A few weeks before I was out jogging toward the Basilica of Saint Paul Beyond The Walls, when I noticed a very striking bridge.
I found out at the Meetup that this bridge only opened a few months ago. Construction by Rome’s Solidus, S.r.l. began in 2010.
It was named after Settimia Spizzichino.
On October 16th, 1943, the Nazis walked into Settimia’s home on Via delle Reginella. She was 22.
Settimia was first sent to Auschwitz with her mother, two sisters, and a brother. They died in the gas chambers while Settimia was subjected to Dr. Mengele’s “experiments.” Later she was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Many of the prisoners died during the long walk and Settimia nearly starved to death.
Finally, when she was 24, Settimia was liberated from the camp by British soldiers. She returned to Rome, where she found her father and two sisters who had survived the death camps. She weighed less than 70lbs.
She spent the rest of her life educating young people about the Holocaust. She died in 2000 at 79.
I thought there was something evocative about this bridge even before I knew the name. The lines are so simple, clear, and yet majestic.