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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

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.

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