Skip to main content

Birthday and Peregrinations

Hello readers! First of all, thank you to everyone for the numerous kind birthday wishes I received on Wednesday (my 21st birthday). Although I didn't do much to celebrate, we did bake a pear crisp that only burned a little bit, and went out for dinner to a Mexican restaurant, a rarity in Rome. It was great to have some salsa for a change!

This week (Feb. 9-12): I didn't have any class on-site trips, so I don't have any photos from that, but I do have good news! I'm definitely going to Tunisia for spring break, and I now have train reservations for all but one of the trips I'm planning to take. Sara and I are going to Pisa, Sicily (Palermo, Agrigento, Catania, Syracuse), Venice, Milan, and Florence for sure, and are planning to go to Orvieto but we couldn't make the reservations so far ahead. Also this week I made my first drypoint engraving. It's not finished yet so I don't have a photo of that, either.

What I do have photos of is my walk around the Aventine Hill today! Both of my roommates are in Naples this weekend so I have three days on my own to explore. Today I toured the Aventine Hill, starting at the Circus Maximus and walking all the way up and around it then down to the Pyramid of Cestius. On the way I saw several churches, including Sta. Maria in Cosmedin, home of the apparently famous Bocca della Verita from the movie "Roman Holiday" (I haven't seen it). It's actually a Roman sewer cover. The photos below are the Circus Maximus, Pyramid of Gaius Cestius, Sta. Sabina (an early Christian basilica), and the Bocca della Verita from the portico of Sta. Maria in Cosmedin.

I also saw two Roman Republican temples (in the background of the photo below) and the Protestant Cemetary where Keats and Shelley are buried. Here's a picture of Keat's grave. I really wanted to find the tomb of Richard Krautheimer, a medievalist who wrote the book on medieval architecture that I studied freshman year, but I didn't see it.

More tomorrow and Sunday! I'm basing my walking trips on information from the excellent guidebook "Not Built in a Day: Exploring the Architecture of Rome" by George Sullivan (coincidentally this blog's title? Perhaps not...) and the Streetwise Rome map I take with me everywhere. I also use the Rome Moleskine notebook that has maps, etc in it, where I keep all my notes. Side story: I noticed an error on the Streetwise map, and also that the map company is from Sarasota, so I decided to contact them about the error and got a very nice e-mail back from the company's vice president! I recommend their maps, especially for Europe, since they're laminated so they don't get wet in the daily rain showers.

Time for homework!


  1. In "Roman Holiday", Gregory Peck sticks his hand in the Bocca della Verita and pretends that it gets bitten off (a joke apparently based on a superstition that the mouth will bite off the hands of liars)-- an ironic moment, given that his character and Audrey Hepburn's are lying to each other. So now you know. And I, on the other hand, am excited that I got to see this object vicariously through you.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: "Theory and Design in the First Machine Age"

Reyner Banham's Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960) is an engaging overview of the important theoretical developments of the early 20th century leading up to the "International Style" of the 1930s-40s.  Banham does a fairly good job, in my opinion, of avoiding excessive editorializing, although he has a clear viewpoint on the Modern Movement and finishes with a strong conclusion.  In opposition to his teacher, Nikolaus Pevsner, whose own history of modernism came out in 1936, Banham dismantled the "form follows function" credo that became the stereotype of modernism, arguing instead that formalism (a preoccupation with style and aesthetics) was an important, if not overriding, concern of Modern architects.  Two sections of the book struck me in particular: his analysis of Le Corbusier's famous book Vers une architecture (Toward a [new] architecture) from 1923, and his Conclusion (chapter 22), where he breaks the link between functionalism and …

Vertical Bike Rack

The work of our hands!

A little backstory:  We bought two bikes as soon as we could after moving here, so we could both bike to work.  After a few uneventful months of chaining up our bikes next to our car in the carport of our apartment building, Justin's bike was stolen.  (Mine was mysteriously left behind, together with Justin's pannier, which the thieves helpfully folded up and placed on top of my bike.  My only guess is that the chain holding my bike was harder to cut than the chain on Justin's.)  Since then, we've kept our bikes inside, hauling them up and down two flights of stairs to our third-floor apartment every time we take them out, which is usually a few times a week.  Ugh.  Better than buying a new bike every few months, though.

We needed a rack that would keep the bikes off the floor, off the walls, and in as small a footprint as possible, without requiring us to drill into or otherwise damage the walls (or floor or ceiling).  This proved a challenge t…

LEED Green Associate

Today I am pleased to report that I have passed the LEED® Green Associate exam, so I am now officially a LEED-accredited professional.  I have a few thoughts on this process that might be helpful for others looking into getting their own LEED Green Associate credential.  While I'm certainly in support of sustainable building practices, which is why I went to the trouble to get the credential in the first place, I don't think it's inappropriate to take a critical stance toward the whole enterprise in order to challenge the profession (and the industry) to be more self-aware.

The preparation: I passed the exam by using only resources that were freely available to me through my school library, including an e-book version of the LEED Green Associate study guide by Michelle Cottrell and the USGBC LEED Core Concepts Guide.  (Although I asked the library to obtain a new copy of the official USGBC LEED Green Associate Study Guide since the one they had was lost, they still haven&…