Rome sweet Rome

Ciao!

Hope everything is well for you all back in the states (or wherever else you may be reading from), things couldn’t be better for us here in Rome! After a fabulous long weekend in Florence I must say it certainly feels great to be back home in Rome. Wow, I can’t even believe I just said that; Rome is my home! I can’t tell you how lucky I feel getting to call this place home (even if it is just for a few short weeks); Rome is immaculate to say the least!

We’ve gotten to see so much already including (but not limited to), the Coliseum, the Roman forum, the Vatican, countless piazzas, cathedrals and courtyards, the Theater of Marcellus, the Jewish ghettos, the Spanish steps and the Ara Pacis. Believe it or not though we still have so much more to see! In a city as big and overwhelming as Rome it is incredibly easy to simply hit all of the easy to find tourist spots and be perfectly content with your trip but as a local, a student and an architecture major Rome is so much more. Thankfully we have the most fantastic history professor/guide in all of Rome, Dr. Antonella De Michelis.

We get to see Antonella about once a week here (maybe a little less) but I always look forward to her “lectures.” Antonella lectures very quickly and passionately as she brings us on these crazy journeys throughout the city (usually several miles long), she is sure to highlight the significant historical sites and features along the way but she also points out things like her favorite restaurants, shops and routes. She incorporates new terms and phrases into these tours and shows us examples of all kinds of construction methods that not many other cities but Rome could offer us. I am typically not one for ancient history but the way Antonella speaks with such passion, I could listen to her talk for days no doubt.

As much as I love Rome it was awesome to be able to travel to Florence for the weekend, the two cities were just so different from each other. We were given quite a bit of freedom for the weekend, with suggested places to visit but the ability to wander wherever whenever. I was able to venture to the top of both the bell tower and the Cupola of the famous Florence Cathedral, I visited the Boboli Gardens, the Piazzale Michelangelo, the Uffizi Gallery, The Societa Canottieri Firenze, the Church of Santa Maria Novella, the Church of Santa Croce, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Ponte Vecchio, and of course several marketplaces. Certainly one of the most memorable parts of the Florence trip was our time spent with the architect, designer, and artist Andrea Ponsi. We were so fortunate getting to visit his home and studio and to just sit and listen to him talk about his past and present works, simply soaking in any sort of advice he would give us. While we were there Andrea also did a live drawing/painting for us, explaining as he worked what his different techniques were and what his typical thought process is as he works. It’s an amazing thing to see how differently people work and think and just what it is that inspires them.

Florence was a trip centered around sketching, while we were there Ozayr challenged us each to do five sketches a day. If you think about it though five sketches really isn’t a crazy number but many of us were definitely out of the habit coming into this trip. It’s astounding just how much many of us improved our abilities over our four days in Florence just through drawing daily and having that consistent practice. With all of this practice and getting to see the results sketching can have on our more final works as well as receiving encouragement from Andrea I know we all left Florence with a greater desire to continue in this kind of consistent and frequent sketching. The timing for this desire couldn’t have come at a better time either as we now have returned to Rome and start to really dig into our term project and tackle the of mapping Rome. Speaking of which, I should probably get on that! I leave you all with some photos I managed to snap in Florence, enjoy!

Till next time,

Megan Doran

The Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens

Panoramic of the interior of the Florence Cathedral

Panoramic of the interior of the Florence Cathedral

Gathered around for a lesson from Andrea Ponsi

Gathered around for a lesson from Andrea Ponsi

Climbing to the top of the Boboli Gardens

Climbing to the top of the Boboli Gardens

Who needs a selfie stick??

Who needs a selfie stick??

This place was so well hidden, i can't explain to you how excited I was to find it and be welcomed in

This place was so well hidden, i can’t explain to you how excited I was to find it and be welcomed in

Sketches done my the sculptor Donatello

Sketches done by the sculptor Donatello

I think we were up there (the Doume) for a solid hour!

I think we were up there (the Duomo) for a solid hour!

Andrea Ponsi hard at work

Andrea Ponsi hard at work

We have such a fantastic group here!

We have such a fantastic group here!

Standing by the docks of the Florence Boathouse

Standing by the docks of the Florence Boathouse

The view from on top of the Palazzo Michaelangelo

The view from on top of the Palazzo Michaelangelo

The facade of the Florence Cathedral

The facade of the Florence Cathedral

Couldn't leave with out a ride on the carousel!

Couldn’t leave with out a ride on the carousel!

Andrea Ponsi going through a book he's currently working on

Andrea Ponsi going through a book he’s currently working on

The Piazza of the Republic during the day

The Piazza of the Republic during the day

As intimidating as drawing a skyline can be it was just way too perfect not to try

As intimidating as drawing a skyline can be it was just way too perfect not to try

The Florence Boathouse (this photo does not do it justice, it's giant!)

The Florence Boathouse (this photo does not do it justice, it’s giant!)

The backside of Santa Croce

The back of Santa Croce

On top of the Doume

On top of the Duomo

The Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens

Andrea Ponsi's drawings of San Francisco

Andrea Ponsi’s drawings of San Francisco

Andrea Ponsi's drawings of his studio

Andrea Ponsi’s drawings of his studio

Just a bunch goofs in front of the Florence Cathedral at night

Just a bunch goofs in front of the Florence Cathedral at night

Just a glance at Andrea Ponsi's house/studio

Just a glance at Andrea Ponsi’s house/studio

The View from the Florence Cathedral's Bell Tower

The View from the Florence Cathedral’s Bell Tower

The Interior of the Doume

The Interior of the Duomo

A painting done by Michaelangelo, the brush strokes were incredible!!

A painting done by Michaelangelo, the brush strokes were incredible!!

Street Art near the Ponte Vechio

Street Art near the Ponte Vechio

Walking in the Boboli Gardens

Walking in the Boboli Gardens

More of the amazing Florence Cathedral Doume

More of the amazing Florence Cathedral Duomo

A few of us were lucky enough to talk ourselves into the exclusive club/boathouse for Florence rowing society

A few of us were lucky enough to talk ourselves into the exclusive club/boathouse for Florence rowing society

The view from the boat launch doors

The view from the boat launch doors

The dome of the Baptistery outside of the cathedral

The dome of the Baptistery outside of the cathedral

Up close and personal with the Doume, the Dome depicts what's biblicaly know as Judgement Day

Up close and personal with the Duomo, the Dome depicts what’s biblicaly know as Judgement Day

The central marketplace (just so happens to be inside a 3 story building)

The central marketplace (just so happens to be inside a 3 story building)

A view I could never tire of

A view I could never tire of

The piazza of the Republic

The piazza of the Republic

Another shot of the Doume

Another shot of the Duomo

An impressive model of Florence showcased in the Uffizi Gallery

An impressive model of Florence showcased in the Uffizi Gallery

Looking down from on top of the Doume

Looking down from on top of the Duomo

Ponte Vechio

Ponte Vechio

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