I get to go to school in a palace! How many people get to say that?!
Palazzo Rucellai is one of the oldest and most prestigious historical residences in Florence and holds an important place in the city's patrimony. It has been home to the Rucellai family for over 500 years and the family continues to occupy portions of the building. It is a Renaissance palace that was designed by the famous architect Leon Battista Alberti and it was built between 1446 and 1451. The palace was created from an enclave of eight smaller buildings which were combined to form a single architectural complex arranged around a central courtyard. The "piano nobile" or noble floor, is home to the Institute at Palazzo Rucellai. It was refurbished for the occasion of the wedding of Giuseppe Rucellai and Teresa de' Pazzi in 1740. The frescoed vaulted ceilings which date from that time depict mythological figures and motifs.
When we went on our tour of the Institute it was hard for me to believe that this would be my school "campus" for the next four months. It's quite the change from the large and highly populated campus of Arizona State University!
Another historically important construction lies diagonally across from the palazzo: the splendid Loggia Rucellai which opens onto via della Vigna Nuova, commissioned by Giovanni Rucellai at the same time as the Palazzo.
*some information about Palazzo Rucellai came from the Institute's website. To view more visit http://www.palazzorucellai.org/about.php?id=48