Printing on Textiles, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Italiano, 12:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Mixed Media, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Eek! I am no stranger to a hectic schedule chock full of 3-hour studio sections, but jeez! The Textile class is at the Fuji studios near the train station, which is about a twenty minute walk north, in the opposite direction of the other two buildings I have class in. I actually don’t mind though, because it forces me to head a ways away from our apartment and explore a neighborhood I might not have visited that often otherwise. My textiles teacher is from Milwaukee, and seems to be the epitome of the kooky, fragile, awkward sort of “art teacher”. When you ask a question, she gives an answer, but then defends the answer for about five minutes too long, as if you didn’t agree or something. Eccentricities aside, I like her, and I cannot wait to start our projects. (And she really knows her stuff! She’s tight with the folks that print patterns for Cavalli! She also showed us some work, and she made a giant quilt with over 300 pieces that made the solar system as well as all the astrological signs and symbols. Very cool.) We’re basically printmaking, but doing it on fabric. Which means I can put whatever patterns I want onto whatever fabric I want! We can make patterned scarves!!
With any luck, I can master these techniques, get a burst of inspiration, open a boutique in a few years, and scrap the grad school plan. Just kidding. Sort of.
The other students seem pretty interesting too. One of them is an Austrian girl I met in Italian class. Her English is great, and she’s really nice. Another girl I get along with in the class is from my program. We bonded instantly over our shared aggravation with some of the girls from our program and their denim booty shorts and scummy flip-flops. Another girl is from Milan and said she hates Florence because it’s too small and the people are very closed-minded. I found that really interesting.
When I got to the Accademia for Italian, I found out that they didn’t demote me and I was still in the super advanced level! However, she told us that we were expected to know all the tenses and that we were only going to be briefly reviewing them. So… I have some major cramming to do this weekend. To be honest, I’m really happy to be in a class with people that have studied for several years when I only did one measly semester. There are five or so people from my program in the class, and then a little Eastern European club in the back with a guy from Romania, a girl from Russia, and a goth Bulgarian girl.
After Italian, I went to the other art building (which is only a block away from the apartment!), bursting with excitement for my big studio class, Mixed Media. To my disappointment, the class is a lot more structured with guidelines for projects, etc… when I assumed it was sort of an independent studio. The projects are… okay… but more along the lines of “Art 101”… But I spoke to the instructor and he said I could just do my own thing. Hopefully this all works out, because I need credit for that class for Sculpture! Aaah.
We just returned from a pretty tasty and affordable meal from a restaurant about 20 minutes north of us in a much less touristy area. Signe ordered raviolli con salmone e noci (salmon and nuts!!) and it was amazing! Margaret and I split some sort of sample course thing, but in the future I will choose just one dish because I feel like you get more a feel and appreciation for what you’re eating when all of your energy is focused on it. Does that make sense? When we had two tiny scoops of three different pasta dishes is was a bit chaotic and I feel like I didn’t get a chance to really thoroughly enjoy any of them.
And before I forget!!!!!
Just after I wrote the last blog, we went out for dinner at this magnificent little hidden bar/ristorante two doors down from us (our third time there). ODDIO!!! Ohmigosh! It was great. We still don’t even know the name of the place. There is no sign on the door, no name on the menus, nothing. My love affair with this place started Tuesday morning when Sarah and I stopped in there for a quick caffé latté. The outside is very nondescript and from the street looking in, you expect a typical bar with one or two tables. But no! Once you walk in, the bar opens up to a beautiful courtyard shaded by white linen awnings with a mini-library behind. It’s very modern, primarily furnished and decorated in white, but with touches of greenery and cozy, old-world charm. Sarah and I went up the cash register to pay, our hands full of euro change, expecting to pay 3 euro each for our caffé lattés. To our surprise and delight, our total was 3 euro! Such high quality stuff in an amazing environment for so cheap. Margaret, Sarah, and I went back yesterday morning for more caffé, and this time we met the owner and he gave us a menu to keep. It gets so much better! The menu is mostly vegan, and vegetarian fare, for such great prices! And we aren’t talking rabbit food. When we returned for dinner that evening, the place was packed. We were surrounded by all Italians (major plus!) and it took us about an hour to order, and another hour to get our food. So. Worth it.
I ordered “gnudi”. Yes, it’s pronounced “nudie”. Anyway, I guess it’s like tortelloni filling sans the pasta shell! So it’s basically balls of cheese, spices, and whatever else. It was so flavorful, and so rich! Aaaah. The girls all ordered various types of stuffed pastas, like ravioli and tortelloni. We all shared and it was glorious. We also shared the most exquisite bottle of red wine. It wasn’t as heavy as the chianti from Il Palaggio, and was a little more fruity. The best part was, the meal was only 40 euro, which is pretty cheap for what we intended to be our “first day of school splurge dinner”. 10 euro a piece. Not bad?
We vowed to go to that place at least once a week. For coffee, food, or otherwise. Maybe I can work there. Illegally. I can’t wait to take everyone who comes to visit there!
What else? Not too much. Looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow our landlord is stopping by to fix a couple things, and I plan to do a lot of studying for Italian and sketching for Textiles. Saturday we are going to Pisa and Cinqueterre!!! Very exciting. Sunday? Is up in the air.
I’m also looking forward to booking a trip to Paris with Hope soon for November. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit her in Denmark, as well as Rebecca in London, and the NYU folk in Prague! Yesssss. I’m shopping around for some super cheap deals. My roommates and I also desperately need to go to Bologna. “La Grassa” The Fat City. They are responsible for marvelous things like tortelloni and tortellini, and all kinds of fantastic culinary delights. Oh, like bologna for example. Plus, it’s medieval.
Finally, my new favorite word is “allora”. Italians say it before everything. It’s the equivalent of “so…” or “well…”.
Va bene, amichi. Ciao!