Well, with one day left on the clock to complete my blog, I think it's time I backtracked to before travel week and covered our weeks at the villa, in one incredibly massive post. Maybe not massive actually...but still, it'll be about 6 weeks worth!
I notice that I last left off with us headed to visit Assisi. That was a rather long time ago at this point, but I do remember the things that really mattered to me. For one thing, Saint Francis has always been my favorite saint, since I was a little girl who loved animals and aspired to be a veterinarian. Though my dreams have since changed, I've continued to love the stories of Saint Francis...and seeing his grave in front of me was the most humbling experience I've had throughout this entire trip. Especially since I went to Assisi expecting to still be under the sensory deprivation of art overload. This incredible success made the rest of that day that much more amazing. Although most of the group split up for a few hours, since St. Clair was in siesta mode, Roberto, Shane, Josh, and I climbed the sizeable hill to the castle at the highest point in Assisi. Not only was it the most beautiful scenery I had seen to that point in Italy, it was lovely weather. It was wondrous~ The guys climbed up on the crumbling wall next to the castle, but I declined to join them, just in case they needed a witness when they fell. We left not too long after that, and the rest of the day was fairly uneventful...but I never have forgotten how much I enjoyed Assisi. I'm almost positive that we visited Siena the day after that, but don't quote me on it. It was definitely the same week though.
Siena was...nice enough~? It was about like Perugia, just another Italian city. It was pretty fun to hang out in, but I don't believe we ever accomplished much, other than shopping around in a lot of interesting places~ Boring to read about, I know, but I will say that the main piazza there is beautiful. At any rate.
The next week was taken up by hastily finishing all of our projects (which have been uploaded on facebook, in my Perugia album, I swear!) and doing a critique. I am currently maintaining an indifferent attitude on my blog towards my drawing teacher, and I will leave that there.
After we did a wide scale critique of everyone, and took down everyone's work, we all prepared to embark on our travel week. But that is a whole other three blog posts, which I will let you read on your own.
And after travel week is where I begin my tale anew. Straight back into villa life, we began our printmaking class, taught by a professor from Western, who I am also planning to stay neutral on for this blog. In the past, I've done printmaking on very flexible linoleum, used more for stampmaking, but I did it all by hand. I'd never used a printing press before, and I was both excited to print again and also a little worried that I would find out I'd been doing it wrong for the last two years. However, my biggest trouble was in coming up with ideas. My first idea was rejected by my professor, and I had the greatest amount of trouble expanding on the one idea she did like. After rejecting about three more ideas, I finally settled on one, which I'm happy I went with. Please see facebook for pictures of it~ I learned to work a press, and my neutrality forbids me from elaborating on the procedure, other than saying it was a lovely process, and everything turned out quite well.
On our last full weekend in Italy, Shane and I took the Saturday as an opportune time for a day trip and traveled by train to Lucca. Upon arriving, we meandered around and observed that it was in fact the prettiest city in Italy. I can't begin to describe this to you. It was clean, there was nature, and the weather was amazing. It was just...perfect~ There are also pictures of this adventure on facebook, should you wish to view them. But it turns out that the town regularly transforms itself into some sort of event, and we were there to witness its transformation into a massive scale flea market/antique sale. I touched authentic WWII uniforms that were selling for 50 euros, and also was granted the opportunity to play an antique mandolin. Which I absolutely would have bought if it hadn't been warped horribly across the body. But it was amaaaazing~ Anyway. But we did that, and walked around on the walls of the city, which are one giant, picturesque park, and just enjoyed ourselves. We shopped through a lot of places, and eventually caught the train back to Firenze as it started to get dark. We successfully found a pair of red trousers for Shane (after an loooong, and exhausting search throughout the day), and finished off the evening with Doner kebabs. And then we made our way back to Perugia!
After that, not a lot happened. We had a week to finish off critiques, which were done very well and professionally, and pack, as well as prepare for the gala. The gala went quite smoothly, and on our last night, Shane and I spent the evening hanging out with Michele Vasta Jr. We listened to him play the piano, gave in to him making us play the piano and teasing us for being bad at it, and then rode with him when he went back home, just to have a little more time together. I'll most definitely miss him a lot~ But Facebook will keep us together!
And then came the day of travel. Josh and Jenni had the same first two flights as Shane and I it turns out, so we checked everything in and got to our gates as a group. Through several interesting mishaps and good coincidences, Shane and I managed to get seats together, although we were forced to pretend we were engaged to sit together on our international flight. It was pretty fun times, I must say. And then we arrived back in the States! My particular adventures did not end in Billings unfortunately, since I spent the 27th and 28th delivering the Rocky students' art projects, and completing Spring semester preparations. As of the 29th though, I am officially back home in Florida, finally realizing how much I've missed it for the first time since leaving for Montana, a year and a half ago. And I think home has effectively closed the chapter on my travels in Italy, although it certainly isn't the end of the story.