Roman Notes is a travel guide for the city of Rome. Here is its story.

  • How things started... Open or Close

    A collection of special places in Rome has been an issue for a long while. What Raphael (1483-1520), as custudian of Roman Antiquities, began during his lifetime, was continued later by Giuseppe Vasi (1710-1782), Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1766-1839) in their own personal ways. In 1837, two years before his death, Cipriani published the book "Itinerario figurato negli edifizi piu rimarchevoli di Roma", showing 100 pages with engravings of the most important buildings of Rome. He ordered his collection in eight long walks, beginning at the Ponte Milvio, the bridge where Christianity entered Rome, and ending at St. Peter's Basilica – even the house of Raphael is not missing.

     

    Coincidently, I took a reprint of Cipriani's engravings with me to Rome in 2004, when I studied there. In this unfamiliar environment I decided for a slow approach through Ciprianis prints. My curiosity was for the first encounter with the spaces and what they could teach me. I stayed at each of the nearly 400 places, drawing them in order to discover their "inner forms" – as Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) once called them. Here is a selection of my first sketches in Cipriani's book, a growing number of other sketches can be found on the interactive map "Places" on this website.

     

    During one year I was able to study a large part of what Cipriani had collected and engraved. In his foreword, he describes the purpose of his book: "I have no doubt that this tedious production, brought to an end at an advanced age, will not only be welcomed by contemporaries, but also by future generations, since it was my principle intention to bring the memory of these buildings to posterity and to remote regions, so that people who once saw them and came upon them in a conversation, could talk about them again."

     

    Cipriani addresses something that in 2009 became my central motivation to publish a book about Rome myself: dialogue. On the one hand, the dialogue with the places and things we enter in contemplation. On the other hand, the dialogue between people about these places and the value of their forms for our lives today. What is their atmosphere? What can we learn for our work on forms? These are questions that I asked myself and that I began to ask my readers, too...

  • Roman Notes on the road... Open or Close

    From 2009 - 2019 I sold more than 500 travel guides "Roman Notes" at many exhibitions and fairs. Always in direct contact with the people and always with the request to borrow their book for a joint exhibition in 2020.

     

     

    Messe Roman Notes Basel Zürich Köln

     

     

    Thanks to:

    VOLUMES Zürich

    I never read Basel

    The Cologne Art Book Fair

  • The exhibition... Open or Close

    From November 5th to 15th the exhibition „Tracce Romane“ based o 28 Roman Notes Books will take place in Photobastei Zurich.

    Opening 5th November 18h.

     

    There will be works from: Ginger Berg, Julia Brixel, Friederike Brömßer, Chris Bünter, Elena Ciglic, Carla Crevatin, Valerio Deluigi, Laurenz Flückiger, Livia Giannini, Aïlynn Gratteau, Alina Kniestedt, Katrin König, Samira Lauterburg, Polina Liechti, Anouk Meier, Efraim Meier, Lily Meric, Akiko Miyakoshi, Capucine Nallet, Mauro Ott, Javier del Pozo, Nives Romanelli, Cristina Ruvo, Mia Senn, Selina Tobler, Mélie Tüller, Undine Stabrey, Michelle Winet 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • CALL FOR BOOKS Open or Close

    Dear collaborators,

    over 500 Roman Notes books are distributed all over the world today. Few of them have been or are in Rome and perhaps some of them have been annotated, changed or expanded? I'm looking for the people who have continued working on the book - you can't finish a book about Rome anyway! So don't worry about completeness, every contribution is welcome! 

    Please contact me by 31 July 2020 and write me: 1. how many pages did you change, 2. in what form: Poems, sketches, photos, sounds etc. 3. how sensitive is your book and how long could it be available for an exhibition? If it can be scanned, I would be very grateful for 3-5 scanned double pages. Please write to dominique (at) stinanickel.org

     

    Book Roman Notes