The Pantheon in Rome, an Ancient Roman Temple to all of the gods. We had been learning about this building in Renaissance Art and Architecture and were told to go and visit it if we could, which we did during our Rome weekend with CET. One morning my friend and I woke up at sunrise to go and see all of the famous monuments without people around them, and on our way back we were lucky enough to see a rainbow stretched behind the Pantheon.
After the Renaissance Art and Architecture class where we learned how the dome on Duomo was constructed, I went to visit it again with a newfound appreciation for it. Bruneschelli created this dome after studying the Pantheon in Rome, and invented new technologies as well as architectural techniques in order for the building to be able to support this dome without reinforcement in the walls. This is unlike the dome on the Pantheon as that dome is supported by concrete walls that are 18 feet thick.
For Italian Language class we had to visit San Frediano Church on our own time and observe the piazza around it. Then we had to present to the class our observations as well as photos we took of the church and surrounding area. This is one of my photos of the church from the presentation.
Looking out at the Arno River from San Frediano Church during sunset. This was another photo for the same assignment. This side of the river is across from the city center, and is a lot less busy and quieter.
Students walking up the path to the Arno River after a boating excursion with CET. We were able to see the famous bridge Ponte Vecchio from underneath, which was both a unique perspective and experience.
The Arno River and Ponte Vecchio from the water. This bridge is famous for its small shops that mostly specialize in jewelry. In 1966, there was a devastating flood in Florence and the water rose so high it touched the bottom of this bridge.
For Renaissance Art and Architecture we visited Saint Peter’s Chapel to see the frescos we had been learning about in class. It was surreal to see the works we had been studying so intensely, and even more surreal to get to study them even closer in person.
For one of the group activities on a Wednesday afternoon we all went to an old track turned into a garden in the middle of Florence by the man in the center of the photo. There we learned about the sustainable steps taken in that garden as well as all of the different herbs and plants there. Then we all got to pick our own combination of herbs and make unique teas, which can be seen brewing in the photo. We also made all natural lip balms.
All of the Brandeis Mid-Years went out with one of the program directors for a dinner in the beginning of the term. This was “Pizza Burrata” from a restaurant famous for their pizza’s on the same street as the CET Center. It tasted as good as it looks.
For another excursion with CET we went to a small farm in the Tuscan countryside. This photo looks out over an olive grove into the countryside. If you look really close you can see the edges of Florence seated in the valley in the distance with more countryside behind it.
After orientation CET took us all out for lunch. This was the antipasti, which consisted of local meats and cheeses. To the right is a bottle of bubbly water. Unlike America, when at a restaurant in Italy you must pay for the water, and many Italians drink bubbly water instead of still with their meals.