Drawing and the Villa Bayon

The Villa Bayon

So today I did some research on our PLP trip to Switzerland but was getting frustrated at how confusing the trains were and how we would get there and what we would do etc, etc. So although I was enjoying my time alone in the apartment, I decided I needed to get out and I messaged a friend who had talked to about going to her PLP Architecture project and we decided to go together. I met up with her in Santa Croce and we walked to Oltrarno to find the bus. Finding the right bus is always a challenge no matter where you are and the fact that it was a Sunday made us wonder if the buses were even running! Eventually the correct bus came and we headed into the depths of Oltrarno. While we were perusing the typical Italian “suburb” like streets, we happened upon some old abandoned buildings that looked REALLY cool and that had ivy growing up it and barely had a roof and just looked like it would make a great sketch or picture. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture, but I know exactly where it is so I’m sure we’ll wander back there again.

We finally happened upon the building that was assigned to my friend Taylor and after walking completely around the building, we mustered up the courage to ring the doorbell and see if they would let us see inside. One of the two people that lived there spoke perfect English and after we explained that we were architecture students studying in Florence and that this building was assigned to us as a project, they graciously gave us a little tour of the house and allowed us to go up to the roof terrace, which had a little view of the Duomo, way off in the distance. It was also really interesting to hear the inhabitants perspective on what it was like living there and that a lot of features that architects put in buildings for “visual aesthetics” are really more of a nuisance than a practicality. Like light shelves that really just collect dust and are hard to clean. And rooms that are too small to truly comfortably live in. And awkward spaces for the refrigerator and washing machine. After we sketched the house for a while, and after deciding we were done being mosquito apertivo, we said thank you to our gracious host and walked back towards town. We passed a few really interesting looking vintage stores along the way home and decided that we would have to go shopping there because the stuff was so cute! We grabbed a quick panino from a bar near Pitti Palace and then headed to Santa Croce to do some more drawing. I showed Taylor the delicious Dutch crepes at the food festival and then drew for a couple of hours before deciding we were hungry and there wasn’t really any more light to see the details of the church. We walked the festival and decided to get a bratwurst hot dog thing with sauerkraut, ketchup, mayo, and mustard on it (a peculiar combination), and it was surprisingly delicious!

After our little dinner, we parted ways and then I came home and was able to Skype my parents! It’s always nice to see a friendly face and I miss them bunches. I’m counting down the days until I get to see them for Christmas!

All in all, this weekend was a lot of fun. I think I turned the downside of not being able to go to Oktoberfest (which isn’t really my thing), into a positive and fun weekend by taking initiative and instigating trips and plans with new people. I am pretty proud of myself!