Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My brief take on the semester

This is a little something I wrote up for the KSU Orvieto blog that my professors posted, and I thought I'd post it up here too... Words after more than fifteen weeks of studying in Italy… Well, it’s not easy. In January, 21 of us were submerged into a unique culture without adequate preparation for what the semester was about to bring. Now, we are heading back home with countless unanticipated lessons in our hearts. We have all experienced enough to write multiple novels, but to name a few–every single K-State student living in Orvieto this Spring 2010 semester has: designed & completed two studio projects using the metric system; taken more pictures than could fit into a legitimate photo album; become accustomed to walking down the cobblestone roads at an ‘Italian pace’; learned why there is such a saying as “When in Rome”; cooked Italian meals successfully (more or less) entirely from scratch & via experimentation; seen more cats than ever realized even existed; tasted more wine + cappuccinos than would be considered normal back home; worn the same clothes for so long that Orvieto’s local trash bins will most likely soon carry the majority of them; said the word “whispie” too many times as a regular reminder to one another without concern for explanation; learned how to speak Italian fluently….; experienced some of the most admired cities in the world through regular field trips; and realized just what it means to appreciate the beauty that is given to us throughout our everyday lives. I think it’s safe to claim that each one of us will be more than slightly disheartened to leave this amazing city, not to mention this beautiful country, come May 8. We have absorbed more than we could ever calculate throughout this valuable time. It has been an unforgettable, life changing, beyond what could have ever been expected study abroad experience, and I’m certain we are all departing as changed individuals. Sarah Pink

Monday, May 24, 2010

So much more to come!!!

I am in the midst of traveling with the Pinks in Italy!! Before the arrived, I was in Barcelona and Paris for a week.. Since the fam arrived we've been to Florence, Orvieto, Sorrento, and now Rome, and it's been fantastic!!!! I have sooooo many pictures to upload..... I'll do that once I'm home ((this Saturday!!!!!), for anyone who's still keeping up!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Val D'Orcia

Last Friday was our very last field trip for the semester. We took a bus through the Tuscany countryside and saw Val D'Orcia and Pienza. It was a pretty long day, and the weather was really rainy and foggy the whole time, which was a bummer. Our stops were Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Sant' Antimo--where we saw a Gregorian Chant in person, and then Tempio di San Biagio. I tried my hardest to take a few reasonable pics despite the rain, and they are posted, so feel free to have a look!! We're all trying our hardest here to not get too overwhelmed in our last week in Orvieto... It has been the most intense and exciting semester ever. I'll have one more blog entree I'm sure before we leave this beautiful town.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Day of Modern Rome

Wednesday, April 21, 2010::My seminar took a day trip to Rome to see modern architecture. As much fun as ancient Roman Cathedrals are, it was nice to throw in some different sights. It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day. We went to Parco della Musica first, an auditorium by Renzo Piano. Here, we got a tour of the entire complex by a lady architect, which was very cool! Then we headed to the Maxxi Museum by Zaha Hadid; the exterior of this is finished, but the inside is not yet completely set up so the building is gated off. So we basically walked around it for a bit and tried our hardest to take photos over/through the gate. This was difficult for me, as I am a midget. Then we went to our last stop, the Ara Pacis Museum by Richard Meier. I like this very much and loved to photograph this building, but apparently it's a very controversial one throughout Rome because it houses a 2000+ year old Roman memorial for St. Augustan--"Alter of Peace", and many don't agree with the modern architecture that Richard Meier brought this piece. After sitting around this building for a while, Alyssa, Carrie and I stayed in Rome until later that evening and went to Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, and an Indian Restaurant that was basically in the Indian ghetto of Rome. Piazza Navona is awesome in the spring time, it's just so alive and entertaining. There was a band that marched through, and a countless amount of artists displaying all their work to purchase. The Spanish Steps were awesome, it was my first time seeing them, and they were covered in beautifully colorful flower pots that are only there for the month of May!! So pretty. And the Indian restaurant... well, I was scared for my life for the brief walk there, but no worries, we lived to tell about it. We took a 9:45pm train ride back to Orvieto and decided to get individual mini bottles of champagne for the ride home to :) Thursday was our last Italian class for the semester! It's crazy. I've enjoyed studying Italian more so much this semester. That's all for now. I'll write about last Friday--our last field trip for the semester--later.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So much going on

So this past week was overwhelming, and I feel like I need to gather my thoughts/life before I explain what's going on in these last few weeks of living and traveling in Italy... But I just posted pictures to picasa so I figured I'd write a small jaunt for now to let readers know that the explanations are coming! Here's some random previews...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Latest Field Trip

This past Friday, our class took our second to last field trip of the semester (sigh) to Tivoli and walked Villa d'Este, Hadrian's Villa, and a suburb of Rome to see Richard Meier's Jubilee Church. I think this was a day high up on my list of trips we've taken.. It was definitely one of my favorite field trips of the semester. Tivoli is such a cool little town, although I thought it was surprisingly touristy.. Villa d'Este was not what I expected. (Let's be real, I'm not a landscape architect...) But it was stunning! Everything was so green, and the flowers were so colorfully vibrant--gorgeous!! I took a TON of pictures... Hadrian's Villa was really cool to walk around, also surprisingly pretty. It's always so amazing to see any ruins and imagine what it all looked like thousands of years ago when it was all occupied. Then Jubilee Church... well, what is there to say about that one except Richard Meier. It was one of the few modern architectural sights we've been to in Italy, and it was verrry cool. Basically, it was a very long, but very fun day. When we got back to Orvieto, my roommates and I raced around town to get fixins for a small dinner party we threw that night for our British neighbor Hazel. That was a fun night! Okay, that's all I've got for now. Ciao!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Overdue Update..

So I suppose I haven't updated this since we got back from spring break... Things got a little crazy when we got back from our travel madness. Our second project was due a week after we got back, so we were all working madly that week to finish. And our presentations all went well! (I think.) And our crits were on a Monday, and the entire rest of the week was a celebration... The group of k-staters studying in Santa Chiara came that Wednesday to visit Orvieto, and so that was fun to see all of them! Two boys studying in Germany this semester were visiting us that week also. And then two of our friends studying in Prague this semester came and stayed with us for one night that week while traveling through Italy! This is all the week before Easter, by the way. We went to Caprarola and Villa Lante a week before Easter weekend-that was a fun field trip! It was beautiful. The Friday and Monday of Easter weekend we had no classes. And this past Friday we went to Siena, which was awesome. That city is very cool, similar in a lot of ways to Orvieto. It was a beautiful sunny day and we basically spent the afternoon laying in the Campo! Fantastic. I'll post pics soon!! I can't believe the semester is almost over. We have less than a month left her in Orvieto, then I'll be off with my roommies to Barcelona + Paris for a week. Then the Pinks arrive. yay :):)