Relaxing weekend at the villa

This past weekend the majority of us stayed home at the villa.  We all had a much needed week of relaxation. It was kinda rainy outside so we all watched movies and slept.  It was great to just be lazy for a weekend!  Actually, I ended up writing the majority of my two final papers for the semester, but somehow I still feel as if I did nothing all weekend.

The excitement of the weekend came Friday morning when we found out that there was a landslide in the countryside that disrupted the natural gas line that supplies the city of Genoa.  Because of this, the city was rationing their use of gas, meaning we had no heat and hot water, and had to use the stove sparingly.  So we were all a bunch of smelly, greasy people this weekend-nobody left the villa!

The one time we did leave the villa was Saturday night. We finally went to the restaurant at the end of the funicular line, Ristorante Montallegro al Righi. It was as great as everyone had made it out to be.  The menu was handwritten, as it changes all the time.  I had some kind of meat ravioli, which was wonderful.  For dessert I had a apple and pineapple tort, which was so good.  I really hope we have a chance to go back before the end of the semester!

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another day in Genova

On Tuesday, we visited the largest cemetery in Genova. The was such a unique and creepy cool place!

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According to Giuditta there are millions of people buried here. There were normal rows of plots like you would expect in a traditional American cemetery, but there were also elaborate tombs, crypts and walls of cremated remains.

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This entire place was so well designed.  All of the different sections of the cemetery make it feel like a small city within a city.  The architectural styles of all the monuments were so eclectic.  Out of all the things we’ve seen in Genova so far, this is probably my favorite. 

two planes, a bus, a train and a taxi later…

…I’m back in Genoa!
As relaxing as my vacation was I’m glad to be back “home”.  Everyone else got back to the villa Sunday night or this afternoon, so it was very strange being here Saturday night and most of Sunday alone.  On the bright side, there was no line to use the washer and dryer for once!

So after editing an enormous amount of pictures, doing laundry, and finishing up my blogs while catching up on my long list of American TV shows that I’m addicted to, its nice to get back into the swing of things.  I cant believe that the semester is already halfway over!  Time has really flown by and I’m just trying to squeeze every last bit of fun and travel into my time left here.

This weekend I’m going to Dublin for the true St. Patrick’s Day experience, so hopefully I will come back alive/in one piece. The following week my roommate Sarah will be coming to visit, which is really exciting because i really miss all my friends from home!  So get ready to have a fun two days in exciting Genoa, Sarah! (shout outs now that I know you read this  haha!)

Project 4 – Group Site Analysis Analytique

Today was our final review of project 4, a group site analysis project.  I think my group was very happy with our final composition, and we got positive feedback from our professors and our peers.  My group consisted of one of my roommates, Emily, and my friend Bryan.

My two analytiques were of the site’s history, and the effect shade and shadow had on the use and feel of the site.

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Emily’s analytiques were showing the axial relationships of our site as well as the different zones.

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Bryan’s analytiques analyzed the materiality and circulation of our site.

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Project 3 – Building Analytique

Today we had our review for our third project of the semester.  We were assigned a piazza in Genoa’s city center in which we were supposed to pick a building facade to analyze.  I was assigned Piazza Matteotti in which i chose to analyze the Jesuit Church.  Instead of analyzing the facade of the church, I concentrated on the bell tower, il campanaria, which stuck out to me because it is so different from any of the other bell towers of other Genovese churches.  I also analyzed the various domes of the church.  In addition to the main dome, la cupola, there are six smaller domes that are situated over six side chapels that run parallel to the naive.  These smaller domes peaked my interest because they are barely visible from behind the facade of the building.

I am actually really happy with how this project turned out.  In project 2, an analytique of an element of the villa, I was really unhappy with my final drawing because I felt like it wasn’t fully developed and I missed the point of the analytique.  In this project, I felt like I created a true analytique that was successful in conveying the story I was telling through this building.

Here’s my final drawing.

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Day Trip 2 – Palazzi di Genova

Today we visited all of the palaces in Genoa with Giuditta.  One street in particular that contains most of the palaces is the Strada Nuova, or new street.  Now called Via Garibaldi, this is arguably one of the most beautiful streets in Genoa.

Guiditta, who is always full of information, told us all about the design of these palaces, and we went into most of them.  They were all pretty amazing, and all very different.  My favorite part of the day was when we went up to the roof of the Palazzo Rosso and had a view of the whole city.

To end the day, we visited the Palazzo Principe, or Prince’s Palace.  This was a large residence that Andrea Doria built on what used to be the edge of the harbor.  Although Genoa never had a royal family, Andrea Doria is referred to as “the prince.”  He was a decorated sailor and Admiral who lived well into his nineties. He had a large part in the reestablishment of the Republic of Genoa and restoring the city’s role as an important port in the Mediterranean.

I really enjoy these day trips with Giuditta because they definitely excite my inner history nerd.   I love learning the history behind all the buildings we visit.

Dinner with Barbara

Tonight we went out to dinner withe Barbera, our Italian teacher visiting from Clemson.  We went to I Tre Mieri in Portico Antico, which means The Three Blackbirds.  We had such a delicious meal! We started with their vino lovale, a house red and white, which were both wonderful. For our meal, we started with two antipasto: la farinata di ceci and la foccaccia allo stracchino.  La farinata de ceci was made with chick peas and baked and the foccacciia allo stracchino was like an Italian version of a quesadilla but 1000x better!

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Our Primo was trofie al pesto and pansotti alla salsa di noci.  Trofie is the typical Genovese pasta and it was served with pasta, which is what Genoa is known for.  The Pansotti alla salsa di noci was a tortellini like pasta served in a cream sauce. Noci means walnuts, i’m not sure if they came into play in the sauce or filling of the pasta but either way they were delicious!

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For our secondo, we had a choice of il pesce l’orata al forno con patate e olive nere, carne tagliata di manzo con patate, and involtini di vitello con patate.  The fish was a local fish and dish that is popular in Genoa.  The second option was a roast beef dish, and the third was veal rolled with cheese in the middle.  I picked the veal and it was absolutely divine! Probably the best i’ve ever eaten.

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For dessert we had gelato e torta di cicolate. Which was like a chocolate brownie with ice cream.  Just like everything else, this was also delicious.

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Please excuse the horrible photo quality, there was A LOT of wine consumed at this dinner.

The Italian Laundry Adventure

Today I attempted to do my first load of laundry while in Italy, which turned out to be quite the struggle.  The act of doing laundry here takes an eternity.  Washing wasn’t too much of an ordeal-that only took an hour.  No, washing was nothing.  Drying, on the other hand- that’s a different story entirely.  The dryer is more of a glorified dehumidifier.  You have to pull out this drawer that collects all the water and empty it multiple times for it to work.  One drying cycle took every bit of two hours.  When I went down to take my clothes out, everything was still wet.  I then spent another hour running another cycle which still left the majority of my clothes damp, and in this process the dryer took one of my socks captive.  At this point I gave up and decided to just hang everything out to dry around the villa – which took some creative thinking.

The real kicker is that I only brought about two weeks worth of clothes, so this is only the beginning of the “Sarah vs. the shitty dryer” saga.

My sock’s whereabouts are still unknown.

On another note, It has been raining here for literally 3 days now, and it doesn’t look like its going to stop anytime soon.  Luckily we live so far up on this hill that my ears pop every time I walk into town.

A week of firsts – field studies day one and project one

Tuesday we had our first field studies class with Giuditta, our professor who we just call Judy.  Judy is absolutely bonkers…but in a good way.  She is 100% off the wall crazy all the time, but she is also an amazing font of knowledge.  She knows everything and anything about architecture history.  On our walks around the city, she could easily stop in front of a building or church and talk for 30+ minutes and still have more to say.  All without looking at notes, pausing to gather her thoughts or anything of the sort.  This girl is smart!  Plus she smokes like a chimney, swears like a sailor and doesn’t give a shit what anybody says about her.  She is a girl after my own heart.  So after a full day touring Genoa with Judy, we arrived back at the villa and discovered two huge pans of Christina’s infamous lasagna.  By the way, Christina is our wonderful chef here at the villa who cooks two DELICIOUS meals a day for us Monday through Friday.  After demolishing some lasagna, we all got to work on our projects that were due the next day.

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Our first project was a exercise in using our body as a tool of measurement.  After measuring different lengths on my body, such as my height, wingspan, shoulder width, etc. some interesting proportions arose.  I realized that my hand from palm to middle fingertip was 17 cm, while both my height and wingspan were 170 cm.  so my height and wingspan are equal to 10 “hands.”  I continued to convert all my measurements to “Sarah hands” and realized that the base unit of one hand was also proportional to the width of my fingertip.  Also, all the other measurements were proportional to other distances on my had.  This system of measurement drove the composition of my final analytique of the measure of my body.

After our final review, we watched the sun set for basically the first time since we’ve been in Genoa.  We’ve only had one other day where it was sunny since we arrived.  The views of the city and the Mediterranean from up here are amazing!

First weekend at the Villa

This weekend we stayed at the Villa so we could explore Genoa a little more.

Saturday Allie and I visited the Aquarium in Porto Antico.  It was amazing!  By far the largest and best one I’ve been to.  We then walked back to the villa in time for our first Italian lesson with Barbera.  Class lasted from 4-6:30 and we were all starving by the time we were done, so we decided to walk up the hill to this restaurant we heard about from students who came previous semesters.  Once we bought our tickets for the funicolare and ventured up the hill, we realized that we needed reservations for the restaurant (should have known better) so we decided instead to ride back down and get pizza in San Nicola.  It was so delicious! ImageImage

Sunday Allie and I tried to go to church but because of some indirect google maps directions, only ended up getting there at the end of the service.  The people at the church were very welcoming and we made friends with a girl named Emily from England who is studying languages in Genoa for a year.  We then successfully navigated the Genoa bus system and funicolare back to the villa – which means no walking up the stairs and rampas! Once we got back to the villa, we ate some lunch then ventured down the Corso Italia, out to Boccadasse, a small town or neighborhood on the edge of Genoa.   On the way there we passed a fair, which oddly enough seemed exactly like the fair back home, besides the lack of deep fried everything.  When we got back to the villa it was back to reality, since we have studio work to do before class tomorrow.

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