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Municipality of Ravenna

Casa del Mutilato

Piazza J. F. Kennedy - Ravenna
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During the 1920s, Ravenna began to deeply renovate the city centre with the support of the fascist government.

On the occasion of the 6th centenary of Dante Alighieri’s death (1921), the whole Zone of Silence dedicated to the Supreme Poet was renovated and the nearby Piazza del Littorio (today Piazza Caduti per la Libertà) underwent a series of restoration works.

In 1935, the local government approved a project for the construction of the new “piazza del mercato”, the current and recently restored Piazza Kennedy.

The historical centre had to be completely renovated – the old Jewish quarter, the Rasponi gardens (in front of Palazzo Rasponi dalle Teste were destroyed, as well as the remains of the ancient Church of Sant’Agnese, a trace of which is still visible on the pavement of the piazza.

The project also included the costruction of the CASA DEL MUTILATO (lit. house of the wounded), commissioned by the Association for the war wounded and invalids, designed at the end of the ’30s by architect Matteo Focaccia and only completed around the half of the ’40s.

Architecture and mosaics

The brick-built building is elongated, asymmetric, imposing and geometrically shaped. On the facade, around the large pillared entrance hall, it is possible to see sculptures and bas-reliefs. Above the entrance is a quote by Dante Alighieri “Dall’alto scende virtù che m’aiuta” (“A power descending from above that helps me”).

The attic was decorated by sculptor Umberto Pinzauti with two bas-reliefs depicting a winged victory with the symbols of the glory and the martyrdom and the Glory with a trumpet and a shield, on which the victories of the Piave river and Vittorio Veneto are engraved.

On the facade, it is possible to clearly see an arengo, a small balcony from which the people was addressed. Above the balcony, the symbol of the Association for the war wounded and invalids – three bayonets tied by a crown of thorns.

Today, this building hosts offices, apartments and various commercial spaces. On the first floor, in one of the spaces hosting a restaurant, is the Salone dei Mosaici (Mosaic hall), which still keeps some of Italy’s most significant 20th-century mosaic decorations.

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The mosaics of the Casa del Mutilato

Between 1935 and 1939 a complete renovation of a part of the old town centre was completed, leading to the creation of a new square, later named after John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

This was the setting for the headquarters of the Association for the war wounded and invalids. In full Fascist style, a hall of honour of great architectural and decorative value was opened on the first floor (now Sala dei Mosaici).

Here, between 1940 and 1941, five mosaic panels were placed to pay homage to the World War I, to the warrior spirit of the Regime, to underline the continuity between the Roman Empire and Fascism, and to glorify the wars fought by Mussolini’s army in Africa (1935-1936) and Spain (1936-1939).

The mosaics in this room have an undeniable artistic value, and were created by some of the greatest masters of the 20th century, from the Mosaic School of the Academy of Fine Arts in Ravenna.

On the main wall are three panels designed by Renato Signorini in collaboration with Werther Focaccia and Libera Musiani and based on sketches by Giovanni Majoli, representing World War I, the African War and the Spanish War respectively.

On the short wall of the room is a fourth panel with a classical layout, made by Antonio Rocchi and Ines Morigi Berti on a sketch by Anton Giuseppe Santagata, depicting Julius Caesar with the features of Mussolini crossing the Rubicon with a stylisation of Ravenna in the background.

Under this panel, there was originally a fifth panel depicting the March on Rome, which was removed with the fall of the Fascist regime to make room for a new entrance to the hall.

Further information

Opening times

The building is always visible from the outside. It hosts offices, apartments and different commercial spaces open to the public.

The Mosaic hall (housing a restaurant/tearoom) is currently closed to the public.

Accessibility

The building is accessible to people with physical disabilities.

How to get there

Casa del Mutilato overlooks Piazza Kennedy, in the historical centre of Ravenna.

On foot: the area is easily reachable on foot from the nearby railway station.

By bus: Piazza Kennedy is served by public transport. For more information: startromagna.it

By car: the historical centre of Ravenna is a Limited Traffic Zone. For more information about nearby parking areas click HERE.

A cura della Redazione Locale
E-mail: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Last edit:4 November 2022

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