College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering

Italy 2012

Jun 1, 12

Free day in the city

Today was a free day for us to venture into the city. Some students took this opportunity to get some rest after 3 weeks of traveling. I decided to visit the Pescaria (Fish Market) and the Erberia (greengrocer market) early in the morning.


May 31, 12

Photo Blog Entry 2: Glass, Lace and Risotto

Today, we went on an island hopping trip through the islands in the veneto. The cemetery in San Michele was serene and beautiful. The visit to Murano was incredible, the glass pieces they make are some of the most beautiful works of art in the world. Burano is well known for their laces and the brightly coloured homes.


May 31, 12

Venice Day 2

Today was one of our first free days. We all got a chance to sleep in, and wander the city as we pleased. Some of us went to popular museums like the Acedemia, others went shopping for gifts for their friends and family.

Me and a few friends spend the afternoon at the S. Angelo square. We watched the gondolas float by and enjoyed a nice gelato. Some of the specialties of Venice are the carnival masks, Merano glass, leather and of course seafood.

Tomorrow everyone is looking forward to traveling to some islands to check out glass blowing and lace making!




May 31, 12

Venice Day 1


We arrived in Venice today! The trip took about three hours by bus and we stopped in Padua on the way for about an hour. That included a visit to the Botanical Gardens and a sculpture park in the city. The garden was full of exotic plants of every variety, my favorite were the Venus Fly Traps.


May 28, 12

Short and sweet stay at Verona

On our second day in Verona, we visited the Roman Arena in the afternoon. This symbol of Verona was built in the 1st Century AD and has a seating capacity of 30,000 people. Currently, the arena is used as a venue for live performances, it was initially built for games during Roman times. During our visit, there were preparations for an upcoming show.


May 28, 12

Photo Blog Entry: Verona

Photos of our first day in Verona.


May 27, 12

Last Supper in Milan

Today is bittersweet as it's the last day in Milan. We all woke up early and went to visit Leonardo DaVinci's painting: The Last Supper. The painting was at the Chiesa di Santa Mria delle Grazi in Milan and regardless of the early 8:45 am tour I was ready to see the painting after enjoying my daily two cappuccinos at the local Caffeteria!


May 25, 12

Milan Day 2

It's been a day of learning. We traveled to the University of Milan and got a lecture from Professor Ballarini on beam theory.


May 24, 12

Milano: Fashion, Sights, Gelato.

Greetings from Milan,

At 8:00AM, we depart from our hotel on a coach bus, destination: Milan. We drove past the scenic Emilia-Romagna during the first hour of the bus ride. The tunnels through the mountains, the beautiful view of Emilia-Romagna, and the city of Parma were the highlights of the bus ride to Milan.


May 23, 12

Two Giants

Just a quick post with photos of the food and sites of Florence.


May 21, 12

The Field of Miracles

Greetings from Florence,

After two days of stay in La Spezia and exploration of the beautiful Cinque Terre, we departed for Florence in the morning. We made an en route stop at Pisa, to attend a lecture by Professor Villaggio and to visit the Piazza del Miracoli.


May 20, 12

Cin Cin Cinque Tera!

Today we took the train north from Rome to a small chain of towns along the Mediterranean coast called Cinque terra. The three-hour train ride was awesome, and gave us a chance to relax and do some journaling and reading.


May 19, 12

Arrivederci Roma

Greetings from Rome,

After a good breakfast in the morning, we took a coach bus to the Catacombs of San Callisto, which are located along the Via Appia Antica (Appian Way). The catacombs served as a safe place for the remains of St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Christians in Rome. The tombs contains remains for the Roman pagans as well. Due to the high prices for burial plots, the Christians allowed the remains of pagans to be buried in the catacombs as well as an act of kindness. The tour through the catacombs was really exciting. We were able to see a few bones in one of the tombs, but most of the remains were extracted and placed in an undisclosed safe location. The fresco (art on the ceiling) in the tombs were really interesting and rather fascinating.


May 18, 12

Vatican Museum

Greetings from Roma,

It was a beautiful sunny day in Rome. We started the day with an exclusive private tour of the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican City. The tour was really interesting and enlightening. The Audience Hall, was constructed using reinforced concrete, by the Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi in 1971. The building's interior is rather spectacular, with the weight of the roof supported through arched beams that functions as part of the ventilation system as well. The design of the structure was inspired by nature, the symmetrical spires in addition with the decorated stained glass in the hall is similar to the wings of a butterfly. Our tour guide gave a really good piece of advice for us engineers, he said "As an engineer, you have to think first, 'what are you trying to achieve?', and then execute it with excellence."


May 17, 12

The Colosseum and Roman Forum

Ciao Readers! It's Annie again getting ready to start day three in Rome. Three sights really stood out yesterday
1. The Colosseo (Colosseum)
2. The Forum
3. The Food!


May 16, 12

Welcome to Rome!

Hello Readers! I'm Anne, and I will be blogging with Chris on the Italy Structures Trip. We arrived in Rome yesterday at 9 am after an 8 hour flight from Charlotte, NC! After checking into our hotel, we started exploring Rome, "The Eternal City".


May 13, 12

The Departure

Greetings readers,

My name is Chris Luo, and along with Ms. Anne Haws, we are the authors for the 2012 Ancient and Modern Structures in Italy Global Seminar.

We are eager to depart Minneapolis and step foot into Italia . Our first destination is Rome. Once the caput mundi (capital of the world), Rome is a busy and sprawling city. They say that Roma,non basta una vita! (a lifetime's not enough for Rome). We will begin the trip with a visit to the heart of the historic center (i.e. Pantheon, Piazza Navona.)

We will update more as soon as we arrive in Italy. arrivederci!


Mar 20, 12

Ancient and Modern Structures in Italy CE 4011

May 14 - June 2, 2012
Seminar Description:

Professor and Civil Engineering Department Head Roberto Ballarini is once again leading this popular global seminar to Italy. The group will explore the development of structures and building materials in Italy from Roman times to the present.