Ferrara Italy - The University of Architecture


It's official, I am going to be studying at the renowned University of Architecture in Ferrara Italy for the month of July 2008!!! This University is situated in the Medieval walled city of Ferrara and has been the top ranked University of Architecture in Italy for 8 consecutive years. The University of Ferrara was founded in 1391, and that makes it one of the oldest Universities. I feel very honored and privileged to be studying at this facility under the tutorage of top Italian Professors in the "Facolta di Architettura di Ferrara".

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Location of Ferrara in Italy This is a map of Ferrara and you can see the outlines of the wall around the city. Ferrara is a city in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River. The town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the 14th & 15th century. It is a walled Renaissance city, surrounded by 9 kilometers of ancient red brick walls. For its beauty and cultural importance it has been qualified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Ferrara is a "bike city". When I arrive, I am given a bike to ride back and forth between campus and the Residence. It is apparently a 10 minute bike ride. Very European and very energy efficient, as well as good exercise. ferrara picture italyimage

The city walls and one of the gates into the City of Ferrara Ferrara is a bicycle city--as you can see from in front of the train station. photos James Martin

I will be taking two courses juring the month of July:

Univ external picc.JPG The Faculty of Architecture building

The first course is 19th - 21st Century Design History of Italian Architecture, Interiors, Furniture & Graphic Design Taught by Prof.ssa Dr. Giulia CERIANI SEBREGONDI My text books for this course are two "Bibles" of 20th Century Architecture and Furniture Design

imageimage 20th Century Furniture Design Modern Architecture Since 1900 by William Curtis by Klaus-Jurgen Sembach The front cover is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Brick Villa Project, plan, 1923 2. My second course is Sketching and consists of three nodules Module 01 taught by Prof. Mario MANGANARO - Proportioning an drawing plans and elevations - Direct perspective and exercises on representing elementary volumes - Field exercises - Examples of travel sketches (Rome, Venice, Naples, Palermo) - Field Exercises

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Module 02 taught by Prof. Salvatore SANTUCCIO - Part One: a theoretical lecture focused on sketching history in recent architecture from the experiences of Le Corbusier in the Middle East and Delacroix in Maroc - Part Two: "on site" sketching in the city centre of Ferrara. At the end of class students should have a rich sketch book with some different drawings of Ferrara to show on final examination.

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Module 03 taught by prof.ssa Carolina CAPITANIO - Tools and methods for a sketching survey to highlight the major elements of an architectural text Consists of 3 lectures on developing the sketching survey through: The rules of classic architecture The rules of modern Architecture The interiors survey The building survey The townscape survey The landscape survey

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As well as having classes on campus we have 3 field trips planned in Florence, Rome, Venice, and Milan. I can hardly wait as I have never been to Florence, Rome or Milan. And what makes it even more interesting to me is that instead of studying Antiquity, we will be visiting 20th Century Architectural sites. I will have an extra free day in each of these cities so of course I will visit the museums and Historical sites. Stay tuned and I will fill you in on my adventures in these four Cities I love this quote by Mark Twain: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.


  1. It must be a really exciting time for you. Good luck. One of your books 20th Century Furniture Design is a favourite of mine too. I also suggest you take more than 1 extra day in each city since you will need it (trust me) and might regret not doing so after your return. Would love to hear about what you learn especially about Le Corbusier in the Middle East.

  2. Now that's my kind of summer retreat. Fabulous news! Drink it in, is my sincere wish for you. Just drink it in while you're there.

  3. Wow sounds amazing! Have a great time. Do you speak Italian, or are the courses taught in English?

  4. Dale
    The courses are taught by Italian Proffessors in English. Unfortunately I do not speak Italian, but hopefully will pick it up when I am there.

  5. ::::drooling over my keyboard:::: What a dream! Enjoy every minute!! I hope you'll be taking all of your blog fans with you via the internet.

    I did a month in Spain last year with my design school and it was such a fantastic experience for me. I've never sketched so much in my entire life. It was a ball.

  6. Suzanne25/6/08

    Thanks for the Mark Twain quote. Not only is your site amazing...it always feels wonderful! ....but empowering! Best on your trip abroad.
    Can't wait to see what you bring back!
    Suzanne one more admirer

  7. Wow, that's so exciting!! I'm so envious, I would love to spend that much time in Italy. Have fun.

  8. What an amazing time you will have!!! Congrats!

  9. How wonderful for you Patricia! Study and travel combined, doesn't get much better than that, especially when its in Italy. I'm sure you'll have a great time and will come home full of inspiration and energy. Can't wait to see your photos!

  10. can I ask a question? I didn't see any info on their website about the short courses they offer, how did you find out about it? the 19th-21st Century class sounds amazing!

  11. Hi Suzy
    I am taking the class through one of our local Interior Design Schools, BCIT http://www.bcit.ca/study/programs/6160fdiplt here in Vancouver.
    They are sponsoring the course along with the Italian Cultural Center. They do a study trip every summer and it just so happens that it worked out for me this year. There are about 15 of us going. Most are students enrolled
    in the Interior Design Program.

    It is pretty amazing...I am still pinching myself at the caliber of the program and the credentials of the Professors. The field trips they have planned for us in Rome, Venice, and Milan are extraordinary. I have been doing my research before I go on the planned sites we are seeing and I will be doing postings on them.

  12. Wow Patricia how droolicious! But apart from that you have given me something to think about because when someone of your standing and experience in the field of id still expands her knowledge and skills and wants to add to her book of experiences I am reminded that it is never too late. I began ID 'later on' in my life - I am a 'mature' student at 44 - and sometimes wonder "what am I doing at this age?" but when I get engrossed in study or a real-life project I forget everything and sooo enjoy it. And you have reinforce the credo with your example. Your Mark Twain quote perfectly expresses my feelings and I hope you don't mind if I adopt it and paste it 'on my forehead', so to speak! I wanted to go to Milan this summer and do an intensive interior yacht design course, but other responsibilities superceded. It is something I intend to do in the future, however.
    Life is to be lived, for sure.
    Bless you for sharing and have a wonderful and uplifting time.

  13. What an amazing opportunity! Ferrara is definitely beautiful and unique place. The opera house is very worth a stop as are the cathedral ruins. Make sure to sample the Pumpkin Ravioli!!

  14. Compliments for your beautiful blog and...
    welcome in Emilia Romagna!

  15. Barbara26/6/08

    This sounds fabulous. Congratulations and enjoy!

  16. very cool, aren't you getting a little excited!?

  17. Louise26/6/08

    Happy for you, Patricia! You will be missed, here, but looking forward to what you will bring back to your readers! Hope it all proves to be more wildly wonderful than you could ever imagine!

  18. Julie26/6/08

    WOW!! How incredible. Congratulations. Looking forward to getting your blog from Ferrara.... I finally got to make my first trip to Italy (Rome) this year. I just didn't get it until I was there. It's still seems a bit unreal.

  19. Albarosa26/6/08

    Dear Mrs. Gray,

    It is always a pleasure to read your Blog but even more so today, with the exciting news of Ferrara.
    It is a very beautiful city filled with art, excellent food and very friendly people.
    Slow food, slow life, the best!
    I spent many week-ends there and always enjoyed it.
    I am a former "milanese" I moved here 20 years ago, so now I have two countries in my heart and I spend several months a year in Italy, in Milano or in my house between Venezia and Trieste.

    If you need any information or any help please let me know, I'll be more than happy to help you.

    May I suggest for your flight some books by Maria Bellonci (one of my favourite writers) either "Lucrezia Borgia" who married Alfonso d'Este or "Rinascimento Privato" on Isabella d'Este. Both books were translated in several languages.

    From Renaissance to Ettore Sottsass and Gae Aulenti...you'll have a wonderful month and I am looking forward to hear more through your Blog.

    Buon Viaggio

    Warmest regards,

  20. Sounds wonderful-- can I go with you?

  21. You are the luckiest girl in the world !!! the prefect vacation : study beautiful place , and wonderful food !!!
    If you want to come to Marseilles to visit , may be during the week end !! let me know

  22. oh i was trembling reading through your curriculum......i am envious!!!
    and EXCITED for you :)

  23. Have a great time - sounds amazing!

  24. So exciting. Enjoy the adventure.


Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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