The Heart of the Seven Hills





Third time is a charm as people say, it’s my third week here in Italy and it has been the most exciting week of all, every day had been an adventure. Since arriving in Urbino we have been on multiple tours to educate us about the city, its art, and architecture. This week we had the first of our major three trips, the heart of the seven hills, Roma.

The Piazza del Popolo “people’s square”.

We left Urbino on Thursday morning and headed to Roma, the capital of Italia. Our hotel was located near the Vatican city, an independent city enclaved within Roma that is ruled by the pop. The first day we met at the Piazza del Popolo “people’s square” one of the largest urban squares in Roma, it is located inside the Aurelian Walls and marks the division between ancient and modern Roma. We also got the opportunity to visit the Ara Pacis Augustae, “Altar of Augustan Peace”. It is an alter dedicated to the roman goddess of peace, it was to honor the return of emperor Augustus to Roma after being gone for three years. The alter is housed in a modern building designed by American architect, Richard Meier.


We visited the Pantheon, one of my favorite temples, while in there we got to experience the rain falling through the Oculus, a circular opening in the dome, it was majestic seeing all the water fall in the middle of the floor with people standing right underneath it. Our last stop for the night was at the Sant’ Agnese in Agone, a church from the Baroque Style by one of my favorite architects, Francesco Borromini. In there we got to do a sketching exercise and had the pleasure to attend a baroque music concert inside of the church.


Within the next few days we got to visit many other architectural buildings such as vills Farnesina, decorated by Urbino native Raffaello Sanzio, the Tempietto by the great architect Bramante, it is an architecturally significant temple that was built on the spot of Saint Peter’s crucifixion. Other places we got to visit were San Carlo Alle Quattrro Fontane by Boromini, the Campidoglio by the amazing Michelangelo, the Roman Forum, which dates back to 29 BC, the Colosseum, the Maxxi Museum by the one and only Zaha Hadid and many more great monuments.

The Tempietto.
The Colosseum.
The Maxxi museum by Zaha Hadid.

Overall all I had come to a realization that Roma is one of the greatest cities ever constructed. It contains many different architectural periods including the middle ages all the way to modern architecture, we got to spend five days there and barely got to experience any of it. I loved waking up in the morning opening my window to the view of the crowded street, walking down and grabbing my cup of cappuccino and croissant. And let’s not forget the amazing Roman food. Roma had its own identity, its own people. It is an international ancient city that is growing rapidly and is known all over the world. I cannot wait to be back.