Story and Photos by Khara Coultier
Our first day as a group in Rome started with a welcome reception at the Hotel Santa Chiara. We enjoyed some Prosecco and nibbles and got to socialize a bit before giving more formal introductions of ourselves — talking about what we look forward to during our workshop experience and just giving more of a general context for who are.
Our hosts — Lita Talarico, Louise Fili and Steve Heller — introduced themselves as well, and gave us an overview of the next two weeks.
We then got to check back into our rooms, rest and get ready before our group dinner together for salad, pizza and wine. We skipped dessert at the restaurant and walked over to Fili’s favorite gelateria for some amazingly delicious gelato instead.
That was the first night.
Our second day started much earlier. After the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we met up in the lobby and walked over together to our classroom at La Sapienza. Talarico and Fili each gave slide presentations that went into more detail about some of the past projects that had come out of the workshop, as well as some of their own recommendations for sightseeing in Rome.
After that, Fili gave us a walking tour of her favorite signage in Rome, including: parking garages, cafés, restaurants, bakeries, glove shops and more. Sadly, typographic signage seems to be a lost art and some of the signs she had wanted to share with us have either been replaced by new ones, or have disappeared completely since her visit last year.
We also had the opportunity to check out the outdoor market at Campo de’ Fiori. We even found some paper wrapped fruit with vintage graphics and typography!
The rest of the day was open to us and we took advantage after our lunch at Cul de Sac with a walk through the Jewish Ghetto past Circo Massimo and Teatro di Marcello for a visit to the Rosetto Communale, where the roses were all in full bloom.
We did some errand shopping for supplies at the art store near our hotel, various and sundry items at the pharmacy, food packaging research at the supermarket. Somewhere in between all that we stopped at Sant Eustachio for shakeratos (for ourselves) and chocolate covered coffee beans to bring back home as gifts.
Just before sunset we met up at the Minerva Roof Garden for peanuts and Aperol spritz. The bar offers a great view of the city. From there, we walked over to the Spanish Steps before heading over to dinner at Settimio all’Arancio and shutting the place down.
That was the second night.