Postcard from Italy: Expanding artistic creativity while practicing Italian
Maria Aschenbrener’21 is becoming more creative by taking advantage of the endless opportunities to engage with art in Florence, Italy.
- Name: Maria Aschenbrener ’21
- Hometown: Washington D.C.
- Major: Studio Art, Education and Youth Studies
- Study Abroad Location: Italy, Lorenzo de Medici
Q. How is study abroad benefiting your Beloit College education?
A. Study abroad is benefiting my Beloit college education because I’m taking courses that aren’t offered at Beloit college. I am expanding my creativity through the endless possibilities of art options that I have here so I can bring back all the skills I have learned and hopefully inspire others to learn and do the same.
Q. How were you engaging with people and place when you’re not in the classroom?
A. Honestly grocery shopping is a big thing that I do here to meet other locals. It’s kind of overwhelming sometimes to do something so basic in a foreign country that it can be really scary. Another thing that I do is ask my teachers who are locals here what things they recommend I do in the city. Places that aren’t crowded with other tourists and give me an authentic experience to what I’m studying and doing here. Another thing I do is try very hard to speak Italian to locals here. That is a great conversation starter and helps me improve my Italian! I also go to cafes to do homework or hang out with friends. The vibes of the cafes remind me Java Joint!
A view of Il Duomo built by Arnolfo di Cambio and funded by the Medici Family.
Q. What are the three most important things you packed in your suitcase?
A. Rain boots because it rains a lot here. Black shirts and pants because everyone wears black here! Lastly, my paints because this city is breathtaking.
Venice from the top of a tower.
Q. What is your favorite place in your host city/country?
A. Venice is one of the most amazing cities I have been too. It’s only 3m above sea level and it is full of rich history and architecture that makes your time there magical
Q. What is a common food there? What is the best meal you’ve had abroad?
A. Pizza, pasta and croissants! The best meal I have had here is called Bistecca allá Fiorentina, which is a steak with a side dish of spinach!
La Meridana ceramic school where we went on a field trip to fire some of our sculptures