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Rome declared an Open City

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Seventy years ago today, on 14 August 1943, Rome was declared an Open City.  In making such a declaration, the fascist government and King Victor Emmanuel II were openly announcing that they were abandoning all efforts to defend the Italian capital – thus declaring the city “open” – in the hopes of minimizing further civilian casualties and preserving the Eternal City’s many ancient landmarks and monuments.

However, despite the declaration, it was to be a long hard year before the Americans would finally capture and liberate the Open City, as German soldiers would quickly move in and begin a brutal 270 day occupation.  Roberto Rossellini’s classic 1945 Italian neo-realistic film, Rome, Open City, accurately depicts this traumatic chapter in Rome’s history.

Watch the Critic’s Picks review of the film from The New York Times below.

Post by Kimberly Guise.

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