Following the defeat of Turkey in the Italian-Turkish War of 1911, Italian troops took over the island of Rhodes , along with the rest of the Dodecanese Islands . In 1923, they established an Italian colony known as Isole Italiane dell'Egeo (" Italian Islands of the Aegean Sea ").
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini embarked on a program of "Italianization." It was designed to force cultural and ethnic assimilation of the native minority populations hoping to make Rhodes a modern transportation hub that would serve as a focal point for the spread of Italian culture in the East.
The new Italian buildings reflected the spirit of public administration and set new benchmarks in the urban landscape. All these public buildings are samples of colonial policy and are closely linked to the presence of two general governors, equally active but diametrically opposed in their choices in architecture, Mario Lago (1924-1936) and Cesare Maria De Vecchi (1936-1943).
Rhodes Branch of the Bank
|The Court Building||Administration building|
During the years of the occupation, the Italians carried out an extensive programs of building and restoration using the almost free local labor force. Among other projects, the entire length of the fortification walls were consolidated and conserved. They preserved what was left from the Knights' period, destroyed most Ottoman buildings and removed Ottoman additions that had been made to ecclesiastical monuments. They reconstructed the Grand Master's Palace, the Knights' Hospital and Filerimos Monastery.
|Post office||Casino Rodos||Aquarium of Rhodes|
The restoration methods they used are the subject of fierce criticism today. Although they were restricted by the political circumstances of their day, they nevertheless helped to preserve many sites that otherwise might not have survived to the present.