Spring in Rome

I arrived in Rome earlier today (Thursday) for a semester study abroad with about 55 other students from my class. We are staying in apartments in the middle of the city and the College of Design has studio space just across the river at Piazza delle Cinque Scole. The semester goes till the end of April, after which I plan to travel about 10 days and return home from London on May 11.

My flight schedule began in Cedar Rapids and went through Detroit and Amsterdam on the way to Rome. All my layovers were quite short, but Detroit and Amsterdam both have very nice airport facilities. I landed at Rome’s Fiumicinio Airport a little past noon today. The view coming in for the landing was like a painting, seeing rolling meadows spotted with old cottages along the sea line. The airport, at least the part I experienced, was quite unimpressive. My plane did not pull up to a gate, rather we exited far way on the tarmac and took a bus to baggage claim.

I met a couple of my classmates and we took a taxi into the city to our apartment to check in. The ride was a great first look around the city. Most of our apartments, including mine, are in a former convent, now housing study abroad student apartments as well as those for the general public. In the middle is a great courtyard. Every corner there seems to be another nook or passageway to discover. We found a stairwell up a roof top terrace, complete with kitchen and a terrific view of the surrounding city.

I look forward to spending the next four months in Rome, learning and exploring through studio and classes, as well as getting to understand the city. It is an incredible change from the normal urban arrangement in America and the term “old” takes on a whole new meaning. Almost everywhere is remnants of past centuries. The interaction between these ancient structures and and new infrastructures for a modern polis is fascinating.

I hope to post much more as I get to know the city better and report on my work in studio and other explorations. I started a new “Rome” category that will contain all these relevant posts to come. Ciao.


  1. You should take a train ride at some point if you haven’t experienced European rail travel yet. I’m sure there would be beautiful scenery going through Italy.

  2. Sounds like you should have a good time. Keep us updated with stuff, and lots of pictures would be nice too 😉 I’d be interested to see how the old mixes in with the new.

  3. Brady Dorman

    January 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Will do: train rides + photos.

    Studio is within walking distance from the apartment, so probably won’t ride transit extremely frequently. However it is everywhere. Theres a tram line a few blocks away and several buses. I saw a minibus (actually looks like a minibus, vs. paratransit type vans in the USa) going down one of the tiny alley roads. Thats probably the most interesting thing so far – how tiny ways are treated as real streets. Good thing all the cars are so small.

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