Yearly Archives: 2010
Umbra students hailing from St. Bonaventure University, the Center for International Studies, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Scranton, the University of Richmond, and the University of Roanoke were all invited for a daytrip to Assisi this past Sunday. Local tour guide Marco Bellanca led an especially detailed walk around Assisi, and didhis best to convince us that behind the heavy fog there really are spectacular views out across the valley. Students learned about the importance of the original frescoes in the Basilica of St. Clare to Renaissance art history, and crossed into the breathtaking sanctuary at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. After everyone had a chance to pick up souveniers for the nonne a casa – grandmothers back at home — as Marco had suggested, students left the center of Assisi and took a short ride down into the valley to the Agriturismo La Carfagna for lunch.Despite our late arrival, the family was ready with a full course meal Umbrian meal. All returned back to Perugia that afternoon with full stomachs and ready for a long nap before elective classes began Monday morning.
On Tuesday, December 14, members of the Umbra community (students, staff and professors) gathered in the historical Palazzo Sorbello while students from three different classes who have engaged in service learning projects shared their experiences and research.
The presentations represent various examples of the types of community engagements available at Umbra, ranging from interaction with local families and schools as well as companies with international operations, based out of Perugia.
Contemporary Italy. Culture and Society
Name of the project: La Famiglia Italiana –
- Courney Earle and Bailey Smith
- Katherine Enna and Phylicia Hoyt
Business in Europe/International Marketing Name of the Company: Umbra Cuscinetti S.p.A., Foligno
- Jesse Schwend
Human Development in Culture
Name of the Project: Exploring the Italy ecology from one classroom to another
- Marissa Garrock
- Tom Albert
- Emma Kong
- Jennifer D’Olympio
Independent study in Psychology:
· Jennifer D’Olympio
As part of the end of semester events, last night Umbra’s Creative Writing students read their work at Loop Cafe. American and Italian students alike gathered around to listen to their classmates’ writings from this semester. Among the readings there were odes to gelato and gnocchi, essays on love, poems, and beautifully written prose about Perugia herself. The students’ best creative work is compiled into an anthology and distributed to each writing student.
Last night’s readings followed last week’s art show, where students showcased their drawings, photographs and frescoes. Yesterday student presentations at the local Ranieri foundation were held and tomorrow, there will be the chance to say arrivederci at the farewell aperitivo before the students depart.
Come vola il tempo…!
“Jungfrau” by Jesse Schwend
Happy Thanksgiving from Umbra!
Today we’re thankful for Perugia. And knowing how quickly this last month will fly by for the Fall 2010 students, the Umbra staff have put together a list of Umbra’s Top Five Must-Do’s before you leave — so get out there and be thankful for all Perugia has to offer!
5. Taste free chocolate at the Perugina factory.
Most of the Italian classes have toured the home of the world-famous chocolate and hazelnut baci, but if you missed out, pick up a bus ticket and go on your own for a free tour and tasting!
4. Celebrate the holidays in Gubbio with the World’s Largest Christmas Tree.
Every year since 1981 the Umbrian town of Gubbio lights up the world’s largest Christmas tree, stretching across the mountainside between the Basilica above and the town below. The tree will be lit for the first time this year at 6:30 pm on December 7th. Gubbio is easily reachable by a 1-hour bus ride from Piazza Partigiani (one-way ticket costs about 4.50 euro). Make a quick trip one evening after sunset or stay over in Gubbio for the night!
3. Walk through the “underground city,” over the Roman aqueduct, and into the Duomo.
We walk past these landmarks around town everyday, but have you ever actually been inside? Perugia’s most interesting historical sites are all free and right here in the center: the Roman Aqueduct, the Etruscan Well, the Tower of Sant’Angelo, the Duomo, and the Rocca Paolina. Talk to Zach if you need help finding these spots.
2. Eat Pasta alla Norcina, Torta con Salsiccia ed Erba, and Hot Chocolate from August Perusia!
Pasta with Umbrian sausage and truffles, trypical Umbrian bread, and to-die-for hot chocolate… you can’t go home without trying these Perugia specialities. And while you’re at it, fresh olive oil, vino novello, and roasted chestnuts are all in season!
1. Ride the Ferris Wheel in Piazza Italia!
At the beginning of December each year a ferris wheel goes up in Piazza Italia with an incredible view out across the valley below — what could be a better way to remember Perugia? (And yes, this is a ferris wheel, despite the massive “Carousel” sign at the front. Oh, Italians…)
Another Tuesday, another night of great pizza at the Il Paiolo pizzeria in Perugia. Il Paiolo, a 5-star rated pizzeria on the popular Italian foodie site 2spaghi.it (similar to ChowHound.com, for those that are familiar), actually used to be the headquarters of the Perugina chocolate factory before it was industrialized and moved outside the city walls.
In fact, on the upper floors of the edificio in which the pizzeria is housed, you can still see the enormous, meter-wide cookie sheets originally used by the Perugina bakers! It’s great to be able to live in an ancient Etruscan city and nearly interact with the various stages that it has passed through, all while eating some incredible pizza made in a forno a legno (wood-fired oven).
There’s still one more pizza night for everyone to get together and eat, so keep December 7th clear on your calendars!
…Olive season that is. Three Umbra Institute students went to Passignano sul Trasimeno to help pick olives for production of one of Italy’s most delicious and famous products, olive oil. The overnight trip was at the Orsini family’s agriturismo, a self-sustaining organic farm. Little did Umbra Institute students know, they would become honorary members of the family, taking cooking lessons from the grandmother, hanging out and sharing stories with the daughters and a friend, eating breakfast,
lunch, and dinner with the whole family, etc..
Not to mention, the priceless Italian language practice! One of the students said, “It may be one of the best things I ever do in Italy.” In the end, these three students walked away with much more than their complimentary bottle of olive oil.