UW Rome Center

March 20, 2020

UW Rome Center & COVID-19

Dear friends,

In these extraordinary times, community and human connection are more important than ever. In that spirit, I wanted to reach out to you, our UW Rome Center community, to share an update from the Palazzo Pio.

As you well know, Italy was among the first nations affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the past month we watched the virus spread, the government’s response, and the impact on the people. As it now is in many parts of the U.S. and across the world, life here in Rome has been put on hold, with schools and universities, museums, archaeological sites, restaurants, cafes, stores, theatres and cinemas all closed, as well as public events cancelled. There is not a soul in Campo de’ Fiori or on the streets.

On February 29th, we made the difficult decision to suspend our winter quarter study abroad programs, with students heading home two weeks early and finishing up their classes remotely. A few days later, we decided to also cancel our spring break programs. These decisions were heartbreaking, as our students have planned and looked forward to their study abroad experiences for so long.

Still, we are looking ahead to a bright future for the UW Rome Center. Renovation work on the Palazzo Pio will continue as soon as is feasible, and we look forward to welcoming students back to the UW Rome Center when circumstances allow. The renovation project has the potential to cement the UW Rome Center’s future as a home for our students, faculty, alumni and friends in the Eternal City. With your deep connection to Rome, you know first-hand the transformative power of time spent in Italy. We will keep in touch with you in the coming months to keep you informed about the project.

At this time, and always, I am deeply grateful for our wonderful UW Rome Center community. I know that the COVID-19 outbreak is deeply affecting Seattle and other places around the U.S. and the world. I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy, and I look forward to seeing you in Rome again sometime soon.

Amity Neumeister signature
Amity Neumeister, Resident Director
UW Rome Center