The last three weeks in Italy flew by in a second. It felt as though I closed my eyes after getting back from Ascoli and, when I opened them, I was on the train to Germany.
The first two days back from Ascoli, Art, Noah, and I spent most of our time in studio making last minute adjustment to our gastronomy center.
Wed. 16 May.
I was so happy with how our project turned out. It was definitely not what I would have designed, but through a combination of ideas, our project was awesome! I think one of the best. And the professors were sure happy! Achille was smiling through our entire presentation.
Noah and I were on opposite ends of the design spectrum. Noah created the forms of the building and designed the skin while I organized the program and made sure that everything worked out. Art was the glue that held us all together; fixing the disagreements between Noah and I and just keeping the moral at an enthusiastic high while also designing a great interior courtyard and entrance.
The gastronomy center evolved into a stadium for experiencing international foods. It was a very introverted building (meaning that the exterior was low in profile and blended in with the surrounding city and all of the action happened once a visitor descended into the building’s center) that encouraged people to step down into the excitement within and taste the great things that the earth provides for us.
Thurs. 17 May.
Thursday I had my last Italian class and evening was filled with the last school dinner. Some how the school arranged an amazing venue that was practically under the Ponte Vecchio. The Società Canottieri Firenze is Florence’s rowing club. Their clubhouse is located under the Uffizi Gallery and has a great lawn overlooking the Arno River. We all dressed up in our finest and enjoyed a buffet while watching the sunset.
People in above photos (from top left to bottom right): 1. the venue. 2. the roommates: Alex, me, Kat, JC, Han, Sar, Sta. 3. JC & me. 4. EMM & me. 5. Sar, Kat, Gabe, me, JC. 6. with two of my Italian architecture professors: Marco Brizzi and Achille Michelizzi.
We had a little awards ceremony and a student compiled a cute video using footage shot by different students. It’s kinda long… and my face does not make an appearance, but at least you can see lots of my classmates, teachers, places, and silly-ness.
Finals Week. 21-25 May.
A paper on Italian Cinema, a few exams and school was over. The last event to look forward to was the arrival of the Florentine Gelato Festival. Be patient, special post on just gelato comes next. Let me just say. AMAZING.
The end of this week also brought the arrival of our yearbooks. I am very proud to say that I worked and designed most of it, with the help of many other people. It looked great!
Friday. 25 May.
One last day trip to San Gimignano. I can’t believe I had not visited this beautiful hill town yet! JC, Kat, Han, and I enjoyed the stone streets and the amazing view! Everything about this town is picturesque and I think I got a little artsy with my photos. I could see a fashion show taking place here. We wandered through some cute boutiques and I found some locally crafted necklaces.
Friday night we had a final gathering at our apartment, with almost everyone from the school, to sign yearbooks and say goodbye to everyone.
Over the next few days, I made many hikes up to Piazzale Michelangelo and had to say goodbye again and again to my favorite people as I helped them to the train station.
Kat and Sar left on Sunday, JC on Monday, Alex on Tuesday, Han on Wednesday.
Monday. 28 May.
I went with JC to Rome to help with her bags and to spend one last day together–even though we would see each other again in California, it would not be the same. We took an early train, dropped her things at her hostel, and wandered past our favorite places in Rome. We had gelato, sat on the Spanish steps, had un cafe, visited the Coliseum, and enjoyed a final dinner together before I got on the last train back to Florence. I cried my eyes out.
Tuesday. 29 May.
To take a break from cleaning the apartment, I took some architecture friends to see my Butcher in Chianti. It was a beautiful day in Tuscany and we all laughed so much as the guys made lots of meat themed puns. We had a “flesh fest.” Sitting next to us was an American woman who had worked for Dario the Butcher several years ago and she told us the best way to order and introduced us to the butcher. Our waiter also took a liking to us and gave us samples of other cuts of meat, shots of grappa, and also some of the tasty olive oil cake. He let us try on his meat goggles and also had us hold him!?! Another food coma.
Wednesday. 30 May.
Final cleaning, packing, errands, goodbye to Madi.
Thursday. 31 May.
My train to Germany was to leave at 11 and Fabio, our landlord, met me at the door at 10. I was the last one to leave and handed over the keys. It was a long walk to the train station.
I was sad that the program was over, but in a way I felt like I was just going on another trip.
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“The best part about this whole thing is that you always carry a little of it with you. Italy, your travels, your friends; this is all a part of you now. Look at what you did in a year. This is a beautiful thing. Florence.” -Marco Cianchi, History of Florentine Architecture Professor