Why, I’m just a little black rain-cloud, of course.


So it’s been raining in Rome.  A lot.  The Tiber’s level was quite high – higher than I’ve seen it.  Certain areas of Rome were submerged; much of the metro system in particular districts was shut down (water was pouring in).  Areas around Italy (Pisa, Florence too) have been flooded.   This hasn’t deterred this group of students, though – and their guest lecturer today (the formidable Antonella), who did not miss a beat during a torrential downpour on our lecture today.  We began at the Tiber Island, looping across the bridge to Trastevere (talking Palimpsest, history, Papal urbanism and the vernacular).  IMG_7388The students were troopers; battling through their misery (and what misery) and marshalled onward through Rome and backward and forward in its history.  We visited the site of the first synagogue in Rome (now a picturesque street): Untitled-1…crossed over the Tiber again (“Look – the Cloaca Maxima!”):IMG_7408…past the Broken Bridge, past the Crescenzi House: IMG_7414…into San Nicola in Carceri, the Theatre of Marcellus: IMG_7417…and the Portico D’Ottavia: IMG_7418…and into the Jewish Ghetto.  It was a great day – sodden and waterlogged, but filled with great narratives and stories linked to the spaces of Rome and its myriad and multiple histories.  We bought umbrellas.  Our shoes were soaked; Alexi got pooped on by a mutant seagull (he can tell that story); we held up in a hospital lobby for a half hour: IMG_7390… yet completely transfixed by an urban and social history of 16th century Rome and its transformation.  The river was full, the rain was pouring, we walked, drenched in the eternal city (Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch of the ranged empire fall!), and as we stood at the end of our day, of course – a little bit of blue, a little bit of sun.     IMG_7421

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