Skip to main content

Todi, Titignano, & First Week of Class

January 20, 2009, 11:06pm

On Sunday, the entire school (there are about 200 of us) traveled by bus to the medieval hill town of Todi, and from there to the estate of Titignano. This is apparently a traditional trip for the Temple Rome program. Todi is located in Umbria, a region with rolling hills and farmland. The town was surrounded by a medieval wall and is up on the top of a hill; we had to take a lift to get up to it. The town was very quiet on this Sunday morning; we got a cappuccino and a cornetto con crema (an Italian version of the croissant with cream filling) then walked around the town for a couple hours. The views of the countryside from the town were very nice, and the little squares and churches were very pretty.


After leaving Todi we got back on the bus and went to Titignano, a former noble estate that's now an agriturismo, a working farm estate with the mansion converted into a bed and breakfast. There we had a traditional Italian "wedding feast," a multi-course meal that started with crostini (toasted bread with various toppings) and foccaccio; next various cold cuts of meat, like salami and prosciutto; then risotto with asparagus and pasta with wild boar sauce; then meat with broccoli rabe and very salty salad; and finally tiramisu and espresso. Most of the food I didn't really like that much, unfortunately, but it was fun to get to try everything. After lunch, which lasted until nearly 4pm, we got back on the bus and headed back to Rome.

Today and yesterday were my first days of classes! Monday and today was Baroque Art in Rome -- it should be good because Rome is the home of Baroque. We'll be studying all the major squares of Rome and artists like Caravaggio and Bernini. Today in the morning we went to the Vatican Museums and saw the Sistine Chapel, paintings by Caravaggio, Guercino, Raphael, and others, and some ancient sculptures that influenced the Baroque. This afternoon I had Italian 2, which seems like it will be a perfect continuation of my Italian 1 class, and then Printmaking, which I think will be a lot of fun. The professor, Mario, is Italian and really funny. We'll be covering all the major printmaking processes: woodblock, intaglio (drypoint engraving, etching, and aquatint), screenprinting, and lithography.



One more new class tomorrow!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Vertical Bike Rack

The work of our hands!


A little backstory:  We bought two bikes as soon as we could after moving here, so we could both bike to work.  After a few uneventful months of chaining up our bikes next to our car in the carport of our apartment building, Justin's bike was stolen.  (Mine was mysteriously left behind, together with Justin's pannier, which the thieves helpfully folded up and placed on top of my bike.  My only guess is that the chain holding my bike was harder to cut than the chain on Justin's.)  Since then, we've kept our bikes inside, hauling them up and down two flights of stairs to our third-floor apartment every time we take them out, which is usually a few times a week.  Ugh.  Better than buying a new bike every few months, though.

We needed a rack that would keep the bikes off the floor, off the walls, and in as small a footprint as possible, without requiring us to drill into or otherwise damage the walls (or floor or ceiling).  This proved a challenge t…

Book Review: "Theory and Design in the First Machine Age"

Reyner Banham's Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960) is an engaging overview of the important theoretical developments of the early 20th century leading up to the "International Style" of the 1930s-40s.  Banham does a fairly good job, in my opinion, of avoiding excessive editorializing, although he has a clear viewpoint on the Modern Movement and finishes with a strong conclusion.  In opposition to his teacher, Nikolaus Pevsner, whose own history of modernism came out in 1936, Banham dismantled the "form follows function" credo that became the stereotype of modernism, arguing instead that formalism (a preoccupation with style and aesthetics) was an important, if not overriding, concern of Modern architects.  Two sections of the book struck me in particular: his analysis of Le Corbusier's famous book Vers une architecture (Toward a [new] architecture) from 1923, and his Conclusion (chapter 22), where he breaks the link between functionalism and …

LEED Green Associate

Today I am pleased to report that I have passed the LEED® Green Associate exam, so I am now officially a LEED-accredited professional.  I have a few thoughts on this process that might be helpful for others looking into getting their own LEED Green Associate credential.  While I'm certainly in support of sustainable building practices, which is why I went to the trouble to get the credential in the first place, I don't think it's inappropriate to take a critical stance toward the whole enterprise in order to challenge the profession (and the industry) to be more self-aware.

The preparation: I passed the exam by using only resources that were freely available to me through my school library, including an e-book version of the LEED Green Associate study guide by Michelle Cottrell and the USGBC LEED Core Concepts Guide.  (Although I asked the library to obtain a new copy of the official USGBC LEED Green Associate Study Guide since the one they had was lost, they still haven&…