07
Apr

Fettuccine and Ravioli Night!

 

Step 1: the eggs are combined with flour. Photo: Winnie Lu

Step 1: the eggs are combined with flour. Photo: Winnie Lu

Step 2: The dough is rolled out using a pasta machine. Photo: Winnie Lu

Step 2: The dough is rolled out using a pasta machine. Photo: Winnie Lu

The second of the special pasta cooking lessons hosted by Administrative Director Anna Rita, Fettuccine and Ravioli night was met with hungry excitement. After the wildly successful Gnocchi night of a few weeks previous, students were eager to get back in the kitchen. At this event, Anna Rita instructed the assembled designers, artists, and urbanists in the art of mixing, kneading, and folding fettuccine and ravioli pasta by hand. The actual pasta dough is simple: a mixture of water, flour, and eggs. The dough is first kneaded and then rolled progressively thinner, first with a rolling pin and then with a hand crank pasta machine. At this stage, the fettuccine is cut into its characteristic ribbons while the thin sheets of ravioli dough are placed over a shaped metal ravioli mold. Into each space goes a spoonful of Anna Rita’s famous ravioli filling: a rich mixture of spinach and three kinds of cheese—parmigiano, and both cow and sheep ricotta. As Anna Rita declared, “It’s not light!” To finish them off, another layer of dough is added on top and the ravioli are cut out using a crimped roller to seal them off.

Step 3: The filling is added to the ravioli dough. Photo: Winnie Lu

Step 3: The filling is added to the ravioli dough. Photo: Winnie Lu

Step 4: The ravioli is cut out using a roller.

Step 4: The ravioli is cut out using a roller.

With the pasta bubbling away in the pot, the Cornell students sat down to a cauldron of rice and vegetable soup and a selection of vegetable frittata appetizers. Soon the first batch of fettuccine was cooked and dressed in a tomato and eggplant sauce. Soon tureens, bowls, and basins of pasta paraded from the kitchen, all dressed in a different sauce of Anna Rita’s invention. One of the most popular ravioli sauces was a simple sage and olive oil dressing—not much was needed to set off the flavorful filling! Just as the last ravioli were divvied up and the fettuccine bowl scraped clean, the first desserts were brought out. This time, Daniela—housekeeper and baker extraordinaire—truly outdid herself. In addition to an exceptional range of cookies and cakes there was also an entire tray of homemade tiramisù. With prosecco in hand, we gathered together to end the meal and toast the people who made this feast possible.

Step 5: Happy Cornellians after the feast!

Step 5: Happy Cornellians after the feast! Photo: Winnie Lu

 

30
Mar

Internships!

A unique part of Cornell in Rome, the internship program allows students to gain professional experience in their fields, earn one elective credit through the adjoining class “International Professional Practice,” build their resumes, and gain a new perspective on what it’s like to live and work in Rome. Open to Fine Art and Liberal Studies majors, interested students are placed within a range of opportunities under the guidance of professor Shara Wasserman. Professor Wasserman has lived and worked in Rome for years, teaching at Temple, Cornell, and RISD study abroad programs. Her knowledge of the Roman art and design scene and connections to the top players in these fields make the International Professional Practice Program possible. This semester, three Fine Art students and two visiting Liberal Studies are participating in internships. In addition to working 10 hours per week, we also meet once per week with Professor Wasserman to reflect on and share our experiences in a small group setting. I sat down with each of the interns to learn a bit more about their internship experiences so far:

Gabrielle Manoff, Brown University, BS in Neuroscience, 2016

  1. What is your internship? I teach science to fifth year high school students in the Monteverde district.
  2. What does a normal day entail? Normally I go two days a week and make a powerpoint presentation-style lecture to six different classes. My presentation generally lasts around 40 minutes and then we’ll discuss the material for another 20. The program is part of a mandate that schools should have instruction each subject in English as well as Italian. I teach science material, so students will learn this kind of terminology in English.
  3. What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is being able to teach here. I love teaching kids—it’s something I do at home too. I’ve also learned so much about Italian culture in a different way. The worst part is that this is the first time these teachers have participated in this internship so sometimes it feels disorganized.

 

 

Isabella Masiello, Brown University, BA In International and Comparative Politics and Architectural studies, 16’

  1. What is your internship? I work for the artist Pietro Ruffo. Currently, I’m helping him with his commission to design the sets for Valentino’s spring fashion show in July.
  2. What does a normal day entail? There is no normal day at the office. I usually go there in the morning and then I’m given specific tasks for the day. Recently I’ve been helping with the design phase. Now the project has just entered the architecture and engineering phase so a local architecture studio has taken over. My next projects will probably involve assisting him with his usual studio work.
  3. What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is getting to hang out in the studio with a lot of cool and interesting artists. The worst part is that the bus has been late every time so it takes me an hour and twenty minutes to get there.

 

 

Hyunseok Seo, BFA, Cornell University, 16’

  1. What is your internship? I work with the free-lance curator and art manager, Jessica Stewart. I am assisting an artist she is working with.
  2. What does a normal day entail? We help the artist sell her works, pack pieces for shipping, and prepare for a show in April in Portugal.
  3. What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is that now I can see the real art world—not just studying as a student. I realize what I face when I graduate. The worst part is the location—it’s very far from studio.

 

Jungbin Seo, BFA, Cornell University, 16’

  1. What is your internship? I intern at Il Kino. It’s a nonprofit cinema organization that shows independent movies.
  2. What does a normal day entail? There’s no such thing as a normal day. I basically help out with whatever needs to be done to keep the place up and running smoothly. This could mean doing projections of films or working the sound system. There is a special event every day so I take photographs of whatever is going on and help update the website.
  3. What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is being introduced to the contemporary cinema scene and meeting a lot of new people. The worst part is the language barrier. I don’t speak Italian so sometimes it’s difficult to communicate.

 

 

Melody Stein, BFA, Cornell University, 16’

  1. What is your internship? I’m a research and design intern at Studio UAP: Urbanistica, Architectura, Paesaggio.
  2. What does a normal day entail? Studio UAP enters a lot of competitions so the last project I worked on was very research intensive and centered around analyzing precedents of urban agriculture and how it can be incorporated into city planning and landscape design. This week I just began a new, very different project. Studio UAP is hosting a special tour of edible food gardens along the Via Appia Antica in conjunction with the 2015 Milan EXPO, so I am designing brochures and maps showing the different tour routes.
  3. What is the best and worst part of your internship? The best part is getting the opportunity to try out another aspect of a field I’m considering pursuing. The worst part is that by the end of the day I’m so tired I feel like I’ve run out of energy to do homework.

 

 

 

23
Mar

Art Lecture: Alberto Dambruoso

Last week, Cornell in Rome hosted its first lecture through the Art Department. Alberto Dambruoso is a professor at the Academia di Belle Arti in Foggia as well as the founder of the renowned artist interview and lecture series I Martedì Critici, or The Tuesday Critics.

Dambruoso arrived in Rome when he was 23. Exposed to art from a young age by his art collector father, he quickly specialized in 1960’s era art and the Arte Povera movement. He began I Martedì Critici just over five years ago as a response to a problem: he noticed the trend of people going to galleries and attending openings but not actually speaking about or engaging with the work. In a major way, art was used as a prop for a social event rather than the driving force behind the gathering. The intention of I Martedì Critici was to reengage with art works in a critical and conscious manner while also creating a venue in which to discuss what art is and what it means today.

Founded in a renovated artist’s studio, it began as a small weekly event, attended by Dambruoso’s already impressive collection of art world friends. Slowly, it gained recognition and the refurbished studio filled with people ranging from artists, critics, and museum directors to gallerists, collectors and the interested public. The format was loose, with artists bringing their works, doing performances, and installing works in the space, but the basic outline was the same: an interview-style dialogue between the guest artist and Dambruoso himself.

Over the years, the event outgrew the space and moved from location to location, including a tour to cities as far flung as Milan and Florence. Finally, it found its current resting space within the hallowed lecture halls of the MAXXI and MACRO museums in Rome. This transition of space from studio to museum atmosphere allowed more of the public to attend, but also lost some of its intimacy and freedom. While the studio operated as a laboratory environment in which there was freedom to test out new ideas and young, emerging and unestablished artists were frequently invited to speak, the pedigree of a museum carried with it a formality and caution that now only allowed established, mostly mid-career artists to present. However, some things have not changed and the basic premise of I Martedì Critici has remained consistent: whom Dambruoso presents is a reflection of how he sees art today. The “lectures” still retain their interview format in an attempt to show art in a direct and approachable context. I Martedì Critici is, and always will be, about the process of creating the story of contemporary art as it happens.

Following his lecture, Dambruoso joined the Art majors for guest critiques in their studio spaces downstairs. A phenomenal opportunity, Dambruoso provided his professional feedback and commentary on the paintings, sculptures, drawings, and video pieces presented at each desk. A unique and inspiring talk, Dambruoso’s lecture provided a vivid glimpse into the contemporary art world in Rome.

Dambruoso watches a video installation by Rachel Margolis, BFA 16'. Photo: Melody Stein

Dambruoso watches a video installation by Rachel Margolis, BFA 16′. Photo: Melody Stein

Shayna Anderson, BFA 16' explains her series of drawings and paintings.

Shayna Anderson, BFA 16′ explains her series of drawings and paintings.

Dambruoso offers feedback as he wanders from desk to desk. Here, with Melody Stein, BFA 16'

Dambruoso offers feedback as he wanders from desk to desk. Here, with Melody Stein, BFA 16′

 

 

12
Mar

Gnocchi Night!

Anna Rita Flati is the Administrative Director of Cornell in Rome. Responsible for keeping the program running smoothly and fielding issues ranging from apartment mishaps to the finer details of complex fieldtrip itineraries and special events, Anna Rita is known for maintaining her warm and welcoming outlook through the most arduous of dilemmas. Rumors have circulated since the beginning of the semester that in addition to her organizational skills, she is also an incredible cook of Italian foods. Last week, the Cornell in Rome students were able to see (and taste!) for themselves, as Anna Rita hosted a gnocchi-cooking lesson in the palazzo lecture hall.

Anna Rita demonstrates how to prepare the dough for kneading

Anna Rita demonstrates how to prepare the dough for kneading. Photo: Melody Stein

Art professor Bob Bertoia strapped on his apron and joined in the festivities. Photo: Melody Stein

Art professor Bob Bertoia strapped on his apron and joined in the festivities. Photo: Melody Stein

Gnocchi is a kind of pasta made with only a few simple ingredients: flour, eggs, potatoes, and water. Combined in the correct proportions, they are then kneaded into soft, white dough. These piles are subsequently divided and rolled into long rope-like pieces. Next, the ropes are sliced into small two-centimeter sections to form the gnocchi pieces. Under Anna Rita’s watchful gaze, Art, Architecture and Planning students slowly began the process of transforming raw ingredients into piles of puffy dough and neat trays of freshly sliced gnocchi, ready for the pot. “Do this so the gnoccho will hold more sauce!” Anna Rita advised, as she demonstrated the last essential step: a quick press and flick of the finger that transforms the tiny blob of dough into an appealingly pasta-shaped curl.

Gnocchi is shaped with the flick of a finger. Photo: Melody Stein

Gnocchi is shaped with the flick of a finger. Photo: Melody Stein

Fresh gnocchi is laid out on trays before being boiled. Photo: Melody Stein

Fresh gnocchi is laid out on trays before being boiled. Photo: Melody Stein

After about an hour, the commotion had died down, the last trays of finished gnocchi were carried off to the kitchen, and the long lecture tables were swept of flour and arranged in the center of the room. It was time to eat! To our surprise, Anna Rita had spent the entire day preparing a selection of frittata appetizers, a cauldron of vegetable soup, and six sauces with which to eat the gnocchi. Far from a mere cooking lesson, this was a feast! Soon, steaming pots of gnocchi and sauces emerged from the kitchen. The next hour and a half was filled with the clattering of cutlery and the buzz of enjoyment as sauces were compared and one pot of gnocchi after another emerged from the kitchen. Just when the meal was drawing to a close and a few diners began to push their chairs back in satisfaction, a final surprise was in store. Anna Rita and Daniela, the housekeeper of the Cornell in Rome apartment complex, had baked a delicious spread of traditional Italian cakes. Served with sparkling wine, the delicious dessert was the perfect ending to an evening filled with the energy of celebration.

Cake by the window! Photo: Melody Stein

Cake by the window! Photo: Melody Stein

10
Mar

Journey to the North pt. 2

Early in the semester, just as we had gotten settled into Roma as our new home, the Architecture, Art and Planning students were off on our longest field trip of the semester. This post, a continuation to Part 1 written by my colleague, Art major Melody Stein, will recount our journey through the eyes of the architecture students.

An in depth summary of all of the incredible sights and experiences that made up our trip would be pages long, so for this post I will spare you some of the details and go right into the most memorable moments in each city.

Bologna:

The first of a string of destinations we visited in the north was the beautiful city of Bologna. Known for its continuous loggias, Bologna is home to some of the most unique architecture we’ve seen in Italy. As soon as we arrived at the train station we were greeted by the familiar sight of winter and snow that is entirely absent in Rome. Thanks to these loggias, almost every exterior paving surface was covered in beautifully ornate marble or stone and pedestrians are almost constantly protected from the elements. In these interstitial spaces between building and street we are enveloped in a unique kind of public zone. These covered areas give depth to every façade, simultaneously addressing the street and the storefronts that line the ground floor. In this way, every corner of Bologna offers a richly developed architectural experience. Unlike Rome, which is most known for its series of seemingly isolated and imposing landmarks, Bologna is a landmark in and of itself.

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Here we had the chance to climb Bologna’s “Due Torri,” the central historic towers of the city. Personally, I always enjoy taking the time to climb to the top of any city’s tallest structures. These new vantage points give us the chance to see the places we visit as a cohesive whole and understand its geographic layout in the surrounding landscape. Not to mention, the views are always breathtaking. This particular climb, however, was one of the most harrowing experiences I’ve had in recent years. The fact that the towers themselves are leaning when seen from the outside doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and the rickety wooden stairs seen from inside are enough to make anyone with a fear of heights turn and walk out the door. With each step I imagined the wooden boards cracking beneath my feet, or worse, the entire structure toppling down. On the way up, one has to periodically cling to the side of the wall to allow other visitors to squeeze by on their way down. But after this seemingly endless flight of stairs, we were rewarded by the tower’s incredible vantage point over the city. Of course, no trip to Bologna is complete without sampling some of its namesake cuisine, Pasta Bolognese. Lastly, the food we ate in Bologna was just the beginning of what was to be one of the most amazing cuisine experiences of my life.

Parma:

During one of our days in Bologna we took a day trip to the tiny, yet beautiful town of Parma. Famously the birthplace of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, here I had my best restaurant experience of the entire trip. Initially shocked by the lack of people on the streets in Parma, I began to love the authentic feel of the town because it was devoid of the hordes of tourists that crowd the streets of Rome. Everything here seemed uniquely suited to the scale of the city, but the ornate churches we visited revealed its rich history. Food being one of my favorite parts of traveling, Parma is a destination not to be missed. Not knowing where to eat for lunch, a group of us walked into a randomly chosen and unassuming establishment and proceeded to have what we all remember as one of the best meals of our lives.

Modena:

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The art and architecture students had the opportunity to visit the town of Modena following Parma. Here we made a pilgrimage to the classic San Cataldo Cemetery by Aldo Rossi, remembered by many of the architecture students as their favorite site on the trip. Admittedly, when I first heard that we would be visiting a cemetery off the beaten path outside of Modena, my expectations were fairly low. However, it turned out to be a transformative architectural experience for my colleagues and I. Described by one of our professors as a “city for the dead”, the Rossi cemetery is a true masterpiece that takes advantage of pure architectural expression to create an experience that lacks any well-defined programmatic requirements. A contrast between old and new elements, the architecture reveals a unique narrative as one processes through the sequence of buildings on the site. Lucky for us, there was beautiful late afternoon light shining down on the snow covered ground which made the experience that much more memorable. Like any great architectural space, I find it to be incredibly difficult to describe the emotional power the Rossi cemetery evokes. It is truly something one has to visit and experience for themselves.

Genova:

Next was Genova, an incredible city, and my personal favorite. Here we were greeted by a warm seaside breeze as we emerged from the train station. I was immediately reminded of California for its warm weather and palm trees, but the urban scale of Genova was something entirely unique. As a port city, Genova had a lively nightlife feel when compared to Bologna. As soon as we dropped our bags at the hotel we walked as a group to the redesigned waterfront, featuring Renzo Piano’s biosphere. Walking through the streets of Genova was one of the most memorable experiences of the entire trip. Every street is filled with pedestrians, too narrow for most cars and made noteworthy by the absence of the grand piazzas and open spaces often seen in Rome. Here we saw many more beautiful structures and works of art, including several grand palazzos that are now museums for the public. The rooftop of one of these palazzos offered an incredible view over the city and out to the coast. As far as cuisine here, Gevona is famous for Pesto Genovese, and we were lucky enough to find a small homey restaurant where I had the best pesto dish in Italy yet. I found it particularly hard to say goodbye to the beautiful weather and character of Genova upon our departure and I hope to return some day.

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Milan:

Milan is a city I had wanted to visit since I first learned about the Milan Cathedral for a school project in the second grade, and it was very different from all of the other cities we’ve seen in Italy, including Rome. Operating on a very different urban scale, the city was much more modern than I previously imagined. Here we saw the Duomo di Milano of course, and even got the chance to climb to the roof. One highlight for us was visiting the Triennale di Milano where we saw a great exhibit on Ugo La Pietra.

Como:

During our time in Milan we took a day trip to the beautiful city of Como. Here the architects had a day filled with a series of works by Giuseppe Terragni which concluded with a visit to his iconic Casa del Fascio. Although small in scale, Como is a beautiful place to visit because of its close proximity to Switzerland and Lake Como.

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09
Mar

Planning Guest Lecture: Pietro Garau

Dr. Pietro Garau is a researcher at the first Faculty of Architecture at the University of Rome and the former director of the Habitat Office at the United Nations in New York. Serving as the head of a variety of UN departments and projects throughout Africa and Europe, Dr. Garau —who received his Dottore in Architettura from the University of Rome— is renowned as a leading thinker in the field of community planning and development. Cornell in Rome was honored to host his lecture through the Planning department on Monday, March 2nd. An inspiring and engaging speaker, Dr. Garau began his lecture with a quote from a past planning project in Buenos Aires: “We managed to do it because we did not know that doing it was impossible”. In this case, the impossible was achieving a state of equality. Seemingly the most basic goal, the achievement of equality in urban communities is a rare feat trapped behind numerous impediments and complications.

Determined to identify and defeat these obstacles, Dr. Garau discussed the root philosophies that have given way to fundamental systems of inequality. He begins by introducing the theory of the Pensée Unique, an expression that describes the laissez-faire, extreme capitalistic, neoliberal doctrine that forms the basis for many underlying issues in contemporary urbanism. The city that results from the Pensée Unique is La Ville Unique, or a constructed environment built upon a system of commodified, privatized spaces. This situation is further exacerbated by the contemporary substitution of a sense of community solidarity for a perpetual connectedness mediated by an increasingly ubiquitous network of personal technology.

The solution to this rampant trend of mass-privatization of space, proliferation of generic non-places, and general sense of fear of one’s own community lies in the introduction of well-planned and managed public spaces. Public space is an essential part of a functional cityscape. Public spaces promote equality by providing services disassociated from commodity-driven regimes. Because public spaces are currently unevenly distributed between more and less affluent areas, the identification and insertion of mindfully designed, community-specific public spaces would promote equality and provide essential social and environmental services to previously underserved factions.

Next, Dr. Garau reviewed the programs that are currently working to define and promote public spaces. The Biennial of Public space held by the Instituto Nazionale di Urbanistica in Rome from the 21st through the 23rd of May addresses these topics of urbanism and public space. The Instituto Nazionale di Urbanistica is the organization responsible for The Charter of Public Space: a five page document that defines public spaces, discusses its major typologies, outlines guidelines for its creation and management, and examines the limits and potential constraints implicit in the establishment of these community-focused zones. An international success, this guide has been adopted by urbanists and planning committees worldwide.

Despite these efforts, not all planned initiatives are entirely beneficial to the communities they attempt to serve. Dr. Garau concluded his lecture with a case study of a small, historically Kurdish neighborhood in Istanbul. Recently designated a UNESCO world heritage site, the sudden popularization of the newly protected church inspired a wealth of new development and the “revitalization” of a park into a garden space and high-end hotel courtyard. This created a situation of “history in conflict with reality” in which a once publically utilized area of the city suddenly became useless to the majority of its residents. Rent skyrocketed and the familiar patterns of gentrification began to push community members out of the city center. In an attempt to bring back and nurture a sense of solidarity amongst disillusioned residents, Dr. Garau’s team created The Wall—a public art project in which local children painted on an abandoned wall and an empty lot was transformed into a new center for public interaction. Community-centric public art has the power to bring people together, create a city identity unique to the community, and encourage participation and usage of public-spheres.

The lecture ended with one of the most engaging question and answer sessions Cornell in Rome has witnessed this semester and Dr. Garau stayed late to further discuss his ideas with students at the reception. An inspiring evening, it left the Planning, Art, and Architecture students in attendance invigorated with a new sense of public purpose in each of their respective fields.

04
Mar

Movie Night!

Italy and movies. Home to some of the world’s greatest directors, Italy’s reputation for cinematic talent and experience is celebrated around the world and integral to Italian culture. One of the programmed activities offered by the Cornell in Rome program are weekly movie nights. Every Wednesday at 9:00pm in the lecture hall, students gather together to take a break from studio work and experience a taste of Italian cinema for themselves. This week, there was a screening of Davide Ferrario’s classic romantic comedy, Dopo Mezzanotte, or in English, “After Midnight.”

Dopo Mezzanotte movie poster. Image courtesy Italiaidea.

Dopo Mezzanotte movie poster. Image courtesy Italiaidea.

A film about film, Dopo Mezzanotte is set within the famous Museum of Cinema—La Mole Antonelliana in Turin, Italy. Angela, a brooding fast food waitress, is the protagonist of the tale and it is her frustration with the banality and repetitiveness of her days that ultimately drive her to throw hot, deep fryer oil onto her boss. Suddenly on the run from the law, she takes refuge in the cinema museum, assisted by the charmingly pensive night watchmen, Martino, a familiar face at the restaurant. Over the days of her asylum, Angela falls in love first with the museum and then slowly with Martino. Torn between Martino’s quiet depth and her current car-thief boyfriend’s wild excitement, a chaotic love triangle ensues.

Classically Italian in style, the pacing and composition of the film differentiates it from the one-dimensional, faster paced style that characterizes most American cinema. Equal parts poignant, quirky, and deeply aesthetic, its use of montage and cinematic history ties it to a dialogue far greater than its “romantic-comedy” designation. A beautiful piece, the film left us inspired and ready to take on the end of the week.

25
Feb

Journey to the North pt. 1

The Northern Trip was our first, longest, and coldest overnight field trip of the semester. A whirlwind of activity, the Art and Architecture departments were separated from the Planning students as we all embarked on a expedition to the more northern climbs of Italy. Art and Architecture each had nonstop itineraries to sites, museums, churches, monuments, artworks, and structures throughout Bologna, Parma, Modena, Genova, Milano, and Como, while the Planning students visited their own unique itinerary consisting of a variety of sites in Bologna and Torino. Because of the extensive, comprehensive, and intensive nature of this fieldtrip, the blog post covering it has been split into two parts. The first focuses on the Art and Planning experience, while the second—written by my colleague, Architecture major Evan Rawn—covers the separate itinerary undertaken by the Architecture department.

An in depth discussion of the range of impressions and incidents experienced by both Art and Planning programs would take pages to write and be impossible to account in full. Instead, I offer a sampling of interviews of three Art and three Planning students that begin to sum up the highlights of the field trip as a whole.

 

Art Majors:

  • Pablo Maggi
  • What was your favorite city and why?

Genova. It was fresh and by the sea and filled me with a sense of adventure. It had good energy. We went onto the rooftop of Palazzo Rosso and it was amazing. It was so beautiful there.

  • What was a personal highlight or your favorite moment outside of a planned tour?

The medieval churches were my favorite part of the tours. My favorite overall was the Baptist church in Bologna. The stonework was amazing and so unique. Also the paintings in the picture gallery in the Sforza Castle in Milan were incredible. Outside of the planned events, the best meal I ate on the trip was at a sushi restaurant in Milan.

  • If you were to go back to any of these cities, where would you go and what would you do?

I would go back to Genova, have some time to recover from my travels, and stay for a while.

A church facade featuring the intricate striping representative of Bolognese designs. Photo: Melody Stein

A church facade featuring the intricate striping representative of Genovese designs. Photo: Melody Stein

  • Emily Teall
  • What was your favorite city and why?

Genova! I liked the lighting and the layout of the city. I liked the feel of the streets after dark and I loved being near the water.

  • What was a personal highlight or your favorite moment outside of a planned tour?

I loved going on the roof of the Palazzo Rosso. In Milan I got the chance to visit the gallery that represents the artist I interned for in New York City through AAP’s New York City Studio program. It was great seeing her work exhibited.

  • If you were to go back to any of these cities, where would you go and what would you do?

If I were to go back to any of these cities, I would spend more time in contemporary galleries and museums.

A view of Genova from the top of the Palazzo Rosso. Photo: Melody Stein

A view of Genova from the top of the Palazzo Rosso. Photo: Melody Stein

 

  • Vittoria Cutbirth
  • What was your favorite city and why?

Genova. I really liked the atmosphere of the city. It was warmer and I liked the seaside ambiance. We got to adventure around the other cities on our own a bit, but Genova felt more comfortable for me—maybe because I’m from California and I love the sea. I think I also loved Genova because we got to do and see wide variety of things in addition to going to museums and looking at historical sites. One of the best places we visited was Renzo Piano’s biosphere and the Genova waterfront redesign. The Medieval and Renaissance church designs were also extremely distinct and interesting here. Genova was amazing, but how could I forget about Como? The boat ride in Como was awesome and really special. Definitely a highlight as well.

  • What was a personal highlight or your favorite moment outside of a planned tour?

I sat at the waterside in Genova and some of the locals came up and talked to me for a bit. At one point, we were walking to a museum and Pablo and I bought these copper bracelets from an artist on the street. The locals in Genova were so friendly, welcoming, and happy to have us visit.

  • If you were to go back to any of these cities, where would you go and what would you do?

Como was such a beautiful city. The architects went to a park on the water for one of their site visits and I would have liked to see that. I would go back to all the cities we visited on the Northern Trip to explore more. I was so tired at the end of each day on the tour I know I missed a lot. It was go go go all the time, but I’m happy we did so many tours because we got to see so much.

Art and Architecture students sketch in a theatre in Parma. Photo: Melody Stein

Art and Architecture students sketch in a theatre in Parma. Photo: Melody Stein

Planning Majors:

  • Kyra Spotte–Smith
  • What was your favorite city and why?

Turin. Overall we went to a bunch of different areas including Lingotto, which provided a contrast between peripheral and city center areas. Each place we visited was different from every other area and had a lot of vibrancy and unique qualities. They were well planned and we talked to the former mayor who was very integral in the process of spearheading efforts to revitalize these post-industrial spaces.

  • What was a personal highlight or your favorite moment outside of a planned tour?

We went to a really fun bar in the San Salvario area of Turin. This particular area is known for nightlife. During the day we went with the group on a tour, so in the evening we decided to check it out on our own. We went barhopping around and ended up at a gay bar called Cova Taranta. There were people playing tambourines and all kinds of musical instruments and they served wine in ceramic jugs. It had a fun Latin theme and everyone was dancing—it was a great night.

  • If you were to go back to any of these cities, where would you go and what would you do?

The climate in Bologna was so cold, I would definitely want to go back and see the city when it gets a bit warmer. This trip also made me more curious about the historical background of these cities, so if I returned, I would want to do more research first. I would love to go back to Torino and possibly Ivrea. It was about to be their carnevale and we got to see a lot of cool parades. They also have a festival where they throw oranges at each other so I would definitely go back for that.

Torino at night. Photo: Kyra Spotte-Smith.

Torino at night. Photo: Kyra Spotte-Smith.

  • Emma Guida
  • What was your favorite city and why?

Also Torino. It was a beautiful city. Every section was really interesting. We had the opportunity to talk to really remarkable people there. In San Salvario, we met Magda Bolzoni, a research fellow at the University of Turin who had studied this area extensively, as well as a past Cornell graduate who had done a project with the brownfield development during his time in the Cornell in Rome program. Now he lives and works in Italy so that was really inspiring to hear his story and it definitely helped put what we were learning in context.

  • What was a personal highlight or your favorite moment outside of a planned tour?

We went to the market in Torino— it’s the largest outdoor market in Europe! It has a giant food section with produce, cheese, meat, and fish, as well as a flea market. It was so incredible.

  • If you were to go back to any of these cities, where would you go and what would you do?

The Carnevale in Ivrea! I would also love to go back to Eataly in Turin. Additionally, Bologna has a peripheral area with a wholesale food warehouse that is also the largest solar farm in Europe. In the fall, this warehouse space will become the biggest Eataly ever built. Expanding on the Eataly concept, it will also have educational aspects and highlight sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. I would love to go back and see it when it’s done.

Ivrea prepares for its orange throwing festival. Photo: Kyra Spotte-Smith.

Ivrea prepares for its orange throwing festival. Photo: Kyra Spotte-Smith.

  • Caelyn Kwak
  • What was your favorite city and why?

Turin! The weather was so much nicer than in Bologna. Also, the people we met were so inspiring and great storytellers. They told us about their own neighborhoods and shared their personal connections to these places.

  • What was a personal highlight or your favorite moment outside of a planned tour?

We went to an amazing restaurant in Turin. Turin is known for risotto, so we tried to find the best risotto place. We made a reservation for 7:00pm thinking it was late, but when we got there, the restaurant was completely empty. At first we were worried that this meant that the food wasn’t good and the place wasn’t popular, but by 9:00pm, the restaurant was packed! It turns out it’s true that Italians eat dinner late!

  • If you were to go back to any of these cities, where would you go and what would you do?

I want to go back to Bologna when it is nicer outside. It was so snowy and cold when we were there, so although it was still beautiful, it was difficult to stay outside for long. I feel like it would be such a different experience in the summer when it’s warm.

One of the many up and coming neighborhoods in Torino. Photo: Kyra Spotte-Smith.

One of the many up and coming neighborhoods in Torino. Photo: Kyra Spotte-Smith.

23
Feb

Lecture by Beniamino Servino and Luca Galofaro

Conversations with Beniamino Servino and Luca Galofaro

Conversations with Beniamino Servino and Luca Galofaro

On the evening of February 16, we were fortunate enough to have Beniamino Servino and Luca Galofaro come to the Palazzo for a “conversation”. This lecture was unique because for the first time I truly felt a connection to Italy while sitting in the Palazzo lecture hall. Perhaps fitting for the theme of the lecture, the following is my own “translation” of their most important ideas.

Servino immediately begins his lecture speaking in Italian, and explaining, through a translator, why he prefers to lecture in the same language through which he makes his architecture. The intersection between language, thought, and architecture is rarely spoken of but nonetheless defines how we communicate our intentions.

The word translation is in fact a central theme of the lecture. Architecture is always a form of translation, whether it is a translation of an idea, an object, or a place. This translation through architecture expresses love for whatever is being translated. He goes on to discuss the ways in which everything can be understood as a form of translation. Even the act of reading is an act of translation as one interprets words on a page and is influenced by their own personal experiences and views. A quote from the lecture appropriately summarizes the feelings evoked by its theoretical content, that “Thoughts become complex when you have the words to describe them. Otherwise they are plain thoughts”. Many of the ideas presented in this lecture are clearly more difficult to describe in words than they are to understand in one’s head. Servino does not take the generic architectural lecture approach of displaying images of projects and describing their process in detail. Rather, his images form a background to a more complex narrative about the foundations of thought, form, memory, and their relationship to architecture.

By stating “I am not a creator, I detest the idea of creativity”, Servino begins to delve into the implications of created works. In a sense, he asserts that nothing is in fact created or original and that everything is merely a reinterpretation of something that came before. This idea is reinforced by the role of memory in many of Beniamino’s works, and his belief that memory is not simply an archive but an elaboration on what is experienced. Here again the idea of translation comes to mind because memory itself is in fact a translation of reality.

Beniamino’s work correlates perfectly with our current architecture studio project, as we are exploring methods of representation in collage and montage. By taking an image of an existing building, for example, he forms a canvas for subsequent operations. Thus, his work directly embodies his belief that architecture is produced through translation rather than so called “creativity”. To him, drawing is not a method of representation, but a tool to “build architecture” because drawings communicate architectural narratives.

Beniamino Servino and Luca Galofaro

Beniamino Servino and Luca Galofaro

13
Feb

In Vino Veritas—Wine Tasting with AAP

Italy is home to some of the best and most unique wine regions in Europe. While many of the Architecture, Art and Planning students in Rome had already sampled some of the huge variety of wines available in grocery stores and specialty shops, we were all in for a treat when we went for a wine tasting and sommelier lesson at Ristorante Renato e Luisa on February 6th.

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Architecture, Art, and Planning students gathered for a wine tasting and dinner at Ristorante Renato e Luisa. Photo: Winnie Lu

 

Renato was a charismatic teacher and demonstrated everything from the correct way to store wine (horizontally or slightly inverted so the cork doesn’t dry out), to whom to serve first when hosting a dinner party featuring the pope, the queen of England, and the mayor of New York City (first members of the clergy, then the eldest woman present at the table), to how to judge the alcohol content simply by swirling the wine around a glass (wines with higher alcohol contents are more viscous and have greater body). Through demonstrating the proper techniques for opening bottles of sparkling wine without causing undue amounts of noise or injuring spectators, describing the intricacies of Italian and French winemaking traditions, and explaining the logic of food and wine pairings, the mood of the evening alternated between exuberant dinner party and instructive Cornell-style lecture.

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Planning student, Emma Spotte-Smith learns to properly open a bottle of wine with Chef Renato. Photo: Winnie Lu

 

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Architecture student, Christine Ansalone, masters the art of opening champagne. Photo: Winnie Lu

 

Beginning with a sparkling wine paired with a delicious selection of warm bread and antipasti, the aspiring artists, planners, and architects toasted another successful week of classes. Next, we moved onto a full-bodied white wine combined with a more substantial selection of cheeses, meats, and stuffed squash blossom appetizer. The official enology and sommelier lecture drew to a close as students jotted down their last notes between sips and bites. At last the main course arrived along with the most remarkable wine of the evening—a velvety red respite with the flavors of frutti di bosco, or wild forest berries. It was paired with a pasta dish that matched the richness of the wine with a tomato and meat sauce or—for the vegetarians in the room—an exquisite truffle oil and porcini dressing. If this couldn’t be topped, the dessert was stunning. An outstandingly creamy chocolate cake with homemade cream finished off the meal and another magical night in Rome.

 

Architecture students toast with sparkling Prosecco. Photo: Winnie Lu

Architecture students toast with sparkling Prosecco. Photo: Winnie Lu