Little Italy Africa - The Hidden Art Deco Gem

Via Wallpaper

On the edge of Africa lies one of the worlds most well preserved art deco cities, a beautiful relic of the past and one which is as unexpected as it is unusual. The Eritrean capital of Asmara is perhaps an unlikely location for such buildings but it actually has the highest concentration of intact modernist buildings in the world.

Via Culture Trip

This former Italian colony was a focal point for the Italian modernists up until 1941 and in 1939 it was home to around 57,000 Italians - it was even nicknamed 'Little Rome'.  It had been part of Mussolini's plan for the 'Second Empire' and in the 1930s it was used as an experiment into the latest architectural developments.

Via Guardian

Via Guardian

Old hotels, bars and cinemas crumble away, remnants of its past history. The city is frozen in time - both a reminder of its controversial past and a unique glimpse into the anticipated future of the time.

Via Cinema Treasures

Via meonline

The Fiat building inspired by an aeroplane shape, Bar Zilli a Radio style facade and the Cinema Impero a circuit board inspired frontage. Designs that perhaps were considered to 'different' for main land Italy in the 1930s.

Via Wallpaper
Via Wallpaper

Via Wallpaper

Although the architecture was seemingly forced on the city the residents are said to have inherited some of the Italian culture from espresso bars to gelato. Asmara is now being considered b UNESCO and is a beautiful hidden gem.


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Taking a look at the beautiful and the strange in history, art, people and places.