Hi everyone,

So this is my last post on the SPQR blog. I wanted to end with some reflections and some thanks. As I mentioned in my last entry, I have arrived back in Minnesota. Right now I’m catching up with family and trying to work off the obscene amount of pasta and cornettos I ate this past semester (thanks Rome).

Surely it will take me a while to process the change and realize how magnificent my time abroad really was, how many beautiful structures I experienced, and how much I learned because of it. It’s hard to explain exactly how or why, but seeing more of the world has helped my class and I feel just a bit smarter, more self assured, and more passionate about pursuing futures that excite us. It’s safe to say we all realized that the world has a lot to offer through this trip. There really was something for every interest…especially if that interest was gelato.

To the SPQR donors and everyone whom followed my blog I would like to say thank you for your caring. I am touched to know there is a group of people who believe in young architects, in our education, and in helping midwesterners like myself travel to further our passions. I know memories of my trip (and of Rome particularly) will surface time and again. They’ll serve as wonderful examples and reference points as I continue to think, sketch, and problem solve as a designer.

I’ve included three reflective pieces that I wrote at the end of my time in 1) Rome 2) Istanbul and 3) Madrid. I hope you enjoy reading them. I’ve also Included photos of our final project- A redesign of the Reina Sofia Museum plaza in Madrid. My partners and I hand drew all the documents thanks to the sketch skills we  built in Rome. There are also photos of a booklet version that I formatted after the fact.





My time in Rome was a combination of fantastical and everyday activities proportioned so that felt I really lived in Rome for the last five weeks. For this I am truly thankful. Of course I will remember the monuments: the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter’s Basilica, to name a few. I will also remember, however, the weather, the walks, the people, the busses, trams, and trains; things that a person can find variations of in most cities. I’ll remember being elated standing atop the Castel Sant Angelo, watching the city illuminated by that legendary Roman light, and I’ll also remember watching Netflix in my apartment while bonding with my trip mates. How wonderful that I, as Romans do, lived a modern life in a city with an ancient past!

Another notable highlight of the trip was our lecture series from Antonella and Paolo, in which my class and I leaned the details that make Rome so sacred and unique. Certainly each of us can say that we appreciate the city,  with its successes and failures alike, much more because of these lessons. Antonella and Paolo showed me Rome as a city that prizes history before convenience and wears this badge proudly. This city and its citizens value history so much that instead of separating themselves from it, they insist on adapting their lifestyle so they may continue to live within the history. This Roman approach to history and preservation will be a consistent reference point for me in the future as I consider how cities with varied histories respond to their past architecturally.



My time in Istanbul was absolutely remarkable. As a study abroad student, I could not have asked for a better city to explore or for better company in doing so. I will remember Istanbul as a massive and complex city that, amazingly, managed to feel warm and welcoming to my classmates and I. I am grateful for the new sights, sounds, and smells, and tastes that Istanbul showed me. More specifically, I’ll remember fondly ferry rides to Asia, endless cups of cay, calls to prayer, cats and dogs on the streets, plushy carpet in mosques, a sea of houses spread across hillsides, climbing tiny spiral staircases, the smell of durum wafting from crowded streets, seagulls flying above the Bosphorus, steep and narrow streets, and Istanbul’s lovable disinterest in sequence and order. As I Mentioned, so many things about this city were new to me, and I am grateful to have been introduced to this great volume of “newness” by truly kind and generous Turks. I’ll remember with gratitude the instructors and students who whispered translations to me in English when I took yoga classes, and those staff at our favorite restaurant whom took the time to learn the names of my classmates and I. These moments are so valuable to me, and will shape my definition of Turkey for the rest of my life. While I’m on the topic of people, it’s only fair to mention that my experience of this city was constantly brightened by the positivity and sense of adventure expressed by each of my classmates. Without them I cannot say that this experience would have been half as rewarding. I can’t wait to return to this city and build upon my amazing experience, because while I feel I have learned lots about Istanbul, I am certain that my Turkish education will continue in the future!



It’s pretty impossible to believe that our time abroad is ending. What an inspiring, surprising, and transformative three months we have had! Truth be told, I do miss Minneapolis and am excited to transition back into the familiarity of home. However, my memories and the skills I learned on study abroad are an important part of my story as a student from now on. I know my time traveling has helped me understand pieces of myself and the world around me in a new light, and for this I am so thankful. The list of lessons learned could take me another three months to retell considering absolutely everything I did abroad I did for the first time (strange thought). For now I’ll close with a list of 10 useful things I could have told myself in January that I learned throughout the duration of my wonderful, wonderful, trip.

10. When you get off public transit, double check to make sure you have all your belongings with you (lest you lose your passport or something ridiculous like that) 

9. If you have the time presently, don’t put off seeing the things you want to see until “later”.

8. Generous and thankful people are charming, be they friends or strangers. What a rewarding attitude to adopt!

7. Trying new things is almost ALWAYS worth it, and being initially uncomfortable enriches the experience.

6. Being with friends is great. Being alone is great. Make time for both because the two experiences inspire different realizations. 

5. The more maps you bring the more places you can go. Bring maps.

4. Try hard. Why not?

3. Have fun, too. Why not?

2. Be flexible and forgiving. Remember that sometimes “shit happens” is a valid explanation of events

1. Remember that you are abroad as often as possible.

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Update: Le tour d’Espagne

Hi Everyone,

I sincerely apologize for the delay in these posts. It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes, especially when I mention that I am writing this blog from my home in MN. WHAT?! It’s hard to believe my semester has finished. Here’s an update on what has happened since I last wrote.

For those of you whom don’t know, my class and I continued our travels after Rome to Istanbul, Turkey, but decided to relocate our study abroad to Madrid, Spain in late March. While growing concerns over terrorist threats to tourist destinations had us feeling uneasy, the decision for us to leave was solidified by a suicide bombing that occurred on March 19th on Istiklal Avenue, a popular shopping street located near our study center.

I was heartbroken to leave Istanbul, a fantastical city unlike any other I had encountered this semester. However, I can also mention that I am thankful for the safety of myself, my classmates, and our professors. Regaining peace of mind in Madrid helped us complete our classwork, though our thoughts remain with the Turks as we wait, for the sake of all the kind and generous people we met, for tensions to subside in this part of the world.

I’m reposting a blog entry I wrote for our Rome/Istanbul 2016 class blog. It’s little peek into some of the shenanigans we got into in Madrid. Despite our abrupt change in plans and the sadness it caused, I wanted to share this post as a way of saying that we still learned, we still explored, and we still had fun post-Istanbul. I’m thankful for the efforts of our professors to keep us abroad. I certainly wouldn’t have expected to find myself biking the Rio a few months ago… but I’ll let my post explain more on that.

*note my original post discusses a video. WordPress wouldn’t let me upload it here because I have to pay for that (boo) but if you’re curious, you can find my original post here

Le Tour D’Espagne


So without further Ado:

Big news. Today the UMN Rome/Istanbul+Madrid squad took to the bike paths in a spectacular blitz I like to call, “Le Tour D’Espagne.” Tires practically ablaze, we were a sight to behold; the envy of Madrid! What a time! I only fell off my bike once…

Here are the details:

We rolled along the Rio Manzanares with a guide from the architecture firm Burgos & Garrido to observe the “Rio Manzanares Project”. The project is a massive redesign of infrastructure- it submerges several miles of  highway that used to run along the Rio and transforms the surface above into a chain lush parks connected by a wide, curving path (enter UMN squad).

We learned about how the project’s designers constructed gardens with nods to historic France, Italy, and Portugal, and about how the crooked trees lining the path were specially selected to give the space a less constructed appearance. We learned that the Toledo, Royal, and Segovia bridges cross the site of the intervention, and that the designers sought to bring life back into these structures with unique forms and artist contributions.

Another interesting feature of the project relates to the path. The path does not separate bike and foot traffic into lanes. Instead, bikers and walkers weave past each other in all sorts of creative patterns. The designers of the Rio Manzanares project believe the lack of separation more accurately reflects the relationship between walkers and bikers in other parts of the city, and think the preexisting relationship should remain intact along the path as well.

To best illustrate my points on this lovely project I’ve included a few photos and a video of our bike ride. The song in the video comes straight from my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist (thanks Spotify, you get me). It’s “Killin the Vibe” by Ducktails feat. Panda Bear. “Killin the Vibe” is exactly how I would describe a highway that colonizes a river bank, so thanks, Burgos & Garrido, for submerging that darned highway and giving us a few hours in the sun!

*Disclaimer* we’re not wearing helmets. Sorry mom and dad.



A Lot has Happened! (as usual)

Hi everyone!

As the title of my post explains, a lot has happened since I last wrote. The day after my final review I flew to Berlin to visit my childhood best friend, Lena, whom has lived there for the last two and a half years. After my visit to Germany I flew back to Italy, quickly packed my things and then flew to Istanbul with the rest of my class. This is where we will spend the rest of our semester designing a ferry terminal on the Asian side of the city.

But first- Germany!

Sadly upon arrival I lost my passport. I left it and my purse on a city bus by mistake, so there were a few tense hours, a rebooked flight, and a trip to the US embassy but thankfully I got a quick replacement and made it back to Italy on time so I could depart for Turkey the next day with my classmates! I owe it all to Lena- her fluent german was a lifesaver as she helped me. I’m so thankful!

Despite the mishap I had so much fun in Berlin. I saw the Jewish memorial, the Jewish museum, the Brandenburg gate, walked the East Side Gallery, climbed the Reichstag dome and saw two contemporary university libraries- one by Norman Foster and the other be Herzog and DeMeuron! The history and architecture in Germany is so recent compared to Rome- I thought the city had a really prominent melancholy feeling. They say Berlin is “poor but sexy” and moreover I thought that was true. It’s filled with young people and has an incredible emerging art scene, but at the same time is still visibly working to build a stronger economy post-WWII. Squatted houses and remnants of the former east are everywhere. The east block housing around Berlin was quite a change from Rome. Everything here is uniform and unadorned (I wonder what Bernini would have to say). My friend lives in an apartment with bullet holes on the outside from WWII and heats her house with a coal burning stove!

Okay, so there’s a little info on my side trip. Now fast forward to the present. I have been in Istanbul for about two weeks and am starting to get a feel for the city. Istanbul is quite different from either Rome or Germany. I honestly get a laugh out of the creative uses of space here as I see markets under highways and businesses crammed into the most unsuspecting corners. The city is busy almost all the time and the weather is excellent- I’ve enjoyed hopping around on the ferries and figuring out Istanbul’s excellent public transit, which weaves together funiculars, ferries, busses , trains, and trams quite seamlessly. We’ve already seen some excellent mosques and talked about the  fascinating ways that Islam incorporates space, both physical and metaphysical, into religion. It’s fantastic, and definitely one of the topics I’m most interested in exploring and understanding for myself.

Here are a few pictures both from Berlin and Istanbul. I hope this quick post is a good update- next time expect some reflections on Rome. I’m excited to write about my time there with some perspective and material for comparison!




Celebrated my new passport with peanut butter (the most american food at my disposal)
Berlin Free University’s Foster library
Galata Tower, Istanbul



Sketchbook Update



I thought it was about time for a sketchbook update and a few words on how I feel my drawing skills have progressed…

Overall I’m very pleased with the way consistent practice has improved the quality of my drawings. Really, I think the most recent sketches in my book are more interesting, and not because they are the most precise. In fact, they are much messier than most of my beginning sketches. They don’t adhere to a single technique (contour, value) but instead have developed into something I would consider to be more personal.

Finding a distinct character in my sketches is quite valuable to me! As a student I have the opportunity to observe myself as a designer without the time or monetary constraints of someone in professional practice, so I enjoy seeing my work evolve and understanding my strengths, weaknesses, and interests as evidenced by the things I have created. I hope that knowing myself well by the end of my education will help me take steps toward a fulfilling career.

So, what have I discovered? Well I think I really enjoy color (taboo for an architect? possibly!) and incorporating color into my sketches/designs. I like diagramming, clarifying, and coding information graphically, and I think I can begin to see that in a systematic approach to hatching in some of my quick sketches. Speaking of graphics, I know I’ve always been keen on incorporating graphic design and typography into my work, and I think this also shows through in my sketch work, which airs on the bold side.

All of this is good news, because these discoveries are giving me AWESOME ideas of how I may begin to incorporate hand drawing into cohesive design studio projects. I’m confident enough in my sketch skills that I would like to complete more design development and rendering by hand in the future! Excellent!



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Final Review!

Hi everyone,

I’m writing today about our final drawing review. After days and nights of constant work, each of us completed our drawings and assembled them together to create a giant, whimsical map of Rome. The map was beautiful and intricate, and the moment when we assembled it was special because it was the first time our class saw all of our work come together!

We were joined in our review by lecturer Paolo Alei and by Florentine architect Andrea Ponsi, whom listened and provided feedback as we explained the main points on our map and the inspiration behind our work. Both were impressed by our efforts, as was I. I’m happy to report that the review was successful and everyone left feeling proud of our hard work.

As I have mentioned before, my partner Amanda and I examined the water cycle and the behavior of water on our portion of the map. Ours was the Centro region that contains the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. We chose to draw both of these monuments in section to reveal the topography and infrastructure that helps water adopt a starring role in the experience of these places.

In the case of the Pantheon, the oculus is cut in section to show how rain may fall into this space, highlighting the Italian relationship with natural elements that appears harmonious rather than contentious. To support this observation we also drew in the symbolic flood markers that can be seen all over near the pantheon. They appear as a finger pointing with water flowing from the fingertip, and they are etched into the side of neighboring church Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. The markers commemorate historic floods. The frequent flooding of the Centro is likely caused by topography onsite, as this is the lowest point of elevation in the city. My parter and I considered how this site may act as a scoop or container, not only for flowing water but also for human activity, which is noticeable when visiting this area.

When we sectioned the Trevi fountain, we aimed to highlight the presence of the Aqua Virgo, one of Rome’s seven  famed aqueducts, and show the fountain as the triumphal terminus of this line of water. The Aqua Virgo is same resource that kept Rome alive during the sack of the Goths centuries ago, and is commemorated spectacularly through architecture and sculpture as a result. The Trevi Fountain shows allegory of Oceanus, the god of water whom commands the center of the fountain’s composition. He strikes his baton and sends water into the city with an awesome and formidable force. We tried to nod to the cinematic quality of this scene through a vignette that shows Oceanus from behind with hundreds of people watching as they do at all times of the day!

I’ve included pictures of our completed drawings below- please excuse the delay in post. I’ve had some crazy adventures lately- ones I will share in writing soon!






Contemporary Rome?!

Hi all,


Today I’m blogging about my trip to Zaha Hadid’s Maxxi museum. It’s a contemporary project in the Eternal City- surprise, surprise, they exist! Though it should be noted that contemporary Architecture in Rome is a contentious topic. One of our fantastic lecturers Dr. Antonella De Michelis told us that mayoral elections in Rome have been won and lost over topics in architecture! Yes, it’s that serious.

The Maxxi sits outside the most ancient portion of Rome bounded by the Aurelian walls. Most contemporary architecture exists outside the walls, and this site is considered by some Romans to be the rightful location of new, formalist structures. Our class has learned that buildings like Richard Meier’s Ara Pacis, which sits inside the walls, have come under fire for disrupting the historic landscape within Rome’s center.

I personally think contemporary architecture has a place in Rome. Rome is unique among its peer Italian cities, as it has managed to cherish its ancient history while acting as a thriving and evolving resource for its inhabitants. In my opinion, one of the best ways to show Rome’s palimpsest (there’s the magic word again) is to build anew, working with, around, above and beneath the old. This is, after all, the Roman tradition! Show life and memory through building!

Okay, back to Maxxi. This building was designed by Zaha Hadid (woman architect, yes!) in 1999 and completed 10 years later in 2009. Her submission was selected over hundreds of others. In fact, Rem Koolhaus’ OMA submission for the Maxxi is featured in the Museum’s permanent collection. I’ve included a picture below.  Upon its completion, the building was praised by The Guardian as “Hadid’s finest built work to date” and “a masterpiece fit to sit alongside Rome’s ancient wonders.”

My take? The Museum was inspiring, stunning, and refreshingly different from my last few weeks in Rome, not to say that ancient structures aren’t beautiful in their own right! Perhaps the most interesting thing about the project was its siting. Tucked away in the quiet Flaminio district, it stood only a block away from the work of another famous architect, Renzo Piano. The pair of buildings seemed in a sense excommunicated from the city center. Both projects have a type of programatic gravity to them. The Maxxi is an art and architecture museum and Piano’s Parco Della Musica  is a concert hall. Both have the potential to be great physical representations of modern Rome, and yet they have been pushed from the center of activity into what Piano’s office described as “the great urban void of the Flaminio district.” In this way, the debate over contemporary architecture becomes quite palpable, and from the exterior these buildings left me with a rather dissonant feeling.

On a more positive note,  I will leave you with gorgeous scenes from inside the Maxxi. We saw an exhibition on Istanbul, which leads me to my final point. This is my last week in Rome, and as I work toward the end of my drawing project expect several updates and reflections!



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Falling for Florence

Hello readers! On this Valentine’s night I’m happy to report on our class’ recent trip to Florence. Be forewarned; I have amazing stories to retell. By the time this post is done you may just find yourself so in love that you’ll be checking plane tickets. The city is THAT exceptional.

We’ve just returned and are all very exhausted. We packed the last four days by trekking to the top of the Duomo and the Campanile, with cathedrals, sculpture, painting, sunsets, and garden strolls. We walked along the Arno river to visit the studio of esteemed architect Andrea Ponsi. He gave us a look into his drawing process through a demonstration that left us inspired. Then we headed to the leather market to haggle over bags, belts and wallets. I can’t speak for the entire group, but I also punctuated the trip with a few great meals.

Though it would be easy to talk about Florence in many more words, I plan to narrow the focus my praise to discuss two significant Florentine museums, the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia. They house very famous works of art and proved to be a rewarding investment of time in a city with so much to see and do.

We visited the Uffizi on our second day in the city. The museum is located inside the palace of the Medici family. The Medici were a powerful dynasty that politically and financially supported the Italian renaissance, and a  significant portion of the art inside belonged to them. How amazing!

I found the experience of walking through the rooms here to be quite moving. I studied many of the works in my high school art history class. My interest in art history helped me consider architecture as a major, and while I feel as though my academic life has changed for the better since high school, the passion that first attracted me to art and architecture was palpable in the Uffizi. Among the works that made me a little misty eyed were:

1) Botticelli, Birth of Venus 2) Botticelli, Spring 3) Da Vinci, Adoration of the Magi 4) Titian, Venus of Urbino 5) Gentileschi, Judith Slaying Holofernes 6) Giotto, Madonna Enthroned

Now on to the Accademia, home of Michelangelo’s David. Simply put, I’m so glad I got to visit the most handsome man in Italy! I took some time to sketch here, and while it was a challenge to record the figure history has deemed perfection, I am thankful for the experience. It reinforced my appreciation for the sketch process as a way to learn. I feel like after sketching David, I know him better and will remember him longer, which is good. I feel like I shouldn’t make a continuing habit of spending Valentine’s day with 14 foot tall marble statues.

I will leave you now with a few photos and sketches- Ciao!





Hello all!

Things are progressing nicely here. I awoke to rain this morning to for the first time since our trip has begun, so I may finally have my chance (or chances, by the look of the forecast) to catch a view of rain falling from the oculus of the Pantheon! This is good news, because for my final drawing project my parter Amanda and I have decided to document the water cycle in Rome. We’ll examine clouds and precipitation while we map the flow of water, both from rain and from fountains, rivers, etc., as it travels down Rome’s hills to rest near the Pantheon, which is the primary region of focus on our hand drawn map. More details to come as we wrap up this assignment!

What I really intended to write about today was my class’ trip to Orvieto on Saturday. We got an early start, (early for twenty year olds anyway) and boarded a train around 9AM. We all enjoyed the views from the train car as it meandered through rolling hills lined with olive trees. To me, it was the picturesque vision of Italy that seems to exist only in daydreams. Until now, anyway!

When we arrived, we took the funicular from the train station onto the hill where Orvieto is located. Immediately after we took some time to admire the views, which were even better at our height than they were on the train. Spectacular! Next we visited St. Patrick’s well. The well is lined by two staircases which wrap around each other in a double helix shape. Eager to sketch the view from the bottom of the well, my classmates any I raced down the steps. As you can imagine, we sorely regretted that decision about 30 seconds into our journey back up the stairs.

During the afternoon, we visited the Duomo. It’s a fantastic gothic church with stripes of different colored stone. While baroque is beautiful, this has been one of my favorite cathedrals on the trip so far. I ended the day by myself with some sketching. I sat on a wall overlooking the hills and listed to some Kishi Bashi, which I found a perfect compliment to the extraordinary views.

*Side Note: Kishi Bashi is an incredible lyricist and violinist. He uses string arrangements to create moving, transportive music. I highly recommend!

The real icing on the cake came as I befriended one of Orvieto’s many cats. He ran to me along the wall, placed himself in my lap, and promptly began to purr. I think I will remember myself along the wall for quite some time. It was a very happy and beautiful day!










Drawing at Castel Sant’Angelo


I’m writing from my apartment this morning (see my attached photo of breakfast, I’m proud) reflecting on another excellent day of drawing in the eternal city. We began yesterday in a piazza near our classrooms with a brief lesson on field sketching from Ozayr. He used an iPad pro and apple pencil in lieu of the traditional pencil and sketchbook. The tech setup looked pretty fun, but I think I’ll stick to sporting good old fashioned graphite smudges on my fingers and, regrettably often, my nose or cheeks. I’m hoping it makes me look tough, but I suppose that remains to be seen.

After our lesson, my class and I headed to Castel Sant’Angelo to test our skills for a few hours. Once the tallest building in Rome, Castel Sant’Angelo is a fortress that housed prisoners and served as a safe retreat for the Pope in emergency situations. We walked through Castel, which is quite imposing from both the inside and out. Cannons still perch upon the exterior walls, giving all who enter a glimpse into Rome’s military clout around the time of the 14th century.

Many of us found great views of the city to sketch as we rose through the levels of Castel. I was happy to find a vantage point that allowed me to draw in detail the shadows cast by buildings and people on the Ponte Sant’Angelo. Ponte Sant’Angelo is the bridge spanning across the Tiber River that connects Castel to the surrounding city. The sketch I made is included below, along with other shots from the terrace and drawings from previous days.

To end our time at Castel, my classmates and I gathered on the uppermost terrace, where we found ourselves surrounded by stunning panoramic views of the city- how beautiful they were! In the thicket of domes and peaked roofs, we practiced quick sketching with a series of timed exercises. Our first sketch took five minutes, the next took thee minutes, the third took two minutes, and the fourth took one minute. Most of our sketches improved as the time decreased. Many of us quieted our minds and pushed aside our desire to record geometry with precision. Instead, we represented light with a few quick strokes.

While I am always happy to see discovery and improvement in my work, how aggravating it is that the quality of my results are not always proportional to the time and effort I put in! On a positive note, experiences like this tend to renew my belief in practice. Certainly the more I sketch, the better I will learn to navigate the connection between eye, mind, and hand.

So with that, you’ll have to excuse me. I have more sketching to do!














Week 1: Pantheon in Action

Hello, my name is Amy, and it is my pleasure to introduce myself as this year’s SPQR Fellow! I traveled to Rome with a group of sixteen UMN students as part of a semester-long study abroad program. We will spend five weeks in Rome before heading to Istanbul, Turkey.

Here in Rome, I am partaking in a drawing class that keeps me within sight of Rome’s most amazing architecture nearly always. I look forward to sharing my academic and extracurricular experiences on this blog for the next month, and plan to supplement my writing with many photos and sketches!

Here’s an update on what I have been doing so far: I have been in Rome for a week now, and have enjoyed getting a feel for the layout of the city by walking every day. It still surprises me how accessible the city is by foot- a welcome change from the USA! Yesterday, my class and I received an excellent lecture by historian Paolo Alei on the Via Pia and the pilgrimage routes that shaped Rome’s streets. Today we visited the Borghese Gallery to sketch some of Bernini’s most famous sculpture.

For the focus of my post today, however, I will discuss an event I witnessed that nods to several important themes of Rome. As I sat near the Pantheon today I witnessed a small political demonstration staged by a catholic organization. To my knowledge, they were protesting gay marriage. While I do not wish to discuss the finer details of their protest topic, I do find the act of their demonstration at the Pantheon to be interesting for several reasons.

This demonstration highlighted the reality of Rome as a city that exists in both the past and present simultaneously. Here, as I crunched the last bit of my gelato cone, I saw a Christian group speak in front of an originally pagan temple, but using it much as the ancients did, as a civic space designed for discussion. The situation certainly heightened my sense of Rome as a city with a complex, multi-toned history.

Our professor and guide this semester, Ozayr Saloojee, recently explained a term which I think describes this situation quite well. Palimpsest describes the adaptation of an object or idea while still retaining traces of its original state. I believe I witnessed an great example of palimpsest today, as the architecture of ancient political action was used to speak for a different cause. For this discovery and many more, I am thankful to be in Rome!