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Rome's Tiber River Draws Crowds Once Again

In Rome, it's the height of the tourist season and, in addition to Roman ruins, baroque palaces and the Vatican, there's something new for visitors to see.

After decades of neglect, the banks of the river Tiber -- which winds its way through the Eternal City -- have been spruced up.

The city lit up the banks of the Tiber on the night of the summer solstice with 2,758 torches, equal to the number of years since the city was founded.

The event was part of a series of efforts to bring people back to the river. Art from Rome's mythic past has been etched into the Tiber's flood walls. A beach has been installed not far from the Vatican. Tourist boats now ply the river's waters.

Romans have responded enthusiastically to the changes, renewing their connection with the river in droves.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.

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