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Strictly speaking, the flame was not “Olympic”, as it was lit in Rome rather than at Olympia in Greece.
On 22 January 1956, the flame was lit on the steps of the Temple of Capitoline Jove in Rome, in a tripod from Olympia. It was carried in a brasero to the top of the steps outside the Senatorial Palace. The first torchbearer set off from there.The flame arrives at Ciampino airport and takes off for Venice.
From Venice, the flame travels by gondola to Mestre. From Mestre, the first stage of the relay taking it to Cortina is covered on roller skates.
On 25 January, the day before the Opening Ceremony, the flame was carried by skiers from Zuel, near Cortina, up to the Duca d’Aosta refuge, situated at 2,098m, where it spent the night.
On 26 January, the day the Games were opened, 1952 Olympic Winter gold medallist Zeno Colò carried the flame by skis to Cortina. Rockets were used to illuminate the flame’s path along the valley. In Cortina, two other Olympians, Severino Menardi and Enrico Colli, took it in turns to carry the flame to the stadium. Once there, speed skater Guido Caroli skated with it into the packed Ice Stadium. The television cables he tripped over during his lap of the track did not prevent him from lighting the cauldron.