Italy: Palace for Sale

"Sensational Buy in Rome!'' cried the quarter-page ad in Rome's Daily American. "Trevi Palace for Sale." Under a picture of the fountain of Trevi (which was not on sale) were spelled out the palace's more obvious assets: "Invaluable Publicity, Central Heating, Plenty of Water."

The Italian press was outraged. "Why not St. Peter's Basilica!" snapped the Paese Sera. Grumbled Il Giornale d'ltalia: "It's like putting the Eiffel Tower up for auction." Romans conjured up terrible visions of neon signs winking over the colossal marble statues of Neptune and his Tritons.

For 69 years, the palace was occupied by Rome's Vital Statistics...

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