The following article will point out the way in which the roman Città Universitaria (1932 –1935) played a crucial role for the historiography of architecture in Italy. While the debate of the 1930ies was marked by negotiations of a genuine fascist art, essence and appropriate form, important historians and critics of the post-war era were engaged in establishing the master narrative of an ethical and progressive modernity in contrast to a retrograde and reprehensible traditionalism. The endeavor to take the Universities architecture and artwork in for a particular concept of artistic quality exerts a significant influence on todays estimation as well as handling of the building complex. By focusing on the issue of a ›true‹ modernity, architectural historians tend to lose sight of the planning program of the entire building complex, the political content of its spatial organization. Regarding its capacity of embodying ideologies, universities in contrast to government buildings are often underestimated as less telling. The article shows that at least the fascist regime used the university building complex as an important political instrument for performatively actualizing its educational policy, a policy which was indissolubly connected to the idea of forming the fascist ›uomo nuovo‹. Considering its continuous use for educational purposes the author suggests taking account of this aspect when valuing the actual qualities of the Città Universitaria.