We’ll begin our walk in one of the most famous public spaces in Rome, Piazza Navona. Here we will discuss the political and historical background of the piazza, as well as its modern incarnation as a magnet for street performers and visitors in search of that perfect outdoor cafe seat (complete with the direct view of Bernini's fabulous fountain). This tour is as much about the life and spirit of Rome as it is about the history, and so we'll look closely at how Romans use the city and think about what it's like to be a local. Moving on, we'll continue to the side streets around Piazza Navona, which in recent years has morphed into a hip area crammed with wine bars, art galleries and funky designer boutiques.
Next we may explore the elegant streets of via Giulia and via Monserrato, filled with Renaissance palazzos, Baroque churches, and artisan workshops, or head to the area of the Campo de' Fiori—one of the busiest piazzas in Rome. If time allows, we’ll end our Rome Night Tour on the picturesque Ponte Sisto, which offers great views of the Tiber in both directions and a glimpse of Michelangelo's cupola of St. Peter's Basilica (the subject of our St. Peter's Basilica Tour and a gateway to another exciting Roman neighborhood, Trastevere).
What is the dress code inside the churches in Rome?
All churches require modest dress. Men should wear slacks, and women should wear slacks or skirts below the knee. Shoulders must also be covered. If you are intent on wearing spaghetti straps or a halter-top, bring a shawl and expect to keep it around you. Shorts above the knee are not allowed.
Liz, a native of San Francisco, California holds degrees in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and Università degli studi "La Sapienza", Rome. She specialized in restoration and urban design. Her restoration projects have brought her to work in direct contact with the rich historical layers of Rome and Italy. She has been leading study walks for Context Rome since its beginning and has lived in Rome since 1988 practicing architecture, researching design and lecturing at university study abroad programs.
Philip has been working in Rome as a historical archaeologist for the last twenty years. Trained as a byzantinist, he has excavated on numerous sites in England, Greece, Cyprus and Italy. During his doctorate at the Sorbonne, he specialized in the material culture of southern Italy during the Middle Ages. His nine hundred page encyclopedia, entitled Culture Materielle Medievale has been hailed as a classic in its field, bringing to light hundreds of previously unknown words and terms in medieval Latin and Greek that pertain to everyday household objects and paraphernalia.
Carol received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and holds M.A. degrees in Italian literature from the University of Toronto, where she has taught, and in art history from Boston University. Carol has been teaching for five years as adjunct faculty for several Rome study abroad programs and has been a guest lecturer in art history and restoration for numerous visiting American university summer programs. She has been a Visiting Fellow twice at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies in Amherst, Mass, where she has given numerous lectures and participated in conferences. Through her affiliation with various art institutes, Carol has participated in a variety of laboratory and fieldwork restoration projects throughout Tuscany and Lazio over the past eight years. She has treated numerous paintings, frescos, and gilded objects, and has worked on-site at locations such as Villa il Farneto in Vicchio, and Santa Maria Castagnolo. She is currently completing her Italian laurea in restoration. Carol also completed the graduate certificate program in Museum Studies from Tufts University with a specialization in conservation. With over five years of professional curatorial experience in the U.S. encompassing the care and treatment of art objects, she has authored numerous conservation grants and was a successful applicant to the Smithsonian Institution’s Collections Care program.
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