The German Historical Institute will host a study day on the theme of the rise and fall of imperial and pontifical feudal systems. 27-28 Feb.

The conference is divided into three sections: the Holy Roman Empire as a feudal organisation; the fight for land in the Italian peninsula between the Holy Roman Empire and the Spanish crown; and the rise and fall of pontifical feudal powers. Scholars from Italian and German universities will contribute.

German Historical Institute, Via Aurelia Antica 391, tel. 066604921, www.dhi-roma.it.

The American Academy continues its exhibition dedicated to the archaeological photographer Giuseppe Gatteschi 15 March-15 June. Entitled Ancient Rome as reconstructed on the photographs of Giuseppe Gatteschi (1862-1935), Part 2, the exhibition will display photos of the imperial forums, the area around present-day Campo Marzio and other parts of Rome. Gatteschi used photographs as the basis for his drawings reconstructing ancient Roman sites and monuments. In these he created pairs of images, which are the forerunners of the layered approach to many of todays guidebook and website reconstructions of what the imperial city must have looked like. The photographs are from the archive of the American Academy.

The Academy has also announced a new summer study programme in Roman pottery during which students will be able to examine the rich archaeological collections of the Academy and other sites. The first two weeks focus on how to obtain information from shards, while in the second part of the programme students will be able to try out their newly-acquired skills on material from the archaeological site of Ostia Antica.

American Academy, Via Angelo Masina, 5, tel. 0658461. Gatteschi exhibition open Tues and Thurs 16.00-18.00 and by appointment. For further information on the summer course in Roman pottery see www.aarome.org.

The jazz trio Jacques Demierre, piano, Barry Guy, double bass, and Lucas Niggli, drums and percussion, will perform music at the Swiss Institute on 10 March at 20.30.

Demierre is a composer and also writes as a freelance journalist for the music magazine Contrechamps. Guy is the founder of, and runs, the London Artistic Jazz Composers Orchestra. He has written several pieces for his orchestra such as Flagwalk and Look Up, which are widely performed. Though the youngest of the group, Niggli (born in 1968 in Cameroon, at present living in Switzerland) is as famous as his colleagues for his innovative ideas in jazz music. He has worked with musicians such as Trevor Watts, Butch Morris and Fred Frith. During the concert, the musicians will improvise as well as play from musical scores, enriching the evening with their characteristic sense of humour.

Swiss Institute, Villa Maraini, Via Ludovisi 48, tel. 064814234. www.istitutosvizzero.it.

The course entitled Little editors has resumed at the cultural centre Saint Louis de France and is taking place in French on a series of Saturdays 18 Feb-8 April. Children aged 7-10 will begin by choosing stories to read, and then write their own short texts in French. In addition they will learn how to illustrate their texts and bind their books. Organisers of the course, Nathalie Baillot and Sylvie Roulot, say that the aim is not only to teach children French but also to help them maintain contact with the world of books in a computer-driven age.

Saint Louis de France Cultural Centre, Largo Toniolo 20-22, tel. 066802629, www.saintlouisdefrance.it. The cost of the course is e48.

lThe Japanese Cultural Institute hosts the exhibition The Aesthetics of Taste curated by Iko Itsuki and Salvatore Damiani, 17 Feb-31 March. Photographs by Shunji Ohkura illustrate Japanese kitchen implements and traditional culinary delights. The exhibition aims to highlight the importance of sight and taste in Japanese gastronomy.

Also at the Japanese Cultural Institute is Ethics and Society, a cycle of films dedicated to the late film director Hiroshi Shimizu (1903-1966). One of the masters of Japans cinema Shimizu has nonetheless suffered from living in the shadow of his friend and contemporary Yasujiro Ozu and is only now getting the international recognition he deserves. The following titles, all about children, will be shown: the sunny and rather light-weight Children in the Wind, (1937) which in Japan is the most popular of the directors films (28 Feb) , The Shiinomi School (1955) about illness and disability (7 March) and The Love of a Mother (1950) about children who are exploited by their mother (14 March). Children in the Wind is the only film by this director previously screened in Italy at the Biennale di Venezia in 1938. Until recently Shimizus work was criticised for portraying only the charming and sunny side of life, but it is now being recognised for its variety and complexity, as illustrated by the three films selected for this cycle. All screenings begin at 19.00. Entrance is free.

Japanese Cultural Institute, Via A. Gramsci 74, tel. 063224794. Exhibition opening times: 09.00-12.30, 14.00-18.30 (Weds 17.30). Sat and Sun closed. For further information about the exhibition and the cycle of films see www.jfroma.it.

Mariarosaria Barbera, Sergio Palladino and Claudia Paterna will give a talk at the British School at Rome about the new discoveries within the Roman house of Gens Valerii at 18.00 on 8 March.

Ancient ruins were found during reconstruction work at the Ospedale Addolorata in Rome last year and after close inspection, archaeologists concluded that they were those of the famous Roman house of the Valeri family. The finds included a ten-metre long corridor enriched with a mosaic and a selection of frescoes.

It is thought that the house dating back to the Republican era existed until the Visigoth king Alaric sacked the capital in 410 AD. In 1554 the archaeological site was discovered for the first time and bronze engravings dedicated to Valerio Proculo and an oil lamp were found.

The British School at Rome, Via A. Gramsci 61, tel.063264939. www.bsr.ac.uk.

Every year the Goethe Institute in Rome organises the national convention for teachers of German. The 2006 edition will take place 10-11 March and is dedicated to the changing face of Berlin as a European capital.

There will be lectures, workshops, meetings and a cultural programme based on the topic of Berlin today. On the first day the convention looks at the city itself, while the second day will focus on the relationship between teaching and life in Berlin. The documentary Rhythm is it! by film director Thomas Gruber illustrates how the German language can be playfully and joyfully taught to foreigners.

The Goethe Institut, Via Savoia 15, www.goethe.de/it/rom. For further information and registration, tel. 0684400539, didattica2@rom.goethe.org.