ITALY: Gold Mine

At war's end, Rome had a subway tunnel that stretched, Romans said, "from nowhere to nowhere." It began under the Colosseum and meandered five miles southwest to the site of a projected Fascist fairground outside the city. Last year the city fathers decided to complete the project by extending it 1¼ miles, from the Colosseum to the central railway station.

Archeologists fought the idea. Using ancient and often inaccurate maps, they protested that the new tunnel would smash through the unexplored remains of the palace of Marcus Aurelius' wife Faustina. It might even...

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