As of today, we only have 4 days left in Italy. This whole trip has gone by so incredibly quickly, and I am honestly really sad it is coming to an end. For the past couple of days, we have been taking day trips to some of the most important places in Tuscany such as Florence, Assisi, Siena, and now, we are on our way to Rome. Although I am ecstatic to see Rome, because I love cities, I am also sad we left Arezzo today. Arezzo created a lot of fun memories for everyone I think. The first two day trips were to Florence, which I absolutely loved. Florence had a big city feel, but also a small town vibe. We got to see the David statue, we walked to the top of the cathedral and overlooked the whole city, explored the leather market and we also went to the Uffizi Gallery. We saw a lot of important art in Florence. Although I found the artwork absolutely beautiful, the explanation behind each art piece was even more spectacular. What our professor stressed on a lot was the commonalities between the art within the specific eras. He explained the art in the Middle Ages, and then went on to explain more about the main art in Italy, which is from the Renaissance period. In the Middle Ages, the art was gothic. All the people look quite similar, and it does not look very naturalistic. However, as we moved more into the art from the Renaissance, the art focuses on more naturalistic details. The details range from the way the Madonna is drawn, from her hands, to her knee position. We learned that in the Gothic art, the artist creates the figures to look less natural, and almost such as something not even earthly; and all the people look the same in the paintings. They have these long fingers, and almond shaped eyes, and very long noses, it’s honestly kind of creepy. In contrast though, in the Renaissance art, the people start to look more natural, and you begin to see a individualism emerge and its fascinating. Before this class, I honestly wasn’t sure how much I would like art history, but I love it, its so interesting to understand the meaning behind everything. And our professor is just amazing as well; the way he explains things is engaging and thought provoking. Anyways, I am going to try and nap on this bus ride to Rome, so ciao!
As I write you, I am sitting on a rooftop in Tuscany. It is a perfect day and there is not a cloud in the sky; it is truly amazing. This whole trip I have been constantly surrounded by people and now I am sitting up here just by myself and its actually really nice to just be able to write and look at this amazing view without any distractions. We have almost been here in Italy for a week, which means our trip is almost half way over and I cannot believe it. Today we finished our service project at the middle school and we had a press conference with a local Italian news station which was pretty cool. Later today we are going to a vineyard and a winery and I am really looking forward to it. Although it is so incredibly hot outside so I’m dreading the walk. Anyways, tomorrow a group of us are going to Viareggio which is a beach town about two hours east of Arezzo and I am so excited. Also, yesterday we had our first class. Our professor combined a lot of art history with relating it with community action, leadership and creativity. The part he stressed a lot about which he thinks is vital to leadership and clearly to art, is creativity. He talked about how creativeness is needed in order to lead a group and is a quality that should be appreciated and admired because it is not something everyone has. I absolutely loved what he had to say about the arts and how important they are in every way. Whether art is used to express emotions, make a political statement, or even just created to save a memory; it is so incredibly to important. Being here in Arezzo has made me learn to appreciate art a lot more than I ever have. Of course I have always loved “the arts” such as writing, music, dance and theater, but being here has given me a greater appreciation for the stories behind the paintings, sculptures, frescos, and more. This trip has also been so amazing because of the people. Although I have been in PCS this whole year, I never met everyone. It was kind of hard. The people I have gotten to know and meet on this trip are amazing, and we have had so much fun exploring together and talking about everything together at night on the rooftop terrace. Its the best. Anyways, I am going to take a nap.
today was my third day in Arezzo, and it has been absolutely fantastic. being a girl who loves cities, I honestly wasn’t sure how much i would love Arezzo, a small town in tuscany. however, the towns beauty, and culture, art and people have been ineffable and surreal. sometimes when I travel I have these moments where I just stop and think and just am completely in awe. I have already had so many of these moments. although I am pretty sure I am mentally and physically exhausted, It doesn’t feel like it because I am just so overwhelmed with emotion and inspiration. The past two days have been busy with a lot of tours, and exploring. today, we started our service project at a middle school here by painting the walls in the classrooms. although at first I was looking forward more to just exploring the city rather than the service, today I truly had a great time being with the group and all serving together for a greater cause. It may sound so cheesy, but the feeling of being able to serve and volunteer in a different country was really amazing. Yesterday I had the most amazing gnocchi I have ever ate in my life. Since I have family from Italy,and since pasta is my favorite food, I have had a lot of gnocchi in my life but this was amazing. It was homemade with a truffle cream sauce. Also yesterday, we went to a joust and honestly I think this may be the most amazing thing I will experience here in Italy. We sat next to a couple of Italians who were our age and they were absolutely insane about it. They were screaming “stupid, stupid”(in italian) over and over, and the teams were fighting, and everyone was just in complete awe; it was unforgettable. After the joust, we were walking back to the hotel with our faculty leaders and a couple others, and suddenly we were in the middle of a fight between two men who were arguing over the joust and the winner. We were pushed up against the wall along the walkaway and our faculty leaders had to run over and shield us, it was crazy. that’s one big difference I have noticed about Italian people. their culture is a lot more sentimental and emotional, I am not quite sure how to describe it. although being practically right next to these angry men was really scary, it was also really eye opening. I suppose the word I would use to describe Italian people is passionate. which honestly, I believe is something a lot of Americans lack, passion. Passion, and being able to voice and exude our feelings and opinions is vital. However, I feel like in America a lot of people are shunned or looked down upon for showing their all, and total emotion, and I believe that is truly a loss. Even if its over something as simple as a joust, I love how Italians are passionate, and prideful for what they believe in. Anyways, I will post another blog post here in a couple of days. Attached I have added some pictures from my time in Italy so far(however I am not a great photographer), I hope you enjoy.
Tomorrow is the day I have been looking forward to all summer. The day I leave for Italy. Although the past few weeks have been full of so much excitement waiting for tomorrow, I all the sudden am so nervous. I’m not sure if its the flight that is making me nervous, or just the complete crazy fact that I am about to go across the world with some of the most amazing friends, and mentors I have ever met. although I have been to Europe twice before, I have heard that Italy is just indescribable. To start of our trip, we will be in Arezzo, which is an area of Tuscany. Here, we will do a service project and do lots of fun local things such as pasta making, and a winery visit. As the class proceeds we will visit areas of Italy such as Siena, Assisi, Cinque terre(hopefully), Florence and Rome. I absolutely cannot wait to experience all the people, the food, the language, art and the culture. and more than anything I am just excited to take it all in. I recently just got back from a trip visiting New York City and some of my family up there and I forgot how inspiring and thought provoking it is just to people watch and to observe different lifestyles. this is something I am really excited to do in Italy, to people watch and observe the culture and lifestyle. I know I am going to be so incredibly inspired to write while I am over there and I cannot wait. Thanks for reading!