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Your Second Trip to Rome

January 27, 2020

During the 2018-2019 school year, Avery Springer (Classics) was on sabbatical and went to Rome for two extended visits — making these her 19th and 20th trips to Italy's capital. During assembly on Monday, January 27, Springer shared some seasoned insights about visiting a major city for a "second" time. 

Her sabbatical plan was to spend as much of the year as she could in Rome. Why Rome? Why would someone who has been there so many times want to go again? But the times she has gone have largely been with students who are going for their first time and on such a trip one can’t simply say 'we’ll skip the Pantheon or the Colosseum or St. Peter’s.' So she planned to see all those places that one doesn’t see on one’s first trip to Rome.

She suggested three different ways one could approach a city like Rome on one’s second — or third or fourth — visit. These ways certainly apply to Rome but could be applied to almost any of the great capitals of the world, including Paris, Berlin and London.

  • Plan I: Head to out-of-the-way places, away from the crowds and the noise and traffic. For instance, the Appian Way (to enjoy bucolic landscapes, clean air and quiet), Parco degli Acquedotti (to witness ancient engineering feats) and the gardens of the aristocratic villas (to discover little urban oases)
  • Plan II: Seek odd and obscure museums — not first-trip places like the Capitoline or the Vatican museums. For instance, Montemartini (in which hundreds of sculptures appear side-by-side with thermoelectric machinery original to the building's first use as a power plant), artist Giorgio de Chirico's apartment near the Spanish steps (a preserved example of who lived/lives above the elegant shops) and The Casina delle Civette (House of the Owls) on the grounds of the Villa Torlonia (where Mussolini lived from the 1920s till 1943)
  • Plan III: Let’s do all of this! Make complete lists and go for it! For instance, the seven hills of Rome, every fountain (good luck!) and every Bernini
  • And Plan IV: Eat, Eat, Eat  — not famous touristy places but authentic and out-of-the-way ones.

Here are a few images from Springer's presentation:

from Appian Way from Montemartini A Bernini