The past few weeks have been so ridiculously busy that I couldn’t find time to update my blog. Our design final was last Monday and the next thing I knew we were cleaning out studio and weren’t allowed to use it anymore. There are lots of awesome things I did in the last few weeks of my time in Italy I still want to write about, so I’ll make an update of the blur that happened at the end of my trip. Even during the last days of class we were doing cool things with our teachers (an impromptu visit to the off-limits and under-construction second floor of the basilica, organized by Martha), having good times with my fellow students and our Italian friends (dinners in the hills of Vicenza, coffee breaks, winery visits), and of course spending time with il mio fidanzato italiano Aldo, who always knows how to show me the best of Italy.

Jazz club in Marostica

A few weeks ago I went with Aldo to a jazz show in Marostica. The show was by an American group in the tiny town famous for its medival walls and huge chess board in the town square. We had a cool seat from which to watch the show- it was as if we were backstage, looking at the musicians from the side and seeing the audience in front of them.

The anti-climactic but still fun trip to Ronchamp

I was so excited that I had an opportunity to see Ronchamp with Aldo and some of his classmates from the architecture school in Venice. I missed class Tuesday and Wednesday to drive the 8 hours to the church, which is not  accessible by train. We had a great time driving through Switzerland and France, but when we got there at 7 pm the hotel told us that the same morning we left it was published in the local newspaper that the church would be closed the next day. So I didn’t actually get to see the church, except as a strange illuminated form on a distant hill. Although I missed the main attraction of the trip, we did stop in this interesting small French town called Belfort right outside of Ronchamp. It has a medival fort and castle that is impressive and beautiful, you can walk around and on top of the fort and get some nice views of this tiny town.

Thanksgiving in Italy

We had an excellent thanksgiving in Vicenza- everyone brought something delicious. We had turkey (bought at the base, made in Donna’s kitchen), stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce- all the essentials. I made pumpkin pie from scratch with Aldo. We bought a zucca barruca (not sure if I’m spelling that right) from a pumpkin stand instead of using canned pumpkin and it made a big difference- it was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had.

Stamperia/Stamp shop/Printmaking studio

One day I went to Aldo’s for coffee, and he had to leave quickly to drop his mom off somewhere. I went with him and we ended up at this really cool printmaking studio (at first translated to me as a stamp shop- the Italian word for “print” is “stampa”). His mom takes classes there, so we hung out a little and I got to make my own print. I etched a perspective of the studio.

 

Rome- Spectacle and Reflection

This was the first title we came up with for our studio project. It probably still needs some work, as does the whole project before it’s portfolio ready. But it turned out to be a really interesting project. These are our introduction boards that explain the concept:

Details of some of our images for the review (missing Derrick’s renderings!):

We each worked on different zones of the site, each one with different program and approach. Our site plan:

Tour of the 2nd floor of the Basilica with Italian architects

It’s too bad the second floor of the basilica is closed because it’s very beautiful. It doesn’t open again until October 2012. I took pictures of it on my film camera, once they’re developed I’ll post them here!

Last night in Italy: Bassano del Grappa with Aldo

This was my second time in Bassano, the city of the famous Nardini distillery and Fuksas’ Le Boule. It was a holiday in Italy and the little town was packed. We went to the famous Nardini bar and had a Bassano style spritz. We walked around the city much more than I did the first time, and it was decorated with Christmas lights and very beautiful. It’s a really cool town on a scenic river with plenty of bars, bookshops, and cafes- it would be a fun place to stay for a vacation.

 

Next step for this blog…

I hope to go back to Italy someday, the sooner the better. I think I should continue making posts on this blog- about things related to architecture, my education, and my future professional experience as an intern during the year after I graduate. Of course I’ll probably reference Italy often and reminisce on my experiences there, it was a life-changing trip. I had excellent professors, great friends and classmates, and learned so much about creating architecture and many important tools and thought processes you need to be a good designer. I’m so thankful for this experience, how I grew, and the people I met. I hope to continue this trajectory of learning/observing/adapting/experiencing/creating…

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