Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Orientation week:

My school is inside this awesome building, downstairs from Il Instituto di Restauro (apologies I spelled that wrong, and it mean school of Restoration), and this picture captures the courtyard as I first saw it, before we headed of to Pescia for orientation last week. Bellisimo.

This is a picture of Davide and Riccardo, not pictured is Niccolo. While in Pescia, we had a dinner with friends of our Italian student-guides (Sarah Lawrence has four Florentine students that work with us, joining us on outings and helping us with the local scene, Italian customs, etc.). I have the phone number or Skype of all three boys that sat with me and some other girls...

This is Hannah and I at the dinner. We were roommates in Pescia - the "hotel" is what they call an "agroturismo". Families with large villas and lots of property transform some farmhouses into rentable spaces and have tourists/vacationing families rent them out. There was a pool and much awesome Tuscan countryside.

One of our daytrips was to Montecarlo, and this is a view from a little courtyard over the countryside.

I MUST write more about this town, but in short: This is Pontito. We went on an impressive hike through Tuscan mountains/foothills to reach the village, and this picture is of me at the very top, next to the church. There is a book by Oliver Sacks called An Anthropologist on Mars in which you can read about an artist that obsessively portrays this town, his childhood home. When he lived there, maybe 200 people lived in Pontito? Now there are 40 or less. During the war, soldiers who occupied the town defaced the homes and devastated the countryside. The disruption of the local economy/life drove many people out, but also the temptations of modern life have seduced the younger generation. A very pretty town, but I think the endorphins from the hike heightened the prettiness ;)

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