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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

Travels around Rome,   p. 108 PDF (215.4 KB)

Page 108

Travels around Rome
Wednesday, A ugust 22
Spent the day sight-seeing, visiting various towns of interest.
Motoring to Villa d'Este, we saw the splendid old castle, with
glorious waterfalls. The severely-bombed city adjacent to Villa
d'Este was in ruins.
Visited all the points of interest in Rome-the Coliseum, St.
Peter's, Pantheon. In the square adjacent to the beautiful Victor
Emmanuel statue-commonly referred to by the Americans as
"The Wedding Cake" (as that is what it looks like)-we saw an
amusing signboard. On the walls of the buildings were painted
grand Fascist maps of the Italian Empire-Ethiopia, etc. glorify-
ing the former conquests of the Italians. Over one of these beauti-
ful designs was a realistic direction sign, "Allied Pro Station,"
meaning "Allied Prophylactic Station."
We saw with a lot of interest the balcony from where Musso-
lini made his speeches. Now, underneath the balcony is the orig-
inal Fascist flag torn to shreds.
After dinner our conducting officer took us to the Excelsior
Hotel, now an Allied Officers' hotel and officers' night club. The
lively resort was filled with young allied officers all jitter-bugging
with Italian girls. It reminded me of a typical Broadway dance
hall-bad liquor was being consumed by everyone.
The Italian girls, we were told, are fascinated by the generous
American G.Ls who show them some fun, unlike the Italian men
who keep them at home. The Italian men, however, resent their
girls going out with the American G.I.s and in many cases shave
the heads of the girls if they have seen them with foreign officers.

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