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
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
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 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
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.… read more
Rome is great, especially in the spring, but once in a while I find an excuse to escape to Orvieto, in southern Umbria, one of the closest cities to Rome that has managed to free its historic center from automobiles.
Once was on our honeymoon; although we were directed to Firenze we got a late start and Orvieto seemed a nice town along the way.… read more
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.… read more
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 of this built prior to year zero.… read more