Buona sera from Roma! My name is Jake Halsne and I’m a junior studying Landscape Architecture. After an unforgettable weekend in Florence, I greeted Rome with a tired smile. Home sweet home. Tomorrow marks one month in this incredible city and I’m amazed at how much I’ve connected with this land on the other side of the world, which strangely enough no longer feels foreign. I think I’ve come a long way from mispronouncing Trastevere every other sentence, to now having a firm grasp of the cities layout and history…yet my Italian is weaker than a baby calf.
Over the course of this semester we have been discussing how memory and meaning is embedded within the space and layers of architecture around us. With the incredible wisdom provided to us by Ozayr and our lecturers, Paoli and Antonella, we have been guided through the city jumping head first into its powerful architecture, urban fabric, and politics – all of which you see emulated across the globe. So much of the iconic architecture I’ve studied has turned out to be either copied or inspired by the Romans, blowing my mind on the reg. Jumping head first into the complex and often overlooked subconscious of the Eternal City, I’ve gained an understanding that has strengthened my personal relationship to it. Traveling throughout Europe thus far I have found my self thinking, “wow that’s beautiful” or “how cool!” when site seeing. Simply moving on and often forgetting about the things I’ve seen. Building up the contextual backdrop for my Roman surroundings and understanding the narrative that creates this power of place has made my experience more meaningful than I could have possibly imagined, and made the Eternal city feel like a home of my own. After experiencing Florence and all its beauty, myself and others still found ourselves giddy to be back in Rome, grime and all.
Truth be told, Rome is a beast that cannot be conquered by a student in merely a month let alone a full semester. In my final days I look forward to further exploring the city and building more of these connections that are making my time here that much more spectacular.
On a more concerning note, tomorrow also kicks off the last week before our final review. Despite having already put in considerable time into our map, a pile of paper (consisting mostly of rough line work) glares at me from my desk. Crunch time has begun, yet I find myself procrastinating via this blog post (shhh!)
With only a week remaining, behind thoughts of rendering techniques, lingers those of Istanbul. How is it possible that we will be in another city coming the first of March?! While studying in the Twin Cities I’m shocked at how fast semesters pass before my eyes. It seems while studying abroad the time clock has been set to fast forward….enjoying my in time in Rome, one day at a time.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip thus far:
Until next time, Ciao!