University of Rome III -Languages for International Communication -  Patrick Boylan
Università Roma Tre - CdS Lingue e Comunicazione Internazionale -  Patrick Boylan



 Lairs  of  native  speakers  of  English  in  Rome 

    From observing films to observing life

Web sites of the places where you can practice
"participant observation of native speakers of English"
in the city of Rome

In our lessons we make a large use of films, because they give you a chance to learn to observe people interacting in English (even if the "people" are only actors who are simulating an interaction).   This is an important learning experience, especially if you have studied English up to now only through books.  

Your goal, however, is to learn to become not just an observer, but a participant observer.   This means knowing how to interact with native speakers naturally (that is, being yourself but also being like one of them) in real life situations.  

So after studying, in our lessons, a certain number of films and after theorizing and practicing accommodation techniques, you should start visiting the "lairs" of the Anglo colony in Rome, to put your ability to "observe" and to "interact" to the test.  

What are some of these "lairs"? They are, for example:

  • the half dozen English and American book stores in Rome* -- there you'll find notices of the many social events organized by the Anglo colony: literary readings, English language plays put on in cafés, etc...;

  • the half dozen churches run by English, Irish, Scots and American religious orders** -- they often organize social events, too, such as bazaars;

  • the theater groups Miracle Players (principally during the summer but occasionally in winter) and the Off-Night Repertory Theater on Fridays at Arte del Teatro Studio (tel 06 488 56 08, Via della Urbana 107). For information on performances, call 06 444 13 75. For other theater offerings see In Rome Now or the What's On in Rome Theater Listings web page;

  • the dozen or so associations and special interest groups -- you'll find the list here and here, and updates on their activities (lectures in English open to the public, volunteer work, political discussions, sports activities...) in the magazine Wanted-in-Rome, available Wednesdays at the book stores just mentioned; some are in the Time Out guide to entertainment in Rome; others can be found in the What's On in Rome web site listings for fi

  • the dozen or so US/UK universities with campuses in Rome.   Some*** use rented offices for lessons to small groups of art or archeology students visiting Rome briefly.   Others**** have regular university facilities offering year-long classes to British, American and international students sojourning in Rome.   They also run activities open to the public, such as films and debates (or open to those who know how to get themselves invited, such as field trips, parties, holiday celebrations).   Some have strict rules for entry (to protect the students from wealthy families) so you have two choices: either ask the Director for permission to enter or talk to students leaving the building and get their support (they can get permission for you); others welcome visits: for example, the University of Washington Rome Center runs a film series open to visitors.

  • two English language hospitals: Salvator Mundi International Hospital, Viale Mura Gianicolensi 67 (near the Vatican), tel. 06588961, and Rome American Hospital, Via E. Longoni 69, tel. 06-22551;

  • and, last but not least, the many, many pubs run for (and often by) Irishmen/Brits/Aussies in Rome.   The oldest are The Fiddler's ElbowThe Druid's Den, and Finnegan's Pub, all authentically Irish.*****   Click on their names to see their web sites with their addresses, opening hours, and calendar of social events.

In conclusion, you do not need to spend lots of money to travel abroad to study native speakers of English in their natural habitat.   As a student/ethnographer of English living in the city of Rome, you have, for the price of a bus ticket, unlimited opportunities to observe and interact with members of the various Anglo-Saxon tribes in their everyday life.


* The Open Door Bookshop, via della Lungaretta, 25 (piazza Sonnino);   The Lion Bookshop (with a café inside!), via dei Greci 33 (piazza del Popolo);   The Corner Bookshop, via del Moro 45 (piazza Sonnino);   The English Bookshop, via di Ripetta 248 (piazza del Popolo);   The Anglo-American Book Company, via della Vite 102 (piazza San Silvesro).

** CATHOLIC.    San Silvestro Church (on piazza San Silvestro -- British community);   Santa Susanna Church (at via XX Settembre 15, near piazza della Repubblica -- American community);   St. Patrick's Church (at via Boncompagni 60, off via Veneto -- Irish Community).  
**PROTESTANT.    ANGLICAN: All Saints' Church (at via del Babuino 153, near piazza di Spagna -- English community);   EPISCOPAL: St. Paul's Within-the-Walls (on via Napoli 58, near piazza della Repubblica -- American community);   PRESBYTERIAN: St. Andrew's Church of Scotland (at via XX Settembre 7, near piazza della Repubblica -- Scots community).

*** For example, Notre Dame University/Saint Mary's College: architecture classes are held at via Monterone 76 (near largo Argentina), humanities classes are at corso Vittorio Emanuele 110 (Hotel Tiziano – just off largo Argentina), while the residence for Notre Dame students is at via Gualtiero Serafino 8 (near piazza Medaglie D'Oro).  

**** For example: Temple University, Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia 15 (near piazza del Popolo);   Trinity College, via Clivio dei Publici, 2 (near Circo Massimo);   American University of Rome, via Pietro Roselli 4 (on the Gianicolo, near piazza San Pancrazio);   John Cabot University, via della Lungara 233 (in Trastevere near piazza Trilussa);   Loyola University of Chicago, via Massimi 114/A (near piazza Medaglie D'Oro).   The British School at Rome and the American Academy are residences for post-graduate scholars studying in Rome; they host frequent cultural events open to the public, the first at via Gramsci 61 (near piazzale Don Minzoni), the second at via Angelo Masina 5 (on the Gianicolo, near piazza San Pancrazio).

***** Three of the many Irish pubs in Rome:

Two other Irish-style pubs: Molly Malone (via dell 'Arco di San Calisto 17), and Trinity College (via del Collegio Romano 6).   Two English-style pubs: John Bull (corso Vittorio Emanuele 107a) and Mad Jack's (via Arenula 20).   Two Australian-style pubs: Ned Kelly (via delle Coppelle 13) and Four XXXX (via Galvani 29).   Finally , two American-style bars: The Drunken Ship (Campo de' Fiori 20) and Miscellanea (via delle Paste 110).     These are all young people's places.

N.B. Any other pubs with prevalently English-speaking clients can email their URL (for free posting here) to: