The Image of Rome that emerges from an examination of the work of Giuseppe Gatteschi takes shape gradually, coming together little by little from different planes of vision. Ancient Rome is “restored” in the archaeologist’s meticulous drawings accompanied by photographs of places that have been destroyed or rendered unrecognizable, unrealized projects juxtaposed with urban designs solidified over time, oft-obscure documents next to well-known monuments. Gradually we arrive at an understanding of how Gatteschi’s original comparison between “restoration drawings” and “photographs of the current state of the monuments”, as developed from the end of the 19th century to the end 1930s, has relevance in our own times, in an era of even stronger contradictions and antagonisms between conservation and modernity. The materials in the Gatteschi collection at the American Academy in Rome bear witness to fervent research and extensive reflection on the reconstruction of monuments and ancient topography. The complex articulation of the architectural and topographical plans contrast with the stereotypical linearity of the architectural reconstructions, drawn by various hands but all conceived by Gatteschi on the basis of Rodolfo Lanciani’s topographical interpretations. They reveal the intrinsic difficulty of his enterprise, which was greatly appreciated by his contemporaries but fatally challenged by subsequent archaeological research.