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Studying has its Perks

When I first graduated school in the United States, I was a little bit nervous about continuing my studies. Not only was there the apprehension that comes with any sort of application submission, but also the nervous thoughts of whether or not this was the right path for me. Luckily, I chose well, and I've learned and gained tremendously from going to school (again) here in Siena. And of course there are some perks :)

One of these perks is the chance to go on amazing field trips with the rest of the Siena Art Institute and Siena School for Liberal Arts! Traveling with one of the staff members acting as a personal font of Tuscan and Italian knowledge and quasi-personal tour guide is such a great experience. And once every semester, we go on a two day field trip with an overnight stay included in usually some crazy small town hidden in some unknown nook of the Italian countryside.

Recently we took one of these trips. At first, it seemed like a kind of strange lineup. We started in Orvieto, but then careened off the beaten path into these small towns that I had never heard of. Civita di Bagnoregio? Marta? Tuscania? I was having visions of walking down hot dirt roads in the Italian countryside, kicking rocks and chasing roosters. Of course, that turned out to be totally off base.

Following our visit to the beautiful Orvieto Cathedral, we went to Civita di Bagnoregio, which turned out to be an antique city precariously perched on a slowly disintigrating tableau in the middle of a valley. Marta turned out to be a tiny fishing village on the shore of a beautiful lake, where we had an amazing dinner of seafood. Tuscania is an incredible village with an astounding view of the countryside and also just happens to be built on and around Etruscan ruins. 

But there was still one more surpise left in store for us. The beach! When I was told we would be visiting the shore of the Mediterranean sea, it was all I could do to not jump into my bathing suit right then and there. Anyone that knows me also knows that without a regular dose of saltwater, I would shrivel and die like a discarded houseplant. It was a bit chilly, but I can't imagine a happier place to be than swimming, eating lunch and relaxing on the sand with the rest of my classmates.

Drew Anderson

Siena Art Institute Post Baccalaureate Student