Fire destroyed the Central Post Office in Rome, causing damage to the extent of more than 5,000,000 lire. Communications with northern Italy, France and England were interrupted for many hours. Five hundred telegraph instruments were destroyed, but there were no casualties.

The Post Office was situated in the monastery of San Silvestro de Capi- te, which was built in 761 by Pope Paul I on the site of his own house in honor of a piece of the skull of St. John the Baptist, preserved there.

The sacred relic was kept in the chapel,...

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