A Day in the Life: Field Trip Edition

Author: Randi McQueen

One of the many perks of studying architecture in Rome is the opportunity to visit other regions in Italy as a class. Each semester, we have two field trips. In the fall, we go to Tuscany for five days and Veneto for six.  In the spring, we travel to Campania for four days, and the final field trip is in Sicily for eight days.

Just last weekend, we returned from the Veneto field trip, where we visited Bologna, Mantova, Verona, Vicenza, and Venice. It was an incredible week filled with a whirlwind of unique architecture, delicious local food, and much more!

Here is a typical “Day in the Life” during a field trip. Of course every day is different from the next, but here is a peak of what typically happens on a day without as much travel.

Tuesday, October 20th Verona-Vicenza

6:30 am- Rise and shine in Verona!

It’s time to wake up in a new city and a nice hotel.

7:30 am- Breakfast time

It’s super convenient that all the hotels we stay in on field trips come with a continental breakfast. This also includes free cappuccinos! Don’t forget to pack a biscotti pack (or two) to snack on during the long day ahead.

8:30 am- Meet in the Lobby

Each morning after breakfast, we meet together in the lobby and break off into studio groups for the morning lecture. We either take the charter bus or walk as a group to the beginning of the walking route.


8:45 am-12:00 pm- Lectures through the city

Although it’s usually three to four hours of lectures in the morning, walking through the city makes it seem like we aren’t in class at all. We toured Verona, a quaint, yet beautiful city which was allegedly the setting of Romeo and Juliet.

12:00pm- Lunch time!

It’s time to relax and enjoy a cheap margarita pizza! Some students also pack lunches to save money or go to grocery stores since buying meals during field trips gets expensive. I always tell myself that I am going to pack a lunch, but I usually give in to temptation when I see others eating pizza on the piazza!

Pizza in Verona

1:15pm- Board the bus

It’s time to leave Verona for Vicenza, the city known for its abundance of Palladian villas. Our next project is to design a palazzo, so it is fitting that we tour so many different palazzos and villas.

2:30pm-3:30 pm- Visit to Rocca Pisana at Lonigo

Stop one of three villas has begun! Our professors begin each visit with a short background lecture, then we are free to explore the villa, make sketches, and take some photos. Rocca Pisana was my favorite villa we explored this field trip.

3:45pm-4:30pm- Visit to Villa Saraceno

This was stop number two of the villa tour through Veneto. Again, we listen to lectures and take notes.

5:00-6:00pm- Visit to Villa Pojana Maggiore

Villa Pojana was the final villa we visited in the afternoon. We stayed a bit longer to do some watercolor renderings since the weather was so beautiful.

Architecture Student

6:30pm- Arrive in Vicenza

Finally, lectures are over, and we are all exhausted from this busy day. We check-in to the hotel, drop off our luggage, and head out to eat.

8:30pm- Back to the hotel

After a long and restful dinner, it’s getting dark outside, and many of us are too tired to explore the city further tonight. We usually grab some gelato if we didn’t already get dessert with dinner and head back to the hotel.

10:00pm- Journal time

I have tried to make it a goal to write in a journal every night or two while abroad, but most of the time I am too tired to keep up with it during field trips especially.

11:30pm- Lights out!

Early to bed, early to rise and on to the next city tomorrow afternoon.