Spring Explorations

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. To relieve the potential guilt of experiencing …

Looking Ahead to 2018

News is just starting to come in about exhibits and events that will take place this year, and just in time as many people are starting to ask. First, the usual holidays. Easter falls on April Fools Day this year, the feast of Saint Filippo Neri when Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne is open to the public is, as always, sandwiched between the Ides of March and St. Patrick’s Day, and …

A Day in the Dig

Here is a short video I made at the excavation I am working on this summer in the Roman Forum, with ISAR (The International Society for Archaeology, Art and Architecture of Rome) www.isarome.org If you know anyone interested in supporting our fundraising efforts, and leaving a positive mark on ancient Rome,  please pass on the link. http://isarome.org/donate

What’s on in Rome this Summer

People have been writing to ask me about special events around Rome this summer, so here is my hastily drafted list of a few exhibits I’ve seen recently. Again this year contemporary art appears amidst the ruins of the imperial palaces on Rome’s Palatine Hill, with the exhibit Da Duchamp a Cattelan. Part of the regular admission to the Forum/Palatine/Colosseum sites (€12, daily from 8:30 until 18ish), in the courtyards and …

Jane’s Walk Rome

Last Sunday a small group of intrepid walkers, some from La Sapienza where I teach, joined me in commemorating the great urban thinker Jane Jacobs by exploring Rome’s Tiburtino and Nomentana neighborhoods. I had designed a similar walk years ago as part of a series I dubbed “ecological itineraries.” The idea, in keeping with the mission of the annual world-wide Jane’s Walks events, is to walk the city as an act of …

Discovering the Prati-Trionfale Neighborhood

The Prati-Trionfale neighborhood is a bustling European-feeling part of Rome. Apart from the ever-present Vatican City (technically not in Prati or even in Italy) and Castel Sant’Angelo, there is not much in the way of cultural highlights to attract people here. Instead, Prati thrives on business and daily life and this can be a welcome respite from the Stendhal syndrome which strikes the visitor exhausted from seeing a famous monument at every …

Just Outside Rome: Hill Towns and Aqueducts

The countryside around Rome, while not quite as picturesque as Tuscany or Umbria, is rich with fascinating destinations for exploration — and eating. This weekend I drove out to visit my friends Jenny and Umberto in Palestrina and was rewarded with an in-depth tour of one of the most densely layered towns in Lazio: from prehistoric settlements (now lost),  alleged Pelasgian roots evidenced by massive walls of opus poligonale,  and most importantly the imposing sanctuary of Fortuna, all …

5 New Eating Options in Rome for 2017

Our team in Rome is always on the lookout for new places to grab a snack or enjoy a full meal (or anything in between).  Here are just a few from our recent wanderings. 1 – Take a Layover at the New Mercato Centrale This new place is right inside Termini Station, in the historic Mazzoniana wing of the station no less, around the great Cappa Mazzoniana, a kind of massive oven hood made …