I like to think of the elegant bridge that links Palazzo Senatorio, in Piazza del Campidoglio, to a neighbouring building as Rome's very own 'Ponte dei Sospiri' ('Bridge of Sighs').
The bridge was built during the period Italians call the ventennio fascista (twenty years of fascism), or simply the ventennio, and sports two dates, a reminder of Mussolini's addition to the calendar. 'M D MCMXL' needs no explanation, while 'A VIII E F' refers to the eighth year of the Era Fascista.
In 1927 Benito Mussolini, Italy's dictator, introduced a new calendar, which made October 28th (the anniversary of the 'March on Rome' in 1922) the start of the year and used Roman numerals to denote the number of years that had passed since the fascists had come to power.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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