Ph.D. Niyaz Latypov
SENIOR LECTURER OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEPRATMENT OF IFA
KAZAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY.
The final day of the seminar promised to be the most intense and full of impressions. Despite the fact that the Florentine fairytale was slowly but inevitably coming to an end, we had no time for feeling sorrow for soon departure at all. The first half of the last working day of the seminar was devoted to attending some more of memorable historical sites and getting some unique knowledge and learning new facts. And in the afternoon all the participants were to meet at the final conference to watch and assess students' presentations, listen to conclusions and finally – have a great dinner party in one of the most beautiful restaurants in Florence.
First of all we visited the State Library of Laurentian, which has a fascinating history and a truly rich collection of books. To date, it has about 150,000 volumes of books, 11 000 manuscripts and 2.5 thousand papyri. The history of the Library is really remarkable due to the fact that the chief architect of the building, as well as the author of some interior parts was none other than Michelangelo Buonarroti. The Library Reading Room is a unique monument of the High Renaissance: patterned red terracotta floor, benches, cabinets, lecterns, stained glass and ceiling – undoubtedly anyone will see the work of a great master in every detail of its interior. One can not fail to notice the staircase in the lobby that staggers the imagination. Unique in its shape, reminiscent of a lava flow (the flow of thought), it was built according to Michelangelo’s design and represents a complex structure, visually lengthening the rise in the library, from which it seems that it is higher than in reality. Courage and grace are equally evident in the work of the master.
Next on the programme of the seminar was a visit to Ksimenian Observatory (Osservatorio Ximeniano). Founded in 1756 by Leonardo Ksimenesom, the observatory is still functioning. In the beginning it was a small astronomical observatory, which gradually grew into a centre for the study of seismology and meteorology. In the observatory, there are two libraries: ancient historical library, where you can find the monographs and the first calculations of scientists, seismologists, and the modern one. Truly priceless collection of seismographs, seismoscopes and other measuring instruments is also stored there. Some of the items were used by famous Italian scientists centuries ago and some are rather modern. For example, Guido Alfani worked there. The staff of the observatory showed us the transmitter of the 19th century that is still working , and we were also shown a copy of restored according to historical drawings combustion engine, which, according to the staff, was designed in that very observatory by Eugenio Barsanti and his companion Felice Matteucci.
After a busy first half of the last working day the heads of the delegations, their assistants and students had a few hours to relax and prepare for the final phase of their working trip - conference, where students were to present the results (only preliminary so far) of the research and summarize the results of a five-day workshop. Presentations, as well as introduction to the organizers and other participants of the project, were held in Auditorium al Duomo, and certainly one of the most exciting and important moments for all of us could not do without the participation of the President of the Foundation - Paolo Del Bianco, whose speech was truly heartfelt and sincere. He shared his impressions about the seminar and the Fund development plans for the future. I am sure that no one remained indifferent to the words of Olga Karpova, Professor of Ivanovo University, who delivered a very moving speech when all the presentations were over. But that was then, and at first the students were ahead of exciting and important speeches, because it was necessary not only to present the project, but also to some extent prove their competence as lexicographers, though beginners.
After all participants had registered at the fund website www.lifebeyoundtourism.org, so that on arrival back home they could share pictures and impressions of the trip, and continue to develop the so-called "smart" or, in my view, "educating" tourism students began to present their projects. The presentations were first class, and no one had any doubts that the students treated the assignment in a very creative way and put their heart and soul in it, sparing no efforts and working with great commitment. Each of the projects had a unique zest, approach to the structure and form of a virtual dictionary, which is planned to develop in the future. Students, of course, were imbued with the seminar events and tasks, and their happy faces was an absolute proof of their wish to take part in the next year if possible.
As the evening approached, the official part smoothly turned into an informal one, and we moved into one of the coziest restaurants of Florence "Lorenzo de'Medici", where a very warm atmosphere of a medieval mansion helped us to cheerfully celebrate the successful completion of our work. A delicious traditional Italian pizza, of course, made us a while to forget about lexicography, but remembering and analyzing those really busy days, spent in Florence, we all agreed that we did a great job and, no doubt, it was truly fruitful. Delicious Italian cuisine, lots of impressions and emotions owing to well-done job-satisfaction, all the unforgettable and incomparable things that we saw and experienced during those five days, and, of course, very kind and friendly atmosphere - that's how you can describe the final dinner at one of the best restaurants in Florence. And not just the dinner. Because in addition to research skills, opportunities to write an article for future multimedia glossary and encyclopedic dictionary, students got unique knowledge about the history and culture of Italy in general and Florence in particular, and all of us - teachers and students - have become friends with each other. And that is true because otherwise the project could not be so satisfying for everybody and we hadn’t become one big family at the workshop.