A Tourist in Rome - Centro Italiano Studi Americani
|Location:||41.89387, 12.47807 on Via de Funari, west of Via Michelangelo Caetani, east of the Turtle Fountain|
|Metro:||A bit of a hike from Colosseo, or take Bus 40 or 64 and get off at Largo di Torre Argentina|
|Time:||about 10 minutes|
As I walked through Rome from site to site (this time, I was walking east from the Turtle Fountain), I'd sometimes see a beautiful courtyard where the entrance to that courtyard was open, so I'd walk in. This courtyard, whose entrance I found on Via de Funari, west of Via Michelangelo Caetani, was a real surprise. I entered into a beautiful courtyard and walking through that courtyard and through an arch, entered a second courtyard. In one of these was an ancient fountain. There were statues and friezes everywhere. When I walked back out the way I came in, I noticed a gold plaque by the entrance to the courtyard giving the name of "Centro Italiano Studi Americani" to this place. Once I was back at home, an internet search revealed that this was the Center for American Studies, and it is a library created in Rome shortly before the Second World War thanks to the donation of several books on American topics by professor Harry Nelson Gay (1870-1932). After a temporary accommodation in the Palazzo Salviati, the organization and its extensive library are located in a wing of the Palazzo Mattei di Giove at via Michelangelo Caetani 32. The organization has non-profit status, and holds seminars and conferences. I have no idea whether I just got lucky and the courtyard was open, or whether it's always open. I happened upon this site at 1:40 PM on a Monday afternoon.