Italy has always been one of those countries that i have loved reading about,watching in movies and seeing pictures of. It has been one of those exotic places one dreams to come to, to stay near to art,beauty and to find himself. I consider myself one of those lucky people to have had the opportunity to do the same, and with great pleasure,get to document my experience in the further paragraphs.
My amazing experience in Florence
When I first landed in Florence, I was completely mesmerized by the beautiful architecture and the beauty that surrounded me. It is such a small, but a quiet and peaceful town,which is a huge contrast to my life back in Mumbai,India. There were few cars on the road,and i witnessed a number of people walking on the streets,enjoying the pleasant summer afternoon.I had a warm welcome by my AirBnB hostess and had a quick session of questions that i directed towards her about the local restaurants,shops and tourist attractions. Very soon I got fascinated by the way people here were so passionate about their food, their wine, buildings and of course. I sensed a lot of national pride, how people were so proud of their nation and their love for their country and local things were reflected by the way they spoke about anything Italian.
The people here are especially very friendly and are always keen to help whenever we have a problem. It was also an enriching experience for me as I learnt to cook here and found myself really enjoying it. What I love the most about Florence is how beautiful it looks at night. Oblate library was a place i really enjoyed myself as I could see the dome from the building and work at the same time. It was really inspiring for me.
The unforgettable experience with the school:
I really liked the concept and the ideology that Studium Architecturae-Florence Design School provides with, that is a proper balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience. This is what first drew me towards this course, compared to the other summer courses all over Europe. I opted for the Interior and Furniture Design PRO course for 4 weeks. Over my last few years in college what i really thought I lacked the chance to experience was first hand experience in actually seeing your design being converted from just a drawing to an actual space,that is the site visits. This course, even though I was in for a short one month, provided me with that experience. I personally really enjoyed the morning lectures, in which we all exchanged our ideas with one another, learning more about not just design, but about life in general. I especially enjoyed the lectures on architecture as it really opened me to the great Italian architecture and their work that completely fascinated and inspired me.
The method of teaching here is very philosophical and encourages us to create designs not just for beauty or function, but to create something that truly speaks to you and to your heart. This is one lesson i truly value when i leave from here. Another aspect i loved about the course is that we get to meet other students of completely different nationality, and get the opportunity to interact with them and get to know not just each other,but also each other’s countries, their cultures, their traditions, their likes and dislikes. Despite being from such different countries, deep down we all are very similar to each other, and thats what I believe really unifies our human race .I loved the studio, it had a very warm and comfortable feeling and was a beautiful space.
My visit in Pisa
I had the wonderful opportunity to travel outside Florence to Pisa and Milan.The leaning tower of Pisa is an iconic landmark that has always been a point of interest for me,not just cause of the architectural aspect, but for the wonderment that it causes that how such a sublime piece of architecture can be so tilted,and yet be so stable .
I traveled to Pisa with my friend early in the morning and came back the same day. Pisa lived upto my expectations and i was lucky enough to visit it on a day that the weather was simply alluring. We walked around the town, enjoying all the local delicacies, local shops and artists.Lying on the grass near Pisa was so pleasing and peaceful,something i will always cherish.
My trip to Milan
Milan on the other hand served as complete contrast to both Florence and Pisa,being a colossal city, with more high end luxurious brands than the local brands that i witnessed in the previous towns. The buildings were more contemporary, with everyone dressed fashionably. It lived unto its name for being the fashion capital of the world. It was great learning experience for me too, trying to travel in the Metro system for the first time in Italy, exploring the routes and occasionally even getting lost. The highlight of my trip was the Milan Duomo. I was enthralled by its magnanimity and it’s attention to details. It made me feel almost surreal to think that such technology even existed centuries back and the amount of time and hard work that must have gone into completing it.It will always be one of my most memorable day.
Lighting Design workshop:
I attended the Lighting Design workshop. It was an introduction to the course that is later further explained in the studio’s master course.It was quite informative, even though i was more prepared to receive information more about how to really design a light,than the technicalities behind what is light. All in all the presentation was good and all doubts and queries were always answered.We also had a fun session of our professor taking pictures of us with the use of lights and shadows.
An incredible, unforgettable experience
My one month in Italy has been life changing and I got to learn so much not just about design but also about the necessity of traveling and living independently .The learning is not just restricted to the classrooms but we learn from our life experiences, the food we eat, the people we meet, the stories we share. We all are made up of many stories, and it is only when we share them with one another, do we truly experience life in its best form. I am going to go back with so many more memories and stories and i feel truly blessed to have experienced it all.