Monthly Archives: October 2005
Each month students are asked for submissions for the Umbra Photo of the Month Contest. The number of entries has increased as students explore Perugia, Italy, and destinations throughout Europe. The November contest was a tie, once again, as Emily Weisberg and Bryce Miller took top honors. Emily and Bryce will win a free dinner from Quattro Passi pizzeria.
>It may not be the same fall season students remember from home, but autumn in Perugia has a beauty all its own. The scent of roasted chestnuts from vendors fills the air on Corso Vanucci, the wind has picked up a slight chill, and the sunsets are vibrant with warm colors. Perugia has lately been surrounded by a thick fog, which gives the impression that we are all living in a city above the clouds.
Photo: a fall sunset over the Umbrian hills, as seen from the vista at Piazza Italia.
The stakes were high as seven Umbra students competed in the first annual Pizza Eating Contest. The winner–the one to eat the most pizza in 6 minutes–won an all-expense paid weekend getaway to Florence.
The first heat placed Jay Eardley and Ross Dillard against Anne McGrath and Erin Bruno (shown in photo with team pizza-eating uniforms). Ross won the first heat by consuming nearly 2 pizzas in the time allotted. The second heat pitted 3 roommates against each other–Tyler Pace, Denver Miller, and Reid Williamson. Knowing the amount to beat, Williamson downed 3 whole pizzas in only six minutes.
The 6-foot-7 winner from Rochester Institute of Technology has been training for this competition since he arrived in Italy by consuming as much Italian food as possible. The contest was sponsored by the Umbra Institute and hosted by Quattro Passi, the best pizzeria in Perugia.
In photos: the Umbra pizza-eating contestants pose with Gennaro, owner of Quattro Passi pizzeria; Erin Bruno and Anne McGrath sport contest jerseys before consuming nearly 2 pizzas each in six minutes; Reid Williamson shoves the first of 3 pizzas into his mouth.
For the past week, Perugia was transformed into the city of chocolate. Thousands of Perugians and visitors filled the city center observing demonstrations, tasting varieties of chocolate, watching concerts and fashion shows, and enjoying all the activities throughout the week.
EuroChocolate is an annual festival held in Perugia and sponsored by Perugina Chocolate Company, makers of the famous Baci chocolates. EuroChocolate, in addition to the Umbria Jazz festival held in July, brings thousands of visitors to Perugia each year.
In photo: visitors reach for chocolate shavings from one of the chocolate sculptures along Corso Vanucci. (photo by Rebekah Stalter, Cornell University)
>Christina McDowell, a biology major from the University of Richmond, has accepted an internship offer from the Clinica Liotti in Perugia. Christina worked with Umbra staff members to arrange an internship upon her arrival to Perugia in order to improve her language skills and to learn about Italian hospital routines.
This internship adds to Christina’s volunteer experience from the United States. The internship will require Christina to observe the Italian doctors from several different departments within the hospital. This is the first internship for an Umbra student this semester as the staff works to create more opportunities for students to immerse in all aspects of Perugian life–including cross-cultural professional internships.
Now that the semester has been underway for two months, students have been taking advantage of Perugia’s proximity to destinations throughout Europe. This weekend, three students travelled to Cinque Terre to hike between each of the five towns and to wade in the coastal water.
Tyler Pace (Connecticut College) shared his photos and reflections of the Italian riviera:
“It was a totally amazing weekend… Granted, Perugia is a wonderful city–but’s it’s nice to be able to get out every once and a while, into the fresh air, into the mountains. Florence and Venice, among other cities are definitely the hotspots, but not much compares to Cinque Terre. Being there was like something out of a book–old towns that sit right on the edge of the water, castles high above the Meditterranean, cities still virtually untouched by the outside world. Every turn on those narrow paths sets you up for a breathtaking view that you’ll remember for the rest of your life… ”
In photos: Joe Orville (UVA) and Allison Zelman play in the waters in the Italian Riviera; Zelman and Tyler Pace (Connecticut College) take a break while hiking between towns of the Cinque Terre.
Imagine a pizzeria full of American students, waiting to see which one of their classmates would eat the most pizza in six minutes. Now imagine a kitchen full of Italians, watching in shock as 7 Americans stuffed their faces with margherita pizzas. It was such a fun example of cultures clashing and coming together that we could not resist posting more photos…
>This Saturday Umbra Institute Director Charles Jarvis and staff member Zach Nowak took a group of students to Città di Castello, a small Umbrian city famous in Italy as being the cradle of the country’s modern printing industry. The group went first to Umbertide, where they went to lunch at the scenic agriturismo, “Le Tortorelle” (The Turtle Doves), situated on a picturesque hill near Umbertide. After a tour of the organic farm and the traditional Umbrian home, the students enjoyed putting toppings on pizzas and actually cooking them in an outdoor, wood-burning oven. After lunch the group continued on to Città di Castello, where they had a tour of Italy’s oldest still-working printing company, run by Signor Gianni Ottaviani. Sig. Ottaviani is the seventh generation of owners of the family business, and explained that he has been setting type since he was little. The students learned about the typographic, lithographic, and engraving processes and were given demonstrations by the enthusiastic Sig. Ottaviani in each one. The trip was a great combination of a fun outing and didactic experience. The trip is the first of “Lost Weekend” tours planned for the semester.
(in photos: Le Tortorelle agriturismo in Umbertide, Umbra students and staff members at the printing press in Citta di Castello)
> A group of very happy Umbra students took part in the optional Tuscany Getaway last weekend. Students had three days to explore the amazing countryside and some of Tuscany’s most prized cities. The trip began with a guided tour of Siena, including the famous Piazza del Campo and the unfinished Duomo. Other trips were taken to San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, and Cortona, the city made famous by the film “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Evenings were spent relaxing and enjoying multi-course feasts at Fattoria Voltrona, a farmhouse in the hills of Tuscany (http://www.voltrona.com), where students could hike through olive groves and cypress trees, ride horses through the hills, or relax with friends.
In photos: the interior of Siena’s unfinished duomo, Fattoria Voltrona in the green hills of Tuscany, Remy Shu (Elon University) atop of one Voltrona’s Icelandic horses.
In an effort to expand the curriculum beyond the classroom, several Umbra courses will take class field trips. This weekend, the Survey of Renaissance Art class was the first to take the excursion. Art history students, led by Professor Sheri Shaneyfelt, visited six churches and museums throughout Florence to study the sculpture, frescoes, paintings, and architecture of the Renaissance.
Among other works, students studied Donatello’s David in the Bargello Museum, Botticelli’s Primavera in the Uffizi Gallery, the architecture of San Lorenzo, Giotto’s frescoes in Santa Croce, and the famous dome designed by Brunelleschi atop Florence’s duomo. Other classes to incorporate trips as part of the curriculum are Food Cultures of Italy, The Roman Empire, Perugia Through the Ages, Special Topics in Art History: Michelangelo, and Archeology of Italy.
In photos: the Survey of Renaissance Art class pauses for an espresso and a group photo atop the Uffizi gallery with the Florence duomo in the background, Prof. Sheri Shaneyfelt teaches onsite in Florence (right).