There are many apparently contradictory black-and-white images of Rome that Ludovico Quaroni took around the eternal city. The baroque is to be found side by side with shacks, while the explosion of consumer society – during Italy's economic boom – does little to erase the traces of a city that seems to have come straight out of a Vittorio De Sica or Roberto Rossellini film. And then there are the fountains of Rome and the banks of the Tiber, Franco Albini's Rinascente and Castel Sant'Angelo, the EUR and the Vatican, right up to the market in Piazza Vittorio and the ancient Appian Way. Layers of civilisations intertwining, and in between them, the people of Rome, seemingly indifferent to the passing of the centuries. The architect's eye brings to life an unpublished and surprising book that may also be considered – and this is the common thread—an act of love towards the city where he was born. A text by the writer Francesco Pecoraro, himself a student of Quaroni, pays homage to the great architect's Rome.
Ludovico Quaroni (1911–1987), born into a Roman family, was a key figure in twentieth-century Italian architecture and urban development. After graduating in architecture from Rome, he began to practise in the 1930s. During WWII he was held prisoner for five years by the British in India. On his return in 1946, he was among the protagonists of the post-war reconstruction process, both from a theoretical point of view—being very close to Adriano Olivetti and his urbanist ideas—and in the planning of public building works in Italy. He was also a great teacher, training generations of architects and urban planners, a much-respected scholar and the author of books such as La torre di babele (1967), Progettare un edificio (1977) as well as Immagine di Roma (1969), the book dedicated to his home town.