Firenze, Italia .. what a beautiful life to live. I am nearing the end to an unforgettable semester abroad. Memories to last a lifetime. So far, I have traveled to Siena, Roma, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Parma, Modena, Bologna, Torino, Fiesole, and Venice. I also had the amazing opportunity to travel to Munich for the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest! I have fallen in love with Italian culture and way of life; the real culture shock will be going back home in the states. Oh Massachusetts, although I do miss you, I wish I could spend more time in Italy.
A typical day: a twenty-five minute walk to school which starts off with a cappuccino from our favorite cafe a few blocks from our flat. Did I mention I must walk past the magnificent Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore everyday? Gazing upon Brunelleschi's masterpiece reminds me why I came to study in Firenze and why my heart belongs to design. After classes I typically stroll home for a quick lunch of some fresh baked bread with some meats and cheeses, all from the fresh market five minutes from our flat. The afternoon is mine, if I am not working on schoolwork I can indulge in whatever I please. The best, walking. Walking wherever I wish to go I stumble on new places and admire those I already know so well. Dinner is my favorite time of the day. Cooking is another one of my passions and I absolutely love making elaborate dishes for all six of us lovely girls. Access to the best ingredients is incredibly easy. The food in Italy is AMAZING! My personal favorite, parmigiano-reggiano right from Parma. Another Italian specialty is their balsamic vinegar. On a trip to Modena I had the pleasure of tasting twelve and twenty-five year old balsamic and yes, it was like heaven in my mouth. Really.
I couldn't ask for more when it comes to my classes. All of my professors are top notch designers in their field. I feel as though I have learned so much so far this semester. In my lighting design class I created a custom light fixture using Cinema 4D. In my 3D Computer design class my professor rocked my socks off by telling us about all the awesome new computer programs we were going to learn. I got to learn how to use MeshLab, Cinema 4D and Rhino is on the way. In my studio class I got to design a Tuscan barn into a modern home for a family of four. For my final project I am working in a group with my close friend, Andrea. Retail design here I come and we decided were going to design a fair trade store which sells coffee, trinkets, and flowers! Speaking of final projects, it is very sad to think about the fact that I will be leaving this wonderful country in a few short weeks.
I will be posting more from my time here in Italia; some projects along with some case studies of retail stores targeted for their lighting design. It should be molto interessante!