Rome

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One of Rome's Busiest Exorcists Tells of Woman Vomiting Pins

Fr. Vincenzo Taraborelli performs as many as 30 exorcisms on a given day

(Newser) - Italy is no stranger to exorcisms, with half a million Italians reportedly requesting them each year. The Independent in 2015 reported on an exorcism of an entire town, performed via helicopter. Three years prior, the Catholic diocese of Milan instituted an exorcism hotline, reported the BBC . But in the wake... More »

Billionaire: I Paid to Restore Spanish Steps, Now Stay Off

Benefactor Paolo Bulgari says people ruin the landmark with their slovenly habits

(Newser) - Audrey Hepburn ate gelato on the Spanish Steps in Roman Holiday, which makes her one of the "barbarians"—the residents and tourists who've ruined the famous landmark over the years, per the billionaire benefactor who's paying for its makeover, NBC News reports. The steps, built nearly... More »

Beneath a Roman Obelisk, Mussolini Left a Letter to the Future

1,200-word eulogy describes Mussolini as rescuing Italy with his 'superhuman insight'

(Newser) - Like most leaders with any sort of an ego, Benito Mussolini wanted to be remembered. But the Italian fascist wasn't leaving his legacy up to chance, according to researchers who say they've found a Latin text hidden under the Mussolini Obelisk in Rome that eulogizes his feats during... More »

US Student Killed in Rome May Have Been a Victim Twice

Beau Solomon may have been robbed before an alleged riverside scuffle

(Newser) - As police piece together what befell Beau Solomon during the few hours he spent alive in Rome, they reportedly now believe the 19-year-old American student may have been robbed before encountering Massimo Galioto along Rome's Tiber River. The 40-year-old homeless man, who was on Tuesday arrested in connection with... More »

After US Student Found Dead in Rome, an Arrest

Beau Solomon went missing day after he arrived

(Newser) - A day after the body of a 19-year-old Wisconsin student was found in Italy's Tiber River, an arrest in the case has been made. Massimo Galioto, described as a 40-year-old homeless man, was to be charged with "aggravated murder" and has been "seriously implicated" in Beau Solomon'... More »

Body Found of US Student Who Went Missing Hours After Arriving in Rome

Family says 'thousands of dollars' charged to credit card of Wisconsin sophomore

(Newser) - The body of a teenage Wisconsin student who went missing shortly after he arrived for an exchange program was found in the River Tiber Monday, the AP reports. John Cabot University confirmed that the body was that of 19-year-old Beau Solomon, who was last seen by his friends in the... More »

James Gandolfini's Rolex Taken as He Lay Dying: Prosecutors

Paramedic Claudio Bevilacqua, 43, is accused

(Newser) - A paramedic in Italy is accused of pilfering James Gandolfini's Rolex Submariner watch as the actor lay dying, NBC News reports. Prosecutors say Claudio Bevilacqua, 43, stole the $3,000 watch after the actor suffered a massive heart attack in June 2013—but it's not clear whether the... More »

'Exceptional' Find May Change How We Think About Ancient Rome

6th-century BC home may prove city was bigger than thought: archaeologists

(Newser) - Archaeologists have discovered a sixth-century BC residence under a palazzo in central Rome, saying that it proves the ancient city was much bigger than previously thought. Officials said yesterday that the area on the Quirinal Hill had long been thought to have only been used as a necropolis, with ancient... More »

Decaying Rome 'on Verge of Collapse'

Ancient city plagued by alleged corruption, garbage, rats

(Newser) - Rome wasn't built in a day, and thousands of years later, the city of 2.8 million remains home to some of the world's most remarkable fountains, museums, and churches. But it's also "dirty and disorganized," reports Reuters . Untamed grass and graffiti can be spotted... More »

What Humanity Would Lose If Palmyra Is Destroyed

Expert: 3.8K-year-old city is 'mirage out of a fairy tale'

(Newser) - The ancient city of Palmyra, housing a 3,600-foot-long colonnade, marketplace, amphitheater, castle, and numerous tombs, is an archaeological treasure. "It makes Rome blush," says archaeologist Stephennie Mulder. "When you approach the site, it rises out of the desert like some sort of a mirage out of... More »

Surprise Find: Seating Plan for Rome's Colosseum

Restorers uncover red paint that survived for centuries

(Newser) - Spectators who once flocked to Rome's Colosseum could find their seats with the help of red numbers painted over entrance archways. What's amazing is that hints of that paint still remain, Discovery reports. A team restoring the Colosseum has spotted remnants of it in Latin numerals carved high... More »

Pope Gives Sleeping Bags to Homeless for His Birthday

Pontiff handed out 400 sleeping bags to Rome's destitute to celebrate his 78th

(Newser) - Pope Francis spent his birthday last year by going to church with four homeless locals . This year he upped the ante, celebrating his 78th birthday on Wednesday by donating 400 sleeping bags—complete with an imprinted papal coat of arms—to homeless people around Rome, ABC News reports. Volunteers and... More »

Tourist to Pay Big-Time Over Colosseum Vandalism

Russian man was caught in the act

(Newser) - A Russian tourist has been hit with an eye-watering $25,000 fine for doing what visitors have done for thousands of years: leave their mark on Rome's Colosseum. The man was caught in the act of inscribing a 10-inch-tall letter "K" on a wall inside the ancient building,... More »

Ancient Shipwreck Dates to Time When Rome Still Ruled

Divers spend hours descending 400-plus feet in search of artifacts

(Newser) - Scientists in Italy are teaming up with highly skilled divers from Florida to carefully sift through an ancient shipwreck dating back thousands of years—to the second Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage from 218BC to 201BC. It could be one of the oldest shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, and is... More »

Roman Gladiators' Diet May Surprise You

Fighters were vegetarians, drank ashes after training as a tonic

(Newser) - You'd figure a typical Roman gladiator to be a real meat-and-potatoes guy, right? You'd be figuring wrong—at least if you were talking about gladiators from the city of Ephesus. Anthropologists have found that bones uncovered from a gladiator graveyard in the ancient city (once the capital of... More »

Sistine Chapel Private Concert Goes to ... Porsche

It's part of automaker's tour of Italy for car owners

(Newser) - Michelangelo didn't know it at the time, but his work in the Sistine Chapel would one day provide the backdrop for a sacred gathering of Porsche enthusiasts. Tomorrow, those who shelled out about $6,400 a head to the automaker will hear a concert of classical music in the... More »

Sistine Chapel Getting Better Lights

Given the surge in visitors, it needs a new A-C system, too

(Newser) - Michelangelo probably never would have imagined: His masterpiece on the ceiling and walls of the Sistine Chapel soon will be illuminated by 7,000 LED lights, reports the Wall Street Journal . Visitors have been complaining that the current lighting is so bad they can't make out details of the... More »

Rome's Colosseum Was Once a 'Condo'

Amphitheater functioned as a 'condo' for centuries

(Newser) - If only these walls could talk. Rome's iconic Colosseum, built nearly 20 centuries ago in 72 AD, has long been known as the site of gory gladiator battles and animal slaughter. Now, archaeologists who spent three weeks studying an excavated area beneath some 80 arched entrances that opened up... More »

Rome's Luxury Brands Paying for Historic Renovations

In latest, jeweler Bulgari will pay $2M to spruce up the 'Spanish Steps'

(Newser) - Rome's iconic Spanish Steps are getting a makeover. High-end jeweler Bulgari is donating $2 million to the city of Rome to restore the staircase that connects the swank Piazza di Spagna with the Trinita dei Monti church above. It's the latest Italian luxury brand to step in to... More »

Oldest Roman Temple Unearthed ... for 3 Days

Likely dedicated to goddess Fortuna

(Newser) - Archaeologists digging in the heart of Rome unearthed what may be the oldest temple to be built in the Eternal City, but don't get your hopes up about visiting the ancient structure. Its foundation sits well below the water line and was only visible for three days. Archaeologists from... More »

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