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Farnesina The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is situated in Rome since 1871, when Florence left the place of capital of the Kingdom of Italy to the eternal city. From then on the Ministery has been housed in the Palace of Council (from 1871 to 1922), Chigi palace (from 1923 to 1959) and the actual building from 1959.
The project of Farnesina, by the architects Del Debbio, Foschini and Morpurgo, had been planned in 1935, during the planning of the area called "Orti della Farnesina", situated between Monte Mario and the Tevere River.

The years after 1936 had been very important for italian architecture: pushed by the imperial myth, the architecture of ancient Rome had become an obligatory reference. Monumentality, mass, rhythm, symmetry became new formal values. All of this became stronger thanks to the policy of autarchy, concerning also architecture because new rules imposed to limit the use of iron (and so of cement) that was imported, and to valorize instead local materials, in particular stone and bricks.

With its 1.320 rooms, Farnesina Palace was large enough to house all the Offices and Services of the Administration, previously scattered in 14 different buildings, Palazzo Chigi included.

With a 169 meters principal facade, 51 meters high, the building is composed by nine floors and it spreads over 720.000 cubic meters, it shares with Caserta Palace the record of the building with the biggest volume.

Farnesina is located in an area of new urban development, the Foro Italico area, served by the main roads and location of various public structures.
With the goal of a better integration in the city's structure and with the aim of valorize its own facilities, unique under a lot of aspects, in 1996 the Municipality of Rome has called Francesco Cellini, Adolfo Natalini, Manfredi Nicoletti, Umberto Riva, Aldo Rossi and Francesco Venezia for a national competition that had the aim to upgrade the area and to complete the architectural system hill-palace-river by a renovation of the large square and the project of a new entrance avenue of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The winner of the competition was the architect Umberto Riva.

Inside the Palace, beside the Offices that support everyday activities (Bank, Post Office, CIT, newspaper kiosks, Bar), there are also some important public services like a kindergarten, a Cafeteria and a first aid station.

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