Restoration Field School in Italy – Spending two weeks in northern Italy working on a restoration project was the greatest learning experience I have encountered in my entire life. Having the opportunity to work and build in ways we don't explore traditionally in Canada has exercised my mental and physical limitations.
Before the work could begin, we toured the village of Canova. Once abandoned, now beautifully restored capturing the original essence of the area. It was breathtaking to walk through and admire the hard work and dedication that has been put into the houses making them habitable. After this we had a short hike toward Ghesh, where we worked for our two weeks. This area is very similar to what Canova once was, a cluster of abandoned stone buildings. Many without roofs, floors and even walls. It was beautiful in its ruined way.
Our work project was laying stone tiles, we first had to clear and clean the area, place and shape stones to create a parapet wall, and ensure the surface was sloped properly for drainage purposes. Easy in a European heat wave! Working on this project gave me a new respect for the area and traditional building techniques.
Our hosts, Ken and Kallie, open up their home for groups much like ours year after year. They welcomed us immediately with lunch, and continued to present us with vegetarian meals every day. I'm not sure I will ever have food that was so creative but simple and delicious every again. They took us on tours, to a marble quarry and throughout Milan, providing us with experiences not many people have the opportunity to enjoy.
From the labour to culinary experiences, participating in this field school has changed my opinions and view for our ancestors and forced me to develop a new appreciation for labour. I truly hope more student from NSCC will take advantage of this opportunity in future years. It was the perfect experience to conclude my educational endeavour.
Architectural Engineering Technology Student
Construction Management Technology Student
NSCC Waterfront Campus