Day 31: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Wednesday, Sep 19 2012 

Ciao for now Italia!

Today students check out of their apartments by 10am to head back home. Students have mixed feelings: sadness to be closing the chapter of such an amazing adventure and to parting from friends they’ve made from the program whom have become family; and excitement and comfort to be returning home to loved ones.  One feeling that has been planted in everyone’s hearts is gratitude. Gratitude to have been part of such an educational and life altering experience. A Creative Journey has been an extraordinary and rewarding experience and a memory to treasure forever.


Day 30: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 18 2012 

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Last Day: Reimbursements, Vacate Studio, Packing, & Group Dinner at  Le Fate

Our last day is here. Some students have already headed to the airport while most of us are busy packing, getting reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses, cleaning and vacating our art studio space at the UW Rome Center, and squeezing in some last minute shopping.

As our last hurrah, we are treated to an amazing dinner at Le Fate. The restaurant is festively decorated and the ambiance is warm and welcoming. The extravagant and delectable feast consists of 11 courses. Each course heavenly, is shared family style among students and satisfies even the most hungry or picky eater.  Starting with bread, the courses consist of caprese salad, a grain and green salad, lightly fried onion with arugula, fried balls with olive, potato, or rice in the center, ratatouille, bruschetta with mushrooms, arugula and cheese, and tomato, ravioli with pesto and cheese, rigatoni with tomato sauce and bacon, seared chicken with potatoes and greens, then last but not least, tiramisu. Local white and red wine is also passed around the table as wonderful pairings to the meal.

A toast to the program and directors is made as we express our appreciation and Curt surprises us at the end of the meal with trophies of small figurines representative of Rome and certificates of completion. We are delighted to hear Cynthia, whom we had to part with in Florence, created the certificates as it feel like she is with us at heart on our last night in Rome. Curt jokes about how the trophies are probably the ugliest figurines he’s come across and everyone laughs but the affection is undeniable: everyone loves their trophies.

Day 29: Monday, September 17, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 18 2012 

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The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill

A mix of history and fantasy is planted within when visiting the ruins of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, the Palatine Hill, which leads to the Circus Maximus, and the Colosseum.

It is explained to us Il Colosseo interprets, “Really big thing” and rightfully so considering it is possibly the greatest architecture of Rome. The amphitheatre, originally for a tented roof system and inspiration for the pantheon, is where large spectacles and slaughter of animals from Africa as well as humans took place. Christianity becomes an acceptable form of religion and the colosseum became a sacred Christian site. The removed floor removed visitors a deeper look into the undergrounds of the arena. The grandeur of the colosseum is surreal and gives many students flashbacks of the movie Gladiator.


Day 26: Friday, September 14, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 18 2012 

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Criminology Museum & Libro

A visit to the Museo Criminologico Biblioteca Storica is both terrifying and fascinating. Students are not allowed to carry personal belongings such as even a purse or umbrella in and are required to check them at lockers at the entrance. The former prison facility, which feels like a multiple level maze, now is a museum that showcases an interesting mix of historical artifacts: wide varieties of torture devices, tools for forgeries,uniforms and artillery for law enforcement,  smuggling equipment, weapons used by criminals in public as well as within imprisonment, gambling supplies, and also pornography. There are figurines of torture methods which many student gasp at and are fascinated at the level of criminal punishment at the time. Another surprise is that this museum has an impressive library and even a guest book for visitors!

After the museum visit, students have homework to turn in and look forward to the weekend, the last weekend of studying abroad. In contrary to prior weekends, students are more inclined to stay put rather than go off on weekend trips, perhaps it is because of physically wearing out, perfectly understandable being away from home and having been on the go with nonstop stimulation. A more relaxed and casual weekend is welcome for many, and even staying put in Rome, with invitations to join Curt on a couple optional field trips to Ostia Antiqua on Saturday and visiting the Sunday antique market, the weekend is nothing short of busy. It is impressive this does not stop some students from going to visit cafes, a soccer game, or enjoying the local shopping and nightlife. Energy is a must in Italy!




Day 25: Thursday, September 13, 2012 Monday, Sep 17 2012 

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Modern Art Museum & Studio Time

It’s a rainy day so our plans have changed from doing outdoor watercolor at Ostia Antiqua to spending time inside the Modern Museum. The walk is on the longer side but on the way we get to witness how the cobblestone streets are installed in passing a street in need of repairs. It is a shame photography isn’t allowed in the museum but we are thrilled to be let in free of admission into the beautiful and spacious building that contains artworks from various times, places, and art movements from Baroque to the late 1900’s, neoclassicism, impressionism, early cubism, abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, conceptualism, futurism. We are exposed first hand to artwork we’ve only been able to see from textbooks from local Rome artists such as Michelangelo Caravaggio; and Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt; and French artist, Marcel DuChamp at the Galleria Nazionale d’arte Moderna.

Day 24: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Saturday, Sep 15 2012 

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Pamphilj Palace & Studio Time

At 9AM, student meet in the studio and Curt greets us with some treats from the Jewish Ghetto bakery he frequents. We are puzzled to the blackish fruit baked goods and cannot seize some chuckling when Curt smiles and claims, “It’s not authentic if it isn’t burnt.” While nibbling on our breakfast we admire and appreciate the studio chalkboard drawing whom students have collaborated a group caricature of Team Tuscany 2012. After hearing the plans for the rest of the week we head out to fulfill our plans for the day at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a palace that is owned by a wealthy family that not only is a museum that displays artworks such as Caravaggio, Jan Brueghel, Claude Lorrain, Annibale Carracci, Diego Velazquez, and Rafael’s, but people also live here. There is much to be admired: beautiful chandeliers, gigantic paintings, and highly decorated ceilings.

Two artwork projects are due today so after the palace visit, students grab a quick lunch, put their time in at the studio, and then disburse for personal time until meeting for our group dinner at Sora Margherita in the Jewish Ghetto. The written menu is very difficult for students to follow, so we rely in Curt’s advice in ordering at the restaurant and are not disappointed. The wine, fried artichoke hearts, and rich in cheese dishes are pleasing to even the pickiest eaters of the group.

Day 23: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 Tuesday, Sep 11 2012 

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Galleria Borghese, Walk to SM del Popolo, & Studio Time

After walking through Piatta Generale, we arrive at Galleria Borghese, which possibly had the strictest checking system we’ve encountered. No personal belongings seem to be welcome including cameras, bags, purses, umbrellas, and water bottles. All possessions seem to be have to been checked into a locker which attendants would give us tokens for. The time consuming process of checking in however allow students to take turns enjoying the beautiful garden.

Upon entry, we are able to view the personal collection of artwork combined from ancient times, baroque, and up to the 1600’s. We are informed Borghese’s favorite artist was Caravaggio and possesses Bernini’s most important works such as Hades e Persephne and Apollo e Daphne. The sculpture captures the moment Daphne turns into a tree to get away from Apollo.

On the way back to the studio, where we are due for one on one appointment times for feedback on assignments, we take a slight detour and visit the Spanish Steps, Scallnata della Trinita del Monti which are a set of 135 steps which link the Piazza de Spagna and Piazza Trinita del Monti, is abundant of tourists and without hesitation, we opt to appreciate the view of the steps rather than climb them. Understandable but shocking is that eating is forbidden on the staircase.

Day 22: Monday, September 10, 2012 Monday, Sep 10 2012 

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Walk to Campodolio & Studio Time

After tasty treats at a charming bakery located in the Jewish Ghetto, students go on a sight seeing walk from ruins, synagogues, the coliseum, and numerous churches including Arocelli, a military church, where weddings take place. Students then rush to the studio and hurry to complete assignments are due in the afternoon and then disburse in different groups to enjoy their again met leisurely paced adventures of exploring Rome.  It is hard to believe to have already been in Rome for a whole week!

Day 19: Friday, September 7, 2012 Friday, Sep 7 2012 

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Fontana di Trevi, Gabinetto di Stampa, Isituto Nazionale per la Grafica, and Studio Time

After sampling some special pastries, a big thanks to Curt, students have the pleasure of visiting the famous Trevi fountain, a very popular tourist attraction.  It is easy to marvel at the beauty of Fontana di Trevi, and more than a few students make wishes as they throw in coins with high hopes and much amusement.

Next is a very special meeting to attend at the Gabinetto di Stampa, where an exclusive group tour is scheduled to view prints, drawings, and plates. To avoid accidents and for high priority in preservation, student are not allowed any food, drink, or pens in during the tour, no students are allowed to touch the prints, but Curt is allowed to present them with required cloth gloves. There is a wide range of prints and it is explains that the transition from wood to metal etchings was due to metal being a harder surface moved details more effectively onto prints and the result was prints becoming more affordable. It was a pleasant surprise to see a print by the famous French artist Henri de Toulouse Leutrec’s mixed in with Italian artists’ print work.

Students then are given a tour at the Isituto Nazionale per la Grafica where the largest collections of 15th century copper plates reside. The acid engravings are also impressive and Students are given print advice and information such as zinc being good for color while copper will change it. The tour ends with a demonstration of the process of print then students have a mini potluck in the Rome Center Studio, which helps many to catch up on their assignments as the weekend is nearly here.

Many of the students have planned a weekend trip to the Island Capri. With an early morning taxi ride , a train ride to Naples, and a ferry ride, upon arrival, students lounge in the sun, swim in the warm Mediterranean sea, take in the majestic sights, shop souvenirs, and awe over the beautiful plants and fruits throughout the island. The highlights are visiting the Blue Grotto, where tourists are able to take gondola rides into an amazing cave where a blue glow appears in the water, and having fresh seafood dishes such as spaghetti alla vongole and local wine at seaside restaurants.

Day 18: Thursday, September 6, 2012 Thursday, Sep 6 2012 

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 Church Walk, Scavi St Peter’s Group Experience, & Potluck

Once everyone is met up at the UW Rome Center, we get a presentation by a fellow classmate on Caravaggio, who was not only famous for his intense use of lights and darks in his work but also his rebel ways which were controversial as it involved him in lower class association and violence. He was eventually exiled for murder then died of lead poisoning.

After the briefing, Curt takes us on an adventure of countless churches to learn and admire their histories, architecture, and artwork within. It is explained to us that materials such as red and green porforee stones, are as ancient that resources are unavailable to us today and that methods of construction for columns were, sliced like pancakes, then stacked from the floor.

One of the churches visited, Church Minerva, the only gothic church, contains works by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Philippe. It was fascinating to learn that tombs within churches often possessed only parts of bodies of relics as the body was divided to be distributed to different locations for economical reasons such as donations as well as for religious customs such as the main body to be returned to its origin.

The church walk is followed by a visit to Scavi St. Peter’s, an archeological site, which we take a guided tour and learn how St. Peter was perceived to have burned due to angry gods and the allegory of how a phoenix is reborn from ashes to new life, and in the evening, the students organize a special potluck and gather for some good food and company for the perfect end to a busy Thursday.

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