious 20th-century European dictator, Mussolini.

His travels take him to Rome, Milan, Genoa, the new town of Sabaudia and the vast military memorials of Redipuglia and Monte Grappa.

When it comes to the buildings of the fascist era, Meades discovers a dictator who couldn't dictate, with Mussolini caught between the contending forces of modernism and a revivalism that harked back to ancient Rome. The result was a variety of styles that still influence architecture today.

Along the way, Meades ponders on the nature of fascism, the influence of the Futurists, and Mussolini's love of a fancy uniform.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Tue 31 Mar 2020 01:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:25

    Flanagan and Allen

    Run, Rabbit, Run

  • 00:30

    Caro Emerald

    A Night Like This

  • 00:32

    Caro Emerald

    A Night Like This

  • 00:52

    The Bonzo Dog Band

    Music For Head Ballet

  • 00:55

    Susumu Yokota


  • 01:25

    Aphex Twin

    Nanou 2


Role Contributor
Presenter Jonathan Meades
Writer Jonathan Meades
Director Frank Hanly
Producer Frank Hanly