Study in Volterra: Mattia Malone, UDM SOA 2011

Mattia Malone
(UDM School of Architecture program summer 2011)

Piazza dei Priori Volterra

Piazza dei Priori Volterra

Here I am in Volterra, Tuscany; a city 2000 years old, where the Etruscan civilization once flourished. Every morning, I enjoy the view of the mountains over the century old walls, and even get to walk under the original arches on my way in and out of the city. This little town on a hill is my home while studying abroad in Italy for the summer. Living amongst, and learning about the history of architecture and the culture of such a wonderful and unique civilization has qualities that i could have never dreamed of. I can walk the through the streets and alley ways without fear, but rather excitement, for there is always a street that twists into another leading to another; in and out of the most beautiful maze ever. With each street having its own personality; and flag symbolizing their section of town for that matter, every turn brings a new view and new perspective on Volterran life.

Sitting in my kitchen with the windows open, I can hear the Italians conversing and laughing in the streets; loving every minute of their lives. Hearing this, leaves it virtually impossible to just sit there in my kitchen, so an afternoon stroll through the Piazza is almost mandatory. Saturday mornings, I get the pleasure to wake up and walk to the other side of the city to the Market, which really consists of many trailers and vendors selling anything imaginable from clothing and accessories, to fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish and even toys for children.


Medieval Festival in Volterra

Thus far in my studies for architecture, I have drawn 10 sketches every day, and in doing so I have gotten to see so much of the city and the little details that I may have missed otherwise. With my sketches, I will always have Volterra with me, even back home in Detroit. Once getting to know Volterra and used to the birds, dogs, cars, and the many tourists here to visit the museums and experience the wonders, I get the feeling of never wanting to leave. I find time in my day to venture off to my Volterran ‘sweet’ spot and gaze over the rolling hills of green while the sun dances upon my skin and of course, I love the peaceful nights watching the sunset inch behind the mountains and the satisfaction of knowing tomorrow will bring yet another day of adventures to be had.


UDM School of Architecture students alabaster sculptures on exhibit at the end of the program