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Playboy Retro: Girls of Rome
  • August 31, 2013 : 15:08
  • comments

From the February 1962 edition of Playboy Magazine comes “The Girls of Rome,” a stunning tribute to the best the Italian boot has to offer…

Rome is the oldest, and probably the greatest, of the world’s capital cities. It has been the lodestone and fountainhead of Western civilization, the axis of a stupendous pagan empire, the capital of Christendom. It has stood while Babylon, Byzantium and Carthage crumbled. Yet Rome is young. After 2500 years of turbulent history it retains its magnetism for travelers of every faith and nationality. Borne on DC-8s instead of elephants, brandishing American Express checks instead of spears, bent on pleasure instead of plunder, they invade today’s Eternal City in annual armies of 18,000,000 from every corner of the shrinking globe. Many, in the black, white, red and yellow habits of countless Catholic orders, come as spiritual pilgrims. Some, wearing expressions no less reverent, come to bask in the lambent afterglow of the Renaissance or to explore the world’s greatest repository of antiquities from four millenniums of human history. A few, not unreasonably, come solely to worship at the altars of Bacchus and Lucullus in Rome’s cornucopian array of restaurants. But most come simply to join the city’s 2,500,000 denizens in that civilized celebration of the senses known as la dolce vita Romano. For the visiting American male in Rome, a single stride from the carpeted hush of his downtown hotel into the swirling slipstream of Roman foot traffic is sufficient to dispel any lingering doubts about the principal reason for and most eloquent embodiment of this suavely sensuous spirit: the girls of Rome…

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    om prakash gupta
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