arrived in rome
July 13, 2009
i’m finally here in rome, settling into my new apartment, which is just outside the neighborhood of trastevere. i’ve spent most of my first days unpacking, organizing, getting back to my writing, and exploring the area on foot. i went for a run this morning in Villa Doria Pamphilj, which is rome’s largest park, and only a couple blocks from my place. lonely planet says: “The park was laid out in the 17th century for Prince Camillo Pamphilj, cousin of Pope Innocent X.” much of it has the feel of an African safari, with long stretches of brown earth, spotted with twisted cypress and other dark trees. but as you descend into the lower section, you eventually come to an area with fountains and statuary and a beautiful crumbling villa.
i’ve posted some photos of the apartment — my writing space and the patio.
I will be living in Rome from July until October 2009 — working on a novel, sampling the local wines, learning Italian, and exploring the Eternal City. I’ve made arrangements to live in an apartment in the historic district of Trastevere. The flat is owned by a young couple, both artists — she writes detective stories; he’s a sculptor. While there, I’ll also engage in a scholarly study directed by BU’s Rosanna Warren. The course will focus on American and British writers from the past few centuries for whom Rome has been an important literary capital. Not only will I read their works that were written in and about Rome, but I’ll also visit the cafes, bars, piazzas, churches, ruins, residences, and cemeteries that those writers still haunt.
“Go thou to Rome, at once the Paradise, / The grave, the city and the wilderness…” (Percy Bysshe Shelley, from Adonais.)