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
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
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
Yesterday I took a train to a small town outside of Rome to spend the day with my son who recently moved there. Descending, I notice a number of passengers greeted in English by a smiling hostess. “Are you here for the wine tour?”… read more
Any season has its reason, and every city shines under different lights at different times. Aside from whether or not that really means anything, Rome is worth visiting, even (especially?) in winter. Here are three reasons and a bunch more photos to explain why.… read more
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
On Sunday I went out on my bike with the intention of filling some pages in a little sketchbook, pages that have been empty for too long. Somehow I found myself leaving Italy to enter Vatican City, inside St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time in years.… read more
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
I actually suggested to friends the other day that there should be a special tax on visitors to Rome in April and early May.
The city is just too beautiful this time of year. Flowers bursting into bloom, bird songs, crisp mornings and warm midday sun, vibrant evenings, the energy of new exhibits planned over winter months, a host of cultural events, artichokes.… read more