What’s So Great About Rome?

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Duration 01:00:39

American Academy in Rome

Andrew Kranis (B.A., Duke; M.Arch, Columbia) is Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and a winner of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Rome Prize Fellowship. He teaches design and urbanism courses on the Art and Architecture faculties of Temple University, University of Arkansas, Penn State and other Rome Study Centers.  An award-winning architectural and environmental designer, as well as a LEED-accredited specialist in sustainable architecture, Kranis designs and teaches with a passion for resource conservation and for smarter cities. He runs an architectural practice from New York City and Rome, and is an experienced tour guide who developed innovative online tours to bring virtual travelers to the Eternal city during the pandemic.



Sigmund Freud famously imagined Rome as a city of palimpsest – “a mental entity …in which nothing once constructed had perished, and all the earlier stages of development had survived alongside the latest.”  It is unique in the world in revealing all of those layers to the visitor simultaneously. Modern Rome has emerged from that stew of overlapping events, architectures and power structures as one of the most beautiful and resilient places in the world, even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. We explore the building of the Eternal City over two millennia, from antiquity and the classical period, through the ‘second Rome’ under the Popes, and culminating in Rome’s re-invention in the 19th and 20th centuries, stopping to observe the rich but fraught pre-existing context that has shaped it as a Contemporary European Capital. Our virtual walk through its streets and its history will remind you why Rome is defined by its palimpsest and will whet your appetite for your next visit.



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