Just a stone’s throw from the city centre there’s a hidden world of whimsical and bizarre beauty, the Coppedè district. Located between two streets: Viale Regina Margherita and Via Tagliamento. It’s the work of the Florentine architect Gino Coppedè.
In 1917 the company that had acquired the 30,000 m² plot of land, with the plan to build a modern and elegant district destined for the middle class, chose the architect, Gino Coppedè, to design and build the whole area. Rarely has an architect had so much freedom in designing an entire district. Coppedè’s original and eclectic style can be found in all his buildings, squares and fountains. His Medieval, Liberty, Gothic and Baroque influences blend to create a type of architecture that reminds us of a fairytale world. His vast repertory of styles and his theatrical approach to architecture can be seen in all his fantastic buildings, with their gorgeous balconies and pinnacles, the richly decorated balustrades and columns, and the spectacular frescoed facades.
Discover this unique and magical district when you walk through the dramatic arched entranceway on Via Tagliamento. The archway is richly decorated in the Barroque style complete with a coat of arms of the Medici family. To further add to the fantasy element a large iron chandelier of floral twisted tendrils and seahorse motifs hangs from underneath the archway.
Opposite the arch is a beautiful building known as the Fairy Villa and this best embodies the architectural style of the area incorporating such elments as a gothic stair case, a side of the house that is distinctly Florentine as well as one that is Venetian. The space also includes the famous fountain called Fontana delle Rane or the Frog Fountain which is largely composed of 12 moss studded frog sculptures. The fountain became world famous after the Beatles stepped, fully dressed, into it. Nearby there’s a famous club, the Piper, where the Beatles used to hang out in the sixties. In front of the fountain is the Palazzina del Ragno, or the Spider Building with its amazing spiderweb mosaic.
The air of fantasy which surrounds this location has attracted a number of film makers. The horror film director, Dario Argento, was enormously impressed by the Coppedè district, and he used it as a set for two of his most famous works “Inferno” and “L’uccello dalle plume di cristallo”.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the Eternal city and come for a stroll in this enchanted area.