quotations about Rome
Rome: the city of visible history, where the past of a whole hemisphere seems moving in funeral procession with strange ancestral images and trophies gathered from afar.
GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch
For someone who has never seen Rome, it is hard to believe how beautiful life can be.
I have not been three days at Rome. How charming are the Italian women! Nature seems here to have concentrated all her beauties. In other countries she has bestow'd only one feature; but in Rome the countenance is perfect. There she has given souls without bodies; here they both exist in the same being.
WASHINGTON ALLSTON, letter from Rome, October 1800
Rome is a very loony city in every respect. One needs but spend an hour or two there to realize that Fellini makes documentaries.
FRAN LEBOWITZ, Metropolitan Life
Rome has spoken; the case is concluded.
SAINT AUGUSTINE, attributed, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
And I myself, in Rome, heard it said openly in the streets, "If there is a hell, then Rome is built on it."
MARTIN LUTHER, Against the Roman Papacy, An Institution of the Devil
Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.
ANATOLE BROYARD, New York Times, March 24, 1974
When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere.
SAINT AMBROSE, attributed, Les Bon Mots
All roads lead to Rome.
Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century. It is a city frozen in time.
RICHARD MEIER, attributed, The Ultimate Book of Quotations
More imagination wanted at Rome than at home to appreciate the place.
HERMAN MELVILLE, Journal of a Visit to Europe and the Levant
Rome has grown since its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its own greatness.
LIVY, attributed, Economics in Ancient Times
I've seen Rome, and I shall go to bed a wiser man than I last rose--yesterday morning.
HENRY JAMES, letter to William James, October 30, 1869
London is the epitome of our times, and the Rome of to-day.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Conduct of Life
There's a power struggle going on across Europe these days. A few cities are competing against each other to see who shall emerge as the great 21st century European metropolis. Will it be London? Paris? Berlin? Zurich? Maybe Brussels, center of the young union? They all strive to outdo one another culturally, architecturally, politically, fiscally. But Rome, it should be said, has not bothered to join the race for status. Rome doesn't compete. Rome just watches all the fussing and striving, completely unfazed. I am inspired by the regal self-assurance of this city, so grounded and rounded, so amused and monumental, knowing she is held securely in the palm of history. I would like to be like Rome when I am an old lady.
ELIZABETH GILBERT, Eat, Pray, Love
Rome wasn't built in a day.
JOHN HEYWOOD, A Dialogue Containing the Number in Effect of all the Proverbs in the English Tongue
The only talent worthy of Rome is that of conquering the world.
JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, Discourse on the Arts and Sciences
Rome is a city of ruins. Ruins are to Rome what canals are to Venice, and while other cities build over their past, Rome builds around it. My neighborhood, Testaccio, is mainly made up of nineteenth century apartment blocks, and it seems almost modern compared to the crumbling centro storico. But on one otherwise ordinary street, a stretch of Roman wall rises out of the ground like the back of a sea monster. The contrast between the modern apartments and the ancient wall is startling when you see it for the first time, but locals walk past without giving it a second glance. It's just the remains of a 2,000 year old port -- no big deal.
ALEXANDRA TURNEY, "Exploring the ruins of Rome", L'Italo-Americano, February 20, 2016
I found Rome built of bricks; I leave her clothed in marble.
AUGUSTUS, attributed, Twelve Caesars
For Rome is sometimes cold and rainy in the winter in spite of all the naked statues.
JOHN CHEEVER, The Stories of John Cheever