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Restoration Field School in Italy – The time I have spent so far in Italy has been amazing. Exploring some of the many medieval villages has been enlightening. The first village we went to was Canova which is where our hosts, Ken and Kali, began their restoration and conservation efforts with many of the houses currently inhabited. Then we went to Ghesc which is a work in progress and is where we worked for 2 weeks on a small project laying the floor for a rooftop patio. Having a chance to work with stone and try things I have never had a chance to do before has been a lot of hard work but very rewarding. The differing skill levels of the other students involved has been both intimidating and helpful. I feel by the time I leave here I will have gained a few new skills or at least have a strong base to develop some.

We also went to visit an abandoned village near by that had a house with a fantastic fresco of St. Sebastian and an ornate mantle piece that was still intact.  One of the last villages we visited had a sun temple dating back to the first century.  The most interesting aspect of the different villages has been the comparison between what has been allowed to fall to ruin and what has been painstakingly cared for or brought back to life. It is also very interesting to see 300 year old additions to buildings that were already 200 years old at the time. Some of the “new” additions are in worse shape than the original structure due to a difference in building techniques.

Our hosts have been an invaluable source of knowledge regarding the history of the area as well as great guides showing us things even the most seasoned tourist would never see. Their take on “historical continuance” and the work they have done to save so much of the historic architecture is admirable.

Michael Gilkie

Architectural Engineering Technology Student

NSCC Waterfront Campus



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