Since the Roman poet Virgil (c 70-19BC), authors have been fascinated by the Eternal City. Virgil gave the world snakes in the grass, Greeks bearing gifts and love conquers all. His epic poem the Aeneid eulogises Rome – and as a boy from the provinces arriving in Rome in the Augustan era, Virgil was mightily impressed, speaking of Rome’s “immortal majesty”.
Fast forward from Virgil and find out what other famous authors down the ages have thought about the Eternal City.
The poet Dante visited Rome in 1301
Rome, that reformed the world, accustomed was
Two suns to have, which one road and the other,
Of God and of the world, made manifest.
Soleva Roma, che ‘l buon mondo feo,
Due soli aver, che l’una e l’altra strada
Facean vedere, e del mondo e di Deo.
Purgatorio, Canto XVI
German poet and philosopher Goethe visited Rome between 1787 and 1788
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