Sunday, September 18, 2011

field trip uno

as crazy as this sounds, part of our curriculum here includes georgetown sponsored trips with our professors throughout italy. this past friday and saturday we went on our first art history trip to the towns of arezzo and urbino, in toscany and umbria respectively. over the course of 48 hours we were utterly inundated with art, and it was so much fun! wandering from chapel to church, we got the chance to explore traditional italian small towns and casually walk by places such as the birth place of petrarch. our main focus was the fresco work of the italian artist piero della francesca, but we also toured the ducal palace of urbino which in terms of scale was absolutely ginormous. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

alcuni links

the villa's website has all kinds of amazing pictures and explains its history:

alan, the director of the villa, runs an aptly named blog:

and this is the link to some point and shoots that my photography teacher would abhor:

le attività

over the course of the past two weeks we have managed to pack in molte attività including:
  • an italian national team game against slovenia – which we won with a clutch goal in the 85th minute! forza italia! 
  • a day trip to cinque terre – an unesco world heritage site comprised of 5 beautiful coastal towns
  • a hike to the top of la montagna di fiesole – where leonardo da vinci is believed to have tested some of his flying machines
  • and of course, amazing meals!

i was also lucky enough to attend a few lectures on middle eastern history and art history at one of the old palaces in florence. the conference room was in all likelihood a repurposed ballroom and provided quite the setting for enlightened discussion.

this upcoming week i will also have much to report on
  • art history class will be in florence tomorrow, as every other week our lectures take place in the local chapels, churches and museums
  • georgetown is partially subsidizing a tuscan cooking class tomorrow night!
  • friday we are taking a field trip to the towns of arezzo and urbino to look at more art first hand

i hope that you all are having fun back in dc and across the states. write me and tell me what you all are up to per favore!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


ciao a tutti! 

is it cliche to start out by saying italia, ti amo? probably, but i am going to go with it anyway because i have no idea how else to even begin to describe to you all, beloved family members and friends, how great of a time i am already having. to be quite honest, before i arrived i found myself seriously questioning what on earth i was doing. even getting here and walking around the stunning villa could not shake my apprehension. was i seriously about to more or less vacation for a year? what could i possibly have done to deserve this? 

it was not until we sat under these trees and listened to our professors talk to us about the semester that i truly got that feeling of, alright, i know why i am here now. in fact, i am really excited about my classes. although my italian is still a bit rough as everything is just coming back to me, i have actually had some fairly decent conversations of some length with locals. the history professor is awesome, and i am really looking forward to the semester with him. fabrizio is also teaching the "city of florence" class in which we learn about the history of florence, and then go see it for ourselves. quindi, the blog title. yesterday, after a day of traipsing about churches like a flock of confused geese, we finally all made it back to the villa to watch a film version of e. m. forster's a room with a view. the movie plot deals with significant early twentieth century themes, but suffice it here to say that the emphasis is put entirely upon "the view" not only literally, but figuratively. 

my view

my quick snaps of the villa cannot demonstrate to you all how beautiful the view of florence is from the villa, but i can assure you that it is. astonishingly, the very same can be said of my bedroom window. without a doubt, i am lucky to be here. that being said though, i can assure you that i will not be content to just take in the view from afar, or at some ethereal level. i want my year of studying abroad to be a room with a view into the past, present and future of europa. i give no pretense of naïveté, and am perfectly aware that this effort will by no means constitute the fulfillment of numerous goals and desires, but alas, i had best at least try, giusto?