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Rome's Tiber River Draws Crowds Once Again

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Rome's Tiber River Draws Crowds Once Again

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Rome's Tiber River Draws Crowds Once Again

Rome's Tiber River Draws Crowds Once Again

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4717693/4720594" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Tiber Village, a 600-foot stretch of artificial beach, attracts sun bathers. Credit, Sylvia Poggioli

Tiber Village, a 600-foot stretch of artificial beach by the river, attracts sunbathers in the shadow of St. Peter's Basilica. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Sylvia Poggioli, NPR

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.

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