I am Amanda, a third year architecture student in the Bachelors of Design in Architecture program, reporting from Rome! I am sad to report that we are left with only a few more days in Rome, and as the time winds down we are all frantically working to finish our drawings for our final review which is in 39 hours and 54 minutes, but who’s counting? As a group, we are all saddened by the thought of leaving this wonderful city that we have just begun to call home. Over the past few weeks we have learned that Rome is a city that is rich in many things: history; tradition; pride; monuments; food; people; and, unfortunately, selfie stick vendors. What I would like to report on, however, are my experiences; particularly, a few experiences that have evoked emotions in me that I have not experienced before. These moments involve a wide variety of things including: grunge and decay; peace and tranquility; nature and memory.
The first moment that stirred a great reaction in me was on our third day in Rome (Saturday January 23rd) when Ozayr took us on an overwhelming walking tour of all of the sites we would be drawing. Along this walk, it was not St. Peters, the Pantheon, or the Roman Forum that took my breath away, it was something much smaller and much less grand. As we were walking, I was habitually checking out doors and doorknobs along our walk, thinking nothing of it, until we turned a corner and I spotted the most beautiful door I had ever seen. I have always been huge fan of doors and door knobs, etc. so to notice doors is not out of the ordinary. This door, however, stopped me in my tracks. I think I was walking next to Adam when I saw it and I said “I think I just fell in love” and he just chuckled and kept walking. I stopped to snap a few pictures (none of which accurately captured the glow, the texture, or the dynamic colors of the door). At the time, this door provided a high for me that the amazing architecture we had walked past did not match. This was a moment that was very familiar and genuine for me and it made me realize that it is okay to appreciate the odd moments and the little things that lie in the shadows of the incredible monuments that draw people to Rome.
One of my favorite things to do in Rome began with the first time I felt a connection to a monument. After Paolo Alei’s first lecture, Amy and I decided to go back to the Trevi fountain and draw. That morning when we were at the fountain I was a bit overwhelmed by all the people, and the amount of selfies being taken and pennies being thrown so I did not truly appreciate the beauty of the fountain. Going back later at night the Trevi (which we admiringly call The Trev) had a completely different vibe. There were fewer people out and many of the people were not there to take selfies and throw pennies, but to hangout, relax, and appreciate the piece of art in front of them. Amy and I each plugged in our headphones and drew for a couple hours without stop. It was a great experience and since then I have gone back many times and I have brought almost the entire class with me. I will actually be heading over there tonight to finish my final rendering of Trev.
A third moment of this trip that was unforgettable occurred at Hadrian’s Villa. I broke from the group and ended up in the baths. I found myself alone and completely in awe of the sheer size and power of the structure. I hopped over a patch of bird poop, down into a different area and all of a sudden, everything had changed. I was immediately conscious of the space that I was taking up and the things that were happening around me. I locked into the sounds and the movements of the birds. I climbed into a window and I sat there for 15 minutes watching and listening to the birds fly in and out of the roof and move between the holes in the wall. I decided to draw and I ended up creating my favorite drawing to date. This was not my prettiest drawing, nor was it the one I spent the most time on, but it was the one I had the most connection to. This drawing not only reminds me of the amazing place I was in, but also the thoughts and emotions that I was feeling, especially the calmness that had overcome me. After this drawing was completed, I proceeded to sit/lay in that spot watching the birds and the sky for another 45 minutes.
Well, the sun has just set here in Roma and I can hear the Trev (and my final drawing) calling me! Ciao!