The Xth Section, set up in July 1956 to deal with the Protocol and Ceremonial
requirements of the Games, had the task of putting into effect the
spiritual and traditional significance of the celebration of the Olympic Games.
The Section was entrusted to Mr. Luigi Magliari Galante who, on the basis
of the Olympic Regulations, immediately worked out a detailed plan which
resulted in a vast number of collaborators, lady guides, and interpreters coming
into action during the period of the Games.
From the very beginning the organization of the various ceremonies (Opening,
Closing, and various prize-giving) and the preparation of the Congresses
of the I.O.C. and of the International Federations were planned in a general
way. The dispatch of official invitations and the classification of precedences
(for receptions, entertainments, official visits, minor ceremonies) were also
planned and prearranged.
After this initial phase of study and establishing of the programmes which
was prolonged until December 1956, the Section undertook its organizing
activity on the basis of precise " itineraries " indicating the times of execution,
the formalities of development, and the personnel and transport requirements
concerning each sector.
Starting in March 1957, the Section was engaged in working out the requirements
for lady guide-interpreters to fulfil the needs especially within
the field of reception of visitors. Of the various solutions proposed, the
suggestion of enlisting the cooperation of young ladies willing to offer their
voluntary services was adopted. Thus the first members were recruited, these
being required to possess a knowledge of one or more languages over and above
complete fluency in French or English, so as to ensure the most rapid and
efficient development of relations with the guests.
On the basis of this plan and taking into consideration also inevitable
substitutions, a first contingent of young ladies, who were to constitute the
initial nucleus of the lady guide-interpreters, was chosen by means of suitable
tests and examination. In gradual stages more and more personnel was taken
on, so that during the period of the Games the total staff in the Section
numbered 284 to meet the growing requirements of the individual services.
The above-mentioned group of lady guide-interpreters was considerably
increased when, in collaboration with the Press Services Section, it was necessary
to undertake the engagement of lady guides within the services intended
to help the officially accredited journalists. In fact, female personnel
was preferred also for the Press Section. Thus a second nucleus of 155
persons was organized for duties with the Press Services Section.
The training of so large a number of lady guide-interpreters called for
the setting up of a body of instructors who had the task of establishing the
unification of their functions and of bringing the group of interpreters to a
higher standard of efficiency and overall cohesion and above all to uniformity
and harmony of interpretation so far as work was concerned.
Within the framework of provisions and directives, the lady guide-interpreters
having once filled the requirements for engagement underwent a period
of preparation which included attending suitable lectures, visits to the
sports venues, the showing of sports films, and lastly they were expressly
invited to take part in technical and organizational meetings held periodically
in the various sections of the organization.
At the same time arrangements were made for the compilation and distribution
to each interpreter of suitable dictionaries of the main technical
and sports terms (at first in French and English and later also in German,
Spanish, Japanese, and Russian), as well as brochures illustrating all the competition
and training venues.
Thus prepared, the guides at once proved most useful on occasion of the
visits to Rome of international officials, journalists, and other personalities,
these visits becoming more and more frequent and numerous as the period
of the Games approached and which determined consequently the gradual
numerical increment of the interpreters and a constant process of selection in
order to dispose of ever abler personnel.
It may be of interest to underline the fact that from the month of March
1957 until July 1960 the interpreters in fact guided 6,200 persons (international
Sports Authorities, journalists, technicians of every category), belonging
to 71 Countries, who visited the headquarters of the Organizing Committee
in order to obtain information, see the sports venues, and take part in gatherings
or technical organizational meetings. Almost all the guides, whether
assigned to the various ceremonial duties or allotted to the Press Service
had a thorough knowledge of other languages besides French and English, covering
a total of 26 foreign languages as follows: Arabic, Bulgarian, Czechoslovakian,
Chinese, Korean, Danish, Flemish, Finnish, French, Japanese,
Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, English, Jugoslav, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese
Rumanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, German, Turkish, Hungarian, and Urdu.
For the requirements of the yachting events at Naples it was preferred
to make use of the services of lady guide-interpreters chosen and recruited on
the spot, on account also of the knowledge these possessed of the city and
the yachting venues. These were placed under the charge of two heads of
group drawn from the nucleus of the Ceremonial Section. Each interpreter
was provided with a suitable uniform (complete with bag and shoes) with the
official badge of the Games. This uniform was worn by all, as stipulated
for the personnel of the Organizing Committee, as from 10th August 1960

Official invitations

Of the various major tasks, that relative to the " Official Invitations "
to the National Olympic Committees to participate in the Games of the XVII
Olympiad should be especially remembered. The invitations were compiled
on parchment and the text written in lapidary Roman characters was first in
Italian then in the language of each country of the 98 National Olympic Committees
then belonging to the I.O.C.
In all, the text of the invitations were written in 32 foreign languages
(for the South African Olympic Committee, the invitation was made in English
and in Afrikaans).
The text of the invitation ran as follows: " In accordance with the instructions
given by the International Olympic Committee, the Organizing Committee
of the Games of the XVII Olympiad has the honour to invite you to participate
in the celebrations which will take place at Rome from 25th August to
11th September 1960 ".
The manuscripts were written by hand with the official symbol, in relief
and in colour, at the top. Each invitation was placed in a suitable cylindrical
case in blue leather, fastened by a ring with the colours of the
Italian flag.
The invitations were then handed over, through the agency of the Heads
of Italian Diplomatic Missions Abroad, to the individual National Committees,
on the occasion of the 2712th Anniversary of the Foundation of Rome, namely,
on 21st April 1959. In a large number of these countries the handing
over ceremony was broadcast with wide publicity in the local Press.

Reception and Departure offices

From the month of October 1957 onwards, the Section engaged first in
the study and then in the realization of the " Reception Offices ". Its first
move was to draw up suitable charts according to Olympic requirements and
the presumed influx of persons. This work consisted of setting up offices
with personnel required to follow the timetable of arrival and departure of
the guests; to see to their reception and transport to destination. As from
25th July 1960, these Offices were set up at the airports of Ciampino East
and West, at Fiumicino, and at the Rome Termini Station. At Naples a
Reception Office was set up at the Central and Mergellina Stations.
Equipped with special distinguishing marks (flags, Olympic posters, arrows,
and indicating placards), these Offices were linked with the headquarters of
the Organizing Committee by means of direct telephone lines so as to ensure
immediate communication of any urgent news.
The service at the Reception Offices was carried out by collaborators and
by 82 lady guides who worked in suitable shifts, thus assuring the functioning
of the offices continuously throughout a 24-hour day.
On the basis of information in its possession the Ceremonial Section sent
out daily an estimate of all arrivals foreseen 24 hours ahead, so that all interested
offices could make the necessary arrangements for the welcoming and
accommodation of the guests in good time. Each estimate was numbered progressively
(for easier reference) and contained all details regarding the persons
arriving. The guests were received and accompanied into the Waiting and
Rest Rooms and thereafter arrangements were made for their transport to the
accommodation assigned to them.
In view of the fact that a considerable number of guests came to Rome
by car, in collaboration with the Ente Provinciale per il Turismo (Provincial
Tourist Board) and the Rome Automobile Club, information Offices were set
up at the crossings of the consular roads with the Grande Raccordo Anulare.
These offices furnished the guests in transit with directions on how to reach
their respective destinations, meanwhile immediately informing the Ceremonial
Section of the arrangements made.
The traffic direction service and the operations in connection with arrivvals
and successive sorting out of persons and their respective luggage in the
three main directions (Olympic Village for athletes, hotels for the officials,
Press House for journalists), took place in good order despite various changes
occurring in the pre-announced timetables and in the number and names of
persons and their families.
In the course of the stay in Rome of the international officials, almost all
of whom were lodged in hotels, the Ceremonial Section did not fail to send
out to them all communications from the Olympic Committee (programmes,
variations, invitations to ceremonies, various communications, etc.). In addition,
the Section received and attended daily to all requests for supplementary transport
by guests, this being dealt with in collaboration with the Transport Section.
The Reception Offices from 5th September 1960 onwards became known
as Departure Offices and thus assured the return back to their countries of
the officials and athletes who had come to Rome. The departures of guests
were organized in much the same way as for arrivals, that is to say, the Ceremonial
Section compiled and sent out daily a schedule of all departures foreseen
for the following 24 hours. Arrangements were made daily for the laying
on of the necessary transport for persons and luggage and the Section gathered
the guests together and accompanied them up to the moment of departure,
checking the loading of their luggage and offering every assistance in the
various operations.
The " Reception and Departures Offices ", which closed down on 18th September
1960, gave assistance to the following numbers of guests:
- Guests of honour and their families (25)
- Members of the I.O.C. and their families (120)
- Presidents and Secretaries-General of N.O.C.s and I.S.F.s and their families (280)
- Members of National Olympic Committees (1350)
- Judges, referees, timekeepers (1278)
- Athletes from 84 participating nations (5915)
- Accredited journalists and Radio TV commentators (1442)

Ceremonial at the Olympic Village

From 25th July onwards, a Ceremonial Office was set up in the Olympic
Village to which the Section detached a nucleus of lady guides whose services
in suitable shifts was regulated by the Director of the Village. In particular
the Ceremonial Office of the Olympic Village had the task of receiving all the
distinguished personalities and important sports officials and of helping such
personalities on all occasions during their visit.
In addition, each arrival was noted beforehand in order to arrange for the
necessary transport to be laid on.
The arrival of the teams was celebrated by the " Welcome " Ceremonies
on behalf of the Organizing Committee and the Head of the Village. In agreement
with the Director of the Village, it was decided to carry out the ceremonies
each afternoon at 18.30 hrs. with the participation of those teams who
had arrived in the preceding 24 hours. At the established time, the teams
under the command of their respective Heads of Mission and in complete sports
uniform lined up in the main square of the Village in front of the garden where
the flagpoles had been erected, while the band on duty stood in the centre.
On one side, a special tribune was prepared for the Diplomatic Representatives
of the various countries whose teams were present as well as the Members of
the respective National Olympic Committees and representatives of the Organizing
Committee, the Press, and Radio and Television.
At a sign from the Master of Ceremonies, the formal flag-raising of the
country of the team coming first according to Italian alphabetical order took
place, while the band played the respective National Anthem. Then followed
the ceremonies for the other teams. Immediately afterwards, the Head
of the Reception Office of the Olympic Village, accompanied by the respective
interested Olympic Attaches, addressed a cordial message of " welcome " to
the Delegations, after which the teams returned to their various lodgings to
the sound of a march. All ceremonies could also be followed by the numerous
public which thronged the bridge of the Corso Francia.
The first " Welcome" ceremony at the Olympic Village took place
on 15th August and the last on 24th August, at 10.30 a.m. so as to allow
the teams to participate in the afternoon in the gathering in Saint Peter's
The Reception Office gave information and explanations on accommodation
reserved and checked the Olympic Cards and personal data of the respective
holders before escorting guests to their respective quarters.
The departures of guests of the Olimpic Village were preceded by previous
notice given by their Heads of Mission and, at the established time, the Transport
Detachment of the Olympic Village arranged for the picking up of the departing
persons and saw that these were accompanied to the various points of
In the first three months of 1958 a vast plan for the lodging of the various
categories of Olympic officials was elaborated in conjunction with the
General Affairs Secretariat. The Section was in fact responsible for the compiling
of appropriate questionnaires which were sent to all interested parties.
These contained information on hotels available and the daily prices of rooms
and full board (lodging with one meal was in all cases obligatory) while the
essential data for the preparation before-hand of lodging (day of arrival, accompanying
family, approximate length of stay, hotel and type of accommodation
preferred) were requested.
The assignment to guests of rooms in the various hotels was made on the
basis of the preferences expressed and in cases where this information was not
forthcoming, a preferential criterion was adopted intended to facilitate the
collaboration and possible transfers in the period of the Games.
In particular, all members of the I.O.C. and their respective families were
lodged in the Hotel Excelsior. The Chancery of the I.O.C. was also set up
in this same hotel. Two halls were prepared for the meetings of the 57th Session
of the I.O.C. This solution proved particularly satisfactory, rendering
the activity of the Session easier.
All the other international officials with the exception of a small number
lodged in private houses, or in the Olympic Village as Heads of Mission
were allocated to other hotels situated mainly in the centre of the city and
with excellent communication with the competition arenas. The total settling
in of the various categories of guests proved entirely satisfactory and gave rise
to no difficulties of any kind.
Special "liaison and information offices", in the charge of lady guide
interpreters, were in operation in the Excelsior Hotel and in all the other convened
hotels during the period from 12th August to 15th September, thus ensuring
a daily service, in shifts, from 7 a. m. to midnight.
The first task of these offices was to offer every assistance to the guests
and to keep in close touch with the Ceremonial Section for the prompt delivery
of invitations, programmes, sundry communications and to be able to satisfy
all requests made by these international officials.
A special group of six guides, under the direction of two representatives
of the Organizing Committee, was placed at the disposal of the Chancery of
the I.O.C.
Altogether, in the 18 " liaison and information offices ", set up in the various
hotels, 52 guides were employed, who operated in collaboration with
7 heads of group having control on the average of two or three hotels.
In the Excelsior Hotel, the service of supervision and coordination was
entrusted to a single head of group.

Precedencies and protocol

In November 1958, on the basis of a plan which was still only in draft
form, the organizational work on protocol and ceremonies got under way.
This work implied many expedients and procedures necessary for the daily
manifestations in accordance with the Olympic Regulations and at the same
time abiding by the regulations in force in Italy. It may be stated that
the initial preparation of programmes proved without any doubt well
planned and constituted a valid basis for the various operations of the ceremonial.
In February 1959 the Executive Committee of the Organization decided
on the constitution of a " Ceremonial Committee " set up as follows: Honorary
President: the Hon. Alberto Folchi; President: Marquis Cristoforo Fracassi
di Torre Rossano; Vice-President: Marquis Franco Maria Taliani de
Marchio; Members: Count Ludovico Barattieri di San Pietro, Countess Maria
Luisa Bonacossa, Countess Maria Sole di Campello Agnelli, Dr. Mario
Conti, Mr. Sisto Favre, Dr. Renato Silenzi; Secretary: Mr. Luigi Magliari
The Committee met for the first time on 5th May 1959 in the Morosini
Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the aim of examining and deciding
on the activities of the Committee itself.
An excellent experience in matters of Ceremonial was acquired by the
Section on the occasion of the Meeting of the National Olympic Committees
and of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, which
took place at Rome on 18th and 19th May 1959, with the delegates of 49 countries,
constituted as follows: 6 delegates from the I.O.C., 3 from the Chancery
of the I.O.C., 5 delegates of the VIII Winter Games of Squaw Valley, and 89
delegates of National Olympic Committees.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated by the illustrious guests to
visits to the two zones of Olympic interest, i.e. the Northern Olympic Centre
(Foro Italico) and the Southern Centre (E.U.R.). The second day, devoted
to work pertaining to the meeting proper, was spent in the great hall of honour
at Foro Italico. The examination of the problems faced in the meeting at
Rome had as its principal aim the organization of work for the 55th Session
of the I.O.C. at Monaco.

The 57th Session of the I. O. C.

The most difficult work of organization undertaken by the Section was on
the occasion of the 57th Session of the I.O.C., which was celebrated with
the following Agenda: 19th August (morning) meeting of the Executive
Board; 20th August (22 hrs.) inaugural ceremony of the Session; 22nd and 23rd
August (morning and afternoon) and 24th August (morning only) work of
the Session.
The meetings were held at the Excelsior Hotel, with the exception of the
opening ceremony which took place in the reception halls of Palazzo dei Congressi
at E.U.R.
This Ceremony, undoubtedly one of the most significant, attained particular
solemnity with the attendance of the Head of State, the President of the
Council of Ministers, the Members of the Government and Parliament, as well
as all the diplomatic Representatives accredited to the Italian Government
and the Holy See. In addition, all members of the I.O.C. and their families,
the Presidents, the Secretaries-General and the Members of the N.O.C.s and
I.S.F.s, the Heads of the teams taking part in the Games, the Olympic attachÈs,
members of the Organizing Committee and all the accredited journalists,
and the operators of the R.A.I. Television Service were present, a total of
1,838 persons.
The service of honour on the square in front of the Palazzo dei Congressi
was carried out by groups of mounted Carabinieri and Public Security Police.
Ten Valets of Vitorchiano with silver trumpets lined up on the huge level space
in front of the steps and announced the arrival of the Head of the Italian State
with the " Fanfares of Rome ".
After being received by the Authorities present, the Hon. Gronchi moved
towards the large hall, while eighteen trumpeters from the Carabinieri sounded,
three times, the leit-motif of the Games. A rendering of the Italian National
Anthem then followed and immediately after the permanent orchestra and
choir of the Academy of Santa Cecilia (composed of 100 singers, 50 men and
50 women), directed respectively by Maestro Vincenzo Bellezza and Maestro
Bonaventura Somma, began the execution of a choral and orchestral programme
with the Semiramide Symphony by Rossini.
After the speech by the Mayor of Rome, the orchestral programme continued
with the " Va pensiero sull'ali dorate ", from Nabucco and with " O Signor
che dal tetto natÏo ", from Verdi's Lombardi alia Prima Crociata. The
orchestra continued the programme after the speech by the President of the
International Olympic Committee with the Hymn of the Sun, from Mascagni's
Iris. The evocative ceremony attained its highest significance during and after
the speech of the Head of the Italian State.
The Hon. Gronchi successively took leave of the Authorites while the
Carabinieri trumpeters once more played the leit-motif of the Games.
All the guests received an elegant brochure containing, besides the programme
of the ceremony, the text of the three speeches in French, English,
and Italian.

The International Congresses

The preparation for the Congresses of the International Sports Federations
were also of particular complexity. These Congresses which are held to
examine the technical and organizational problems of the individual Federations,
took place according to a timetable compiled on the basis of details obtained
by the Section from each interested Federation. The Palazzo dei Congressi
at E.U.R. was chosen as the headquarters for the Congresses themselves
and suitable independent rooms were available for the various meetings.
Ever since November 1958 a special plan was studied providing for the
solution of determined problems on the times and executive formalities to be
taken for the Congresses. By a Circular of 5th June 1959, the Section asked
each International Sports Federation to supply instructions on the indispensable
needs for the equipping of rooms, for the preparation of accessories and
services for translation and recording, as well as the dates and duration of the
meetings and the estimated number of participants.
On the basis of data received, the Section compiled a rough timetable
which was passed to the interested Federations for approval, and successively
rendered executive, with indication of all arrangements listed. At the same
time special agreements were drawn up with the " Translation Centre" (an
organization already well experienced at the time of the meeting of May 1959)
thus assuring the necessary interpreters and the recording of the Minutes of
the individual Congresses.
Besides the Congresses of the Federations (15 in all) another 5 took place,
these being those of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games Federation;
British Empire and Commonwealth Weightlifting Council, Federation Internationale
d'Education Physique; Jeux MÈditerranÈens; Asian Games Federation.

Opening and Closing of the Games

In May 1958 the first problems of a technical and organizational nature
concerning the ceremonial for the Opening and Closing of the Games were decided
by the Section. Taking into consideration the operations for the number
and variety of those taking part, a meticulous study and careful checking
before proceeding to the final solution of the various problems was required. The
various phases of the manifestations were foreseen and closely coordinated so as to
attain the smooth running of proceedings in accordance with the rules of protocol.
At the same time, with the aim of providing for all eventual and possible
errors and assuring the faithful compliance, down to details, and respect for
the Olympic Regulations, the Section requested the Diplomatic Representatives
of all the countries to provide a coloured design of their respective national
flags (with precise indication of their relative dimensions) and a complete score
for band of their respective National Anthems.
This work of gathering together was long and laborious and also rendered
complicated by some countries who sent incomplete designs of their flags,
whilst others changed them immediately before the Games. In addition,
many musical scores sent were for pianoforte only so that arrangements had
to be made to score them for band.
In May 1959, having finally gathered all the reproductions of originals,
the Section prepared an official album in colour of the flags of all countries,
which served as a basis for the production of the various quantities of flags
necessary for all the stadiums and for all events.
At the same time the Section, in collaboration with the Art Section, proceeded
to the orchestration of the National Anthems, this, however, being
strictly limited to the first part of each anthem in such a way as to obtain a
more or less uniform length in all cases, i.e. of 30-40 seconds.

The bands

Later a request was made and granted by the competent Authorities for
the complete availability from 10th August to 11th September 1960 of four
military band groups (each comprising over 100 musicians) and of two civil
band groups (each of about 60) who were able to fulfil all requirements during
the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and during prize-giving ceremonies. These
latter ceremonies called for a larger number of bands, since often they took
place simultaneously in a number of the stadia. In fact, on 9th and 10th
September, as many as seventeen ceremonies between morning and evening
were held in eight different places.
Each of the bands was provided with 24 or 25 scores, whose orchestration
was arranged by the conductors. Later, ten copies of each anthem were prepared
so as to cover largely all possible requirements, including those of Naples
for the yachting events.
The military bands used for the various ceremonies were: Band of Carabinieri
Police, conducted by Maestro Fantini; Band of the Italian Air Force, conducted
by Maestro Di Miniello; Band of the Finance Guards, conducted by Maestro Di
Domenico; Band of the Public Security Guards, conducted by Maestro Fuselli.
In addition, the Rome Municipality made available the Band of the City
Police, conducted by Maestro Pirazzini and the Band of the Tram and Bus
Corporation, conducted by Maestro Al˘. At Naples, the local Band of the
Italian Navy was used.
The supervision of all instrumentation of National Anthems and their
exact orchestration was entrusted to Maestro Bonaventura Somma of the
National Academy of Santa Cecilia.
Lastly, the Section arranged for the tape recording of all the National
Anthems by the four military bands at the Auditorium of the R.A.I. (Italian
Radio and Television), thus creating a provision of ten complete series, of
which six were delivered to the appropriate officials of the principal stadia
and four were held in reserve. This precaution was taken so as to be able to
provide against possible hitches on the occasion of prize-giving ceremonies as
a result of delays in the transport of the bands due to heavy traffic, lack of
transport, or other causes. The measure in actual fact did not prove necessary,
as the plan for using the bands during the whole cycle of events worked smoothly.
In the course of the Opening Ceremony, it was decided that the Choir of
the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, accompanied by one single band, that
of the Carabinieri, should be used for the singing of the Olympic Hymn and the
Italian National Anthem.
Records were also made of the Olympic Hymn, the translation into Italian
of the Greek text of the Hymn itself being the work of an experienced
Italian professor which proved completely effective.
For the parade of the teams, it was arranged to make use of the four military
bands (in all some 420 persons), placed in the Monte Mario sector of the
Olympic Stadium; two bands in the central part and the other two at the sides,
while the Choir of Santa Cecilia took its place in the middle of them. The
whole thus constituted an evocative picture full of colour and marked by the
variety of the various uniforms.
After careful selection, twelve marches possessing a clear and distinctive
rhythm were chosen, each lasting about 3-4 minutes. The bands played alternately
during the whole duration of the parade (43 minutes). Similarly
for the marchout of the teams at the conclusion of the ceremony (41 minutes).
The rhythm of marching was fixed at 120 steps per minute this proving
quite in keeping with the nature of the ceremony.
On account of the vast numer of participants and the need to maintain
the ranks of the teams within the limits imposed by the dimensions of
the arena, it proved necessary to reduce the strength of the teams to some
extent. In all, 237 officials and 4,253 athletes took part in the ceremony.
All the other athletes not in the ranks were stationed in special reserved
The convenient location of the Olympic Village with respect to the Olympic
Stadium made it possible to avoid the transportation of the athletes by
motor vehicles. Thus long complex operations of loading, unloading, and collecting
were avoided.
The movement from the Olympic Village began at 15.45 hrs. and the teams,
divided off into 6 echelons of march, lined up in the order and formations established
for the parade and, as soon as they reached the Stadio dei Marmi, halted
just opposite the underground passage leading on to the Olympic Stadium.
The movement took place quite smoothly and without delay.

The release of pigeons

The release of pigeons at the Opening Ceremony called for repeated experiments.
Ever since June 1959, it was calculated that no less than 5-6 thousand
pigeons would be necessary in order to ensure a good " release ", in consideration
also of the structure of the Olympic Stadium which was particularly
open. To cover so high a requirement, permission was first of all obtained
from the Ministry of Defence to use the pigeons from the Military Pigeon-house
of Rome and increasing the then existing number of pigeons so as to reach a
total of 1,200 birds.
At the same time, agreements were reached with the Italian Pigeon-lovers
Association so that their associate pigeon-raising groups and especially those
of Emilia and Tuscany (in which Regions the breeding of carrier-pigeons is
particularly extensive) should extend their breeding and subsequent training
so as to be able to count upon some 5-6 thousand pigeons by the middle of
August. The request made to the Association was promptly attended to and
resulted in some 6,000 pigeons, coming from all regions, and mainly from Central
Italy, being concentrated in Rome by August 24th.
In all, 340 baskets for 7,200 pigeons were made available under the charge
of 60 attendants. The release proved highly satisfactory and the return of
the pigeons to their respective pigeon-houses (some as far away as Turin, Genoa,
Milan, and Padua etc.) took place according to plan and with a loss of
only 6 % of pigeons.

Ceremonies and prizegivings

For the prize-giving ceremonies, the Section prepared special schedules
whereby the ceremonies were divided up by venues and by day. These schedules
also contained the name of the Master of Ceremonies, time of the event,
the number and types of medals to be awarded and the band on duty.
Furthermore, in agreement with the Chancery of the I.O.C., as from 26th
August the Section despatched daily to the President of the I.O.C. several
copies of the programme in respect of the ceremonies for the following day
which permitted him to designate the Members of the I.O.C. for the awarding
of medals to winners.
The flags required for each ceremony were despatched to the stadia in
accordance with the manner in which the competitions were proceeding. An
adequate number of small lorries were equipped with flags divided up into the
various countries. The transport and manoeuvring of the flags in the various
stadia was attended to by the " Flag Office" of the Technical Services
Again, the Section despatched the number of medals required daily to the
respective Masters of Ceremonies, each of whom disposed of 3 lady guides who
carried the medals (placed on a silver platter) behind the Authorities designated
to award the prizes.
The ceremonies took place in accordance with the protocol formalities
established by the Olympic Regulations and in no case did any difficulty
The preparation of the Closing Ceremony called for almost the same procedure
as that adopted for the Opening Ceremony, except that there were a
few variations, as called for by the Olympic Regulations, which necessitated
new executive formalities.
In this respect, it should be remembered that the ceremony immediately
followed the last Equestrian Sports competition, namely the Team Grand
Prix Jumping event, the first round of which had taken place in the morning.
The afternoon portion of the competition (second round) took about three
hours and, in view of the loss of time because of the large number of obstacles
which had to be removed, the Organizing Committee proposed to the I.O.C.
that the participation of athletes in the parade should be reduced to one member
per team. This was approved. It was then thought opportune that the
escort for the Olympic Flag, once it had been lowered, right up to its exit from
the Stadium should be formed by the members of the Italian team who had
won a medal during the course of the Games.
It was also decided by the Organizing Committee, so as to confer a more
solemn and spectacular character on the ceremony, that the Closing Ceremony
should take place at dusk and namely at 19.30 hrs.
Further special features were called for insofar as the hoisting of the Greek,
Italian, and Japanese flags were concerned, not to speak of the extinguishing
of the Olympic Flame and the lowering of the Olympic flag. It was, therefore,
considered opportune that special attention be given to lighting effects which
were produced by a series of arc-lamps and which, in fact, rendered the last
moments of the great event more moving.

The official receptions

The establishing by the Section of the bases of the vast plan concerning
invitations and precedencies posed a delicate problem. From the end of April
1958 onwards the compilation and sending out of invitations for all the ceremonies
and events on the programme were carefully studied.
The Olympic Regulations are explicit as regards precedencies and invitations
stipulating that " during the period of the Games, precedence in all Olympic
events goes to the members of the I.O.C., followed by members of the Organizing
Committee, by the Presidents of the National Olympic Committees and Presidents
of the International Sports Federations. The Organizing Committee cannot give
official recognition to foreign delegations or missions ".
On the basis of the same regulations, special stands were reserved for the
various categories of Olympic authorities and their families (4 in the Olympic
Stadium and 2 in the other Stadia). A stand reserved for the Head of State
and his retinue was included in the Olympic Stadium. But although no problems
arose as a result of invitations and precedencies to be adopted for Olympic
authorities, since this was all exactly defined, delicate questions did, however,
arise in the case of non-Olympic authorities and thus the categories of the
high officials of State were decided for the extension of invitations and, in this
connection, a table was drawn up, this constituting a useful guide.
Invitations relating to the various events also gave rise to a complex arrangement
of precedencies. Many receptions and official visits were held on
the occasion of shows and special events reserved for officials and their families,
and all this called for painstaking work in the drawing up of programmes in
agreement and collaboration with the Organizing Committee as a whole and
at the same time, with all interested bodies. During the period of the Olympic
Games the following official receptions were held:
- 21st August, at Palazzo Braschi, Dinner offered by the President of the
Organizing Committee to Members of the I.O.C.;
- 23rd August, at Palazzo del Quirinale, Reception offered by the President
of the Italian Republic to the high Olympic Authorities;
- 24th August, in Saint Peter's Square, Public Audience by His Holiness
the Pope to the athletes and officials;
- 27th August, at the Capitol, Reception offered by the Mayor of Rome
to the high Olympic Authorities;
- 28th August, at Palazzo del Quirinale, Reception offered by the President
of the Italian Republic, to the representatives of the teams;
- 29th August, at Castelgandolfo, private Audience by His Holiness the
Pope to the High Olympic Authorities;
- 10th September, at Castel Sant'Angelo, Dinner offered by the President
of the Organizing Committee to the Presidents and Secretaries-General of the
National Olympic Committees and of the International Sports Federations;
- 11th September, at Palazzo Barberini, Dinner offered by the President
of the Council of Ministers to the High Olympic Authorities;
- 11th September, in the gardens of the Pincio, reception for all protagonists
in the Games for the final closing celebration, offered by the Organizing
Committee and the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment.
During the entire period of the Games and in conjunction with the programme
arranged for the competitions, the Section also organized a series of
visits and excursions for the international officials and their families, which
were greatly appreciated by these guests. These visits took such guests to
areas of archeological and tourist interest in the neighbourhood of Rome (Ostia
Antica, Tarquinia, Veio, etc.) as well as in the Naples area (Pompei, Paestum,
Capri, and Ischia).
Again, by agreement with local artistic organizations, a great number of
tickets, free of charge, were placed at the disposal of the guests for evening
shows organized at the Baths of Caracalla under the auspices of the Rome
Opera Theatre and Ostia Antica Theatre, as well as the historical shows which
took place in the arena of the Circus Maximus.


In accordance with the Olympic Regulations (Art. 41), diplomas were
prepared for awarding to winners and those who had reached the prescribed
places of honour in both individual and team events.
The diplomas were made out in Italian. They measured 62 X 47 cms.
and were signed by both the President of the I.O.C. and by the President of
the Organizing Committee.
In all, 1,801 diplomas were issued which included those issued to the Olympic
Committees of countries whose athletes had won a medal in the course of
the competitions.
Furthermore, special diplomas of merit, signed by the President of the
Organizing Committee and the President of the Executive Committee, were
issued to persons and institutions which, under various forms, had contributed
to the various sectors of the Organization. 5,800 of these were issued.