All posts by winchellc

Un Giorno di Neve!!

When we were preparing for our trip to Rome, we knew it was going to be cold.  We were told that the wind would be so cold that we would feel it cut through our bones.  This is all true.  But some unexpected and highly unlikely snow made it all worth it!  We were sitting in studio in the middle of the day when all of a sudden we looked outside and saw massive snowflakes falling from the sky.  As soon as studio was over, we all ran outside to experience the eternal city in a completely different way.  It was utterly breathtaking to experience a moment of shared silence and awe with hundreds of Italians merely standing and staring at the snow fall through the oculus.  The following day consisted of walking from piazza to piazza experiencing the once familiar settings in a completely new and foreign manner.  Considering the fact that it has not snowed that much in Rome since the 80’s, it well definitely go down as one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in Roma!

Ciao for now!

Esposizione Universale Roma_EUR

Travertine, fascism, and more travertine: aka EUR.  EUR is a city envisioned and partially realized by Benito Mussolini and differs radically from the center of Rome.  Instead of having small cobblestone streets and alleys that wind through highly densified neighborhoods, EUR is reminiscent of common American cities: large avenues, green grass, and urban sprawl.  The most interesting area we visited, aside from the new Fuksas project, was the Museo della Civilta Romana (Museum of Roman Civilization).  This museum holds hundreds of plaster casts of Roman artifacts ranging from antiquity through the height of the Roman Empire.  These casts were utterly amazing!  Until I was told they were plaster casts, I was under the impression that they were the original ancient artifacts.  At the culmination of the museum is a massive, and I mean MASSIVE, model of Rome as it existed at the height of the Roman Empire.  It was extremely detailed and took up about a 40ft by 40 ft room.  We spent well over an hour just staring at the model and trying to figure out where everything belongs as it exists today.  After we departed from the museum we were left to our own devices to get back to Rome.  Naturally as architecture students, we all wanted to go see the new Massimiliano Fuksas building that is under construction just a few blocks from the museum.  A few of us were lucky enough to gain access to the roof of a hotel across the street, allowing us a glimpse of the massive scale of the interior of the ‘cloud’ described by Fuksas.  It was an incredibly awe inspiring experience and the perfect way to round off the trip, balancing the fascist, and slightly modernist, side of Rome with the possibilities of contemporary architecture.  Simply inspirational.

Ciao for now!

Biblioteca Vallicelliana

An architectural investigation of Baroque Rome simply wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the library designed by Francesco Borromini in Piazza della Chiesa Nuova.  We went on a slow day and were able to access one of the archives holding countless books written and bound in vellum.  These books are hundreds to thousands of years old…talk about mind blowing!  The moderator was gave us a large amount of history surrounding the library and life of Borromini (translated by Paulette thank goodness) and the trip culminated with the opportunity to go through a transcription of original etchings by Borromini himself.  The amount of detail and precision in the drawings was awe inspiring, not to mention intimidating.  The combination of the architecture of the library and etchings created a once in a lifetime experience, allowing us to appreciate the work of a true master of architecture.  A visit to La Biblioteca Vallicelliana is an absolute must!

Ciao for now!