Last year we decided to run a series of social media posts highlighting our tutors’ “5 favourites from AHA“. We asked them for their favourite Italian city, Italian dish, piece of art, piece of architecture and one of their most memorable AHA moments. Unsurprisingly, they found it hard to choose but we finally pinned them all down.
First in the hot seat, our director:
- Italian city: Rome
- Italian dish: cacio e pepe
- Piece of art: Jacopo Pontormo’s Lamentation
- Piece of architecture: Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro fontane (San Carlino), Rome
- Memorable AHA moment: A perfect moment – I no longer wear my father’s Seamaster Omega watch. We were settling down to lunch in Rome with 18 students and 4 tutors, and I looked around the table taking in the antipasto, the wisteria, water and wine. As I listened to the happy hubbub of conversation peppered with passing Vespas on the cobbled streets, noticed that my watch had stopped at 1 o’clock. It has never worked since and I have not tried to repair it because I realised: that was as good as it gets.
- Italian city: whichever one I am currently in
- Italian dish: it has to be the fiocchetti de pera at Quattro Leoni in Florence, though the sea food is what you would go to Naples to die for
- Piece of art: I am constantly amazed and astonished by Caravaggio’s Conversion of St Matthew in San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome
- Piece of architecture: Bramante’s Tempietto small but perfectly formed. When I’m really rich I’ll have a replica built in the grounds as a study. As yet I have no “grounds” but that’s just a minor inconvenience.
- Memorable AHA moment: walking into the Baptistery in Pisa to see the sun streaming through the windows and into Nicola Pisano’s pulpit. The marble around the crucified Christ is carved so thin that it glowed like the gold leaf on a medieval painting, an almost miraculous experience that I’m sure I will never see again.
You can follow Richard on Twitter for a wonderfully witty view of the world.
- Italian city: Rome, closely followed by the ever-classy Verona
- Italian dish: the carbonara at Da Enzo’s near Santa Cecilia in Rome!!!! To die for…
- Piece of art: Pontormo’s Deposition and Michelangelo’s Bacchus
- Piece of architecture: San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome. I remember walking in this Basilica for the first time and my mouth was agape for at least five minutes!
- Memorable AHA moment: Oh gosh – so many! If I had to choose one, it would probably be the feeling I had when we jumped on the first train of the day back to Venice from Verona having spent the evening watching the most amazing performance of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette in the Arena followed by running through the marbled streets re-enacting Shakespeare. I felt complete.
To take a view of these glorious works of art yourself, or slurp some mouth-watering carbonara, make sure to get yourself on the next trip!