The City Recovers

From Wasteland to Metropolis

These three views of Rome let us follow the city's revival. In the first, from the fourteenth century, the city appears devastated. Large uninhabited areas stretch across the center, and only a few neighborhoods--above all, the Borgo, around the Vatican, and Trastevere--are thickly settled. By the sixteenth century, the population has begun to recover; it went from around 20,000 at its lowest point, to over 100,000 by the time that the armies of the emperor Charles V sacked the city in 1527. New palaces in the city and country estates spreading up the surrounding hills reflect the growth of prosperity and the efforts of cardinals, ambassadors, and others to make the city splendid once again.

You can now go to the room with Or you can walk back to the Main hall or the Vatican Library.