Summer School 2021

Making sense of the Rome we see today


Stephen Townsend, architect

Rome, the centre of Christendom for nearly two millennia and capital of the new Italian state from 1871, is an extraordinary city. The complexity of its making, its layers and its modern-day functioning make it very difficult to ‘read’ and negotiate, and the sheer number of its riches make it difficult to understand. This course will endeavour to make sense of the relics and components of the Eternal City by exploring the topography and the expansion of the city, by identifying the relics and underlying presence of classical Rome, by explaining the collapse of the city in the Middle Ages and its reconstruction in the Renaissance, by looking at some of the architectural and sculptural jewels of the Baroque and by explaining the ultimate layer of modern Rome, the making and unmaking of the city since 1871.


LECTURE TITLES  (Click on the lecture for the notes)         

  1. Topography and growth, pilgrimage and mass tourism
  2. Caput Mundi and the relics of classical Rome
  3. Rome of the Popes: collapse in the Middle Ages and reconstruction in the Renaissance
  4. Baroque Rome
  5. The Rome of the Italian state and its remaking as the Caput Mundi

PowerPoint presentations


This course will be offered on the Microsoft Teams platform. Participants will be sent a link.


Date: Monday 25–Friday 29 January
Time: 3.00 pm