The Decline of Rome

Newsweek International, November 18, 2002 | Go to article overview

The Decline of Rome


Our Oct. 14 story on Rome's problems incited Romans, their friends and countrymen to champion the Eternal City. Citing Dante, Rembrandt and the Beatles, they took issue with our list of the city's woes.

Is Rome Really in a Rut?

Your Oct. 14 article "'Carp' Diem" (Europe) quite correctly identifies Rome's acute crisis of identity which, in my opinion, stems largely from the attitudes of its inhabitants. For more than 2,000 years, Rome's rulers--emperors, popes and others--have been providing its inhabitants with the proverbial bread and circuses. In the year 1300, Pope Boniface VIII (whom Dante put in the Inferno even before he died!) invented the Jubilee, or "holy year," marking Rome as the center of Christendom to help Rome's weak economy with incoming pilgrims. Nowadays, Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is unable to even start the privatization that he had promised in his program. Possibly he is overwhelmed by the resistance of state-owned companies, based in Rome, which either receive annual aid from the government or charge monopolistic rates to their customers. Bravo, NEWSWEEK, for acknowledging and discussing some of these highly complex problems.

Luigi Bacchiani

Rome, Italy

What a confused article on Rome! As an American who's lived in Rome since 1985, I can confirm that Romans are as frustrated as Barbie Nadeau about the chaos, congestion and corruption that plague their city. But what she sees as weaknesses, I see as strengths. Those who make the effort to understand this complex and ancient city on its own terms are well rewarded. Visitors who seek an "almost like home" experience should stay away. Torpidity and decay? No! Rome's social fabric is tough and durable; its infrastructure has probably never been better. Electronic supermarkets? OK, they may be a fun experiment, but Romans buy their food fresh from local markets, where they have shopped for generations. Gearing up to get maximum tourist revenues is a double-edged sword. The Romans know which edge best serves their own interest.

Jeff Tschirley

Rome, Italy

How can you write that "cultural liveliness, business vibrancy and the conveniences of modern living" are lacking in a city where we've just had an extraordinary season of cultural events? Where, in the past three years, the economic growth rate has been higher than the Italian national average, and where some of the most important European telecommunications and multimedia-production industries are located? It is not right to say that Rome has not "invested considerable time and treasure in promoting its attractions" when the Borghese Gallery, Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Braschi and countless archeological sites have been reopened and the largest auditorium in Europe will be fully functioning by December. It is equally absurd to maintain that "pop stars and performers of every stripe, finding Rome to be a sure money loser, have written the city off their European tours." Rome has, in recent weeks, been host to the concerts of talents like Paul Simon, James Taylor and Mstislav Rostropovich, to name just a few. As for visual arts, recent exhibitions have focused on Rembrandt, German expressionists, the colored marbles of imperial Rome and the Beatles. And speaking of tourism, Rome has felt the aftermath of 9-11 much less than other major European cities.

Paolo Soldini Head, City Press Office

Rome, Italy

As an Italian, born and raised in Milan, I'm aware that changes are needed in Rome's organization and infrastructures and, above all, in the Roman mentality. But Barbie Nadeau describes the city without understanding that one cannot expect from Rome what one can from New York; she also fails to appreciate that what you find in Rome you will not find in New York. If Rome lacks "business vibrancy," well, you're not supposed to feel that in the Eternal City. If that's what you're looking for and can't live without, you've landed in the wrong place-- go to Milan, or stay at home. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Decline of Rome
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.