Chapter Three: School Days in Rome


The AOSR logo.

Roman school days at the (American) Overseas School of Rome consist firstly with our lengthy bus trip out of the developed part of Rome. In those days, this is a trip to and from the countryside. Although we are all in different grades, all three of us take the same bus trip to the same rural campus.

At the time of our attendance, I’m in 6th grade, my sister is in 4th grade, and my brother is in 1st grade. In 1959-1960 the school is called the International Overseas School of Rome. Today it is the prestigious American Overseas School of Rome, home to an international student body of around 600 students. To be exact, approximately one-third are from the United States, one-third are from Italy, and the remaining third are from 50 different countries.(1)
The Bus Ride to School
Actually there are days that I clearly remember having to stop in the midst of our morning commute along the Via Cassia to allow the farmers’ sheep to cross the road. From the map I have locating that route to school, the area no longer shares the road with the sheep because the school environs are no longer the countryside. The geography has become more urban.
road to the American Overseas School of Rome on google maps
Here’s a map showing the road to school. Actually it is no longer countryside.


It is almost 65 years since our attendance at the International Overseas School of Rome. Over this period of time so much has changed there. What was once countryside surrounding the original main building is now a full modern campus. The vintage edifice originally the only building with some classrooms and possibly the cafeteria is dwarfed by a modern campus. The villa is partly surrounded by one or two story school class buildings. Besides that, at one end or campus are outdoor sports facilities including an up-to-date-running track.
The original Roman school days building as I remember it in 1959 is now surrounded by a very full campus of additional buildings and other facilities.
The original villa that became OSR.
After School Activity For two years previous to living in Italy, I study painting in a gifted children’s after school program. My desire to continue art classes in Rome requires switching to sculpting. In fact that is because it is the only children’s English speaking class.

Coincidently is in the ‘artists’ section of Rome which is similar to Manhattan’s ‘Greenwich Village’. In addition, my class is in the villa of a German sculptress who we called ‘Aunt Helen’. As a matter of fact this is a creative, cultural, and charming experience. There are children from others schools who speak other languages. In addition we stop our artwork for tea time, tea and cake. As my memory serves me, Aunt Helen is an artist of note. She loves teaching children as well.


Roman school days are not limited to Rome. In fact, our most exciting days are our weekend class trip to the art capital of Italy, the city of Florence. Instead of viewing world famous historical art in text books, we are able to view it in person. That is something I will never forget. In fact, nothing in school in the states could compare with this experience.


American Overseas School of Rome on

(1)Wikipedia-American Overseas School of Rome


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