Learning from Afar

As an American living in the heart of Rome (for almost thirty years now) and involved in teaching and travel consulting, the changes that I’ve seen since the start of the year and their impact on me have been enormous.

In February I was scouting a program in the southern Italy and heard people on the Naples subway jokingly commenting about the Asian tourists they saw and the disease they thought they might be carrying.… read more

Reflections from Rome

We’re dealing with big problems, can we deal with the biggest of all?

I took a long walk through Rome this morning, did a little sketching, enjoyed the late spring weather, the clean air after days of rain, the beautiful light illuminating rich colors of faded stucco, bubbling fountains, flowering trees and gleaming stone. … read more


As the coronavirus lockdown continues into its second month in Italy the mood has changed from the early collective sense of urgency and participation to a more reflective consideration of what could happen next. It is much easier to focus on the present and to repeat the mantras of “stay home” and “wash your hands” than it is to envision the world as it will change when the immediate medical crisis has passed.… read more

Pandemic in Rome


Italy has been in the headlines and the attention of the world is focused on the European country with the most (though not the first) cases of the Covid-19 virus. We have an excellent public health care system and the medical profession moved quickly to extend Coronavirus testing wherever there was suspicion of outbreaks (one of the reasons for the particularly high numbers of positive results).… read more

Roma Interrotta, Cities Interrupted

For my readers in Rome (at least those with Italian language skills and architectural interests): come to the talk by Piero Sartogo this Friday 17 May 4:00 pm at the Sapienza University Architecture Department, Aula Bruno Zevi.

I met Sartogo years ago but got to know him better this year when we both participated in a panel presenting Iolanda Lima’s book on Bruno Zevi.… read more

A Modern Itinerary in Eastern Rome

On a recent architectural walk we stopped in to visit Villa Torlonia, ducking out of a downpour just in time to take shelter in the grand palace. Remodeled by Valadier in the early 19th century for Prince Torlonia (and later inhabited by Benito Mussolini), today this well-restored building hosts a beautiful collection of neoclassical arts and crafts and, on the second floor, a collection of Scuola Romana paintings.… read more