Were it not for the things we make and for those we love as evidence of a life lived, what we call Time might leave life hopelessly incomprehensible. After over thirty years of living on and off in Rome, Time, on the one hand, laughs at how little I have seen. On the other hand, the friendships I have made are resilient to the whims of the calendar. Thirty years in Rome is nothing, but thirty years of friendship is more than many less fortunate will ever experience.

To Ezio Genovesi, Director of the Rhode Island School of Design’s European Honors Program, my first friend in Rome: I cannot imagine doing what I have done without his wisdom, generosity, and the closeness I feel for him, his talented wife Laura Graham, and their children. To Luisa Guarneri and Jonathan Hynd, Jane Alpert and Foster de Jesus, Jeffrey Klug and family, Cinzia Abbate, Maryann Fennimore Kranis and family, Jeffrey and Liz Carson, Marlon Blackwell and family, Russell Rudzinski and family, Kasey Ramirez and Dylan DeWitt, Lizzie Phelps and Beah Meyer, Bill and Susan Newkirk, John and Lyn Udvardy, T. Kelly Wilson and Jennifer Riley, Peter Gardner and Barbara Foley: they are all visionary and humane thinkers who like strong gravitational planets keep me centered.

My work in the catacombs would not be possible without the vivacious support of Valentina Luciani, and the mystical presence of Padre Alessandro Venturin, who seems to accompany me even when he is not there. I am further indebted to the support, inspiration, and kindness of Don Edoardo Parisoto and Don Franco (Francesco) Gualtieri, as well as to Silvia Orlandi, whose scholarship in the study of ancient texts is invaluable, and to Dante Braido and Stefano, whose gardens are a place of tranquility and great beauty. To Sr. Anna Maria Calamoneri, and all of her good works; she is an inspiration to me.

Over the years I have been embraced by the individuals who watch over and protect the Colosseum: together we relax after closing and celebrate holidays as a family. Filippo Favale, Paolo and Cinzia Pescosolido, and Stefania Pagliaricci know no limits to the word “generosity”. The feast that Filippo, Paolo, Cinzia, and Stefania arranged with Massimo and Cinzia Vennetilli at the mysterious site of Gabii may be the happiest day of my life.

I wish to thank Frank Maresca, who is perpetually incisive, brilliant and full of a vivacious spirit to which we all can aspire.

Above all, this site is dedicated to the love of my life, Susan Werner.

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