The ND Villa opens the gates to Open House Roma 2018

Author: Costanza Montanari

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It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning in Rome. The streets are still awakening, as people are chatting in front of a local bar and moms are running to do some grocery shopping after taking their kids to school. Emily Patton, a Rome International Scholar, and Diana Neacsu from the School of Architecture start setting up for the Open House Roma alongside volunteers. Curious pedestrians stop by, attracted by the OHR poster outside the main entrance, and peek through the gate. At 10 a.m. the doors open to local visitors for guided tours of the Villa building, which overlooks the Celio hill with its pink walls.

Visitors start the tour by entering through the main entrance path to register. They spent time gazing around the entrance, wondering what the inside of the building looks like. Many of the visitors wanted to stop by because they lived in the building just in front of the Villa for years, or because they used to pass by that street every day, after returning home from the office. For others, the curiosity was peaked through word-of-mouth, as someone told them about an American university in Rome close to the Colosseum. Some visitors are attracted to the pictures and description on the Open House Roma website.

The Rome Global Gateway volunteers take visitors around, showing them the gardens, beautiful interiors, grand staircase, and the roof-top with the stunning view of Rome, that even romans are never tired of admiring. Visitors are intrigued by the history of the building, the restoration conducted by the University of Notre Dame, and the activities that are hosted inside the building. The volunteers help raise awareness about the University itself; what it is, what it does, and what are its objectives.  The event brought students, staff, volunteers, and visitors together to learn more about the mission of the Rome Global Gateway and its effort to create a cultural, academic, and working bond with the Italian community.

Open House Roma is an international event open to the public and free of charge. One weekend a year, historical buildings are opened, along with, contemporary architecture and sites of excellence of the city of Rome. The event is organized by Open City Roma and has been realized in partnership with Roma Capitale, Lazio Region and patronized by the Senato della Repubblica, La Sapienza University, Tor Vergata University and Roma Tre University. This year the program has involved more than 200 sites, sixty special events and eighteen tours, with the help of 500 volunteers.

Contact: Costanza Montanari, communications specialist at the Rome Global Gateway, +39. 06772643612 ,

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Originally published by Costanza Montanari at on May 29, 2018.