I arrived in Rome last Thursday evening, and almost all of my students were in town by the end of the day Saturday, ready to begin the fourth annual incarnation of the University of Idaho's Rome Architecture Program. On Sunday, we all went to the Pantheon for the Pentacost service, at the end of which the local firefighters dump rose petals down through the oculus at the peak of the dome. It's an incredible sight, and I spent most of the event shooting video that I'll need to edit later. After the fact, I did this sketch from memory, and as a sort of title page for this next chapter in my moleskine sketchbook.

Following the mass, we broke for lunch and then began an orientation tour around the center of town. This is a fairly casual and very random tour, where I attempt to lead the students into surprising urban situations - sudden vistas, curious spaces, hit-you-over-the-head Baroque moments. We talk about the history of the city, it's urban plan, it's monuments and personalities. We covered a lot of ground and the tour ended up going for about four hours, finishing at the Campidoglio, with its views over the Forum to the southeast and the Centro Storico to the north, where I did this quick sketch.

Getting to Rome

I arrived in Rome after the standard long flights and long layovers scenario. On one of the flights, I honestly can't recall which one, I started to work out a timeline that plotted Moscow time against Rome time, with time spent in the air (red) and time spent on the ground (green) on a bar down the center. Even after going through this little exercise, and creating what I thought would be a helpful graphic device, it was still a confusing process of travel. But I've been here almost a week now, and the trip over seems like a distant memory. Funny how time bends when you change so many time zones overnight.



I had way too much going on to plan/organize a sketchcrawl, as the semester is crashing to a close and I depart for Rome in just a few days. But one of my tasks before leaving was to do a sketch of our kids' elementary school as a gift for their principal, who is retiring this year. He's an amazing guy, and has helped our kids immensely, so this was really the least I could do. I hope he likes it! ... The next time I post will be from ROME.
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