This past Friday morning, my Italian Design class embarked on a weekend trip to the gorgeous city of Milan. After a high speed train took us on our three hour journey (and for most of us, early morning nap), we headed straight to our first site of the weekend. Our weekend consisted of many visits to museums, design showrooms, and even the offices of designers. We couldn’t keep our eyes off of the amazing furniture, fine art, decorations, fashion, and creative designs that we were seeing first hand, many of which we previously studied in class. These included some of the most iconic designs in Italian history like the Superleggera chair by Gio Ponti.
Our only complaint about visiting these places was that we wanted to buy everything we saw, and realized soon enough that even the smallest pieces would cost more than our entire study abroad experience! We collectively agreed that we all needed to stay in school and the get the best possible jobs so we can someday come back and afford some of these things!
In between visits, we had time to enjoy Milan on our own and see famous sites like The Duomo and La Rinascente. Many of us enjoyed desserts and cappuccinos at a delicious pastry shop in the afternoon and dinners and drinks at the local restaurants and bars at night. And of course, what would Milan be without shopping? Our four-star hotel (yes, four-star) was next to many European shopping favorites, like OVS and H&M, which came in handy when students felt inspired by the weekend to update their wardrobes.
My favorite part of the weekend was seeing the beautiful blown Murano glass vases in Venini. Seeing the time, care, and skill that is involved in making each individual vase had me intrigued and in awe. They were beautiful pieces that you could tell the company takes pride in and values to the highest extent. The price for these items is large, but after hearing a presentation of how much goes into making each one, the prices are fully understood.
Milan is a city I would love to return to. It had a lot to offer in it’s thriving culture of art, fashion and design. I appreciated the compromise of historical traditions and modernity that flowed through the city and gave it a unique vibe. Overall, the class had a fun and interesting weekend that opened our eyes to have a deeper appreciation for Italian design. We were lucky enough to view the famous city in an artistic, behind the scenes view–rather than simply as tourists visiting the major landmarks.
Now, all that is left after making our way back to Rome last night, is our project to follow up with the trip. It asks us to evaluate two of the designs that we saw during any of the visits throughout the weekend. What a bittersweet assignment–writing about two amazing things, but how are you supposed to choose two when you wanted to buy every last thing! Maybe it’ll help if we just pretend we took some of them home with us…
*sigh* maybe someday.