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Uffizi Gallery, Garden of the Foresteria, and Sketchbook Demo

To avoid the lines that can get quite hefty at the Uffizi Gallery, students enjoy an early breakfast and leave the Foresteria by 7:30. Neither photography nor water bottles are allowed and there is security similar to airports that we have to go through to be granted access. The collection within the gallery is impressive and allows students to see famous paintings in person such as the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli and the Medusa painting by Caravaggio. The collection is extensive and stunning.

We head back to the garden of the Foresteria and meet with Andrea, a staff member, who tells us about the history and current function of the hostel. In the 16th -17th century there was nothing on the grounds the Foresteria is currently standing on today. Then a wealthy family had the building built to provide a home to their big family. The studio, which we hold group meetings, such as our orientation and sketchbook binding demonstration, used to be a dance room; and the fountain out back in the garden was built by the same designer who built the Boboli gardens. Once the children of the wealthy family were grown, the building was gifted in 1871 to a church and the building was used for educational purposes for pastors. It wasn’t until 1922 the building found a new purpose and transformed into the Institute of Gould, the Foresteria, and has been a sanctuary for children without families. Today, about 18 kids reside at the Foresteria and guests including but not limited to congress, universities, biological, and medicinal clients seek temporary housing here.

In the late afternoon, Curt gives us a brief history on paper and a demonstration on how to make your own sketchbook and how depending on the purpose of your book the book would differ in the choice of paper or materials, sewing methods, and choices in bindings, layout, and pages.

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