The study abroad program has officially ended, but I haven’t blogged since Rome! Here are a few images from the Rome studio project mentioned in previous blogs.

Jumping from place to place and a general lack of free wireless has kept my internet use to a bare minimum. To say the last portion of the trip was a whirlwind would be modest. We visited and studied urban form evolution in cities such as Ostia Antica, Caprarola, Fiesole, Sienna, and Florence. From Florence to Paris and London then Edinburgh the history of the cultural landscape unfolded before our eyes.

The first photo is a night shot from San Maria Novella cathedral. One of the older cathedrals in Florence, it is near the Roman age core of Florence.

After Florence the next big stop was Paris… and big it is. The city feels as though it was built for giants. The civic infrastructure and City Beautiful monuments combined with Beaux-Arts architecture can be overpowering, however, Paris holds a collection of well preserved historically significant sites that map the evolution of design from the Medieval times to the Modern times. The first photo shows the intimate medieval street character here spared by the Haussman/Napoleon III redesign of Paris. The Montmartre area where the photo was taken would later inspire iconic artists from Dali to Van Gogh. The second photo is a paving pattern and tree grate detail shot from Parc de la Villette. The park is said to be dated (go 80s!) but provides a great example of the deconstructionism style.

Next we were off to London with its public squares, fish and chips, and international feel. The rain was oppressive, but I donned my raincoat and union-jack umbrella to slog on through. On the last day the sun returned and I was able to visit the royal botanical gardens at Kew (what a treat). Here are a few images of the plants at Kew.

The final stop was Edinburgh. I cannot say enough about the city, and I already want to go back. The history of the area is well recorded in its architecture, and the rolling Scottish countryside is a fitting foil for the towering cathedral spires. The photo is of the Edinburgh castle…. on an average night (what a backdrop).

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