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Lecture on Rome at the Ecali Club, Athens, Greece

There are some cities that charm you, and others that capture your imagination. Then there are those that remain in your heart.

Thirty years ago, I discovered Rome with a book by the French writer, Stendhal.  Walks in Rome in hand, I set about the city and observed it through his eyes, even though he had visited Rome at the beginning of the 19th century and I only began to live there in the late 20th century. The city of course had not changed all that much, but beyond what I was seeing through the eyes of Stendhal, what I held as the most precious lesson was not to waste my gaze here and there.

I focused my attention on a work of Art, on a view, on the architectural detail of a church, the interior decoration of a palace or even focused on an artistic / social event in which I was participating, with the city providing the perfect backdrop. A whole world opened before me, ready to be assimilated effortlessly, in a genteel way, and with all my sensations.

At that time I didn’t know that I would ever write a book about the city that had adopted me. This happened much later. But Stendhal’s lesson, apparently, had brought to light that magic that is so difficult to explain. As soon as I started writing, the words flew onto the blank, white page like the rushing waters of the Tiber.  It was not me who was writing, but rather Rome that spoke through me.

The audience enjoyed the lecture as we wandered through the old narrow streets, inside the spectacular palaces and around the squares with the gushing Baroque fountains of the Eternal City.

Learn more: FEELING ROME

Palazzo Colonna in Rome, Italy

Palazzo Colonna in Rome, Italy