Sunday, March 19, 2006

Roman News...

From the Telegraph:
Wealthy benefactors are stepping in to help to save the dilapidated Protestant cemetery in Rome where the poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley are buried.
Charitable trusts are being set up in Britain and America to handle the money that has been given following an original donation of €20,000 (£13,900) from the Italian jewellery company Bulgari, whose family members, originally Greek orthodox, are also buried there.
The condition of the crumbling cemetery was highlighted recently, a victim of "decades of deferred maintenance", according to Catherine Payling, its treasurer, who is also the curator of Rome's Keats Shelley museum.
The cemetery, where the first recorded burials began in 1784, suffered from its location at the heart of the Roman Catholic world, where the Vatican traditionally paid for the upkeep of public buildings, but not for those connected with other branches of Christianity.
It attracts 10,000 visitors a year, but has always relied on charitable donations, which are no longer enough to pay for the upkeep of the monuments.
For centuries, the Cimitero Acattolico di Roma was the only place in the city where non-Catholics could legally be buried and is situated in Testaccio outside the city walls.
In addition to the bones of the poets, the cemetery contains the remains of 2,500 people, ranging from servants to noblemen, of more than 50 religious denominations. They include Antonio Gramsci, the founder of the Italian Communist Party.
Italian election news:
An exhausted Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered by his doctors to take an immediate three-day break, after signs that the stress of Italy's general election campaign is affecting his health.
The Italian prime minister, who is trailing in the polls with three weeks left before voting on April 9, complained of severe back problems and has been diagnosed with sciatica.
A doctor attended Mr Berlusconi, 69, immediately after his television debate on Tuesday with his opponent, Romano Prodi, 66, when he complained of feeling unwell. Commentators observed that Mr Berlusconi, who gave what was widely judged to be a lacklustre performance, appeared tired, and four snap polls showed that most viewers believed Mr Prodi had performed better.
On Friday, the prime minister was taken to the headquarters of his Milan football team where he was treated by medical staff and advised to take a complete rest straight away.
Signs of exhaustion will dent the image of the perma-tanned Mr Berlusconi, who takes such pride in his appearance. After last week's debate, he surprised supporters by declaring that he would prepare for the second televised head-to-head with Mr Prodi - scheduled for April 3, just six days before voting - by taking a seaside holiday.
"Three days before [the debate] I will go on holiday to Bermuda or Sardinia," the multi-billionaire leader of Forza Italia was reported as saying.

Also, Rocco has pics of the Palazzo Massimo.

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