Tagged : Italy

Mac OSX desktops

This is what my desktop looks like

No, I won’t show you the apps I’m running nor am I willing to show the (sometimes) many icons that clutter my Macbook’s desktop. Instead I’d like to share the wallpapers I get to see every day.

Let me explain.

A friend and I both have a Macbook Pro. And we both use three desktops (I honestly don’t know if Windows has a similar feature). Like everyone else we pimped our desktops using a nice wallpaper (three actually, one for each desktop). I always use three of my own photos and update them about once a year. This friend uses a more sophisticated system. He too uses three different wallpapers but instead updates them every week (!). Every week he picks a theme -this week it’s Hawaii- and searches the Internet for beautiful imagery.

Last week I copied him. I too picked a theme and browsed for three matching photos. The only difference being I used three of my own photos. The theme I used? Walls. Yep, I know, it doesn’t sound inspiring, but it actually is. Check out my wallpapers below.
The Royal Palace of Naples

This is the wall (and ceiling) of the Naples Royal Palace’s Grand Staircase in Italy. This hall roughly dates back to 1768 and shows the full glory of the Bourbon Kings. It’s truly massive.


The wall on this photo is much older… about 1800 years older. I took this photo in Pompeii, the famous city destroyed in 79AD when a nearby volcano erupted. They were so sophisticated at that time, they even painted their walls. Like we still do today.

Bath Pompeii

This also is a Pompeiian wall. It appears to be much simpler compared to the wall on the previous photo but it’s not. Look at the top left of the photo. The painted wall and ceiling are separated from the concrete ceiling. This is done because this wall can be heated. Hot steam would fill the area between the outer and inner wall, effectively heating the walls and ceiling. A similar system was used for the floor. It’s an ancient equivalent of our modern-day underfloor heating.

Remember, we’re talking about 2000 years ago. Fascinating, isn’t it?

In the streets of Naples 1

In the streets of Naples

I have a long tradition of exploring cities at night and I don’t know exactly why. Perhaps cities feel more real at night? Or it’s ‘adventure’ I’m looking for? Anyway, this time I explored the Italian city of Naples. For many hours I walked in the beautiful streets and little narrow alleys.

I’ve never seen a city so beautiful and spooky at the same time.

In the streets of Naples 2

In the streets of Naples 3

In the streets of Naples 4

In the streets of Naples 5

In the streets of Naples 6


Student exchange in Italy

Together with a friend, I went to Italy from October till December 2006. We were the first students from our school, the ROC Friese Poort, to be selected to attend classes at the Technical Institute ‘Alessio Tramello’. Also we did three short internships at several architectural and constructional companies in the afternoon.

Technical Institute ‘Alessio Tramello’

We attended classes at this institute every morning, five days a week from 8 AM – 1 PM. We studied subjects like Topography, Building construction, Plants, Drawing, Italian and English. We met a lot of people, learned a lot about the ‘Italian way of construction’ and had a great time at this institute.


We did three different internships. In the first 3 weeks during our visit, I went to the architectural company owned by mrs. Mitzi Bollani. Mitzi Bollani is the vice-president of an European expert group on accessibility and specializes in making buildings accessible to people with various handicaps. During this internship I performed a variety of duties including creating a 3D model of a large block of apartments, drawing various 2D and 3D models of buildings and drawing several pieces of furniture.

During the fourth week, we did an internship at ‘Edilstrade’. This is a large building construction company in the Piacenza region. This internship was less practical, but we learned a lot about Italian architecture, and visited an Italian university and a hotel.

The last internship lasted four weeks. Together with my classmate, I went to Cooperation Construction Val d’Arde (Firenzuola). This is a large architectural and construction company in the city of Firenzuola. During this internship, we spoke with the architects, discussed different aspects of construction with the firm’s employees and saw many construction sites in Piacenza, Firenzuola, Parma and other towns.

The experience

This was a great experience. I learned a lot about the Italian way of construction, the Italian school system and the Italian people. I saw many, many places and visited a lot of cities in the whole country. I visited Rome, Milan, Florence, Parma, Genua, Cremona, and of course Piacenza. Also, I went to the Alps and Rome.