Trip to Italy

The trip to Italy was both a fun trip as well as an educational one. As an art student, there was a lot that I learnt from the trip. We visited the cities of Florence, Pisa and Rome. We also went to Vatican City, the smallest country in the world within the city of Rome. In Florence, we had an outdoor art workshop. The experience of sitting amidst nature and painting the scenery we saw in front of us was truly enriching.

The first city we visited was Florence. There was a lot to see over there. Apart from the eye-catching beauty of the city, we were amazed by the Duomo Area which is the centre of the city, the Political Square also known as Piazza della Signoria, Boboli Gardens, Pitti Palace, Uffizi Gallery and Academia. The Duomo of Florence is also known as Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The architects behind this beautiful building are Filippo Brunelleschi, Arnolfo di Cambio, Giotto and Francesco Talenti. The political square has several beautiful sculptures made of white Carrara marble although most of them are replicas. The original sculptures are kept in Academia. The centre of the Political Square also has a beautiful fountain called “Fountain of Neptune”. The Pitti Palace is enormous and is an architectural wonder. It has a beautiful collection of artworks. The most beautiful were the ceilings painted intricately with unbelievable detail. Each room is different and eye-catchingly beautiful in its own way. The original palazzo was built for the Pitti family in 1457, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and built by his pupil Luca Fancelli. In 1549, the property was sold to the Medicis and became the primary residence of the grand ducal family. The palace was then enlarged and altered. The Uffizi Gallery is known all around the world. It has the best collection of artworks and in size comes second only after the Louvre in France. Botticelli’s famous painting “The Birth of Venus” and beautiful “Tobias and the three ArchAngels” are both exhibited there. There were endless galleries to visit and once we entered we never felt like coming out. There were 37 original paintings by Raphael. Room after room is filled with exquisite mind-blowing artwork ranging from paintings to sculptures to works in various unique media. It was a life-time opportunity to see the original sculpture “David” by Michelangelo in Academia. On a certain day we went for an art workshop on the bank of the River Arno. We did an outdoor study where we sketched and painted the beautiful scenery that we could see in front of us. The workshop was truly enriching and the experience of sitting in the open and painting is a lot different from sitting indoors and sketching.

Pisa is a small but marvellous city. We saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral of Pisa and the Baptistery of Pisa. We also had the golden opportunity of entering both the Cathedral and the Baptistery. They were beautiful both on the outside and the inside. All three architectural wonders are made of Carrara marble and it is a marvel that they still shine in the sunlight. 

Next we went to Rome where there was a lot to see. We got a guided tour of the Roman Colosseum. We also went to the Piazza Navona where there are two beautiful fountains namely, "Fountain of Neptune" and "Fountain of the four Rivers" However, the most important was the Trevi Fountain which we saw on the last day. The fountain was built at the end of an aqueduct (Aqua Virgo) that was constructed in 19BC. The Aqua Virgo was built by Augustus's son-in-law Agrippa to supply water for the Roman Baths. It is indeed an architectural wonder! In Rome we also spent a day in a culinary workshop where we learnt how to make pizzas!! It was great fun!

Vatican City was indeed the highlight of the trip. The Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter's Basilica were all stunningly beautiful. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo is fascinating. Seeing "The Creation of Adam" in front of our own eyes was indeed a dream come true. All together the trip was one to remember and cherish forever and one from which there was a lot to learn.

Kuhoo Mitra - IB 1