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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.

500 E. Waldron Drive, Chicago, IL
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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