I'm writing to let everyone know that we are all fine. I have talked to all the students one by one and all of them have reached out to their families. The epicenter was about 150 miles from Rome in the Marche and Umbria region. We had no damages in Rome but we felt the earthquake with a lower magnitude and some of the aftershocks. Three towns in the Marche are completely destroyed and Umbria has minor damages. The town where I am from in Umbria is fine too.
On the positive side, we had a great beginning of the program! There were no issues with checking in the students last Wednesday and we had a very good orientation weekend, including Italian crash course, info sessions about living in Rome, and we also had a representative from the US Embassy welcoming the students and giving tips about how to move around and safety issues.
We started classes on Monday with an intro from the Pantheon Institute and intro to design studio and the first project. We had the 2nd day of studio today where we did the public spaces/piazza walking tours. Tomorrow we have our welcome dinner.
The students seem very excited about being here. Attached is a picture of the Rome 2016 group in front of the Pantheon from today’s walking tour.
I will continue to send you updates as we progress with the program activities.
Marcella Del Signore
Professor of Practice, Tulane School of Architecture
Director, Rome Study Abroad Program
Kylene and Brad Beers Professor II in Social Entrepreneurship.
Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking - Tulane University