La Dolce Vita in Italy

Earlier this summer, I went to meet Juan in Italy to see the opening of the Venice Architecture Biennale. He and his team had already been there for a month, installing, traveling outside the city to get supplies, and exploring the city in the few free minutes they had. I was anxious to join him in his adventures and even more anxious to see this incredible project they had all been working so tirelessly to create.

In the end, all of their late nights and endless research paid off to become an inspiring display of architectural history. They created almost 1000 books that present the work of American architects done overseas in the last 100 years. The research revived lost icons that significantly formed our current architectural landscape today.It also illuminated nuanced connections between architects, the countries they worked in, and the world events that shaped their buildings. It gave me a deeper appreciation for the masters that came before, and introduced me to the hidden gems that have been forgotten by history. You can see some more photos and description of the pavilion here.

The other pavilions at Biennale were also inspiring, either regarding the country’s perspective on the theme of “Fundamentals: Absorbing Modernity 1914–2014 “ or by the techniques and materials they used to present their ideas.  You can see some of our favorite pavilions here, here, and here.

After all this inspiration (and a healthy dose of architect parties and spritz to keep cool in the afternoon), we took a little road trip to Florence and Tuscany to eat, eat, and eat! We found a fantastic little restaurant in San Gimignano with simple but powerful pasta! We also stayed with an incredibly kind farmer couple that shared with us how AirBnB has allowed them to continue their family farming lifestyle. She taught us how to make pasta, and he told us all about making cheese from their sheep’s milk. We finally made it to the place with the best pasta on Earth, and we left full, happy, and inspired by history and some very delicious food!

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