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
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
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
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
Rivers are amazing resources for cities, but they need ideas, projects and above all maintenance and regulation. With the localized exception of Piazza Tevere with site-specific art projects such as William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments, Rome has had none of these for years.… read more
I got a chance to check out the new metro station just before it opened to the public on Saturday. Absolutely spectacular! The finds on display tell the story of Rome through stratigraphy (graphically marked with a clear indication of level below modern ground), chronology (with key dates popping up as you descend) and themes (color coding of themes dear to Sustainable Rome readers: water, reuse, etc.).… read more
This morning they shut off the drinking fountain outside where I teach in the Ghetto. Some say the extended drought is making such sacrifices necessary. Sensational photos of Lake Bracciano, at historic low, are tied with claims that the city’s famous water supply is running out.… read more
A couple of months ago New York Times columnist Frank Bruni called me to ask about Rome. On a recent trip he had been struck by the paradox of newly cleaned monuments surrounded by developing world squalor, and he wanted to know my take.… read more