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Chicago, Illinois: Monument to the Fascist Sky King

Oldest outdoor human relic in Chicago: a 2,000-year-old Roman column atop a square base. A 1934 gift from Benito Mussolini to honor Marshal Italo Balbo, who led an armada of seaplanes 6,088 miles from Rome to Chicago and back.

Address:
500 E. Waldron Drive, Chicago, IL
Directions:
South side of downtown, just east of Solider Field. From US-41 exit at 18th St. Drive east. When you reach the stop sign at Waldron Drive, turn right. You'll immediately see a paved bike/walking path. Park in the nearby lot at the end of Waldron Drive, then walk north on the path. You'll quickly come to the Balbo Monument, on the left.
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Marshal Italo Balbo monument.

Monument to the Fascist Sky King

Fenced in and without any description, this pillar is easy to overlook. People walk and bike mere feet away without a passing glance here. The inscriptions on the base are in Italian and English, but are very difficult to read due to age and abandonment. Something like: "Balbo Monument To watch over the water ... Victory of the Roman. Presents to Chicago memorial honor Eleventh year of the fascist era."

[Adventures Of Cluckleberry Hen, 04/17/2023]

The 1934 monument was erected on the site of the Italian Pavilion at the 1933 World's Fair. Honoree Italo Balbo didn't have long to enjoy it; he was shot down and killed in 1940 by his own men when they misidentified his plane as British.


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In the region:
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