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Rome Travel Guide

The eighteenth century to World War II


After the Renaissance Era, Rome became the capital of Italy. In 1527 Charles I, king of Spain, invaded Rome. Charles I's troops looted all that was in Rome, the pope's life was in danger, and this fact marked the end of the Renaissance.

In the eighteenth century, Rome was the epicenter of the artistic style of Neoclassicism; however, Rome was not only an outdoor museum in the eighteenth century. The world around Rome was changing and it could not be a stranger to the arrival of a modern world.

Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Rome after the French Revolution, the city was taken, the ancient papal authority was ridiculed, so Romans lodged a republican and nationalist sentiment that culminated in rebellion. Rome joined to the young Italy in 1870, when the French empire and the papal troops fell. Rome came to life again this year so many people came back to Rome and the population began to grow very quickly. Many architects developed projects in order to get a better urban planning; it helped people not to damage the monuments around Rome.

Many others suggested building a new Rome on one of the hills of Italy, but this idea seemed very crazy. Rome joined again many of the best artists, so it became one of the most important cities around the world.

In 1929, Benito Mussolini suggested changing the ideology of Rome and so Romans and Italian people became fascist. Because of him, Hitler invaded Italy and part of Rome so British and Americans attacked Rome in World War II. This war damaged some historical monuments like the Roman Coliseum; Nazis also stole many artistic works for their private collections of art.

When World War II finished, many Romans had died, because Rome was one of the most important cities in the strategy of the Axis, just like Tokyo and Berlin. British, Americans and Germans left Rome in 1944; Mussolini was murdered a year after. Romans were tired of fascism, so Referendum of 1946 abolished the monarchy and established the Italian Republic.

It would take time for Rome to recover, Rome was still the main headquarter of the Catholic Church so many people helped rebuild most of the buildings. Rome would begin a new stage.


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