Author Archives: rywishie

Vertigo at the Vatican

The Bramante Staircase is regarded as a hidden treasure of the Vatican. Some tourists miss this wondrous and vertigo-inducing piece of architecture as it is no longer on the main tour paths. Despite the name, this modern double-helix staircase was actually designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, who was inspired by the original Bramante Staircase of the Renaissance. This stunning set of individual pathways is regularly used by patrons traveling from the Belvedere Palace to the Cortile del Belvedere.


Momo’s design takes two pathways and intertwines them in a double-helix. Photograph by Ryan Shields


Globalize Your Education: Study In Italy

IUSB is heading back to Florence in 2016! Finals week has come and gone and we at the International Programs urge students to consider studying outside of the United States. Professor Dora Natella is leading students back to Italy in the pursuit of expanding intellect and experience! Students will stay in apartments provided in partnership with the Santa Reparata International School of Art. The program is from May 19th to June 17th 2016. The deadline for applications is February 5th, 2016. It is imperative for students to start the process of getting a passport! Start planning now!


The rolling hills of Tuscany. Photographs by Ryan Shields


A streetview in Florence, Italy.


IU South Bend students at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Inspiration Comes Easy in Venice

For IUSB students studying in Italy in 2015, the three days in Venice were three of the most exhilarating days.


Venice at sunset. Photographs by Ryan Shields

Each day, students went to a different contemporary art festival or exhibition before being set loose to shoot photography in beautiful Venice.



IUSB students take a much needed rest at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.


The featured collections at the Guggenheim were that of Charles Pollock (1902-1988) and his brother, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).


Peggy Guggenheim is buried in her museum, along with her many pets.

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice is a collection from some of the most renowned artists in contemporary art. With this caliber of inspirational material at hand, students had no trouble finding the enthusiasm for exploring their own artistic notions.

New Technologies, New Artistic Perspectives: The Venice Biennale

While in Venice, 2015 IUSB Study Abroad students had the privilege of attending the 56th Venice Biennale Festival. This international contemporary art festival embodies the ambiguity that is artistic mode. There are Biennale festivals that take place all over the world showcasing advances in technologies, as well as new perspectives in art. Artists contribute works to specific exhibits that represent their country. The first Biennale took place in Venice in 1895. The Venice Biennale has been held every other year since.

IUSB student Adam Guerra takes in Japan’s Exhibit at the 2015 Venice Biennale Festival. Photograph by Ryan Shields.

IUSB student Adam Guerra takes in Japan’s Exhibit at the 2015 Venice Biennale Festival. Photograph by Ryan Shields.

Venetian Tradition: The Gondoliers

When thinking about Venice, one of the first things that may come to mind are its famous gondolas. This generalization isn’t without merit. Gondoliers are proudly posted all throughout this beautiful city on Italy’s northeast coast, hoping to entice travelers into participating in this Venetian tradition. The modern era of the gondola and gondolier is that of novelty. For about 80 Euro (about $86), tourists can enjoy a romantic or scenic ride through the many-channeled waterways that comprise Venice.

Before the invention of steam and combustion engines, the gondola was a primary method of travel in Venice. Tradition continues in the form of gondola races. The historical Regatta of Venice brings the Venetian gondoliers to a modern light. Decorated gondolas driven by costumed gondoliers parade down Venice’s Grand Canal before competing in a lighthearted race.

A Gondolier. Photograph by Ryan Shields

A Gondolier. Photograph by Ryan Shields

Rich History & Impeccable Charm: The Magic of Venice

When I was told that Venice was part of the Florence abroad trip, I couldn’t begin to understand just how amazing that experience was going to be. I had no expectation to satisfy. Instead, Venice made its presence known in my heart through its impeccable charm and amazing scenery. Venice is known for its water channels as a method of transportation, but until you’re immersed in that kind of travel it is hard to imagine. The bus system is comprised entirely of boats, complete with floating Bus Stations. At any given time, residents of the city use their personal boats to migrate around the numerous waterways. In the bigger Venetian channels, extravagant yachts and immense cruise ships accentuate the beautiful Italian architecture. And of course, tourists from all over the world come to Venice and catch a ride on the famous gondolas as a way to soak in the magic of the city.

This image is of Venice’s most popular and renowned social square, the Piazza San Marco. This Piazza is where the Doges of the Venetian republic would operate and entertain Italian politicians and elites, as well as foreign diplomats. The Doge’s Palace (pictured on the right) was the venue for Venetian court for over 500 years before being turned into a museum. The story of the Piazza San Marco is enough to make anyone consider Venice’s historical importance, but the magnificence of the architecture and the beauty of Italy’s east coast make it an unforgettable and essential destination for any traveler!

Doge's Palace & Piazza San Marco. Photo by Ryan Shields.

Piazza San Marco & Doge’s Palace. Venice, Italy. Photo by Ryan Shields.