SI Vault
 
Rome: The Olympic Anniversary
December 21, 1959
THE NOCTURNAL CITY
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 21, 1959

Rome: The Olympic Anniversary

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

THE NOCTURNAL CITY

The setting sun is a golden ball behind the dome of St. Peter's; beyond, the antennas of the modern Radio Vatican form delicate traceries against the sky.

In the shadowy streets the first lights flick on...the night has begun

CASTEL SANT'ANGELO
Built by the Emperor Hadrian to be his tomb, later a fortress, Prison, refuge for beleaguered Popes, and now a museum, it got its name from the Archangel Michael, who—it is said—apperared on the pinnacle in the 6th century as a heavenly sign that the plague then ravaging Rome would end.

CAMPIDOGLIO
On the Capitoline Hill, most famous of the seven, site of the ancient citadel and of temples to Juno and Jupiter, Michelangelo created the glowing ensemble of graceful stairway, palaces and piazza leading to the towered Senator's Palace the city hall of modern Rome.

PIAZZA DEL CAMPIDOGLIO
Marcus Aurelius, Emperor and philosopher, reaches out in thoughtful benediction toward visitors emerging from the broad stairs past the guardian figures of Castor and Pollux

FONTANA DI TREVI
The Trevi Fountain, fantastic and opulent, a romantic dream of living stone and wild water has a legend: throw a coin in and yon will ho sure to return someday to Romo.

BASILICA DI MASSENZIO
Pagan and Christian pasts intermingle: the great basilica (left) was begun by Maxentius and completed by Constantine, first Christian Emperor: the church at rigid, was built on the remains of a Roman temple

COLOSSEO
Forerunner of the stadiums where the Olympics will be held, the Colosseum—dedicated 19 centuries ago—seated 50,000. Broken by earthquakes and the passing years, it remains fabulously huge still, and commands awe for the boldness of the men who built it

TIVOLI
Here in the 16th century Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, son of Lucrezia Borgia, built a beautiful home, the Villa (d'Este, and filled its gardens with intricate, lovely fountains. They are still there; and the cypress trees have become dark giants

Continue Story
1 2