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Rome


  • Originally published 08/21/2013

    Rome’s start to architectural hubris

    Granted that Rome was not built in a day, the unresolved question among scholars has been just how long did it take. How early, before Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered, did Romans begin adopting a monumental architecture reflecting the grandeur of their ambitions?Most historians agree that early Rome had nothing to compare to the sublime temples of Greece and was not a particularly splendid city, like Alexandria in Egypt.Any definitive insight into the formative stages of Roman architectural hubris lies irretrievable beneath layers of the city’s repeated renovations through the time of caesars, popes and the Renaissance. The most imposing ruin of the early Roman imperial period is the Colosseum, erected in the first century A.D.

  • Originally published 08/02/2013

    Road through Roman history creates colossal headache

    ROME — Via dei Fori Imperiali, a multilane artery running through the heart of Rome, is typically a frenzy of swerving Vespas, zipping Smart cars and honking Fiat taxis.But Mayor Ignazio Marino is seeking to transform the avenue to something calmer, where Gucci loafers and sensible sneakers would rule.Mr. Marino’s plan to ban private traffic on the roadway, which bisects a vast archaeological site, from the central Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum, has prompted grousing and histrionic debate over a project that conservators say would solidify the world’s largest urban archaeological area.This being Rome, the first high-impact initiative of his seven-week-old administration, which goes into effect on Saturday, has provoked its share of unfavorable comparisons with the overweening ambitions of emperors past. “The mayor’s job is not to pass into history, but to work for his citizens,” said Luciano Canfora, a professor of classics at the University of Bari. “We already had Nero, that’s more than enough.”...

  • Originally published 07/29/2013

    Unrepentant Nazi criminal Priebke chills Rome

    There has been a renewed call in Italy for one of the oldest surviving Nazi war criminals to repent.It came on the eve of the 100th birthday of Erich Priebke, who has never expressed remorse for his part in a World War ll massacre at the Ardeatine Caves, on the outskirts of Rome.The former SS officer is actually still in the Italian capital.He lives under house arrest in what some in the city regard as conditions that are far too comfortable and lenient....

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Mussolini’s ‘most secret’ bunker discovered beneath historic Roman structure

    Workers in Rome have stumbled across a top-secret bunker once belonging to former Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, hidden underneath the historic Palazzo Venezia. The discovery is the 12th such bunker as is said to have been the “most secret” of the former strongman’s hideouts, according to the Italian publication La Stampa....

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Mussolini’s ‘most secret’ bunker discovered beneath historic Roman structure

    Workers in Rome have stumbled across a top-secret bunker once belonging to former Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, hidden underneath the historic Palazzo Venezia.The discovery is the 12th such bunker as is said to have been the “most secret” of the former strongman’s hideouts, according to the Italian publication La Stampa.And in what has become a tradition of sorts, the bunker will soon go on display for the public to tour and document, as has been done with other recently discovered Mussolini bunkers. City officials plan to install lighting, a touchscreen system and an air siren, meant to simulate the sounds of an impending air raid....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Pompeii restorer Annamaria Cavaco accused of fraud

    A former restorer of Pompeii is under house arrest on corruption charges, Italian police have said.Five others, including the ex-special commissioner appointed to deal with the increasing degradation of the historic site, are also under investigation...

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Roman marker used to measure Earth found

    Italian researchers have unearthed a marble benchmark which was once used to measure the shape of Earth in the 19th century.Called Benchmark B, the marker was found near the town of Frattocchie along one of the earliest Roman roads which links the Eternal City to the southern city of Brindisi.Placed there by Father Angelo Secchi (1818-1878), a pioneer of astrophysics, the marker consisted of a small travertine slab with a metallic plate in the middle. The plate featured a hole at its center....