ITALY: The Semi-Eternal City

The first Roman to protest that his city was being despoiled by wanton demolition of ancient monuments and tasteless modern construction is lost to history, but two things about him are fairly sure: he made his complaint in Latin, and lived in the days of the Caesars. Last week, joining a long line of outraged traditionalists ranging from the Emperor Majorian (A.D. 457-461) to Pope Pius II (1458-64), famed Italian Novelist Alberto Moravia lamented: "The Dark Ages and the Barbarians are come again. But this time they have modern means. This is the end of Rome."

Moravia was moved to...

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