There’s No Place Like Rome


Roman ruins in Rome, Italy

This summer I had a great opportunity to spend a month studying architecture in Italy as part of a group from Boston Architectural College.

Our group was an eclectic mix of 9 students with varying backgrounds and majors and was led by the BAC’s dean of students, Richard Griswold, and Jovi Cruces of DiMella Schaefer Associates. We spent 3 weeks in Rome, took day trips to Ostia Antica and Tivoli, and spent a week traveling to Florence, Venice, and Milan.

Here’s a glimpse into our architectural escapades:

  • We saw all of the classics including the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Trajan’s Market.
  • We ventured to Renzo Piano’s Parco della Musica to see a jazz concert.
  • I was so captivated by Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI that I went twice to see it.
  • We acted as guest critics for architecture students from my alma mater, the University of Colorado at Boulder, who was also visiting Rome.
  • On our day off a few of us visited Sperlonga, one of Italy’s Blue Flag beaches.
  • Rich played paparazzo and got a picture of me sketching during a tour of the Vasari Corridor in Florence.

Even thousands of miles away at the Villa d’Este, Jovi and I were thinking of our colleagues who were working together on a project in Kendall Square for Alexandria Real Estate Equities. But they don’t give college credits away that easily, we also had class and homework time. I burned a lot of midnight oil working on drawings and sketch models for my final project; a design for a study abroad center in Rome’s Monti district.