A ‘great’ school for a ‘great’ Italy
Promoted as the perfect example of a school building, the elementary school of Predappio suggests the greatness of the Fascist regime, with decorations on the main façade showing three great Italians: Leonardo, Dante and Michelangelo.
Schools and propaganda
Predappio’s elementary school, located on the main road, was in a central position for the new town. It played an important symbolic role of the regime’s political effort to fight illiteracy. In fact, the construction of schools was part of Mussolini’s political project of modernising the country. Education was an effective means for the ‘political socialisation’ and Fascistisation of young Italians.
The ‘perfect’ school building
At its inauguration in 1927, Predappio’s elementary school, designed by Florestano Di Fausto, was promoted as the perfect example of a school building. The ground and first floor contained classrooms and a library, while the basement had the refectory, the gymnasium and bathrooms. A huge terrace on top of the arches on the main façade was built for a specific purpose: to encourage the participation of pupils and teachers during the regime’s rallies along the main road.
Leonardo, Dante, Michelangelo
The eclectic-style building is characterised by a plain design enriched by arches as well as the contrast of Roman plaster and local red bricks. On the central body of the main façade, the archivolts of the central windows are decorated with three medallions displaying three great Italians: Leonardo, Dante and Michelangelo.