Skip to navigationSkip to contentSkip to footer



ONE-MA3 2018: Week 1 in Italia

Written by:
ONE-MA3 2018: Week 1 in Italia

By Cleverine Cong ’21

Last week, a group of 15 jetlagged rising sophomores arrived in Rome for the Course 1 experience of a lifetime – ONE MA3.

Here are a few things, not related to research, I’ve learned about from my first week in Italy:

Admir: Admir (occasionally Sadmir, Gladmir, Madmir, and frequently, Dabmir) is the brilliant Course 1 professor leading the ONE-MA3 program. He’s a skilled van driver and a decent soccer player, and he loves to buy his students gelato.

Admir gone wild

Castello Caetani: According to Admir, we’re living in the first medieval castle in history with wifi and not one, but TWO ghosts. We also have to walk up 150 steps to get to the castle every time, which justifies eating gelato twice a day.

Climbing up to the castle for the first time was an unexpected and unwanted leg day

Learning Italian: There are pretty much only 3 Italian words we need to use on a daily basis, and pretty much only during meals: “Si” (yes), “No” (no), and “Basta” (enough)

Unfortunately, the Italian dining staff doesn’t respond too well to “I’m good,” “oh bet fam”, or vague hand gestures because they’ll just hand you more food anyway.

Soccer: The greatest sport in the world doesn’t get enough recognition in the US, but thankfully Italians have some common sense. We’ve been projecting World Cup games on the castle walls during dinner.

Streaming the Portugal vs Spain World Cup match during dinner

Gelato: Gelato is the best meal of the day. The village under the castle in Sermoneta has 2 gelaterias right next to each other, selling small cones for just 2 euro.

Margaret enjoying her first of many gelato cones for the night

Coffee: Breakfast always includes coffee, and there’s always espresso after lunch and dinner.

Espresso is pretty much the hot liquid embodiment of the word “bitter” in a shot cup, but Italians seem to really like it.

ONE MA3: This is a group of 15 super talented and hilarious students who bonded quickly and work really well together, clearly shown in the masterpiece below. We’re all stoked to explore more of Italy and Course 1 over the next 2 weeks.

Diego working hard to retrieve our soccer ball after we might have intentionally kicked it into the river

This summer, Professor Admir Masic is leading a program on Materials in Art, Archaeology and Architecture (ONE-MA3), in which MIT undergraduates are conducting three weeks of fieldwork in Privernum, Pompeii and Turin as a prerequisite for the Fall 2018 MIT course, 1.057 Heritage Science and Technology.  The program involves real-world analysis of ancient infrastructures and materials and focus on teaching ways to improve sustainability of the future through the study of ancient successes.