Friday, 8 May 2009

Ciao Italia!

Today is our last day in Italy and I am having a hard time saying goodbye to all the people and experiences here. It seems that the Italians get so much more connected to each other and us. I have had a great time getting to know the people here, K-Staters and Italians. Anyway, I will be traveling with Steph, Sam, and Steph's sister to Basel, Dusseldorf, Brussels, London, and Paris over the next 2 weeks. Look for my arrival stateside on the 24th of May. Ciao!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Spring in Tivoli

Because spring has arrived and no one wants to be inside longer than is definitely necessary, my favorite class outing this semester was our recent trip to Tivoli. We saw the Roman ruins of Hadrian's Villa and the Renaissance Villa d'Este. Below are the ruins of the Canopis at Hadrian's Villa, a scenic lake created for the Emperor.

I loved the amazing sky against the crumbling columns and vaults. An incredible day for pictures.

Here I am in Villa d'Este with the cat we named Beverly who just jumped on my lap. I miss my Spinner!

I took some pictures of the flowers. This was probably the first time we have been in a garden when things have been in bloom.

The fountains in this villa were incredible but this one was definitely my favorite. It was huge and when I tried to get close to it take a picture, I got soaked by the spray.

Here is one final picture of tulips, my favorite flower. We were right on time to see a bunch of different kinds of tulips in bloom in the garden. Well, that is enough for now. Ciao!


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Under the Tuscan Sun

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks of field trips, etc. We have stayed mostly around Orvieto, traveling to Tuscany and the area. Below is a picture from Civita di Bagnoregio, a tiny town (population 20) in the middle of a canyon. Essentially, the town hasn't been touched for several hundred years so it looks very much like it would have in the height of it's power.

Just to show the drama of the landscape. There are no cars on the cliff, so everyone must approach it across a pedestrian bridge. The inhabitants have to make a steep 20 minute trek to Bagnoregio to get groceries.

I had to take the obligatory pictures with the leaning tower. The tower complex was very beautiful with all it's white buildings, but that is pretty much all there is to see in the city. I suppose one could say that about Orvieto as well.

Ahh, Siena. Siena was beautiful. It probably didn't hurt that the weather was awesome that day. We spent about an hour soaking up the sun in the Campo gazing at the tower and the Italian highschoolers running around.

Awesome colors in Siena. I did this picture for one of my required "beautiful drawings" for class. It turned out alright, but probably not as beautiful as in person.

And finally, something I have spent a lot of time doing lately: enjoying gelato. Pretty much amazing. This is the best place in Florence for real, not touristy gelato. I love it.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Gardens... for my mother.

What a great way to start out this post, eh? These pictures are, again, out of order from what I intended. On our last field trip we visited Bomarzo and the "Park of the Monsters," an anomaly among gardens. Surprisingly, this one was created in the 1500s. There were a collection of unusual monster statues throughout this wild garden.

Of course, I felt the need to climb, or 'parkour,' up a tree while we sat around in the next park. We had about 2 hours to spare and we used it to goof around like true college students.

This garden was in the Villa Lante in Bagnaia (oh, I love all the vowels). This was also a renaissance garden. It was ordered beautifully with water features and very intricately patterned hedgerows.

Here is the last photo from that garden showing my favorite water feature. It was a fountain that followed the steps down in a chain link pattern. The movement was fantastic. Enjoy Mom!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Spring Break

Here are some pictures from my glorious spring break. We saw a lot of cool things, ate some fantastic food, and had some interesting adventures. These are just a few pictures that I thought captured the moment. Unfortunately, being an architecture student, I took surprisingly few pictures with people in them. Alas, my mother will be disappointed.
This is a photo from Prague. I loved Prague as it was very colorful and romantic. We caught up with some friends from K-State here that showed us around. A fantastic way to end our journey (the pictures are in reverse order).

This was taken in Budapest while walking around at night. There were tons of memorials in these cities, especially in Budapest and Prague, to the victims of communist and nazi occupation. I learned many interesting things about these cities pasts while travelling.

In Vienna, we toured the Spanish Horseriding School which was an excellent change of pace. Apparently there is quite the history of horsemanship in the city that I didn't know about. I thought these statues were beautiful and rather appropriate.

This photo was taken in Verona after we spent the day touring a Carlos Scarpa museum (pretty cool and don't worry because I didn't know who he was before this trip either), eating gelato, and hanging out in the sun. Verona is now one of my favorite Italian cities because it had all the things I needed: cool architecture, good gelato, and parks to relax in.

And finally, the piece de resistance, Venice. I have wanted to come to Italy, and mostly Venice, since I was probably 10. Luckily, Venice did not disappoint. Our Italian history and culture professor Marco made sure that we saw all the important parts of the city and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Caio from Italy

I just wanted to send out a small post to whoever may read it saying that I am back in Italy. I just spent 2 wonderful weeks touring Venice, Verona, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague but I am glad to be back in Orvieto. Upon return, Italy seems more like home although nothing can replace my beloved hOmaha. It is much warmer in Italy now and it is beginning to really look like spring. The trees and flowers are starting to bud and the breeze feels warmer on my face. Through all of this I am still looking forward to coming home at the end of the semester. I am looking forward to good internet access, convenient shop hours, and spending time with my family. But I will miss the food and the laid back lifestyle here, so I may have to bring these home with me. Arrivederci for now, or ci vediamo (I'll see you later) and enjoy some American culture for me!

Friday, 6 March 2009

More Southern Italy

I am back with more picture of the south of Italy. Above is a photo from Pompeii, the ancient Roman city that has ironically been preserved by the very eruption that brought destruction to it's inhabitants. Vesuvius looms in the background, threatening to erupt at any time... only not really because it is heavily protected.

Here we are at the Villa San Michele on the Island of Capri. This was beautiful villa with gardens and arcades framing views out to the blue sea and sky.

Steph and I on the ferry to Capri. We had a moderately exciting ride to the island with a team of Italian soccer players. They provided another kind of scenery for the ladies on the ferry.

My mom will be happy to hear that we hiked to this natural arch on Capri. Again, the colors here are amazing and made it worth all of the stairs that we had to climb up and down to get here. Ahh, just another beautiful day in Italy!