In the 20th century, from 1901 to 2000, the Pope was at first still isolated in the Vatican. In 1922 the fascists seized power with Mussolini as dictator, and in 1929 his government signed the Lateran Treaty, regulating the relationship between the Italian state and the Papacy.

During World War II, Rome was an open city and was thus spared any major fighting or bombing. One of the few churches that was damaged was San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. In 1943, Mussolini was overthrown. Rome fell to the allied forces in 1944.

Towards the end of the century, many churches were restored for the Jubilee Year 2000. While the number of regular church-goers declined in the last half of the century, the number of pilgrims coming to Rome grew during this century, as long-distance travel became cheaper and easier.


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