300 neo-Aquitaine high school students in the vocational sector above Rome

Ovations, whistles, a happy chime that evokes joy at a game or a concert: Wednesday May 11, 8 pm, the extremely elegant and very neat gardens of Villa Medici vibrate with young strong. This palace often sat in a collected silence at the height of Rome. Maybe he doesn’t hear such shouts often… Tonight, the protocol of the garden party is changing. Guests wore sneakers and back covers. And with buffets set between hedges, they want nothing to appeal to slices of jam.

Nearly 300 high school students in neo-Aquitaine recently presented projects in which they worked for six months with their teachers. Everyone is studying …

Ovations, whistles, a happy chime that evokes joy at a game or a concert: Wednesday May 11, 8 pm, the extremely elegant and very neat gardens of Villa Medici vibrate with young strong. This palace often sat in a collected silence at the height of Rome. Maybe he doesn’t hear such shouts often… Tonight, the protocol of the garden party is changing. Guests wore sneakers and back covers. And with buffets set between hedges, they want nothing to appeal to slices of jam.

Nearly 300 high school students in neo-Aquitaine recently presented projects in which they worked for six months with their teachers. They all attended professional high school in the forestry sector. They are already preparing to become forest rangers, loggers, cabinet makers … Their classes, about fifteen in all, have been chosen to participate in this operation called “professional residence of Villa Medici”. A first.

27 hour bus ride

They first considered since September constructions related to wood and Roman architecture. A group from Haroun-Tazieff high school, in Saint-Paul-lès-Dax (40), designed a white dome, a giant bubble that hosted the project’s return ceremony that night. Another class, from Blanquefort (33), was inspired by the furniture of Emperor Nero. At the same time, they were asked to describe in a few words their relationship to the tree. “A noble material, with straight or tortuous fibers, full of irregularities and intoxicating odors, which is there before, and is there after” wrote, for example, Quentin Milhères, 17, from Jean -Garnier high school in Morcenx (40).


Evening presentation of projects in each class in the gardens of the Villa, under the dome designed by Haroun-Tazieff high school in Saint-Paul-lès-Dax.

Margherita Nuti’s photo

Second stage: a week -long stay at the site in Rome. The icing on the tiramisu! Of the 300 students, only 5 or 6 have already traveled to Italy. Each class arrived by bus. 27 hours travel for some…

High school students are located throughout the Italian capital, and take part between Villa workshops and guided tours of the city. “I didn’t expect it to be that big. For me, Rome is above all Antiquity, I don’t think there are all these churches, these monuments, ”said Maxence Michiels, a baccalaureate in the forest at Roger-Duroure high school in Sabers (40) . “Rome and Villa Medici, are so beautiful, unforgettable,” said Louis Magne, a high school student in Brive. An experience like that only happens once in a lifetime… “But without Louis, there is more!

For a week, students from New Aquitaine shared their time between workshops at the Villa and a visit to Rome.


For a week, students from New Aquitaine shared their time between workshops at the Villa and a visit to Rome.

Julien Rousset

Two regions next year

At Villa, high school students engage in dialogue with several artists or researchers who have been admitted to the residence for a year. Visual artist Charlie Aubry told them about his career, his childhood at Lot-et-Garonne, his first artistic apprenticeships at Agen high school, his strong relationship with his grandfather, who was a skilled worker, and his grandmother, housewife. Historian Samir Boumediene points out that there is no successful artistic method that separates the intellectual and manual dimensions. “After these exchanges, a student told us that he could be a designer of sets for the opera”, confident Sam Stourdzé, director at Villa.

If he takes office in the middle of 2020, the former boss of Arles Photographic Meetings has ignored criticisms leveled at the institution. Majestic, but icy, aristocratic as hell, very little open to the world, even in its morphology: this building perched on a Roman hill seems to turn its back on the town. The Villa has a solid reputation as a ghost palace reserved for the privileged few.

Place of exception, excellence, and choice, by definition elitist because it welcomes each year 16 resident artists from more than 600 requests. Sam Stourdzé wanted to open this cultural temple, thinking about the idea of ​​a friendship in vocational high schools.

Three high school students from the Roger-Duroure vocational agricultural school in Sabers.


Three high school students from the Roger-Duroure vocational agricultural school in Sabers.

Julien Rousset

“I came to Bordeaux to talk about it with Alain Rousset, president of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. His enthusiasm was more than I expected: after ten minutes, he said ok. Without this political will, it wouldn’t have been. the project can be done. »

In addition to Villa Medici, the Region and the rectorate, many partners, such as the BNP Paribas Foundation, support this professional residence, which is set to grow: it will happen next year with two new regions, and will include 600 students. .

High school students left Rome inspired by this enchanted parenthesis. Sometimes with new dreams. Like Brayan Teisseire, from Saintes (17): “I love living in this city”.

High school students and their teachers in large numbers in recent days in the gardens of Villa Medici.


High school students and their teachers in large numbers in recent days in the gardens of Villa Medici.

Margherita Nuti

A French treasure in the heart of Rome

It is impossible to stay in Rome without seeing this building built on top of the city, on the hill of Trinité-des-Monts, on a royal vis-à-vis the Vatican. Its silhouette is rather part of the Roman landscape. This Renaissance palace was built on the 16thand century, and was acquired in 1576 by Cardinal Ferdinando de ‘Medici.
Since 1803, the Villa has housed the French Academy in Rome, created in 1666 by Louis XIV to welcome young artists to practice knowledge of the Italian arts, learn about the cultures of Antiquity. and in the Renaissance. The Academy moved several times before occupying this Villa, which became the property of France, in the heart of Rome.
Each year, sixteen boarders, artists, writers, academics considered promising are welcomed and housed for a year to do research, with no obligation to do, which is the particularity of these residences.
Among the most famous residents of the past forty years: the writers Hervé Guibert, Matthieu Lindon, Marie N’Diaye, the filmmaker Xavier Beauvois, the visual artist Ange Leccia … If we go back more to history, Ingres, Berlioz, Debussy or even the architect Garnier remained there.
Receiving these residents is the main mission of the Villa, but this area open to the public also offers a cultural program, exhibitions, concerts …

Young residents were able to walk up and down Villa Medicis.


Young residents were able to walk up and down Villa Medicis.

Margherita Nuti

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